School Year 2018-19 - Group 3 - Session 2

Introduction

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 2 - Session 2

Introduction

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

Good evening parents. This is the audio progress note for session number two. And it's for group number two. Tonight we had a new student actually, they switched from one of the other groups. And so we had 10, it was impressive to see that they were already falling into the routine of knowing what to do in the supermarket.

We had one event occur where a child inadvertently dropped a basket of blueberries. And it was because he was holding a little bit too much. Well, the look on his face, of course, was a little bit terrified even though nothing negative was said to him. We focused on problem solving. Things like this happen in the market. It was an accident, there's no reason to scold or act angry or anything like that. We simply told another child to go over to one of the produce staff and let them know that some blueberries had fallen.

We didn't ask the child to do it. My feeling was that would have been emotionally difficult for him. And I think that's something that you want to always pay attention to. If you have someone who is maybe bothered about something and it's hard for them to remain euthymic (in emotional balance). Sometimes you need to do to help them out. That way, they have an opportunity to get a little bit upset and practice remaining in control.

Blueberries were cleaned up and there were no further incidents. We moved on as different kids wanted chips. They wanted six different kinds of chips tonight, and I think we got three or four. We had them showing the bag to the others. Dr. Mazor prompted one of the kids to show the bag so the front of it was facing the kids. He had it facing himself and that's also something to pay attention to.

Does your child do something where they're taking into account your perspective? Or are they doing it in more of what I'm going to call an egocentric manner, meaning that they're focusing on their own needs? Sometimes this is related to what's called “theory of mind” that's being able to understand or talk about something from another person's perspective. This is just a nice gentle way of working on that.

What did they have tonight? Mangoes, strawberries, and we talked about why white strawberries don't necessarily taste as good as the red part of the strawberries. One child notice that one of the strawberries had a little bit of frostbite on it and wondered what that was. We talked about that we had blueberries. We had watermelon, and three or four kinds of chips.

The kids were hanging out they were talking with each other until 4:50pm at that point they cleaned up. It's interesting that for some kids, when they're asked to do something like cleaning up, all kinds of other ideas pop into their head and while these might be perfectly legitimate ideas, the fact is they were asked to clean up. Just focusing in a respectful calm manner on what it is they're supposed to do and using what's called “contingency management”. The question asking can occur later after they after they've cleaned up.

They went back over to the office and we had to practice pedestrian safety a little bit. A couple of kids got too close to the curb. And so we did the practicing and then coming back in. We did LUNCH Points ™. Right now we're being very lenient on our lunch point certificates. If a child can remember all three parts of what a LUNCH Points ™ (1) what did they do (it has to be something reasonable like “I stopped using technology without getting upset.”) (2) How much help they needed (e.g., done independently) and (3) How hard was it for them (e.g., somewhat difficult). If they can say those three pieces, they received the LUNCH Points ™ Certificate raffle tickets, even if they didn’t bring a LUNCH Points ™ Certificate. We're probably only going to do that for one more session. So if you have not given your child the LUNCH Points ™ Certificate. I think we have six kids out of our 10 had one, If your child's one who didn't get any LUNCH Points ™ Certificates, please try and make a concerted effort to give them one.

After that we have them just letting them talk for a few minutes on their own. They began talking a little bit about what games they have, their usernames, all that kind of stuff. The group transitioned into the larger meeting room and we did a little bit more of an academic activity today. First I showed them the Pixar movie lifted and then afterwards using an outline. I wanted them to talk just about the major points and understanding what's the difference between an opinion a description a conclusion just major points and they did great at coming up with major points. Developing the minor points that was much harder for them. They weren't sure as a group, what to do.

We worked through that and then you can see that just by reading through it. they were able to really capture the story. So when we proceed with computer animation they will have more of a “real” story. We have plenty of alumni members. I think it's a very capable group for being able to put that kind of an activity into play along the way.

We only sent one child out of the room and the reason was, is because they began to speak in a way that was mildly disruptive and inappropriate as we were about to watch the movie. The child began talking about how they were going to have to hide in the bathroom. If we were showing a movie and I really felt as though that's something that if you blurt that out in a classroom environment that's just not going to be helpful. By sending a child out of the room, number one, it's a surprise to them and, in this case Dr. Mazor took the child through the Four Step, a CBT approach. Sixty seconds later, he was back watching the movie, there wasn't an issue. The kids wanted to participate, a lot, which was great. So there was lots and lots of hand raising but I started to invoke the rule that when a child is answering everyone else has to put their hands down and focus on listening to the child to, you know was speaking at the time. Otherwise it becomes that they're not really paying attention and each is just trying to make their own point. That's not very reciprocal.

So that’s what happened toward the end and then we ran right up until six o'clock. Sophie was here and your kids wanted to pat her and and many of them got a chance to do so. It it was it was definitely a full packed couple of hours. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to be in touch. As a reminder, there is a webinar this coming Thursday. You've all received invitations for it and there is a parent meeting coming up this Saturday and the RSVP requests will go out for that Thursday morning.

Thanks so much for listening.

School Year 2018-19 - Group 4 - Session 1

Introduction

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 the first night for the Group #4 (Teen Group). And, you know it really well. And we didn't have our full compliment of teams we have to the out sick, one wasn't able to make it at the last minute. And we have one more we're expecting for next time. So they'll be for additional teams. But we had, I think, was 10 tonight. And it was really nice. It's a, you know, it's a mix of, of returning members and new members. And of course, there's that settling in process. And on top of that they're teenagers.

You know, you never exactly know what's the best way to approach a situation we focused on is, I mean, first of all, course, you know, you drop them off, and we walked over to the office, and they're fine and settling in and being teenagers, they're talking a little bit, they're buried in their magazines. So I spoke to them. And one of the things I talked about was how we really strive to respect them. And we want to treat them more like adults and children, and how anywhere from one to three or four years from now, they're going to be adults. And so this is important, I talked about the fact that they can be forgetful, that sometimes they're having things happen to them that don't really have to do with parents or other people. And so that part of my work wasn't just sort of helping parents, quote, "fix their kids", but also talking to parents about how to understand teen issues and ways to work positively together. I felt like they responded to that, and we'll find out in time will tell, you know, I don't want to be preachy with them. And I don't want to lecture them. But at the same time, I want to acknowledge and kind of give them a sense of what we're hoping for them.

What was really interesting is that the session just got better and better as it went along. So we're talking with them, they created their nicknames, which we have them put on envelopes, and then their real names, so their nicknames can be used for internet-based projects that went very, very smoothly, they had questions about things. We had went to come in with a LUNCH Point. And even the LUNCH Points weren't supposed to officially have started yet, we didn't want to penalize his teen for having brought one. So he wound up reading it, and we kind of went through the process. And we went to giving him the raffle tickets for it seemed like it was an educational process for the other teens. And then I talked to them about LUNCH Points. And I shared with them some of the data that teenagers don't use it as much and tried to kind of understand why. I offered them the opportunity in addition to parents, giving them a lunch point to be able to give themselves a lunch point. And the reaction was not what I expected. And really interesting, one of the teens said that, as much as it might be kind of cool to give themselves when

they really like it, when their parents acknowledge they've done something positive. And another teen kind of spoke up saying something very similar, that it would feel a little funny to acknowledge themselves doing something.

So this is one of the things about teenagers that I love, they sort of have this I don't know, puppy like soft, shy underbelly if you will. But, you know, if you get them the right way, and you get them in the right mood they just turn over and they want to be scratched, metaphorically, if you will. They they really, you know, that hard shell and that irritating aloofness at times, kind of melts away.

So, we did that. And we talked for a while and we went through some different things. I also talked to them a fair amount about safety and environmental awareness. Because there are just so many distractions that teams are faced with these days, I really want them to know that we expect them to be aware of what's going on around them. And that's a tough one for a teenager for reasons that we'll talk about what I get to the neurobiology of teams and the webinars.

So at this point in time, it was time for dinner, and we went to Poquito Mas. It's right across the street. It's an easy walk, we know the menu really well. There's a nice big community table that we can usually get. And so they came in, they ordered and they began to gel, they began to talk more teens who were not who didn't know one another, we're talking more. One teen in particular, brought their chair all the way around and joined three other teens who were talking so it was really nice to see and Dr. Mazor and I were monitoring and occasionally giving out raffle tickets to them. We do it very unobtrusive way just as I talked to them about the fact that we videotape them less than we do the other groups

If they were talking about a subject that's a little bit sensitive, the odds are we're not going to videotape of because we want to give them their privacy. So that pretty much wrapped up the group for tonight. Not a lot to report no drama. We had one student who simply wasn't feeling well and we contacted their parent and they were picked up a little bit early. Otherwise it was a win win. It was really nice being with them. I'm looking forward to the others joining them and looking forward to talking about them then what goes on at the upcoming parent meetings. So that's it for now. But I would say a really enjoyable first session.

Thanks for listening.

Dr. G.

School Year 2018-19 - Group 1 - Session 1

Introduction

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 a first session for group #1. Have to tell you, it was really an event. We previously had a younger group of kids last year. And so we kept the group smaller, you know, maybe eight kids, nine kids. So having 13 today, and seeing how they interacted was really a treat. We started off after you all dropped off your children by going over to the office, and actually working on pedestrian safety, even on the way over. Afterward, we talked with them in the waiting room area and went over names, we went over some basic rules and some of the things that we were going to be doing.

Following this was time to head back to Gelsons where we went through the produce department. And we got grapes, raspberries and strawberries and I think blueberries and a few different kinds of chips. They had a chance to practice environmental control, where shoppers who came down the aisle were able to pass through, because your 13 kids all move to one side, you'll be able to see video of this, when you come to the parent meetings.

