Middle School Winter/Spring OTB Dates

Happy New Year! We are excited for our winter/spring schedule for our middle school group.   If you are new to our group, please click here Registration for Middle School OTB Club Winter_Spring 2018 to complete a registration form. We need at least one registration form for you child.

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 group meets from 6:30-8:00 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 $25.00 and we welcome you to drop your middle schooler off and pick him/her back up at 8:00 p.m.  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). Please e-mail, call or text us prior to 24 hours of each class date to confirm your child’s spot.  Please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com with any questions.

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 University Ridge Office Center, 1905 JN Pease Place, Suite 201, Charlotte, NC 28262

All classes meet from 6:30-8:00. Upcoming Dates:

January 26th

February 9th

February 23rd

March 16th

April 13th

April 27th

May 11th

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at confidentsolutions7@hotmail.com. We look forward to seeing you!

With Appreciation,

Wendy and Christina

middle-school1

 

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Registration for Social Skills Classes January 28th-March 4th

Registration is now open for our next six-week session of social skills classes. Classes begin on Sunday, January 28th and run through Sunday March 4th.The total cost for a six-week session is $225.00. Each group will have no more than 5 students so we can practice “thinking” about thinking as well as individualize for each child. Teacher letters will be provided weekly so all of the adults in your child’s life are using the same terminology and have the same expectations. 

Questions about our classes? Please e-mail or call us with your questions and we would be happy to connect with you to tell you more!

If you are new to our groups, please complete a registration form found here Registration for Social Skills Classes January 28th through March 4th 2018 and e-mail it to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

If you are a returning family, please fill out this condensed registration form and send it via e-mail Registration for Social Skills Classes January 28th through March 4th Condensed 2018

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 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. As we send your weekly teacher letter, 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.

 Social Communication-This class is full. If you would like to be put on the waiting list in case of any cancelations, please send us an e-mail.

This session focuses on the different types of  communication: body language, spoken language, and comparative vs literal language.   Students will learn why we participate in different types of communication as well as understand the sometimes “hidden meanings” within these communications.  Once these concepts are taught, students will practice making “smart guesses” to assist them in understanding how others may be perceiving them in various social situations. Does this match how they want to be perceived? With students gaining the above skills, they will begin to move past just thinking about themselves and will be better able to think about others so they can participate in social situations with more success.

This group meets every Sunday from 1:00-2:00.

 Mindful Thinking and Zones of Regulation

Zones of Regulation teaches emotional self-regulation with any emotion through building social and sensory skills.  Mindfulness  provides the foundation of awareness through five realms; physical, mental, emotional, social, and global literacy. Mindfulness is a way of being. Through conscious observation (mindfulness) of our behaviors and thoughts we gain personal power.   This process is both physiological and mental. Thinking is a powerful tool that we can access within each of the four zones to help with emotion regulation. By categorizing our thoughts and emotions we can build a toolbox that will empower us to monitor without judging, and choose our responses successfully. Students will also learn how to identify a problem and the steps to solve it.  Learning how to self-regulate is a skill that does not develop overnight. It takes time, patience, understanding, and support. This is where training your brain to think Mindfully can be a powerful tool in your toolbox of self-regulation.

This group meets every Sunday from 1:00-2:00.

For further reading, here is an article about the benefits of teaching Mindfulness with Social Thinking https://www.socialthinking.com/Articles?name=Mindfulness+and+Social+Thinking&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article_Mindfulness_and_Social_Thinking_Perfect_Companions

 Self-Awareness-Learning How To “Think” About Thinking Socially

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.

There are two sessions being offered for this class so please be sure to check your preferred time on the registration form.  The first group meets every Sunday from 3:00–4:00 and the second group meets every Sunday from 4:30-5:30.

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.

Haley for website

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Middle School Group 10/27/17 and 11/17/17: Inner Coach and Who Am I?

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 confidentsolutions7@gmail.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.

i-am-wm

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

Thankful-A Contest

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 confidentsolutions7@gmail.com no later than November 16th. Please include the name and the area in which he/she has positively influenced your child.

On Friday, November 17th, we will announce the winning professional and award them with a $50 Target gift card (just in time to use over Thanksgiving break ).   Every nomination will receive a handwritten, handmade card of gratitude.

