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
  • Starting, February, 2021 we’ll be offering two online Relationshape classes: one for Tweens and Teens and another for Adult Self-Advocates.

DSANV proudly announces the introduction of a second level of our popular Relationshapes program targeted for adult and young adult self-advocates. Students in all Relationshapes classes will learn the core concepts of social and relationship boundaries, interpersonal skills, and relationship-specific social skills. However, behavioral examples and role playing conducted in each class will vary for the two different age groups. Younger students will focus more on family and school interactions while the adult class will also add discussions of appropriate behavior in the work place and in romantic relationships. The adult class will also include two self-directed chat sessions facilitated by the instructor: Dr. Robin Moyher, PhD in Special Education and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Long time DSANV collaborator Beth Henry will continue to teach the younger class.

Relationshapes for Tweens and Teens will focus on relationships with parents, siblings, teachers and friends. There will be six online classes from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Thursdays March 4, 11,18, 25 and April 1, 8 Cost: $75

Tweens and Teens Class Detail and Registration

Relationshapes for Adult Self-Advocates will also focus on relationships with parents, siblings and friends. In addition this class will also touch upon intimate relationships as well interpersonal skills in the workplace. There will be six online classes from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Tuesdays March 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6, 13. This class will also include two group chats, that will give adult self-advocates a time to discuss any personal issues of their choice. The Group Chats will be March 24 and April 7 at 8:00 – 9:00 pm. Cost: $100

Adult and Self-Advocates Class Detail and Registration

When signing  up for a class it’s important to think about  an individual’s life experience. For example a seventeen year old might have in interest in exploring workplace and intimate relationships covered  in the Adult Class. On the other hand, a thirty year old might feel more comfortable discussing family, friend  and teacher relationships as outlined in the Relationshapes Class for Tweens and Teens. If you have questions of which is appropriate for your student, contact and she’ll put you in touch with either instructor.

DSANV had a successful Winter session of Relationshapes. On February 12, 2020 Relationshape students were able to show off their awesome social skills at the DSANV Volunteer Appreciation Event. Students helped check in guests and meet and mingle with honorees. Also, the Relationshape class was able to enjoy a end of session pizza party.

Relationshape topics include: personal space, setting healthy boundaries with friends, acquaintances, or strangers; and ways to keep safe when making new friends and developing deeper relationships. Classes will include video stories, hands-on activities such as creating RelationShapes posters, and opportunities to practice new social skills.

Students will learn how to decide where people fit into the circles of their lives by looking at how long they have known someone, how well they know them and how safe they are with that person. Students will also learn to see the relationship between their emotional closeness to family and friends and the amount of personal space they need when they are with others.

Instructor for the pilot program is Mrs. Beth Henry who works as a school counselor in a pre-K-8th grade private school where she teaches a blend of social skills, healthy boundaries and caring behavior. She has been a licensed professional counselor (Maryland) and she is a National Certified Counselor for more than 20 years.

The Relationshape Virtual Activities are 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. Our hope is to offer the Relationshape class in the Fall, and these activities will serve as a preview.

Here is a calendar of Relationshape Activity submissions:

Activity 1-  can be submitted between April 10 – April 24

Activity 2 – April 25 – May 9

Activity 3 – May 10 – May 24

Activity 4 – May 25 -June 4

All Relationshape Virtual Activities can be sent to

This program is generously sponsored by a grant from McLean Community Foundation

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