Building Connections, LLC has a NEW LOCATION!

316 West Millbrook Rd. Suite 209, Raleigh, NC 27609

You are invited to an Open House to come check out the new place.
Bring a friend!

Saturday, January 20, 2018 11am to 1pm

My name is Christine Burkhart (aka…Mrs. Chris) and I have been serving children and families in Early Childhood for 20 years in a variety of capacities! I graduated from ​East Carolina University​ with a BS degree in Early Childhood and Family Relations and a Birth -Kindergarten teaching license. I was a teacher assistant, teacher, then curriculum specialist at the United Cerebral Palsy Center in Greenville, NC. When I moved to Raleigh, I became an early interventionist/child service coordinator with Community Partnerships, Inc, a non-profit, contract agency with Wake County Human Services and Wake County Public Schools at the time. I also taught in an inclusive preschool program in the Jordan Center, serving children with and without special needs. I taught Kindergarten at Brooks Elementary School for 7 years and for the past 7 years, I was a preschool itinerant teacher with Wake County Public Schools, Office of Early Learning. Throughout all of those years, I have worked with ALL families regarding the needs of their children-with and without disabilities. ​I have passion for seeing children where they are and then helping them grow to become all they can be and more! I am a HUGE believer in building solid, foundational relationships with children, families, and teachers! Connecting is vital to life and everyone wants to be heard, understood and loved!

I started my business because over the past few years working with children with special needs and their families, as well as community based preschools, I began to see a pattern: many of the children I was serving had a great need with understanding social cues, communicating emotions/feelings appropriately, and contributing to the play or social aspects of their day! Many children were not picking up on these social/emotional cues and procedures and needed to be taught specifically and directly on “how to…”. I had much success with doing social skill groups, I began to teach teachers and parents how to do it as well!

I currently live in Raleigh with my husband, Chris (yes we have the same name!), my daughter who is 12 and in middle school and my son, who is 14 and in high school. I not only have experience as a professional, but as a parent. My son has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. So I get it.

Testimonials

Our four-year-old son Ryder attended 4 weeks of Christine Burkhart’s Social Skills Camp this past summer (2017) and we were amazed at the progress he made during that time.  Chris has an amazing way with children.  She is patient, kind, enthusiastic, engaging and loving, and Ryder took an immediate liking to her.  Chris took the time to get to know him, including learning his likes and dislikes, which allowed her to communicate very effectively with him.  My wife and I had been trying to potty train Ryder for several months, and Chris worked with him so that he was using the potty on the second day of camp!  By the end of the summer, Ryder was completely potty trained and we credit Chris and her patience with that accomplishment.  She is excellent at modeling correct behaviors, and her understanding of the socialization needs of children struggling with social-emotional issues is unparalleled.  Perhaps one of the most wonderful parts of getting to know Chris this summer has been that she also spends the time to work with the parents as well, to help reinforce the behaviors being learned in camp.  After each week of camp, Chris would arrange a call with us to discuss Ryder’s progress and to give us tips and guidance on how to reinforce the great skills he learned during the week.  Now that our family has gotten to know Chris through the camps, we have told her that we want to be involved in all activities she facilitates going forward.  We feel very lucky that Chris has come into Ryder’s life and we know he will have a much greater chance at success because of the things that Chris is teaching him.

Gary Harmon, Ph.D.
Technical  Assistance Specialist
The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

We have known Ms. Chris for 3 years. She was my son’s Itinerant Preschool teacher for his very first IEP in NC. The knowledge that she shared was beyond helpful! It was extremely difficult for me to allow someone else to teach my son, but it quickly became clear that I strongly agreed with all of her practices! We loved how she taught, her words, her techniques, and even how she dealt with tough situations. She was with us during some very trying times educationally and behaviorally, including my son’s official diagnosis of ASD  and the hard decision to move to a self-contained structured-teaching classroom. I was so afraid of making that decision, but she assured me that it was best for him. She was definitely right!

As a special ed teacher myself, I began to find it difficult to get through some very  tough IEP meetings for my son.  I had taken another advocate to a meeting in the past, and literally got no results.  Ms. Chris began attending with me, and suddenly everything that I had been trying to get on his IEP was finally going on it- and then some!  She was so smooth and well spoken, that the IEP team seemed to just agree with her ideas!  She was the one, in a DPI facilitated IEP meeting with various FACC staff that was tape recorded with both principals present, who made the biggest difference! If she survived that meeting and made necessary changes happen- she can handle ANY meeting!  She spent time gathering ideas and collaborating with me ahead of time, and came to the meeting prepared with goals in hand! Ms. Chris knew how to negotiate with the IEP team to get what my son needed. You could tell that her teaching background made all the difference, but that it was her big heart that pushed her to do what she is doing.  I am excited that she decided to pursue her new business, and my only complaint is that she didn’t do it sooner!

