Don’t forget to find us on Facebook! Not only do we share helpful resources, we do live videos of our upcoming events.
Christina and Wendy
Next Friday, October 27th, our middle schoolers meet again from 6:30-8:00. We will be focusing on teaching the difference between your Inner Critic vs. your Inner Coach. Building and recognizing our own self-talk is important in building self-esteem and in being able to engage socially with peers. We will also be teaching the variances of “teasing” whether it is done in jest with a friend, done playfully during a game, or whether it has a mean undertone. We’ll be focusing on specific examples of how you can “read” the cues in a social situation to know which category the teasing falls under.
Our middle schoolers will come together one time in November on the 17th from 6:30-8:00. Our children have access to so much of the world with social media and the web. It’s challenging to teach them healthy boundaries with social media until they have some self-awareness of who they are. We will be talking about Who Am I? and creating collages. It is our goal that as they continue to grow in self-awareness, they will be empowered with confidence when accessing social media and the web.
We can comfortably house 10 middle schoolers in each group. If you are interested in attending the next two sessions, please send us an e-mail to email@example.com to reserve your spot. Please also feel free to e-mail us with any questions! Middle School OTB Group-Fall Semester
We will post details about December soon! However, we will be bringing our drama therapist back on December 8th and having an end of the semester party on December 15th! We have a chef coming in to bake something delicious with our middle schoolers.
Christina and Wendy
Every year, we like to honor those that go above and behind for our children. Maybe it’s your child’s soccer coach that understands what your child needs to be successful on the team. It could also be a dance instructor, art teacher, the general education teacher, special education teacher, a Tae-Kwon-Do instructor, or an after school teacher. Maybe it’s the principal at your child’s school that has shown empathy and understanding and helped created an accommodation for your child. The possibilities are limitless!
We would love to hear who has had a positive influence in helping your child be successful! Please e-mail us your nomination(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than November 16th. Please include the name and the area in which he/she has positively influenced your child.
Gratitude will bring more into our lives immediately.-Rhonda Byrne
Christina and Wendy
October also shines a light with bringing awareness to Dyslexia. We wanted to share resources for yourself, for your family, and for your child’s school. Awareness creates understanding which then empowers those around us to be able to see the struggles our children experience. We are then better equipped to help and teach them in a way they can be successful.
One terrific resource is the International Dyslexia Association:
Read here to find out common signs and symptoms of Dyslexia starting from preschool-high school:
Click here to experience how a child is dealing with a learning or attention difficulty:
Of course, we feel that all children benefit from being taught as if they have Dyslexia. If you’re interested in hearing more about Orton-Gillingham or a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading, please contact us at email@example.com. Read below for an interesting article on how all children benefit:
Some research on how a Dyslexic brain works:
20 Things parents of children with Dyslexia would understand:
Dyslexia in the general education classroom:
Different types of Dyslexia:
Dyslexia and the law. Can my child receive an IEP, 504 plan, or accommodations? (Hint: Dyslexia is considered a learning disability, which is recognized in schools) :
An excellent book on Dyslexia:
Frequently asked questions:
From Learning Disabilitlies Association of America:
Question and answer session on the benefits of having Dyslexia:
Christina tutors students of all ages with Dyslexia and learning disabilities using Orton-Gillingham. If interested in more details, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina and Wendy
When our children are learning multiplication, we often quiz them on the facts. For upcoming spelling tests, we help teach our children word patterns and chunking strategies so they can learn them. When building reading fluency, we practice reading with our children at night on books of interest and talk about the story to build their comprehension. It’s beautiful and rewarding when we get to be a part and see our children begin doing these skills on their own. They have now learned them.
Teaching social skills is no different. When a child is missing strategies and hidden social cues, often times, adults get frustrated around him/her because we expect the child to know what to do. We think….why is my child struggling socially when we’ve talked about this so many times?
