A Program for Developing Healthy Relationships, Good Boundaries and Awesome Social Skills

  • Presented by the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia
  • Based on the Circles Program developed by James Stanfield, Stanfield Publishing Group

Relationshapes will focus on relationships with parents, siblings, teachers and friends. Students will learn the core concepts of social and relationship boundaries, interpersonal skills, and relationship-specific social skills. Students will focus on family and school interactions. Long time DSANV collaborator Beth Henry will continue to teach the class. Relationshapes classes will be offered in person. The program will consist of six classes. The class time will include discussion of each colored circle in our “Circles Map”* and how these circles represent each of us and the people in our lives. We will watch short videos that describe how we develop and define relationships with others at work, home and school. Students will be able role play different social situations. After the role play students will discuss each scenario. The Relationshape Class is based on the Award-Winning Circles Program developed by James Stanfield, Stanfield Publishing Group. The “Circles” program videos explain social relationships in terms of colors and shapes that help us to identify these social relationships in our own lives. Link to register for the 2024 Spring Relationshape class.


This Spring 2023 Relationshape students were able to show off their awesome social skills at the DSANV Volunteer Appreciation Event March 2023. Students helped check in guests and meet and mingle with honorees. 

The Fall 2023 Relationshape students engaged in a community service project. The class helped collect and put together Halloween Treat Bags for the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald Houses provides lodging for families whose children are undergoing medical care at Inova Fairfax Hospital. 

Relationshape Virtual Activities were developed for students who have taken the class and want to reinforce the concepts from the Circles Curriculum. Also, individuals who haven’t taken the Relationshape class are welcome to work on the activities. Here is a overview that introduces the concepts of the Relationshapes class.