Little Steps

Help for children coping with a family member's substance abuse

Little Steps offers a structured series of expressive group activities through which children learn to idenitfy and change the patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior they have learned in response to their family member's chemical dependency. Children learn that they are not the cause of their family member's substance use and that while they cannot control or cure it, we will help them learn top cope with it. Our program provides education and coping skills.

Reasons for Referral
There are a variety of emotional, behavioral, school or family problems that may be cause for concern. You may want to consider referring a child to us if you observe any of the following signs:

  • family history of addiction
  • changes in the usual behavior and mood
  • agressive behavior
  • anger
  • chronic anxiety
  • academic failure
  • depressed mood
  • hyperactivity
  • low self-esteem
  • oppositionalism
  • perfectionism
  • physical complaints
  • separation anxiety
  • social withdrawal

Program Structure
Little Steps is structured into three groups, each designed to meet the developmental needs of specific age ranges:

Little Steps (ages 5-8) utlizes expressive art therapy to enable children to identify and express feelings such as anger, sadness and fear in a constructive manner.

Stepping Stones (ages 9-11) utilizes a mix of therapuetic games, art activities and discussion to assist children in dealing with their increased awareness of addiction and its associated dysfunction.

Steppin' Out (ages 12-17) employs a combination of discussion and expressive activities to help children understand the disease of addiction and its impact on the lives of early adolescents. It also helps them develop the coping, judgement and decision-making skills crucial to resiliency and self-reliance -- with the goal of preventing substance abuse issues in their own lives.

For more information on Little Steps, please call 718-948-3232.