"Increasing autism quality of life: experts at maximizing social, emotional, and vocational independence."
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What are the qualifications of the group leaders?
Nancy Swanberg, MS, LMHC is the executive director and clinical director . Nancy is a licensed mental health counselor with over 25 years of experience working with children who have communication and connection challenges. She is the founder of The Friendship Network for Children and the creator of the The Connection Formula® and Social Accessibility™ model used here. You'll find more information about Nancy on the About Us page. She supervises all group leaders who are master's level clinicians or master's level interns.
Do you have typical peers in your groups?
No. We've observed that children in our groups learn best when they have similar socialization issues. We try very hard to compose our groups such that the experience will be beneficial to each and every child.Remember that children with similar social learning disabilities are nonetheless unique individuals. Your child will learn from other group members who may have very different personalities, but who are equally committed to forming relationships.
How long is each session?
Group and individual sessions are 45 minutes in length. Sessions often run back-to-back; we appreciate your understanding that counselors have limited time during transitions between groups.
What is your intake process?
Our intake process is designed to assure that our services will be helpful to your child. We pay careful attention to group composition so that all members of the group may benefit. If you have looked over our web site and believe the Friendship Network might be a good match for your child, here's how to take the next steps.
Call Nancy Swanberg, MS, LMHC at 508.393.0030. Nancy will provide a brief overview of our services so you can decide if our approach might be helpful to your child.
A telephone interview is scheduled and then completed with our Group Coordinator, Kimberly Welch, MA, LMHC. The purpose of the interview is to determine if our services might be right for your child. If you and the group coordinator decide it's a "go" then we proceed to the next step.
Intake forms are emailed to you and returned prior to an in-person intake meeting. Finally, we schedule an intake appointment to meet with you and your child together at the Friendship Network. After the appointment, we call to follow-up with recommendations regarding which group or services are most appropriate foyour child. We also want to hear how things went from your point of view (and your child's).
How do I get reimbursed from the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC)?
The MDDC may reimburse you for most of the services we provide, including groups, classes and workshops. "To be eligible for consideration an application must be received by the 1st day of the month prior to the month in which the event occurs (April 1st for an event occurring in May, etc.)." For more information, visit the Consumer Empowerment Funds Program page on the MDDC web site or click here for the application.
Does The Friendship Network Accept Health Insurance?
Insurance is not accepted however funding options from state agencies and reimbursement may be available. Click here for details.