Gratitude will bring more into our lives immediately.-Rhonda Byrne

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

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:

https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-basics/

 

Read here to find out common signs and symptoms of Dyslexia starting from preschool-high school:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/understanding-dyslexia#item1

 

Click here to experience how a child is dealing with a learning or attention difficulty:

https://www.understood.org/en/tools/through-your-childs-eyes?gclid=CjwKCAjw3_HOBRBaEiwAvLBbomy-fC21AGAv14y2aQkw1iHZOhcYpbzgRiDfqGZ0TlM5cOekC9fOLxoC3SwQAvD_BwE

 

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 confidentolustions7@gmail.com.  Read below for an interesting article on how all children benefit:

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/why-we-should-teach-all-pupils-if-they-have-dyslexia

 

Some research on how a Dyslexic brain works:

http://www.bu.edu/research/articles/dyslexic-brain/

 

20 Things parents of children with Dyslexia would understand:

http://www.lifehack.org/285680/20-things-only-parents-children-with-dyslexia-would-understand
Dyslexia in the general education classroom:

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/dyslexia-in-general-ed-classroom-kelli-sandman-hurley?utm_content=blog&utm_campaign=dylexia-in-gen-ed-class&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_term=link

 

Different types of Dyslexia:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/different-types-of-dyslexia?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=understoodorg
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) :

http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/community/dyslexia-and-special-education-law/

http://www.wrightslaw.com/nltr/13/nl.1015.htm

 

An excellent book on Dyslexia:

http://dyslexia.yale.edu/book_Overcoming.html

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Dyslexia-Complete-Science-Based-Problems/dp/0679781595/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498261380&sr=8-1&keywords=overcoming+dyslexia+by+sally+shaywitz
Frequently asked questions:

https://dyslexiaida.org/frequently-asked-questions-2/

From Learning Disabilitlies Association of America:

https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/

Question and answer session on the benefits of having Dyslexia:

https://www.wired.com/2011/09/dyslexic-advantage/

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 confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.
With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy 

 

Dysleic strenght

October is ADHD Awareness Month

October is awareness month for ADHD. We wanted to share some resources for understanding ADHD whether it’s for yourself, for you to share with family members, or with your child’s school.  Having awareness and understanding is the first step in helping a child. 

Read here for understanding symptoms of ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD.aspx
Here it uncovers myths and misunderstandings about ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/Myths-and-Misunderstandings.aspx
The Science of ADHD:

http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/About-ADHD/The-Science-of-ADHD.aspx

ADHD and Advocacy:

http://www.chadd.org/Advocacy.aspx
Can your child with ADHD receive an IEP or a 504 plan? 

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/add.index.htm
For an excellent magazine on ADD, check out ADDitude:

https://www.additudemag.com
The three types of ADHD:

https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/the-3-types-of-adhd
A fabulous website for information on learning and attention:

https://www.understood.org/en
A quick one minute video summarizing ADHD:

http://totallyadd.com/adhd-awareness-minute-no-music/

If you have questions about where to start or how to continue on your journey with ADD/ADHD, our door is always open! Please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Please visit ADDitude’s website for more truths about ADHD. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-is-not-fake/

What Makes a Good Reader?

Often times, parents will ask how can they  help their child become a stronger reader. There are several components necessary for building a strong reader and when one of the components is weaker, it can affect other areas such as comprehension. The components include:

Phonemic awareness skills-which is having the ability to manipulate sounds that make up our spoken language

Phonics skills-which is having the understanding that there are relationships between letters and sounds

Fluency skills-which is reading with accuracy, speed, and expression (or prosody)

Application of reading comprehension strategies to enhance their understanding, and they should enjoy what they are reading. Reading should be fun! 

Within these components, a child must also utilize known strategies for decoding new words, know how to figure out the meaning of new vocabulary, and pull that together for smooth fluency.   Some children learn these reading skills regardless of how they are taught while other children truly need these skills taught explicitly meaning they need them taught through direct instruction.

There can be a fine line between a struggling reader and a reluctant reader.  A struggling reader will be having difficulties with one or more of the above areas and, often times, as the child gets older can “mask” those missed skills.  A reluctant reader could be a struggling reader or could be that he/she hasn’t yet developed the overall fluency skills necessary to enjoy a book.  I do want to remind parents that reader’s theatre passages, comic books, graphic novels and poetry books are good resources to use for having a student choose a book or reading material that he/she is interested in.   It’s also important for a child to be choosing independent reading books that is “just right”. What does “just right” mean?  It means that your child can open a book to any given page and have less than five decoding errors.  Plus, they should be able to tell you what was read.

If you want to strengthen your child’s overall reading, it’s important to first determine the area or areas he/she needs to focus on.   If your child is struggling overall with comprehension then it’s possible he/she needs help with the three previous skills stated above.

I’ll work on typing up a “series” of reading information and strategies for the different components above.  In the meantime, if you have any specific questions please e-mail them to me at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

We also have some helpful reading resources and books on our Pinterest page.  You can check them out here https://www.pinterest.com/confidentsoluti/boards/

With love of reading,

Christina

books

What’s in Your Toolbox?

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.

Social Thinking Toolbox

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.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy