10 year old Kayla wrote:
It was an awesome program that helps you to make friends. I made friends at Friendship Lab. Now I talk to them on the phone and our families get together for BBQs.
Vanessa, mother of 9 year old James, wrote:
James is having a fantastic year. He is doing things that we never thought possible. Last year, he spent only about 5 minutes each day in the classroom. This year he is spending the whole day in the class and making friends with his peers. He joined Scouts this fall. Last week he was invited to a friend’s house for dinner and walked home from school with that friend. I was so nervous. But he did it, and he should be able to do things like that, because that is what other kids do. He was so excited too. He told everyone about it.
Things had been so difficult for the past couple of years that we gave up trying to have him interact with peers. We had accepted that he just would never do it. He said he liked to be alone, so we accepted that. But The Friendship Lab forced us to try to get him involved socially. And when he did, he was so happy. He was becoming “self-sufficient” and introverted, but now he is interested in being social. Overall, we love what is happening with James. We thought that social development wasn’t that important, but after participating in The Friendship Lab we see how very important it is. As he develops more confidence and better strategies, other things like overall behaviour and cooperation have improved too.
Maria, mother of 10 year old Shawn, wrote:
We loved the Friendship Lab. My son was so excited every evening we were scheduled to attend. I have seen a real difference in how confident he is when approaching new people and situations. I liked the way the program broke us up into two groups and the children had an opportunity to work in one room in a controlled environment and then we, the parents had the opportunity to talk about experiences and learn strategies that could be applied at home.
12 year old Ryan wrote:
The Friendship Lab was an amazing experience. I learned that there is more to friendship than just sameness. Friendship is about cooperating and learning about other people and their interests as well. It is not always just about what you like. You need to consider other people’s experiences and cultures and families if you want to be friends.
Alicia, mother of 10 year old Emma, wrote:
The program was very beneficial for my daughter. She has used the techniques from the program when she has had confrontations at school. I noticed that many of the students in the program have benefited from the program as they socialize and interact with one another at get-togethers that we have had since Friendship Lab.
Liz, mother of 8 year old Ben, wrote:
The Friendship Lab was a great opportunity for us to connect with other parents who are experiencing similar challenges. It was such a positive experience to see my child establish and maintain friendships with age appropriate peers. We have seen so many social changes with our son at home and in new social situations.
Ms. N, Program Support Teacher, wrote:
After our school offered the Friendship Lab in the evening, all of the students and parents who participated raved about their experience. They especially loved the work done around having appropriate conversations on the phone and how to establish and maintain friendships. At school I have witnessed an amazing improvement in self-advocacy and also in their ability to communicate verbally with staff members. I have also seen a de-escalation in the number of outbursts and inability to self-regulate. It was such a positive experience with such valuable outcomes. I hope more families are able to benefit from this program.