Class Act: The Girls’ Group at Crossroads School

NATICK, MA (WHDH) - Each week, the Girls’ Group at Crossroads School in Natick gets together to create- like making hand-made greeting cards- or healthy desserts.  The most important skill they learn- is to make friends.  They have a lot in common. They are all living with autism- and making friends can be tough.

“I’m really friendly with all the girls,” said Caitlin.

“I really like them all, I think they’re super nice,” said Avery.

Catherine uses a touch-screen to communicate.

“My-friend-is-Caitlin.  My friend is Caitlin,” said Catherine.

Crossroads School educates students diagnosed with autism.

Statistics from the centers for disease control show that boys are 5 times more likely to develop the condition than girls.  So, girls with autism are a rarity- which can mean further isolation with a condition that hinders communication and social skills.

“They are put in classrooms that are the best fit for them socially, age level, academically, and often times that means that they are the only girl in their classroom.” said Caroline Phinney, an occupational therapist at Crossroads School.

Girls’ group breaks down gender barriers – and the girls thrive here.

“One of the parents of one of the girls in Girls’ Group noticed that his daughter said hi to another girl in the school, and he was like that’s awesome- that’s because of Girls’ Group.” said Samantha Baxter, ABA Counselor at Crossroads.

Girls’ Group is a success- they’re motivated and stepping up to the challenge!  And that’s why they’re our Class Acts!

“It’s like very good,” said Avery.

“I like it!  It’s really cool hanging with the other girls,” said Caitlin.

“I-have-fun.  I have fun,” said Catherine.

Before they came to Crossroads, some of these students were bullied.  The Girls’ Group helps them heal.

“It’s a huge part of our program here to address bullying…

It’s definitely something that’s talked about a lot here.

“Really what it is is it’s a support group,” said Caroline Phinney.

“I would say it’s successful, yeah, I think the girls get excited for it,” said Samantha Baxter.

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