They went through the checkout counter. And one of the things we do is have kids hold items that aren't necessarily what there are going to eat. You'd be amazed at how much they only want to sometimes hold their own food. After this, we brought it outside, and we set it up where we serve them. And so they're only getting their own portions. And we start off with a serving of chips or fruit or whatever. And then we do kind of monitor. If a child's eating fruit, fine, we'll let them have some more food or encourage them to try different kinds of fruit. If they're having chips, and then they want to second serving, we encourage them to try at least some type

of fruit. Even if they refuse, that's not a problem. We want to make certain that they refuse, politely, and stay in emotional control. You might remember that's one of the four areas that we talked about in terms of what we want kids to work on.

So they spent a good amount of time. We didn't get back to the office after that until close to five o'clock, which left us another hour. Back in the office, we pretty quickly settled in to having them decorate their envelopes that also included their nicknames that will be used for any web projects that we do. So that maintains confidentiality. And we also were dealing with some I wouldn't call them problems, but some situations that came up examples are a child going into the bathroom, but not fully closing the door, a child either putting their fingers in their mouth or picking their nose, to which we use what we call contention effort. This is where we ask a child politely to go wash their hands.

Additionally, we had some minor issues with body boundaries and making sure that they knew not to be touching one another. And then, as we were going through LUNCH Points, which we explained to them and will be up and running for you, we had an opportunity to call on some of the kids who are a little bit more shy to do reading. And it was really nice to see how their behavior relaxed and how they began to interact more with other kids during the session. Finally, we had just about 10 minutes left. At that point. We watched a Pixar video. Normally we would discuss it a little bit and talk about the story. But we ran right up until six o'clock. And so we didn't have a chance to do that.

That's pretty much a summary of what happened tonight. You are welcome to contact me with any questions. Our feeling is that the group is pretty well balanced as is but one or two of you might be hearing from us suggesting that we move your child from group number one to group number two.

That's it for now. See you next time.

Dr. G.

School Year 2018-19 - Group 3 - Session 1

Introduction

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.

School Year 2018-19 - Group 2 - Session 1

Introduction

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 our first group for group number two and it really went pretty smoothly. Group started off with us talking to your kids just a little bit and then taking them into the office. Everyone was pretty much right on time and that was wonderful. In the office, what we do is just talk a little bit about some of the expectations and essentially some very general rules primarily initially regarding pedestrian safety, how to be on the sidewalk, we have a rule that says six feet away from the curb, that kind of thing.

Afterward, we went over to Gelson's where they had strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and chips. It was a nice snack for them and a lot of the kids of the group have been here before, but they don't know each other because they've been in different groups or at different times. Even though we have quite a few individuals who are familiar with the program, the act of getting to know kids is still a skill that all of them are having to practice.

We were at Gelson's for maybe 20-30 minutes between shopping and hanging out and then it was time to go back to the office. We had everyone following pedestrian safety except one child who practiced a little bit. We call it “Positive Practice” when we have a child repeat a behavior. Back in the office, they spent a little bit of time just talking with each other, and then we brought them into the larger meeting room and talked to them about both a little bit about rules and also creating nicknames for themselves, which they would need for the raffle tickets. We use blue and hero tickets and explain the difference to the kids. In essence blue tickets are just for typical behaviors such as sitting still, doing things that are expected, whereas hero tickets are given when your child does something that either shows extra consideration for others or that their problem solving or doing something that they might find somewhat difficult. For example, we had one student in group who appeared to kind of excessively tired and he laid his head down on the table for a moment but then he picked it up and he was paying attention. A minute later he laid his head down again, then he propped it up with his arm.  I pointed that out, you'll probably see it on the video when you come to the parent meeting and showed that he was paying attention. You're also going to see possibly an example of one of the kids starting to pick their nose and immediately they're asked to go wash their hands, which is called contingent effort. It's said to them in a respectful way, sometimes they act surprised, but we try not to make a big deal out of it. It helps them with their self-monitoring, and that leads to self-regulation.

After we finished the part where they did their nicknames, Dr. Mazor led the group where the kids

chose different prizes that they might want to win in a raffle. They're not guaranteed that prize and we explain that to them but it gives them an idea of what they can look forward to seeing in about four groups. The last thing that we did was we showed your kids lunch points and lunch points is a home generalization program where parents pick any one of about 80 behaviors and give their child a certificate that highlights that behavior. Now, you only do one certificate per group. And it might sound like well, should be lots of certificates, right? Well, the question is, what is the purpose of it? I will go over this in greater detail in a parent meeting but lunch points is not meant that you were rewarding your child with a certificate by giving it to them, but rather the act of giving them the certificate gives them something to look forward to in group and then they have an opportunity to read it to the other kids and also gain either blue ticket prizes, or blue tickets or hero tickets. We did have one child asked if they are required to bring a lunch point in and we said no that we never force someone to do something but they can also ask someone else to read it for them if they're feeling embarrassed about that.

The two hours quickly flew by and there were no significant concerns. They were really a great group. And I think for a first time it went well. Remember, if your child does complain about anything, you know that happens to about 10-15% of kids in group. Please consider following the instructions from the parent orientation: (1) Thank your child for letting you know, (2) ask them to bring it up to myself or Dr. Mazor, (3) send us an email summarizing what occurred, (4) Move on to something else. That's our advice, anyway.

Thank you, and we'll look forward to seeing you next time.

Dr. G.