Session #9 Friday, June 28

Hi Parents,

Hard to believe, but here we are at the last day of the group for your kids. Today is very similar to our first day of the program and this occurs for several reasons. First, at this point the group has “gelled” and we want to provide maximal, sustained opportunities for them to interact socially while we address the most significant target behaviors we have observed over the course of sessions. To that end, the day is somewhat fluid and dynamic. However, this is what has been planned.

Our first priority will be to complete the animation project, and that will likely take 1-2 hours during the day. We will likely spend about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. We also plan to visit a nearby park (Encino Park) for more organized play using Frisbees, balls and paddles, plus other equipment we will bring in addition to the existing playground structures. On the way there, the students will stop at Dunkin Donuts for a morning snack, however this time they will be able to order and make their own choices, with a few restrictions (no “over the top” donuts)..

Following our time at the park, we will have lunch at The Stand, a well-known popular spot near Balboa and Ventura that serves hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, and other choices. Because of the active nature of the day and the fact they are having sweets at other times, it will be a “water day” for lunch.

We will return to the office in the early afternoon and complete the animation. Following this, we will engage the students in group discussion about what they found useful about the program, what they felt could be improved, and how much progress they felt they made personally. We will also give them a structured survey to complete, rating the program.

There will be an afternoon snack, to be determined, but most likely at Gelsons one last time. There will likely include a special small dessert, such as fresh cookies from their bakery. Finally it will be time for the second raffle of the group, where students will win one or two prizes. Finally, we will pass out certificates of completion for all group members.

As you are aware, there are still two parent meetings to attend. Following group, you will receive a parent survey to complete. For any family that wishes to have their child participate in our school year program that runs from October to May, you have priority over other interested families by indicating your interest at the end of the survey. Whether you plan to return or not, it is essential that you complete both the survey and a follow-up version of Rapid Screener®.

It has been a pleasure working with your children and the majority of parents have been highly involved in attending parent meetings, completing the online course (which you will have access to following the program), and communicating via email.

Session #8 Wednesday, June 26

Good morning parents,

Today is another big outing. We have a chartered bus arriving at 10am which will take us to Discovery Cube located at 11800 Foothill Blvd Los Angeles, CA 91342. We’ll be traveling there via the 101 to the 405 North and a couple of miles on the 118. We’ve been there many times and it’s a pretty easy commute, about 30 minutes. Once we arrive, we’ll pick up our reserved tickets which will include a short 20 minute movie. There are a number of activities and exhibits and we’ll pretty much stay together as a group.

We have already purchased raffle prizes for Friday but sometimes make a few extra purchases in the gift shop. It just depends.

Lunch will occur at The Sprout and there is a spacious lunch area for us to use. We’ll remain there until about 2:15pm and return to the office. They are likely to be a bit tired at that point, so we’ll have to play it by ear as to whether we do animation or some games.

Please remember, there are final parent meetings this Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Use the RSVP button in the parent portal if you have not already done so. As of the time of this writing (last night) about 2/3 of families RSVP’d.

Session #7 Monday, June 24

Hi Parents,

We’ll be starting the day by working on our animation project, hopefully finishing it, this morning. Snack will occur at Jamba Juice, which is nearby across the street. We’ll be returning to complete the animation, heading for lunch to Poquito Mas, a nearby Mexican-style restaurant.

We’ll need to return to the office by 12:45pm because we have a surprise visitor today coming at 1pm. The owner of the Magic Apple will be coming to put on a short magic show followed by teaching the kids a couple of tracks and providing them with the necessary supplies for them to do their own magic tricks.

Once he finishes, we’ll work in a short snack and have a game-playing afternoon, where we set up multiple multi-player games around the room and they have a chance to play together.

Please remember, if your child ever has a difficult morning getting to group and you wish to ask how they are doing, you are always welcome to send an email. Of course you can call if you feel the need, but email is easy and we typically respond within an hour of receiving it.

