School Year 2018-19 - Group 3 - Session 2


Below you will find the audio podcast recording. The transcription will appear within 48 hours. I have left comments on, however please only comment if you are a LUNCH Groups® participating family, otherwise it will be deleted.

Audio Recording

Transcribed Text

Hi, parents, this is the audio progress note for group #3 for the middle schoolers. We had new students tonight. It was definitely an active meeting and we had a total of 12 group members tonight. We will have one or two more who will join us next time and then we should be pretty full.

We had one student who was a newcomer and was having a hard time adjusting to group, that's the bottom line, and I expect that it will get better. It really does put into play that when you have someone who's having a hard time, how does the group respond? What was wonderful is that the group basically didn't respond. So in other words, they didn't take a problem and make it worse. That was really nice to see. There was no teasing.

Probably the biggest problem we're having, you might remember me talking at one point about our happy impulsive kids - well, that's who we're having a problem with it's our happy impulsive kids and we don't want them to accidentally get injured. One of them was just standing one minute and the next minute he fell down. Another one bumped into a table at the very end of group and there was someone sitting at the table. So these are the kinds of things that are happening and we want to help them be more aware. I'm convinced that self-monitoring helps them self-regulate but let's go back to the beginning.

They came in and we were going to do LUNCH Points, but it turned out, none of their parents gave them LUNCH Points. Hopefully, between now and next group (beginning of November), there is plenty of opportunities for you to go ahead and give your child a LUNCH Point certificate. If they turn it down, fine, but you want to have at least gone through the effort of offering it to them and making it something meaningful.

We talked a little bit then about LUNCH Points [during group] and I made sure that your kids knew what kinds of things they can do to earn them. They were really clear about that and they participated. We also spent time talking about, well, we will have to do a few of our nicknames. And what was interesting, for those of you who came in to see any video, was that a child had difficulty with their nickname last time, but it wasn't a problem this time. That's one of the things that's so important when you're dealing with oppositionality, or sometimes even impulsivity, that it's important to practice and take time to make sure that you're not focusing on the problem, you're focusing on the solution. And what I mean by that is if your child, say, for example, swears, telling them they shouldn't swear isn't the issue. Grounding them, taking something away - If it makes you feel better, fine; otherwise there's no real research that indicates that it helps. Having them practice saying something that is meaningful and gets their emotions out or feelings out or point across, without the swear language, that's where the money is. So I'm hoping that that's something that you can adopt.

We watched a video and it was the same video I showed the group yesterday, but my plan was to kick it up a notch developmentally because they're elementary school students and you have middle school students. Behavior in the group made it such that we just were not as efficient today as we would have liked to have been and so things moved more slowly and we didn't get to really do the summary that I had hoped. We will pick that up next time because I want them to finish this exercise and activity. It helps with oral comprehension. It helps with their academic readiness skills so they can quickly respond to something and they can do so on point in class. Then we will use that as a springboard for being able to create our own animation in November. I'm pretty sure we do have two meetings in November but pay attention to the calendar. In November and December, we will most likely have two meetings, but some of the groups only have one meeting so the calendar will always be updated.

Also, if you're not attending the parent meetings and haven't had a chance, there are more parent meetings coming up. There's a webinar tomorrow night (Thursday). There is a parent meeting this Saturday and the invitation will go out on Thursday. Then there's another parent meeting next Thursday morning - lots of opportunities.

Back to group once again! We finished our project in terms of talking about it and going through some major points and then it was time to go off to Jersey Mike's. Well, again, walking with your kids - it's almost a little harder walking with this group and having them do it safely than it is with the younger kids because they're kind of rule-oriented and your kids have gotten more creative. The teens actually are also not quite as enthusiastic in terms of the various ways that they try to vary the way that they walk and things of that nature. So we just work on basic safety basic awareness, not being too loud, and being aware of your environment. And that was a lot of today. So in Jersey Mike's they sat at tables. As you'll see in the videos, they were constantly talking and enjoying themselves. Everyone but one child ordered something. For that one child, we gave lots of opportunities, and then I also contacted the parent, just to give them a heads up. If ever you get a call from me, it doesn't mean something terrible is happening; it simply means that your child, maybe has engaged in some behavior that I want to give you a heads up about.