She will forever be my son’s advocate, teacher, and friend. (& Camp teacher!)  When I think about what has made the biggest impact on his progress and success… it is truly Ms. Chris!

We love everything about her! As a single parent and a special ed teacher, trusting someone to help form your child’s educational journey is a big deal, and I would give my highest recommendation to Ms. Chris. This is truly what she was destined to do, and any child would benefit from her involvement!

Brianne Reed

My son (now almost 5) has been in various therapies (speech, occupational) since he was diagnosed with ASD at age 2.  Each of those therapies, along with his structured pre-K program have helped him to improve in his abilities in various ways.  One of my biggest frustrations as a parent, though, is that while there were significant improvements in the school or therapy setting, not much of it seemed to transfer to home or other less structured environments.

After participating in Ms. Chris’s social skills camps I noticed an immediate transfer of skills to home.  After the first week of camp (pretend play) he started making beds for his toys and kissing them goodnight at bedtime.  He also began asking to help take care of his newborn cousin by petting his head and holding him.  He started playing restaurant and pretending to cook and serve various foods.  Even his favorite type of play, Thomas the Train, now involved a story instead of being just routine pushing of the toys around the tracks.  The biggest change, though, was his application of calming strategies at home.  Though my son has made significant progress verbally, he has made less progress in terms of emotional regulation.  When he is frustrated or upset he does not communicate, he just screams.  One night in the middle of the night when he woke up fidgety and anxious I overheard him taking 3 deep breaths and counting them out.  The next morning he told me “I took 3 deep breaths to help me feel better”.  As an ASD parent, I can assure you that this was a huge accomplishment!  I had never seen him purposely apply skills in the correct setting without prodding from a parent or teacher and I know it was a result of his work with Ms. Chris.  Each day he was excited to go to camp and came home each week with great tools to help him understand how to get along with others better and to help us to reinforce what he was learning.

We were so impressed with the relationship that he developed with Ms. Chris this summer that we requested in-home consultation for meal times.  The first thing that really set Ms. Chris apart was her willingness to accommodate our schedule in our home.  I have tried to get assistance from therapists before since mealtimes have always been a struggle.  In the past the approach had to be tested out during normal therapy sessions and/or in therapy offices.  Ms. Chris was willing to come to OUR home during OUR dinnertime (which is always the hardest meal for us).  Even though my son was on his best behavior the night that she came (I think he was trying to impress her!), she was able to offer practical suggestions for our dinnertime routine to help him be involved and less frustrated by the process.  All I could say was “why didn’t I think of that?!”.  They were truly simple suggestions but have made a huge difference for our family routine.

In the relatively short time that we have been working with Ms. Chris she has helped our family to enjoy our dinnertime more, has helped my son transition to an integrated preK program, and most importantly has helped him to be happier and to manage his own responses when he isn’t feeling so happy.  I would highly recommend her services.

My family is so grateful to Chris and her work through Building Connections! My 5 year old son was about to be enrolled in a Wake County CCK class, and I wanted to help him learn to play with and
interact with peers as well as prepare him for the routine of a classroom setting. Chris is so loving, knowledgeable, and patient that Building Connections was the perfect place for Nathan over the summer to help prepare for school. Nathan attended 3 of her social skills camps and he not only had a lot of fun, but grew tremendously in his ability to interact with peers, function in a classroom, and take control of his own actions/emotions. I saw his confidence really grow as Chris encouraged and guided him! I recommend Chris and her services to anyone with a child that needs that little extra help! She is great at recognizing kids’ weaknesses while highlighting their strengths! We love Building Connections!

Services

Through direct teaching/coaching, games, purposeful play, and role playing, your child will learn:

• Social Behaviors
  • Looking towards the speaker
  • Personal space
  • Greeting and goodbyes
• Conversational Skills
  • Listening
  • Starting, maintaining, and ending conversations
  • Taking turns sharing ideas/comments/asking good questions
• Making Friends & Getting Along
  • How to play
  • How to initiate play
  • How to play and take turns with others
  • Being a good sport
  • What to do in tough situations (problem solving techniques)
• Emotional Regulation
  • Identifying and labeling emotions
  • How to deal with emotions
  • How to communicate feelings/emotions
  • How to advocate for needs appropiately
  • Relaxation techniques
  • What to do when I am scared or worried

Private Sessions/Coaching

Working 1-1 with child in parent selected setting for 45 min on social / emotional / behavioral skills and last 15 with parent(s) and child, coaching with strategies provided.

$65/hour (includes travel)

IEP Advocate

Consultant for IEP meetings
$100 (includes pre-meeting/post-meeting)

IEP Meeting Attendance
*$45/hr (includes travel)

Facilitated Play Dates!

