Why Natural Consequences Don’t Always Work

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.  

With Appreciation,

Wendy

Confident Solutions Accepts Medicaid!

Wendy Britt is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who currently sees patients from pediatrics through adults with a variety of Speech and Language Impairments.  Therapy can take place in your home or in our office at 1905 JN Pease Place, Suite 201 Charlotte, NC 28262.

Areas of Speech & Language Services:

                • Articulation: accurate production of speech sounds

                • Language: word meanings and relationships, sentence structure and grammatical markings

                    and social skills during communication

                • Phonological Awareness: awareness of sounds and ways to manipulate them

                • Auditory Processing: The mental processing of language and auditory stimuli

                • Stuttering: Smooth, Fluid Speech

                • Augmentative Communication: alternative forms of communication for those who cannot

                     achieve speech

                • Voice Disorders: techniques to treat strained, breathy, hoarse, soft, loud, or nasal voices 

We accept:

Medicaid or private pay

Call us to set up an initial appointment or have your physician fax a doctor’s order to 980-225-0229.

Telephone: Wendy Britt 704-995-6896

Email confidentsolutions7@gmail.com

 

Registration for School Age Social Skills Classes August 20th-October 1st

To register, please fill out this form and e-mail it to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com

Registration August 20-October 1 New Registration

 

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?

Our six-week session begins on Sunday, August 20th.  There will be no classes on Sunday, September 3rd over Labor Day weekend.  We want to begin teaching these skills just before or as school is beginning so your child will have tools to begin the new school year.

We are offering three different sessions so please read the specifics below.  As always, reach out to us with questions at confidentsolutions7@gmail.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 confidentsolutions7@gmail.com. Each group will have no more than 5 students so we can practice “thinking” about thinking as well as individualize for each child.

 

Session 1:  Self-Awareness-Learning how to “think” about thinking socially Grades K-2nd

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 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

Session 2:  Self-Awareness-Learning how to “think” about thinking socially Grades 3rd-5th

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 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 3:00-4:00

 

Session 3: Practicing of Social Skills

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. 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 confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

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With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

OG Tutoring

The Orton-Gillingham approach was originally used to teach people with dyslexia how to read.  However, this systematic, multi-sensory approach truly benefits all learners.  If your child is struggling to read, please contact me for further information about tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach.  Filling in the gaps and teaching necessary reading skills to your child will benefit him/her throughout their life.  Having the ability to pick up a book, read it and get lost in the story is a true gift.  I would love to help your child succeed! If you would like more information about tutoring or what the Orton-Gillingham approach is, you can reach me at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  Please put OG Tutoring in the subject line.

With Appreciation,

Christina

 

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Social Learning

Recently, we read an article where a physician was quoted as saying kids do “what they can.”  This is very true whether we’re talking about children utilizing good social skills, reading on their grade level, or learning math facts.  It’s not a child’s “fault” that they are not understanding or implementing good social skills naturally.  However, as adults, we tend to have those expectations when it comes to social skills and then try to manage those “behaviors.”

If a child is struggling  learning to read, we teach that child unique ways to learn maybe through phonics, or blending patterns. If a child is struggling with concepts in math, we offer ways of support such as tutoring and breaking down the concepts until they understand the steps. Social skills really are the same.  In school a student will typically have to pull a card, lose a buck or sit at the quiet table. Teachers and administrators report that a child is struggling understanding and utilizing good social skills but the actual skills are not being taught or supported.

Just like special strategies can be implemented to teach a child to read, there are curriculums and specialists who can teach your child social skills. Both types of teaching express the importance of having a strong support network for your child as well as practicing the skills that are being taught.  When we are teaching a child phonics, we would then expect and set up situations where they are practicing the phonic skill. Social skills are the same in that, as children are learning how to “think” about thinking, having a support network of parents/guardians and teachers to help them practice the skills is necessary.

Our social skills classes are called Mindful Thinking for Social Expectations.  Our classes run six-week sessions with each session having a unique focus.  If this is your first time joining a social skills group or if your child has specific “behaviors” that you are unsure how to teach, we recommend beginning with our self-awareness, self-monitoring, and self-control classes.  We currently are teaching a session on “play” which includes how to enter and engage in play, how to read nonverbal language, and beginning to understand other people have thoughts and perspectives.  We keep our class sizes small so the students have the ability to interact and practice the social skills they are learning. This also enables us to offer more individualized instruction.

We also believe empowering parents is important. In conjunction to the student class, we have a parent group that meets at the same time.  The parents are learning information on the importance of reinforcing and practicing the skills their child is learning.

We also offer a teacher letter each week so we can connect with your child’s teacher. We feel this is an important piece so he/she can help reinforce the skills your child is learning.

This is a slow and deep process.  The focus of our classes are not about “managing” behaviors but rather teaching skills that begins to create a shift for students and parents.  Once these skills are learned, the students will be empowered to problem solve social situations that were once difficult for them.

