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Heres one I made earlier...

Friendship Bands

Alison Roberts has two low cost, flexible therapy suggestions to promote friendship.

This is a good way to bond and promote trust between a group of children or teenagers. They will be proud of the finished, personalised article, which they are making as a gift to another group member, so the social skills of giving and receiving are also practised. Girls are really keen on these items, but boys are fine with them too. This method is an adaptation of the complex knotted variety. MATERIALS Narrow white cotton tape (the narrowest you can find) Thick soft wool in many colours Red and black biros (or colours to suit) Scissors String PREPARATION a) The clients need to choose their four favourite colours of wool and cut off lengths of about 50 cms. They also need the same length of cotton tape. b) On the tape they write their own name in red biro and the other group members names in black. They will need to repeat the writing several times to fill the whole length. The superior version repeats this process on the other side of the tape, because as the band is made the tape will tend to fold in on itself, partly hiding some of the writing. c) Now they pass their tape and chosen wools to another person in the group this is the bit about trusting the potential friend. IN PRACTICE 1. The band is formed by plaiting. Use the tape as one of the three components and two pairs of wool lengths for the other parts. A loop is needed at one end of the band to form one half of the fastening when the band is worn, so tie this in at the beginning, poke some string through the loop, and use this to attach that end to the back of a chair to make the plaiting process much easier. Plait the three components together, stopping short of the end. (Some of the clients, especially the boys, may have no idea of how to plait, and dyspraxic clients may find it quite difficult. My advice is to let them do it themselves, taking their time over it, and give a little help here and there. The finished article must look good, otherwise the point about trusting others will be lost, so help out if you see a potential fashion disaster forming. If they find the plaiting really too difficult, another method would be to twist the lengths together tightly, so that they will double back on themselves and hold when the lengths are folded in half.) 2. Untie the string at the end of the band to free it from the chair, and measure around the wearers wrist. Make a knot at the end of the wrist measurement, and another one at the end of the whole thing, leaving a fringe at the end. 3. You should now have the following formation on each band: - a loop - a knot - a length of plait or twist to fit round the wrist - another knot - a free length of wools and tape - another knot - and a fringe. 4. Now the band is given back to the person who chose the colours and wrote their name in red on the tape. You may like to use this opportunity to encourage the clients to practise their presenting and receiving skills, maybe slightly exaggerating the thank you, and adding compliments. 5. To wear the band you push the fringe and free lengths through the loop, and tie off gently, using a knot that can easily be undone. Each client now has a personalised band, with the names of all group members on it, so they will find it easier to remember everyones names.

Fields of interest

A practical way of registering the interests and hobbies of clients in a college or school, so that they can meet others with similar ideas and potentially form new friendships. The clients names should be put on the register if they are happy to let people know that they have a genuine interest in an area already listed, or if they would like to start a new one. They should be prepared to accept that they might be unique in their interest. The clients will also learn the meaning of the expression field of interest. It is nice if the fields can be wall mounted but, if this is not possible, they could be in a notebook or file. MATERIALS The largest post-it notes you can get, or if you have a notice board or wall space you can pin or blu-tac ordinary paper up (green is the ideal colour if you can get it, as it is more field-like) A sheet of flip-chart paper to attach the fields to, and headed with the title Fields of Interest (or just Our Interests if you prefer) I have also found a plastic pocketed wall hanging for displaying postcards (obtainable from Habitat) more expensive, but neater and easier to move - you just buy blank postcards to put in the pockets. IN PRACTICE 1. Ask clients about their interests, and start a few of the lists, heading each post-it note with the name of the interest, fascination, or hobby. This could be anything from basketball to cookery, or a particular brand of music. If you are working with people on the Autism Spectrum be prepared for some unusual interests such as disposal skip firms, train timetables or a fondness for collecting electrical plugs. 2. Encourage the next group of clients to spend time thinking about the fields of interests sheets, and let them add their names or start new fields. 3. Once you have a pair or more of people with a shared interest you may find that they already know each other but had not discovered the similar interest. However, they may need to be introduced for the first time. 4. It will be up to the clients to decide how to proceed, for example whether they would like to have a trip together to an electrical supplier. It may be enough for them just to know that they are not alone in their unusual fascination or, on the other hand, that so far they are the one and only waste skip enthusiast.



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