11-13 Summer Session #1

Good morning parents,I

This blog entry is coming to just a little bit later than usual but, fortunately, we've already had an opportunity to speak just after your children were dropped off so you know pretty much everything I'm just about to say. Right now, as we speak, we had to remove fidget items from one of the children and several small toys from another child. Initially, they were very slightly reactive and we explained that parents agreed their children will not bring these items to group. Once we said that, and then asked them if their parent had told him it was okay to bring, each child indicated "no," and relaxed. We talked about the reason that these items are not permitted in group and they were accepting of this information.

Right now, while I'm in the other room, Dr. Mazor and Karen are creating a set of rules with your children and they are frankly sitting as politely as can be. After they finish going over the rules, envelopes will be distributed so your kids can create nicknames for themselves that are used for any of our online projects.

Later this morning, around 10:15 am, we will go for a snack, most likely at Gelsons market. Once there, we will start off in the produce section and get a variety of items the men probably navigate over to the chips section. If anyone has any special dietary needs, we will make certain that these are accommodated. We will return to the office for about an hour and start one of our animation projects. Around 12 o'clock or so we will head out for lunch, most likely at Maria's Italian kitchen. Some of your kids may have food issues and, on the first day, we really want them to feel comfortable. So, we will be far more lenient than will be the case in upcoming groups. In order to be able to encourage or "push" a child to try new foods, they first have to feel trusting of us and they haven't been in the program long enough to develop that yet. Lunch will last anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes and we expect to return to the office around 1:30 PM.

We have an animal specialist coming at 2 PM as a surprise for your kids and he will be bringing 10 different animals with him to talk about and for them to interact with. Sophie would probably want to be part of this as much of any of your kids, but I didn't think that would be best so she will be leaving the office today at 1:30 PM.

The animal expert will be leaving around 3:15 PM and at that time, depending upon your children's preferences we will either play some games, continue the animation, or go out for a second optional snack. One way or another we will rotate these three activities and that's what they will be doing for the final 90 minutes of group today.

Right now, as I'm finishing up this blog entry, I could still overhear them having respectful conversations with Dr. Mazor.

Dr. G.

P.S. Just a quick follow-up. It is currently 4:51 PM and clearly your kids have had a long and eventful day. Some of them are a bit quiet, some of them are quite impulsive, behaviors, touching skin or something similar. We have worked on all of these today. I think a few of your kids found a little bit boring. Our primary focus today was in working with the externalized others. These are the kids who are working to gain the attention of their peers, sometimes through maladaptive behaviors; blurred out or are frequently verbally impulsive, for example shouting out the answers while raising their hands; or in some cases, oppositional.

That means that we didn't spend quite as much time focusing on the internalized others, other than to deal with blatant anxiety or to make certain that they had sufficient chances to participate. The reason for this is that we need to get the externalizers behavior under quick control so it doesn't take away from group time or inhibit the internalizers’ comfort with participation. To that extent, I feel that we were largely successful today. There is no doubt that a small number of students are going to feel that they were treated unfairly because we repeatedly responded when they engage in behaviors that either violated social boundaries for were otherwise unacceptable.

For example, for our afternoon snack, we took the kids to Jamba juice. They were offered a king-size snack and given four choices of flavor combinations. One student in particular felt that he should have a larger size smoothie and repeatedly stated so. He was told that he was given a choice of either accepting what was being offered to him or was free to decline and not have anything. A second child wanted a different flavor than one of the four being offered. He initially declined to have anything and was thanked and asked to wait outside. Moments later he came back in and said that he had decided on one of the four choices.

We are looking forward to Wednesday which will be our first community outing. None of your children display behaviors that I feel were unmanageable although it certainly kept us actively engaged. Remember, there are recommended procedures of what to do in case your child does complain. Also, there is a parent webinar scheduled for tomorrow evening and an in office parent meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday at 10 AM.