We welcome any questions you have! If you would like to talk with us more about our classes, please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

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Communicating an “Invisible Disability”

We are aware of the challenges of communicating an “invisible disability” with a teacher, administrator and even a relative.  What do we mean by “invisible disability?”  This refers to a disability other people can not easily see, and often times, they will unknowingly bear judgment towards the parent and/or child.  The disability may be ADD/ADHD, anxiety, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, etc.  Unfortunately, we may hear teachers or relatives imply the child needs more discipline or will offer an opinion about how to parent.   Usually there’s a “therefore…” thought that follows. People who don’t deal with invisible disabilities on a daily basis often want the child to perform to their expectations. Their individual awareness of what the child struggles with becomes apparent. If you pull back and look at the situation, often these statements from other adults are coming from a place of their personal awareness, social expectations and individual experiences they have had in their lives.  Often, as adults, we struggle seeing beyond our own personal experiences.

So, how do we communicate with people who do not “see” the disability? This is especially important if they have an influence in the child’s life (such as a relative or teacher).

As a parent, you are in the role of helping your child succeed.  First, you are gaining information about your child and his or her disability.  As you work with other professionals, attend classes, and build your child’s team, you are creating a shift of awareness within yourself.  Understanding where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie and setting goals to further help your child will create a shift within your family.

As awareness increases you will be setting up expectations and goals at home.  What do you expect as a parent?  How do you communicate and help your child with these expectations at home?  What are your expectations and goals for yourself? A plan will begin to form based on your new knowledge. Your parenting style may change.

Hold true to your plan even if a grandparent, aunt or uncle can not understand it.  Remember, they have awareness based on their experiences.  You may choose to give information to a family member along the way, but we recommend doing so with an open heart instead of a goal of creating a shift in them.

When working with teachers and school staff, understand two things: one, they are working with your child from their experiences and training, and two they may see your child in a different light. Difficulties you experience at home may not be the same as what they are experiencing  at school. Share your knowledge; but listen to theirs as well.  Share evaluations and your home experiences but also remember to be open to  hearing about situations from school.  You both may have different perspectives, but work towards coming together for the benefit of your child.

With your child’s teacher, come up with a plan for school.  Be specific in your expectations.  Are you hoping to have your child’s teacher gain more awareness of how your child thinks socially?  Or are you wanting them to help your child experience more academic success?  We have found that you will have more success  communicating with your child’s school when you have one or two specific goals in mind.

In closing, we are aware that “invisible disabilities” are very real.  They affect our children differently in different environments.  The level of impact one of these disabilities has on a child can be significant in all areas of their life.  Ultimately, you are creating a shift in thinking within yourself, creating goals and expectations for your family, bridging a gap with your child’s school, and holding true to your plan when around extended family.  Although these areas can be challenging, consistency with your overall plan will reap the greatest reward.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher

This morning while drinking my morning coffee, I was reading an article from Additude magazine that I thought you may be interested in as well.   This magazine, can be found either online here http://www.additudemag.com/index.html/ or you can order a copy of the magazine to be delivered to your house.  Personally, I struggle visually navigating their website but they do have some really good articles and tips on how to help with ADD/ADHD symptoms for children and adults.

The article I was reading this morning talked about writing a letter to your child’s teacher expressing your child’s strengths and needs.  You can write a letter like this anytime of the year.  Who else knows him/her as well as you?

Here’s a copy of the article I was reading. You can download a copy of the template and individualize it for your child….http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/12267.html

 

With Appreciation,

Christina

 

Middle Schoolers OTB (Outside The Box) Club

Please click here for the registration form registration-for-middle-school-otb-club

Middle school can be a challenging time socially.  It can be especially challenging understanding the “hidden” social rules, nonverbal language and all of the “grey” areas that exist.  Beginning in January, we will host a middle school hang out for teaching, learning, and practicing all of those grey areas in a fun environment.   The classes will be the second and fourth Friday of every month from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Each class, of no more than ten, will be a diverse group of students.  The mixture of 6th-8th graders will be students who need to strengthen their overall social skills with kids who have strong social skills.  We feel it is important to be able to support this age range in more of a natural environment with peers so they can have help in bringing awareness and strengthen  self-monitoring skills to “grey” area situations.  For example, grey areas may consist of times such as losing a game, having someone being perceived as “cheating”, or knowing how to start and hold a conversation socially with a peer or group of peers.

The cost for each class is $20.00.  Upcoming dates are listed below. Registration will remain open unless a class becomes full.  Any full classes will be listed on our website. You may register ahead of time to reserve your child’s spot. You also have the option of registering the week of the class (as long as it is not full).

To register, please fill out at least one registration form found in the link above and e-mail it to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  We will send you a PayPal link to complete your registration. All classes are held at 9700 Research Dr., Suite 132, Charlotte, NC 28262.

Upcoming Dates:

January 13th

January 27th

February 10th

February 24th

March 10th

March 24th

We are excited about this particular group of classes as we help support our middle school children gain tools in being more successful socially in their natural environments! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at confidentsolutions7@hotmail.com.

 

With Appreciation,

Wendy and Christina

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