Session #6 Friday, June 21

Hi parents,

Today is a outing day and will be hopping on a bus as soon as we make sure everyone has had a chance to use the restroom. We are traveling by public transportation to Ultra Zone, located in Sherman Oaks, for two hours of laser tag. first, however, we will be stopping at Noah's bagels for a snack. Following laser tag, the kids will go to Marie calendars for lunch.

At Ultra Zone they will have an opportunity to play as many games of laser tag as they wish during the time we are there. Also, they will have an opportunity to have drinks during that time, which may include sodas or lemonade. We limit how many refills they can have. In general, They are served water with their lunches rather than sugary drinks.

Once we return, we will be working on the animation topic the students have selected and began working on the other day.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Session #5 Wednesday, June 19

Today we’ll be spending time in Encino. This is the week we work the most on the animation projects,

We’ll be working for about 45 minutes continuing our animation project. Then, it’s off to Dunkin Donuts for a snack today. a donut and a drink for each child or something else if they wish. At 10am, we’ll be entering Los Encinos State Historic Park (click here for a YouTube interview discussing the state standards that are met on field trips of this type) and meeting with the Park Interpreter for a special “behind the scenes” tour and a project (I predict they’ll be churning their own butter on crackers).

After that, around 11:30am or noon, we’ll be heading back toward the office and stopping for Chinese food for lunch. We eat “family style” where the kids order dishes for themselves and four others, so promoting conversation about who wishes to try which items comes up.

We’ll do LUNCH Points™ in the afternoon following lunch. If you haven’t been sending one with your child, please consider completing one. on Friday If you aren’t sure what to do or encounter any difficulty, please let me know.

Around 1:30pm, we' will head back to the office. From 2-2:45pm, we’ll continue working on animation, then head next door or bring in an afternoon snack.

Finally, it will be time for our first raffle. Remember, your child will either come back with one or two prizes. If they are disappointed, of course provide a listening ear, but also try to let them know sometimes there are disappointments in life and remind them they’ll have another opportunity at the raffle the end of next week.

Session #4 Monday, June 17

Overview

Everything appears to be going smoothly. We are fortunate to have a well-balanced group and you can see most are engaging in social interaction with peers. The turnout for last Thursday’s webinar was impressive. You can view the recorded version by going to the Behavior Course. I will create “technology overview” video for everyone to ensure you know how to access everything.

By now, you should be getting a sense of how we are targeting individual behaviors for each student. If you didn’t make it to last weeks meetings held on Thursday and Saturday, please RSVP for this week. One of the best ways to learn about your child and our techniques is to view the videos and those are only available during the live Drop-in Parent Meetings.

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Today’s Session

We’ll be in the office until about 10:30am planning to work on our first animation. If we find they are hungry around 10am, we have trail mix bars in the office and will probably supplement with apple slices and pretzels so they can choose.

We’re leaving the office around 10:40am and walking down Ventura Blvd to California Pizza Kitchen. The temperature is predicted to be in the high 60’s or low 70’s. They have prepared a special “behind the scenes”tour of their facility and pizza-making, where the group members will be given individual sized pizzas and different ingredients and toppings to add. Their names are written on the foil to keep track of the pizzas and they’ll be having that for lunch.

After we finish, we’re heading down to Karen’s Toys to shop for raffle prizes. Our first of two raffles occurs this coming Wednesday (we will be announcing that this morning). Some of your kids will come back Wednesday with one prize, having won the blue ticket raffle, while others will have two prizes, winning both the blue ticket and hero ticket raffles. Most children handle this disappointment just fine, but if your child complains, please use this as an opportunity to be briefly be sympathetic, but also to encourage them to speak to Dr. Gale or Dr. Mazor about their concerns. Click here to view that orientation video which will open in a new browser window (I have removed the “enforced order” for the Orientation course. You may now view any lesson you wish, whether or not you have completed earlier ones.

After that, we’ll be heading back to the office to work on our animation project some more. There may be some games as well, depends on their mood and motivation.

