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Student Success Stories

Hear from our families and students about their experience at Starfish Social Club!

Wrigley came to Starfish as a level 1 student, and is now a level 2! We talk about the most important skill she has gained so far: cognitive flexibility.

 

"I have a flexible brain!"

 

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Nate started as a level 2 and is now a teaching assistant at Starfish Social Club! His dad and I reflect on the journey to improve his social anxiety.

"Now Nate will go up and shake hands and look eye to eye and say 'good morning'. It's just those types of things that we see come out not just here, but obviously at church, at home, and in other settings as well."
 
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At Starfish, even when he feels tired or 'done', he is able to use problem solving skills and work with his teachers and Steph to work through his feelings.

Most importantly he is starting to gain confidence around peers, interact more appropriately (rather than engaging in attention seeking behavior from the start) and make friends. In general, he's a happier kid! His growth this year has been tremendous and he continues to surprise us.

Not only does Starfish give him the opportunity to practice his skills in real-time, they also encourage him to go a little farther than we probably would! They hold him accountable which makes him feel more like a “normal” kid rather than someone always needing special treatment. They see his potential and his strengths and work to bring those out.

- Jenny, parent of a 7th grader

V joined us as a level 2 student with a lot of resistance. He is now a level 3 student and it has completely changed his reputation in the group!

 

"Now, you're kind of like a leader here!"

 

 

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Theresa and I talk about how learning to give and receive feedback has been instrumental in her growing from a level 2 to a level 3.

"There may be days that you are helping other kids, and there may be days that other kids are helping you."

 

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I, along with my entire family, are so thankful that you have pursued this avenue. You have brought our daughter the most valuable of all possible things… friendships!

To me, that is why we are on this earth and now, because of you, Ramiro and Starfish, my daughter has lifelong friendships with kids and their families.

- Tracey, parent of an 11th grader

Tennyson is a great example of a student who came into Starfish at a level 3. Here he talks about how the lessons at Starfish have helped him with peer conversational skills.

 
"It's helped me, like, topic-wise. It helps me not talk so much about certain things."

 

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More Amazing Testimonials...

My daughter had struggled making friends with people her own age. She didn’t like to play games or do other things kids her age would like to do. She struggled with back and forth conversation. The older she got the more others noticed her differences and it was starting to become problematic. I was afraid that as she got older kids were starting to get 'mean'.

I was skeptical as to whether Steph could understand the issues we had with just one interview. But she had this way of drawing things out that was amazing! I wasn’t sure my daughter would like it and I didn’t want to 'make' her do something that wasn’t fun.

But she loved going. She joins in and plays with other kids voluntarily! She actually plays with her younger sister now! She is MUCH more talkative and seems much happier! She has made progress at school too with friends on the playground and even encouraged another quiet girl to get out and play.

- Kerry, parent of a 5th grader

Before finding Starfish, I was very concerned and frustrated with previous interventions, feeling like no one understood my child and what to do to help her.

My daughter has made and continues to make significant progress at Starfish. I feel like my parenting has improved as well, particularly in how I approach conversations with her. I find myself thinking, 'What would Steph do?" It has been a welcomed relief honestly. I see that Starfish’s simple and effective approach is exactly what she needs and it is a beautiful feeling to see that she has a tribe there and somewhere where she feels a sense of belonging. I am SO happy with her progress. It is the most growth I have seen than with any other therapies she has had in the past.

Steph has opened my eyes to my child. I feel like I understand her so much better. As a teacher and a special-needs mom I have been to countless workshops and trainings on autism. However, observing Steph and watching her work her magic with my daughter and other kids, I feel like my whole approach to talking to children has forever shifted. I am forever grateful to have met Steph.

- Dawn, parent of a 10th grader

I always wonder if my daughter is using the skills she learns at Starfish in the real world. I was talking to her teacher yesterday and she wanted to tell me about how well she is doing to manage stressful situations.

She was paired with a student to do a math problem. They had to agree on the work they would do together, and initially they had different ideas. She worked with her on a compromise, part of it would be like the girl wanted and the other part would be like my daughter wanted. They finished the work and got the correct answer. Flexible brain and teamwork. Starfish is amazing!

- Parent of a 4th grader

Steph and the team at Starfish understood my son and his needs right away. They also knew how to break it down for him in ways that built his self-confidence that I never would have come up with myself.

They taught him how to make meaningful steps in acting more independently, interact with other people more appropriately and better regulate his emotions, especially when dealing with unexpected or disappointing events. Thanks to Starfish, we have seen so many improvements which absolutely improve his quality of life and ours. We have gone from worrying about our son’s future to having real hope that he will be able to lead an independent and successful life.

- Laurie, parent of an adult student

Ever wonder what’s actually behind your child or teen’s friendship challenges?

It's not really about social skills!

By the end of this workshop, you will have a much clearer understanding of why your child says and does certain things, how this impacts their ability to make and maintain friendships, and how we help our students ‘level’ up on the STARFISH scale.

Register for the free training!