The fact is, some children miss learning those social skills intutivitley. We often take for granted that we have these skills so we wonder why our child is struggling? Tthe good news is that a child can be taught social skills cognitively. Just like teaching a child a chunking strategy for remembering a longer spelling word, he/she can be taught strategies on how to find those “hidden” social cues in different environments and be taught skills on how to navigate them. It’s beautiful and rewarding when we get to be a part of and see our children begin using these skills on their own. They have now learned them and continue to grow their social thinking.
Our next set of social classes begin next Sunday, October 8th. Each session is six-weeks. You can find specific details here Registration for Social Skills Classes October 8th-November 12th
Our door is always open. If you have questions or would like to find out more about our classes to see if it’s a good fit for your family, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Christina and Wendy
As adults, we have a “toolbox” of skills that we use in various situations. For example, we often listen to audio books or podcasts when driving because it helps us relax which results in traffic not bothering us. When we’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, we often give ourselves five or ten minutes of solitude to breathe and recenter our thoughts. We all have tools that we use throughout a day in different situations.
However, for our children who are struggling to understand social skills intuitively they need a cognitive approach to developing these tools. During our social skills classes, we help our students develop individualized tools for specific behaviors, feelings, or moments of time in their lives. Developing and utilizing new tools takes time. Just like us, practicing the tools is an necessary step. When we are aware of the tools, consistently practice them, we are then able to access a tool when we are in a more challenging situation. It’s one way we work with our students to “get ahead” of a potentially negative behavior.
Below is an example of tools that our students developed while working in our social skills group. Each tool is individual towards a specific behavior or social goal that was decided on by each student.
Our next session of social skills groups begins on Sunday, October 8th. You can find specific details here Registration for Social Skills Classes October 8th-November 12th and we always welcome e-mails or phone calls with questions.
Christina and Wendy
We posted this about a year ago but wanted to share it again. Every single child shines his or her inner light to the world. Sometimes we fail to see it because we’re focused on a behavior or worried about their day or even their future. This quote is a good reminder for us to take a step back, a deep breath and enjoy them where they are right now. Love them and teach them non-judgmentally the skills to help them be successful in their lives. As parents and educators, be a support for each other helping build one another up.
Sending love and light to all of you on this beautiful Monday morning.
Christina and Wendy
Registration for our next six-week session of social skills classes is now open. Classes begin on Sunday, October 8th and run through Sunday November 12th.
To register, please fill out this form and e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration form Registration for October 8th-November 12th
For some students, obtaining and utilizing good social skills do not come naturally. They move through their environment having a difficult time communicating and understanding more than just direct language-based interactions. We typically begin intuitively learning key social skills around age three through observation and parallel play. When these skills are not intuitively understood, they can be taught cognitively. For example, good social skills include eye contact, conversational turn taking, and flexible thinking. For some students, these skills need to be taught and practiced in a non-judgmental environment. Previous posts about Social Learning can be found here Social Learning and Who Benefits From Social Skills Classes?
We are offering three different sessions so please read the specifics below. As always, reach out to us with questions at email@example.com. We believe that empowering the parent/guardian is equally important in empowering the child. Please plan on staying for the parent session of your child’s class to learn what your child is learning and how to help your child at home. For session one and session two, teacher letters will be e-mailed weekly to each parent. This gives you the opportunity to share what your child is learning with his/her teacher so we can collectively help your child practice these skills within their different environments. We encourage you to let your child’s teacher know that he or she can also reach out to us for extra support or questions for your child in the classroom. We’re all here to help your child grow in his/her social learning.
All classes are held at University Ridge Office Center, 1905 JN Pease Place, Suite 201, Charlotte, NC 28262.
The total cost for a six-week session is $225.00. To register, fill out the registration form found at the top and e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each group will have no more than 5 students so we can practice “thinking” about thinking as well as individualize for each child. Questions about our classes? Please e-mail us with your questions and we would be happy to connect with you to tell you more!