Session #3, Friday, June 14

Good morning,

It was most considerate of the weather to cool down just in time for our trip to the Zoo. A chartered bus will be arriving at 10am and taking us to the LA Zoo in Griffith Park. Depending on the weather, we’ll either be walking through or taking the shuttle, we’re prepared for both. Dr. Mazor has the day off so Shayna and Alina will be running group with me today. We’ve been to the Zoo about 15 times, so we’re pretty familiar with things.

Your kids will have snacks just before the bus arrives and will be taking bottles of water with them. We will have lunch at either the outdoor area or the inside cafeteria (which gets really loud so we try to avoid it). We’ll have sunscreen on hand and be able to reapply as needed.

This is a full day outing so we expect to be back at 3pm. The afternoon snack will likely occur at the Zoo, plenty of choices. Once we return, we’ll either do some animation prep brainstorming, following up from last session, continue our discussion of technology use, or play games.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.

Dr. G.

Session #2, Wednesday, June 12



The weather today is expected to be hot, up to 91 degrees by 1pm or so. We are headed to a nice, cool, bowling alley, Pinz, in Studio City for 1-2 hours of play between bowling and the arcades. To get there, we will be boarding the 150 or 240 MTA bus around 9:30am that stop right in front of Gelsons, next to our office. We’ll arrive at the bowling alley just before 10am head in, get shoes, and start playing. There will be 3 lanes.

For a snack today, we’ll be ordering bagels with cream cheese and a pitcher of water. We typically start the kids off with 1/2 and offer seconds to those who want it. After bowling, we will play in the arcade, but it’s much more limited than what kids are used to. Staff will have the access cards and the students need to find a staff and ask for them to provide access to the game. Manners count. Also, we don’t require, but do encourage finding games where they can play in pairs (air hockey is a personal favorite for the kids). We do not permit use of the games where they receive candy or prizes. Once a child has played a game, possibly two, they are encouraged to watch other kids play for a bit. Each child will be able to play up to a maximum of three games.

Once we’re done at Pinz (and, depending, there is a chance we will depart for lunch, then return for the arcade, depends on timing), We’ll head next door to Carneys (the Train) for lunch. It is expected to be about 83 at that time in Studio City, so we may be outside in the shade or indoors. We’ll decide once we are there. The kids can have hot dogs, hamburgers, thai wraps, tuna, and vegetarian choices, plus either a smaller sized soda or a small shake. They can get fries too if they wish, sometimes we have then share them and divide them up.

Afterwards, if we’ll either head back by bus to the office or go for the arcade. Once we return to the office, there are a few kids who haven’t set goals — we’ll give them a second chance, but accept if they decline. (For some, just establishing a goal becomes the goal). That will leave about 1 hour or less. We will either begin discussing computer animation and what goes into that or we’ll play some games.

Session #1: Monday, June 10

Today is our first day of group and everyone is just getting settled in. We have a total of 5 staff today because everyone is getting to know your kids. In the future, there will typically be three staff, with an occasional 4th person if we feel it is warranted.

We call today a “Close to Home Group.” The kids will spend the majority of the day in the office as we have morning orientation activities. The group will be going for a snack at 10am, will have lunch around noon, and an afternoon snack at 2-3pm. We’re monitoring the weather for today which will determine if we go to a park and which one of two parks we visit (Libbit Park or Encino Park). If it seems too warm, we’ll be playing games in the office.

Each child will have a water bottle with his or her name on it and will refill it as the day progresses as needed. We encourage frequent water consumption when we’re outside.

At the end of the day. I will publish an audio podcast summarizing today’s events. You will be notified when this occurs.

You will receive information about the course for this week tomorrow and there will be a webinar held Thursday at 7pm. More about that tomorrow.

That’s it for now. Remember, you can reach us anytime via email or by calling our office and putting in the code you were given. We do not use text messaging.

That’s it for now!

Dr. G.