Gratitude

Happy Friday everyone! We wanted to talk, specifically, to all of you moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers this morning.  We know first hand how being a parent of a child with special needs goes hand in hand with receiving more negative comments, judgmental statements or feedback.  Sometimes those comments come from your child’s school.  Sometimes it comes from a neighbor.  Maybe it’s a look you get from a stranger while just trying to accomplish your grocery shopping.  At times, it’s delivered from a friend.  We do believe those negative comments are a reflection of where that person is in their lives; their own personal level of awareness.  Even when understanding this,  your heart doesn’t sting any less when being on the receiving end.

It’s so important to find the positive moments in each day and note them.  Write those moments of positivity down in a journal, state them out loud, or say them quietly to yourself. Even if you start with just one a day. There is always something positive to be found.  At first, you may have to look deeper.  For example, yesterday I said a moment of “thanks” for not having to drive on I-85 for the day.  This morning I said “thanks” for the amazing, wonderful and rare morning we all had before school.  What we can promise you is, once you start noticing a positive moment in your day, you begin to shift.  You begin to notice more of them and, over time, the negative comments do not sting or stick to you like they once did.

Give it a try.  Set a goal. For 30 days notice at least one positive thing in your day.

What are you thankful for today?

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

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Free Class on Understanding the Components to an IEP

Please join us on Wednesday, December 12 for a free parent/guardian class on understanding the components to an IEP.

9700 Research Dr., Suite 132, Charlotte, NC 28262

There will be two free sessions offered: 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 12:00-1:00.

We are able to host ten people per class.  Please RSVP to confidentsolutions7@gmail.com to let us know you are coming and which session you will attending.

We look forward to seeing you!

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

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Flyer for Upcoming Holiday Session

Mindful Thinking for Social Expectations

Confident Solutions, LLC

We empower children, families, and schools through mindful connections.

For some students, obtaining and utilizing good social skills does not come naturally. They move through their environment having a difficult time communicating and understanding more than just direct language-based interactions. For example, good social skills include sharing space with others and learning to regulate one’s behavior to other peoples’ thoughts or expectations. For some students, these skills need to be taught.

We are offering a 4-week session beginning on November 13th. This session will focus on teaching techniques that will help reduce stress around the holidays and will provide tools to use based on the Social Thinking curriculum. Parents and caregivers will learn how to shift their thoughts and vocabulary while helping their child at home.

Your child does not need a diagnosis to attend. This class is designed for any child needing to learn how to “think” about thinking as well as understand more about the complex social world in which we live. While times of movement will be available, students must be able to sit in a room with a small group for one hour.

Parents will meet in a separate room and are required to attend each session so true integration can occur at home. We are also offering a corresponding sibling class during this time. To register, please visit Registration for Holiday Session  or email us confidentsolutions7@gmail.com

Groups are separated depending on age/grade. Group sizes will be kept small with no more than four to five children in each group.

Dates for the classes:

November 13th, November 20th, December 4th, December 11th

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We look forward to seeing you on November 13th!

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

Friday’s Inspiration

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With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

Registration for Holiday Session

Registration is now open for our next session of our social skills groups.  The time around the holiday seasons can be stressful for children and families.  The focus of this session will be teaching children how to effectively communicate at home around family and utilize tools to help reduce stress.  As your child learns new vocabulary and skills, you will also learn more about teaching and reinforcing social skills at home to help support your child.  We are aware that siblings can sometimes feel confused, left out, or even frustrated.  This is why we are including a sibling class with this session so they have time for questions and develop their own “toolbox” of strategies that they can use at home as well.

Your child does not need a diagnosis to attend these classes. However, this class is designed for students with diagnoses such as Asperger Syndrome, ADHD/ADD, or any child needing to learn how to “think” about thinking as well as understand more about the complex social world in which we live.  While times of movement will be available, students must be able to sit in a room with a small group for one hour. If you have questions if your child would benefit from this session, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com. We’d love to help answer any questions!

The dates and agenda for the classes are as follows:

November 13th: Children will learn tools how to effectively communicate at home and around extended family, friends, or school. They will learn how to get their mom/dad/caregiver’s attention when multiple people are around.  The focus of this class will be self-awareness and communication tools.

November 20th: Children will be learning how to start and continue a conversation with a relative/parent/caregiver whether they are talking on the phone or meeting together for the holidays.  They will learn skills to have a “peaceful” holiday and begin learning how to “catch” themselves doing something well.  The focus of this class will be self-awareness, self-monitoring, and communication tools.

December 4th:  All groups will be led for a short mindful meditation in learning how to center themselves and be able to utilize this tool as a way to reduce stress or anxiety.  Children will begin to recognize the first signs of  when they are feeling overwhelmed and when they need to utilize a tool or ask for help.  The focus of this class will be communication, self-awareness, and tools for reducing stress or anxiety.

December 11th: Children will learn how to set up a space for himself/herself at home that he/she can use when feeling overwhelmed or need a break.  The children will review how to communicate to parents/caregivers when they need help or use a tool.

For this session, there will be three groups that will meet.  A sibling group (which is optional), a parent group (required with the session), and your child registering for the social skills group (up to five children per group).

