School Year Programs

We have a total of five programs offered during the school year.

This was created for our 2015 Summer Program, but the majority of the information remains current.

  • Younger programs, 6-8 and 8-11 groups (two of them), are described below
  • Tween and Teens, 11-13 and 14-17 year old programs are described further down this page.

Within the six areas identified previously (see home page), the primary goals for both of these groups involve active listening, following directions the first time, effective conversational skills, looking around for environmental hazards, and emotional control. We pay attention to the cognitive, emotional, and social development for each child and adjust our goals, expectations, and strategies accordingly.

In general, we focus on helping students improve their skills across a range of developmentally-driven behaviors. We also attempt to emulate a blend between a pseudo-academic setting and naturalistic settings. This is one of the reasons we take the group members out to eat. It provide a more natural forum and environment for promoting conversations and related skills.

 

8-11 Year Old

6-8 Year Old

group-of-happy-children_BKfeuMB6So.jpg

This group typically has about 12-16 students attending and meets from 4pm to 6pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, starting in October and running through May.  Note as of 08/25: We have received a large number of referrals for this group and plan to hold a second, smaller, group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.

This group typically has about 8-12 students attending and meets from 4pm to 6pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month, starting in October and running through May.

 

Structure for 6-8 and 8-11 Groups

Drop Off:  Both programs begin each session with the kids/teens being dropped off by their parents. We encourage parents to make it a quick process and not to linger with their children (after the first session). The kids are encouraged to “hang around,” check in with others, and not isolate. One aspect of our program is that we focus on building and socially reinforcing behaviors from the moment they arrive until they depart. After they are dropped off, the kids have up to 10 minutes of semi-structured, guided, social interaction time while they are waiting.

Snack:  We typically head into Gelsons for group snacks, starting off in the produce department, then working our way around to other areas. As we proceed through the market, there are a number of tasks for the younger groups. Emotional and body regulation, e.g., just walking with others, can be a challenge for some; for others, making simple decisions, such as what to eat, in a reasonable time frame, or monitoring where they are standing and independently moving out of the way of others can be a challenge. Finally for some, just having conversations, remaining focused on the task at hand, or accepting when the group doesn't get the item they wanted (e.g., 4 kinds of chips have already been selected and it didn't include their selection) can be an area of focus.

Transition:  As we walk next door to the office, we monitor their walking gait, how they interact with others, look for extraneous asocial behaviors, or any unsafe behaviors (such as wanting to dart between a light pole and the curb.... a forbidden, unsafe activity in our program). We practice pedestrian safety, remaining with the group, and following directions during this phase.

At the Office:  Typically, we start off with reviewing LUNCH Points certificates, a home-generalization program where parents select from any of 80 behaviors and present them to their children. After a child discusses their certificate with the group, other students decide how many raffle tickets are awarded, based upon various factors. Following this, we focus on projects, activities, and sometimes games. Occasionally the group will view short animations and discuss the content.


14-17 Year Old

11-13 Year Old

This group typically has about 12-18 students attending and meets from 4:15pm to 6:45pm on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, starting in October and running through May.

This group typically has about 12-18 students attending and meets from 4:15pm to 6:45pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, starting in October and running through May.

Structure for 11-13 and 14-17 Groups

Drop Off:  Both programs begin each session with the kids/teens being dropped off by their parents. We encourage parents to make it a quick process and not to linger with their children (after the first session). The kids are encouraged to “hang around,” check in with others, and not isolate. One aspect of our program is that we focus on building and socially reinforcing behaviors from the moment they arrive until they depart. After they are dropped off, the kids have up to 10 minutes of semi-structured, guided, social interaction time while they are waiting.

Transition:  As soon as the majority of students have been dropped off, we walk directly to our office next door, monitoring their how they interact with others, look for extraneous asocial behaviors, or any unsafe behaviors (such as wanting to dart between a light pole and the curb.... a forbidden, unsafe activity in our program). We practice pedestrian safety, remaining with the group, and following directions during this phase. Whereas the younger kids practice this because they may not have mastered the skill, with older pre-teens and teens, it seems to be more a matter that they view themselves as invincible and don't focus on routine safety. Because they are older, our rules for behaving are a little looser.

At the Office:  Typically, we start off with reviewing LUNCH Points certificates after they have settled in. This is our home-generalization program where parents select from any of 80 behaviors and present them to their children. After a student discusses their certificate with the group, other students decide how many raffle tickets are awarded, based upon various factors. Following this, we focus on projects, activities, and sometimes games. Occasionally the group will view short animations and discuss the content.

Dinner:  Anywhere between 5:00pm and 5:30pm, we go out for dinner.  We will have typically announced where we are going at the start of the session after students arrive at the office. Sometimes we make it a group discussion. while other times, we may let two people decide where the group is going to go, Inviting them to discuss it with others. And, sometimes, staff just make the decision. We've visit a variety of restaurants and focus on it being more of a"dining" experience as opposed to just"grabbing a bite." This includes, deciding what to order, especially if it is an unfamiliar restaurant (we will help students order "off menu" if  if they can't find something that they want to eat. It's also a time that we focus on manners, conversational volume, and how to have reciprocal interactions.