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

What Information Would You Like?

Happy Thursday everyone! We would love to hear from you on what kind of information you would like to have.  Send us an e-mail with your thoughts at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com, leave a comment here on our website, or on our Facebook page.

Would you like to know more about Orton-Gillingham tutoring or speech language therapy or evaluations?  Would information about paperwork or communicating with your child’s school be helpful? Maybe advocacy tips for navigating a meeting at your child’s school?  Tips for teaching social skills to your children?  Resources in a specific area?  Specific special education laws and resources?

We have a lot of information between the two of us and would love to hear from you on what would be most helpful!

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

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A New School Year

A new school year already! This can bring feelings of excitement as well as anxiety.  One thing you can to do prepare for the new school year is to begin communicating with your child’s teacher.  Who else knows him or her like you do? Communication is a critical piece in your partnership with your child’s school. We recommend writing an e-mail or a letter to your child’s new teacher telling them all about your child.  We previously wrote a post about this but feel it’s important to share again. You can find the past post here Communicating with Your Child’s Teacher which also includes a link for a template on how to write a letter and communicate.

As the year progresses, keep that communication line open.  Here is a  link to the Wrightslaw website on how to write an effective letter to your child’s school pertaining to any EC needs or concerns http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/letters.draft.htm

If you would like help on how to begin or tools for communicating with your child’s school, please reach out to us at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.

Cheers to the start of a fantastic year!

With Appreciation,

Christina and Wendy

 

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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

What is Speech-Language Therapy?

Typically, when we think of a Speech Language Pathologist, we think of someone who helps children master their “r” sound or “l” sound.  Speech-language therapy is so much more than that!

By definition, Speech-language therapy is an area of expertise whereby a speech-language pathologist  works to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults (http://asha.org).   Speech language therapy can target pragmatic language,which is the social language we use with others. This includes body position, turn taking, and perspective taking. This aspect also helps children with their individual social interactions such as knowing when it is there turn to talk and staying on topic.  Speech-language therapy also addresses expressive language (understanding what is being said to you), receptive language (being able to correctly express your thoughts to others), articulation (making correct speech sounds), phonological awareness (understanding and being able to manipulate each sound of the alphabet), and swallowing disorders.  This website gives more information about each of these areas: http://www.asha.org/Students/Speech-Language-Pathologists/  This link is a terrific resource for understanding milestones for children: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/

Therapy can take place any time of life from pediatrics to geriatrics in a private practice, in your home, a hospital, a school, rehabilitation facilities or long-term care facilitates.  Speech Pathologists begin with testing to determine the exact area of needs to address.  

I would love to connect with you to give you more information about what speech-language therapy would look like for your child.  After evaluating your child’s needs, we will sit down together and go over the results and answer all of your questions. I’ll show you the areas of needs that I can address through speech-language therapy and give you tips for helping your child at home.  Not sure if speech-language therapy is what your child needs or have further questions? Please reach out to me and we can schedule a time to talk on the phone to answer all of your questions.

You can contact me anytime at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com. Please put Speech-language therapy in the subject line.  I look forward to talking with you!

With Gratitude,

Wendy

 

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What Is Inside of my OG Bag?

My Orton-Gillingham bag is full of fantastic resources and tools to help a child read. It is quite heavy!  I  was looking for a large bag that would zip close.  I decided on this bag from Lands End because of the pockets on the inside and the heavy fabric.

OG Bag

OG Bag 2

Sitting right inside is my double blending board.  I found this one on Etsy.  It’s made in Colorado using blue stain pine.  Love it as much as i do? Check out their Etsy site here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/245551667/18-single-blending-board-with-blue-stain?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=blending%20board&ref=sc_gallery_3&plkey=f08b7dba599f0db574d5a0464f6715fba28101e6:245551667

Blending Board

I have two sets of the OG card packs. These are used during each session to review sounds, teach new sounds, and practice how they are spelled.  We than practice how to blend the sounds together on the board.

Blending Board 2

 

card deck

I found two perfectly sized containers at Target to hold my red and green crayons.  You can buy just red or green crayons straight from amazon. Here’s a link: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=red+crayons

crayons

I have this little 31 tote bag inside that holds different sized sticky notes as well as extra colored index cards.  It’s important to be able to find what I need quickly in my bag when working with a child.

container

Those colored index cards make the vowel tents.  This is where we practice the open and closed sounds of the vowels not only in isolation but in words as well.

vowel tents 1

Flip those vowel tents inside out, prop them back up and you have the different sounds that -ed makes.

Vowel Tents 2

I love a good notebook! 🙂 I have a notebook for everything! Here is where I can quickly take notes on each student and later write it in their individual file.

notebook

No OG is complete without their multi-sensory sand. It has two different colors with two different grains.  When we pour it on a paper plate and the student spells the sound, the color pops through.

Sand

Here’s where the inside pockets of my large bag come in handy. I have three small containers.  One for glue sticks and tape, one for vowel intensive craft sticks, and one for highlighters and pens.  I also have individual pouches of pencils and my scissors.

boxes

Pencils Scissors

An important tool is the Recipe for Reading book. It has letter sounds, vowel digraphs, consonant blends, and spelling rules in a sequential cumulative order.

Recipe

Another 31 bag that I previously had sits at the bottom of my bag with all of my file folders.  I have an individual file folder for each student, assessments, literacy connection pieces, phonological awareness activities, encoding and decoding tools.

Folders

This is a wonderful tool for encoding phonetic words.

Finger Tapping.jpg

 

For decoding new words, students learn the different syllable division patterns. I personally love this activity. 🙂 The composition notebook is cut in half. After the student completes a decoding activity through syllable division, she/he glues it into their notebook to create an interactive colorful notebook with the syllable division rule. We also add vocabulary meanings when necessary.  We use the highlighters here which not only makes it colorful but easy to locate the individual rules.

Syllable Division.jpg

 

I stapled my baggies of felt to the inside of my Elkonin Boxes folders for students who need extra practice with Phonological Awareness.

Elkonin Boxes

This Phonological Awareness book creates practice of skills through fun and engaging games.

Phonological Games

A file folder with everything I need to teach a new red word.

Red Words

 

Another important piece is strengthening vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.  I have books and folders of reading passages that align with the lesson being learned that specifically work on each of those three areas.  I also have a file folder of different levels of reader’s theater for students to practice reading.

If you would like to receive updates to our website, please enter your e-mail address on our home page and connect with us on Facebook.

Check us out on Pinterest as well! We are finding some useful resources that we love sharing.

https://www.pinterest.com/confidentsoluti/boards/

 

If you’re interested in OG tutoring, or hearing more about Orton-Gillingham, please send me an e-mail at confidentsolutions7@gmail.com.  Please put OG Tutoring in the subject line.

With Gratitude,

Christina

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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