They ordered sandwiches and they had some chips. We made it a soda night. They have their sandwiches and we hung out there for just about an hour, maybe a little bit longer. It was a nice good quality dinner time. Then, we left at 6:25 to get back to you on time, but we were having safety issues again.

When there are safety issues, we're going to stop. We're going to talk about it for a moment. We're going to have them practice. We had to do that about four times. And that was when one of the students fell down. That was when one of the students bumped the table. That was also when a student decided that that was the moment to put their arms inside their shirt while they were talking. We're working on a lot of what I'm going to call these pivotal skills and self-regulation self-awareness. All of that is what we're working on: how to sit in the restaurant, how to get up in and out of your seat, asking someone else to move rather than crawling under a bar that was never meant to be crawled under. All of those are the kinds of things that are happening at the moment as we're helping the group settle in.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate, you are welcome to email me as often as you wish. In the meanwhile, hopefully, you'll be able to come to one of the different parent meetings and participate in the webinar. If you can't attend the webinar live, you can hear the recording. Thanks so much for listening.

School Year 2018-19 - Group 3 - Session 1


Below you will find the audio podcast recording and the transcribed text for our first session. I’ll be curious to learn if you feel you need the text, since that’s the more time-consuming part. However, for now, we’ll do both and eventually see if just the audio recording is sufficient. I have left comments on, however please only comment if you are a LUNCH Groups® participating family, otherwise it will be deleted.

Audio Recording

Transcribed Text

Hi parents,

Tonight was group number 3 -- middle-schoolers. We had two-thirds of our group there today, we have some additional incoming new students who will be joining us in two weeks, and one student who was returning from summer. So with the eight group members we had, there was a lot of interaction, a lot of enthusiasm, and frankly, a bit of settling in. Dr. Mazor and I alternated between taking leadership roles in the group. We started off by making sure that everyone knew each other's names. Although, as it turned out, even though you might rehearse that, it takes a bit of practice for it to really sink in.

The next step was coming up with group rules. What's kind of interesting is, and it's not just unique to this group, the group members have a tendency to want to talk about what you should not do, rather than what you should do. The reason that matters to me is that when you should not do something or something is inappropriate, I don't think that forms a mental picture in the mind of what to replace it with automatically. I don't think if someone says (e.g. “don't push others") that's the same as saying (e.g. “stand a respectful distance from others”). So what we do is we turn it around. Whenever we hear a “no” or “shouldn't” or anything like a “don't”, we asked them, what would be the appropriate thing to say and try and tease that out of them. Sometimes they can come up with it and sometimes that's hard for them. So we went through that and the other thing is that we try to keep it to a minimal number of rules. So for tonight, we had six.

Following that, we came up with nicknames, and you would think that wouldn't be too difficult. Our rules are that it can't be something that your child has used elsewhere, and it can't be anything derogatory, offensive, or condoning violence. We had one group member who chose to use the word demon in their nickname and when we looked up the definition of “demon”, as you might expect, it's evil, someone who tortures, not very positive things. Well, this particular group member was unwilling to consider an alternate route nickname and that began to take a little time away from the group. So after a certain period of time when they weren't willing to switch, we just moved on. Sure enough, just a couple of minutes later, they had come up with something that appeared more appropriate and we told them that they could work on that next time. So the point of it all is to help someone recognize when they might be taking too long and also to develop some awareness when they might be impinging upon others and taking too much time away. It's not meant really as a punishment but rather, a natural consequence that spending a certain amount of time on any given topic is as much as we have and once we move on, we've moved on. Believe it or not, this took about the first hour and 15 minutes of group everything that I've described so far.

Following this, we did a little tutorial on lunch points, and parents will get a notice letting them know when lunch points is available. Finally, then it was time for dinner, we went to Poquito Mas and everybody found something to order. Some of your kids have more bland taste, and they went for quesadillas and others stepped it up a little bit and got things with either chicken in it or a salad or things of that nature. One of the things we focus on in a restaurant environment is being aware that you're in public, so that voices aren't too loud, that we're considerate of other customers who might be nearby, that kind of thing.

So all of those are the different elements that went into group and the final area had to do with pedestrian safety. We practiced a couple of times how to just walk in the crosswalk without being distracted without getting silly and that's something that was also important. So group ended on a decent note. We will be looking forward to seeing them again in two weeks. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch.

Dr. G.