First off, I want to thank you for entrusting us to work with your children. There are many programs from which you can select and, while I think we have a model that works well for the students we accept, ultimately the it’s a matter of developing a trusting alliance. This leads to one of the most important elements in our program: Communication.
Some children will find our methods unsettling because we are focusing on deficits in communication, working to increase cognitive flexibility, and in some cases, addressing oppositionality. If your child says they are being treated unfairly, please know that we have established positively-focused procedures for addressing this. However, it is critical that you contact us immediately when this occurs before you speak to your child about it. Many parents will make statements that offer a child a reward for coming to group, tell them they can "try" it out and see, or otherwise give the child control. Once this occurs, the child usually stops making progress. If you feel confused or dissatisfied with the level of information being provided to you, or just want to reach out, please assume that we will welcome such gestures.
No matter the degree of positive change a child makes during program hours, it is highly unlikely they will display those gains at home or in the community without additional intervention. This is where Parent Support comes in. We work with families in a number of ways, as indicated below, to provide information and tools that parent can use. Our School Year and Summer Programs include slightly different levels of parent support. See below for details.
Parent attend meetings in the office (RSVP). During meetings, parents are able to view videos of their children engaged in program activities. Meetings are held twice weekly during the summer and three times monthly (or more) during school year program. Each meeting lasts 1.5 to 2 hours.
Additionally, we use this time to discuss topics reviewed during Webinars and ask questions or present situations to help them better understand how to support their children in the program. Sometimes there as few as 1-2 parents and other meetings up to 15 families are in attendance.
Note: These meetings are for Parents Only. Under no circumstances are children permitted to attend, including remaining in the waiting room area. Of course, it's fine to drop off your children at Gelsons or across the street at Starbucks if you wish.
Audio Progress Notes
From time to time, Dr. Gale will post audio recordings of parent meetings and sometimes these are transcribed as well. No confidential information is ever included his these postings. You may access these by clicking here.
Previously, Dr. Gale has posted blog reports of student activities . Archived postings may be accessed by clicking here). It will provide you with an idea of how our programs run.
A webinar is an online meeting where parents participate using their desktop or laptop computer (Windows or Mac), iPad or Tablet; or Smartphone. There are weekly webinars during summer and monthly meetings during school year. All meetings are recorded for later viewing.
By registering one time, parents receive reminders in advance of the meeting. Each meeting has a specific focus. The first one is an Orientation for families who missed the live orientations given at the office. Subsequent meetings cover the behavior management essentials, social learning theory, basics of cognitive behavioral techniques, and advanced topics.
We have tutorials covering many of our group procedures, such as how to drop off and pick up your child, how to use our LUNCH Points™ system, accessing videos, and other topics. Sometimes, parents have special situations where they are not certain how to accomplish a task related to our program. In those instances, personalized video tutorials can be created at no additional charge to families.
Emails & Phone Calls
Parents who participate in any program are welcome to use email consultation (this can be via regular email or through more secure means that requires a login). Sometimes parents will use communication to ask basic questions, report about behaviors between sessions, and related topics. If Dr. Gale or Dr. Mazor feel that the topic warrants follow-up telephone consultation, they will suggest this option.
As mentioned above, phone consultation occurs at the discretion of Dr. Gale or Dr. Mazor. The same is true for face-to-face individual family meetings. However, some families wish be able to discuss situations regarding their child in individual meets or request services, such as school observations, additional assessment, or individual therapy for their child. Those services fall outside what is covered as part of the LUNCH Groups® and are offered at additional cost to families.