Coaching your child with his/her peer(s) while in their most comfortable setting(s). Provide strategies for parents to use while navigating this social time with peers!

$50/hr (includes travel)

Teacher Workday Mini Camps

Dates:
November 10 (9am-12pm)
January 15 (9am-12pm)
February 19 (1-4pm)* afternoon session
March 29 (9am-12pm)

Location:
Restoration Community Church
11001 Raven Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27614

Cost:
$65/each session
Or
$225 for all 4 sessions in full ($35 discount!)

8 students max per session so sign up ASAP to reserve a spot!

 

“I love camp! Why can’t it be every week? My favorite part was lunch bunch! I like when she used the microphone! It was SO FUN!”


– Landon R. (age 6)

Social Skills Groups

Groups are 2-4 children for 1 hour sessions, focused on learning specific social skills by direct teaching and coaching.

Spring Sessions

April 19 – June 1
Choose your class! Spots open now. Max 5 kids per class!

Monday from 4:30pm-6pm
Wednesday from 4:30pm-6pm
Thursday from 5pm-6:30pm
Friday from 9am-10:30am, 11am-12:30pm, and 1:30pm-3pm

2018 Building Connections Summer Camps

Discovery Zone!

July 30 – August 3

Become a scientist and learn more about animals, food, the earth, etc, while conducting experiments to find out truths about the many things that we have questions about! Learn how to ask questions, make a plan, be flexible, and be brave! We will get up close and personal with a variety of different topics: insects/animals, properties of variety of objects, how things move/work, weather, volcanos/ocean, etc! Ignite the wonder! Let’s go! Parents are invited on Friday to come and let us show you our favorite experiments of the week!

$225/week 9-12 Snack and visuals included/ Lunch bunch from 12-1… $25 for the week extra.

If you sign up for more than 2 camps, price is only $200/week !
This is a therapeutic camp…we are truly working on life skills but in a fun way!

Showtime

July 9 – 13

Characters come alive while retelling and acting out scripts from stories, movies, and our own life experiences! Learn how to “pretend” play kids favorite schemes-how to enter others pretend play and how to initiate a pretend play! We will read several stories, watch short shows, and talk about our own experiences and then use our imaginations to retell the story to an audience! Parents are invited Friday to come and view an Imovie of our stories we learned this week!

$225/week 9-12 Snack and visuals included/ Lunch bunch from 12-1… $25 for the week extra.

If you sign up for more than 2 camps, price is only $200/week !
This is a therapeutic camp…we are truly working on life skills but in a fun way!

Under Construction!

August 13 – 17

Design, build, and create structures and works of art by using a variety of materials: legos, blocks, Lincoln logs, recycled materials, toothpicks, straws…the possibilities are endless! Build by yourself, with a buddy, and with a group! Learn how to make a plan, problem solve with materials and with peers, and what to do when it just doesn’t work out the way you want! Parents are invited to come Friday for a “Gallery Walk” to view some of our greatest creations!

$225/week 9-12 Snack and visuals included/ Lunch bunch from 12-1… $25 for the week extra.

If you sign up for more than 2 camps, price is only $200/week !
This is a therapeutic camp…we are truly working on life skills but in a fun way!

Playground Navigators!

June 18 – 22

Everyone’s favorite place…the playground! We will meet at Shelly Lake Playground daily where we will learn the rules of the playground and the rules of play with peers.

Learn how:

    • To Establish boundaries of the playground
    • To take turns on equipment/ideas of play,
    • To talk to new peers on the playground (greetings/how to say no politely/etc,
    • To find and ask for a safe place to use “chill skills” when a break is needed
    • To invite others to play and carry out

We will take walks on the trails as well.
We will have a picnic lunch as part of the session 11:30-12! So no Lunch bunch for this one! Everyone gets lunch bunch!

Shelley Lake Park, 1400 W Millbrook Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612

$225/week 9-12 Snack and visuals included/ Lunch bunch from 12-1… $25 for the week extra.

If you sign up for more than 2 camps, price is only $200/week !
This is a therapeutic camp…we are truly working on life skills but in a fun way!

Back to School

August 20-22 (3 days) $125

If your child is in the camp, the parent session is FREE! (8 students max for camps)

Other families can sign up to attend for $15! THis can be a separate sign up. I will have materials to give them. Max 15 people.

Goodbye Summer…Hello Back to School! This session will focus on getting our minds ready for all the things the new school year brings and strategies to fill our tool box for a successful year!

Included, On August 20, I will have a session for only the parents:
“Building School Connections”
Your tool kit for the upcoming year!
August 20 5-6:30pm

*Childcare will be provided for $15 per child! (got to pay my sitters😊)*

I am excited for this next chapter! I look forward to working with you and your child!

Christine Burkhart

B-K, owner

cburkhart.bc@gmail.com
919-332-8564

What are you inquiring about?

9 + 5 =