This is the perfect beginning class if you are new to our social skills groups. This six-week session lays a foundation of skills that your child can continue to build upon and grow his or her social thinking. During this session, children and parents will learn the differences between self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self-control. Students will learn about “hidden” social expectations in different environments, how to make social observations to learn those “hidden” rules, how behaviors are connected to emotions, strengthen observation/imitation skills, how to gain self-awareness with individual behaviors, move into self-monitoring tools for shifting negative behaviors into positive ones, how to identify if a problem is a big one or little one, and learn how to use your whole body to listen. As we continue to teach these skills, the group will begin to understand that people have a perspective that is different from their own and how to navigate a social interaction using this knowledge. Each child will choose a personal behavior goal and learn tools to help create a shift in awareness and behaviors.
This group meets every Sunday from 2:00-3:00
Zones of Regulation helps teach students how to be more mindful of other people in their social circles. They will begin to make a connection between their actions, their own emotions, and how others are feeling. Zones of Regulation teaches children how to consciously regulate their actions based on understanding their feelings. This will lead to increased self-control and problem solving abilities. During the class, they will learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another.
This group meets every Sunday from 3:00-4:00
This session is designed for open practice of the social skills that have previously been taught. We will create opportunities for the students to practice social thinking, Theory of Mind skills, and executive functioning skills in a play environment. This gives us the opportunity to help each child individually navigate a challenging social scenario using their tools and knowledge from previous groups. This session will work on deepening the interpersonal skills to develop better problem solving skills which creates a scaffolding of increased social skills. Due to the level of individualization, instead of a weekly teacher letter, we will give our contact information to your child’s teacher and can facilitate open communication on skills their student continues to strengthen as well as get feedback on what skills need continued practice in the school environment.
This group meets every Sunday from 4:00-5:00
If you’re not sure if our group is the right fit for your child or have any further questions, we would love to talk with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Christina and Wendy
How do animals help teach us about communication? Animals are another way that children can learn interpersonal skills which helps practice relating to one another. Come join us for our next middle school group for this wonderful oppportunity with Julie Merchant, a licensed professional counselor who has a passion in using animals to teach social skills. She will be bringing Figaro, a cat. 🙂 Often times, we think about a dog or a horse for the use of animal therapy but there are so many more options! Our teens will have the opportunity to observe and interact with Figaro as he is introduced to a group he doesn’t know. So, how is this connected to our own interactions? Observing a room to gather social information is a natural intuitive tool we use as adults but this skill often needs to be practiced with our kids. Julie will discuss the traits specific to a cat that are similar to our own personality traits. For example, we have all had a situation at some time where we have entered a new group such as the start of a new year, a new group, etc. and we’re overwhelmed with anxious feelings and we don’t understand what they’re about. This experience helps students develop awareness and begin to practice centering and calming techniques.
If you have filled out at least one registration form for our middle school group, no need to fill out another one! Just send us an e-mail and let us know that your child will be coming and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice. If you’re new to us, please fill out a registration form and e-mail it to us. You can find all of the information here Middle School OTB Group-Fall Semester
Christina and Wendy
I recently read a parenting article talking about how, as a mom, I should stop doing certain things for my kids. I liked the article and may have even shared it. As I thought of two of my children while reading it, I said, “Yes! Of course that makes so much sense”. But as I thought of my third child I felt my hesitation about the advice I received. Most of that advice would NEVER work for him because he needs to be taught in a systematic and cognitive way specific skills that other kids learn intuitively. For example, although many middle schoolers are messy, my middle schooler is messy and unorganized. However, he has a desire to be tidy and organized. The more I allow him to learn from his mistakes of unorganization, the more frustrated he gets which results in the more unorganized he gets. Eventually, he gives up all hope of ever being organized and this unorganization carries over from his binder, to his room, then his brain, and finally his emotions. It will affect him in every way. But if I (or another adult) offer an organizational method in a slow and systematic way, he learns it. Once he learns it without prompting or cues, he uses it. And while it may not be the way I envisioned it in my head, he uses it in a way that makes sense to him. Now he is ready to learn from the mistake of not using it. This process can take a week, a month, a quarter, or even a full year. No matter how long it takes, it’s important to realize what skills we can step away from and which ones need to be taught slowly and systematically which will give our children chances for more success.