K-2 meets from 2:00-3:00

3rd-5th meets from 3:30-4:30

6th-8th meets from 5:00-6:00

The cost for the child and parent classes is $150.00.

The cost for the child, parent, and up to two siblings is $200.00.

All classes are held at 8401 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite 120, Charlotte, NC 28262.

To register, please fill out the attached registration form registration-for-holiday-session and e-mail it to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  Please be sure to indicate on the form whether you are signing up for the sibling portion as well.  Once we receive your registration form, we will e-mail you a PayPal link to reserve your spot in the class.  The classes will be kept small to benefit children and families with no more than five children for the main class.

 

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With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

Who Benefits From Social Skills Classes?

Every child, with his/her unique strengths,  learns in a different way. Some children excel at math, while others struggle. Some children learn to read with ease, while others find it to be frustrating and difficult. One child may learn the proper way to say /k/ while others need to be specifically taught place, manner, and voicing.  Social skills are no different.

Children who have difficulties understanding social situations often do not see the  “rules” on the playground. They are typically the children that have to “pull their clip”, “go below the line”, or get a letter or phone call home. Often times, these children need specific instruction to learn what their peers, parents, and teachers expect from them. To those of us who have never had trouble understanding social expectations, this may seem absurd.

What we know is every behavior happens for a reason. For example, one child hits another during recess. He/she may not intend to be mean but really is looking for a way to be part of the group.  Hitting has been a way this student has gotten a response in the past to get another  child’s attention. When we take the time to teach that child appropriate ways to enter and exit play with another  would help prevent him/her from hitting in the future. The child has now learned skills and has a “toolbox” to pull from instead of hitting.  Another example is for the child who consistently comes home with a “bad” report (clip pulling, red cards, etc.).  Why is this behavior happening and what skills need to be taught instead of “managed”? Usually the behavior happens because the child is receiving some type of feedback before, during, or after.  What would happen if we understood the behavior, taught them a new way to receive their feedback, and then offered positive reinforcement every single time we saw them do it?  When we help children learn these skills in a non-judgemental way, we begin to see an improvement in their behavior and an increase in self-awareness.

The process of teaching children how to think socially does not change behavior overnight. Instead, it is a slow and deep process that requires time and patience. It also requires a village. When a therapist, teacher, etc. is teaching a child social skills, it’s important to carry those skills into his/her other environments like school and home. Communication is key. Communicating with your child’s teacher and school and letting them know what he/she is learning and how they can help support your child during the school day is important. If you sign your child up for a social skills class, please ask how you can learn the vocabulary. Also ask how they communicate with your child’s teacher. When there is a lack of communication outside of the social skills group room,  then you will typically only see improvement within the social skill group but limited progress in other environments.   One sentence from the Social Thinking! curriculum really stood out to us.  It said “Generalization is not an endpoint; it is simply part of the journey.”   We need to make sure  the child has adults who support him/her on the journey in learning social skills.

With Appreciation,

Wendy and Christina

Please Don’t Say “It Will Be Okay”

We’re both special educators.  We’ve both worked in a variety of environments and in different roles with children with various disabilities.  We have collaborated and continue to collaborate with other professionals.  We get it.  We understand the paperwork, the state requirements, the long days.  However, we also are both moms to children with disabilities.  We continuously sit on both sides of the table.  We have sat and heard information about our children that hurts our heart.  We see where they’ve been excluded in a game or a social activity at school because of their differences. To their teachers, we promise to try to support you.  As moms with a background of knowledge, we do have times where we  feel frustration with the system, frustration of missed deadlines or IEPs not completely being followed.

With all of this being said, we would like to go back to one point in particular. As a teacher, please don’t say “it will be okay.” Those words stir up my insides. When I come to you to tell you about my child with a disability, please don’t tell me you’ve worked with “kids like him before”. You may have worked with a child with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, or another disability like my child’s, but you have not yet worked with MY child. He is unique and his triggers are different from the last child with whom you worked.   As parents, we often collaborate with other professionals to help our family and our children.  When we offer to share that information with you, it’s inviting you into our inner circle.  Please take our extended hand instead of saying you already know about this diagnosis and “it will be okay.”  We are asking for you to join us in collaborating for the highest benefit of our child. As parents, we will do our best to speak respectfully to you and help understand your views and perspective.  We ask for the same courtesy back. Parents know their children best.  We can share what our child’s fears are, what his/her dreams are, and what makes him/her happy and sad. Those things are unique to each child and go beyond a diagnosis.

We agree there are some generalizations we can make based on a specific diagnosis. Our children, however, are still unique. It is so important in our children’s lives that the adults   get to know them, just like you do with other children.  Taking the time to make those individual connections with our children will help with understanding what they need to be taught.  Often times, our children need to be taught skills that other children pick up naturally in their development.  Getting to know them personally and collaborating with parents and other professionals helps you stretch and grow as an educator and in return will help our children do the same.

Yes, we too believe that it can “be okay”. We also recognize that for this to even be a possibility, we ALL need to work together and do our best to hear the words that each of us has to offer. This is the reason why we created this company. Let us help by being the bridge that spans the gap. The only way that it can actually “be okay” is if we all learn how to work together for a common interest: the success of our children.

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

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