Session #9 Friday, July 26

Hi Parents,

Here we are, the last day of the program. Amazing how quickly 63 hours can fly by. Today we have a special surprise for your kids. They are going to be taking a public bus to the Arclight Cinema for the 10:15am showing of Lion King. We purchased the tickets in advance and they’ll be sitting in two center rows with staff. we have snacks for them and plan to get them popcorn as well. According to our estimates, only three of the group members have seen this movie.

After the movie, we’ll be having lunch, then heading back to the office were we have some “end of group” activities. This includes discussions about what gains group members felt they made or observed in others, a survey, and finally, a raffle. Remember, all group members will win in the Blue Ticket raffle and half of them win the Hero Ticket raffle.

The pace of today is designed to be slow enough so they can process that it’s ending. Sometimes students will become upset at the program ending, others will devalue their time. There isn’t any “right” or “wrong” way to process feelings, but we work to try help them take away something positive from their time.

You will be receiving parent surveys right after group ends. Please DO complete these at your first opportunity. It’s the primary means we have for seeing how you viewed the program and what gains you did, or didn’t see occur. If you are interested in the School Year program, completing the survey and Rapid Screener® Progress Edition is the only way to hold your priority ahead of other interested families. The days and times have been posted on the home page of

Session #8 Wednesday, July 24

Today we’ll be spending time in Encino. We’ll be heading over to Los Encinos State Historic Park at 10:30am and meeting with the Park Interpreter for a special “behind the scenes” tour and a project (click here for a YouTube interview discussing the state standards that are met on field trips of this type).

After that, around 12:30pm, we’ll either be going to Healthy Wok for a family style Chinese meal in their private room or eating Japanese food at Octopus.

Arriving back at the office around 2:00pm, we' will head back to the office, there will be opportunities for viewing and discussing some animations plus game playing.

Now that the group has become comfortable with one another, our goals are to help facilitate positive peer interactions, manage when things aren’t necessarily “exciting,” and help with negotiate through novel experiences.

Session #7, Monday, July 22

Good morning,

It was most considerate of the weather to cool down compared to what was predicted (90) just in time for our trip to the Zoo. It is supposed to be no more than 83 degrees today and that isn’t until later in the day. A chartered bus will be arriving at 10am and taking us to the LA Zoo in Griffith Park. Depending on the actual weather, we’ll either be walking through or taking the shuttle, we’re prepared for both. 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 around 3pm. The afternoon snack will either occur at the Zoo, plenty of choices or immediately upon our return. We’ll either do some general discussion about either foods choices or hygiene or play games.

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

Dr. G.

Session #6 Friday July 19

Today we’re heading to Encino Park (Genesta) with frisbees and other park equipment. But first, they will be stopping at Dunkin Donuts for a special morning snack. We will offer other items for those who do not wish to have a donut. Students will be carrying water bottles although the temperature today is predicted for mid-70’s with a high of 80 toward the end of the day, when we’re indoors.

Lunch will be occurring at the Stand, just across from the park near Balboa. They have a wide variety of choices and we are usually able to sit outdoors in or in the covered outdoor area.

We’ll be returning to the office around 1:30pm as we prepare for a surprise visitor, a magician from the Magic Apple. He’ll spent about an hour initially performing some tricks and showing them a couple as well for them to master. They will probably come home with some props and want to try them on you.

At the end of the day, it will likely be games, however the student may wish to “Fix” one voice error that crept into the animation. If they do, it’s nice to be able to show them one of the ways post-editing can work since it can have implications for future school assignments and presentations.

Session #5 Wednesday July 17


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.

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, Saturday, and Sunday, please try to attend this week (use the parent portal to RSVP). 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.

Today’s Session

We’ll be in the office until about 10:30am planning to work on our first animation. We’re picking up a snack for them to have in the office, apples etc.

We’re leaving the office around 10:40am and walking down Ventura Blvd to California Pizza Kitchen. The temperature is predicted to be about 78 degrees. 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 back to the office around 1:30pm to continue animation and play some games. We’ll be holding our first of two raffles later this afternoon. Some of your kids will come back 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.

Session #4 Monday, July 15

Hi parents,

The weather today is going to be hot, up to 93 degrees. Originally, we had planned to go to the zoo, but instead, we’re headed to the California Science Center via chartered bus. We’ll be getting an early snack then taking a 10am bus to 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90037, arriving by 10:40 am. There’s quite a bit to see and we’re planning to take in the newest exhibit, Dogs! A Science Tail and possibly Science in Toyland, depending how crowded things get. We’ll have lunch there — there may be a couple of choices we can consider. This is a full-day outing and we’ll be heading back around 2:45 - 3:00pm, arriving back just in time to finish the day.

Please feel free to be in touch if you have any questions.

Session #3 Friday, July 12

Hi parents,

The weather today is going to be hot, between 85 and 94 degrees. We’ll be hopping on a public transportation bus, as soon as we make sure everyone has had a chance to use the restroom, to Ultra Zone, located in Sherman Oaks, for two hours of laser tag. First, however, we will be stopping at Jamba Juice for a snack. Following laser tag, we will go to nearby 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.

We’ll likely return between 2:30 - 3:00pm. It will be a light snack since lunch most likely lasted from 12:45 pm to 2 pm. With the little bit of time remaining, we will either return to working on animation or play a group game. If a snack occurs it will be light, possibly something like a few chips and watermelon.

At this point, we’ve established our primary target areas for each child. There will be additional parent meetings this Saturday and Sunday. If you haven’t RSVP’d to one of these events, please click here to access the parent portal and complete your RSVP now. It only take a few seconds.

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

Session #2: Wednesday, July 10

The weather today is expected to be up to the low 80’s. 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’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.

Then, it’s back to Pinz to 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.

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.

If you need to reach me during the day, just send an email or call and use the special code you were given during orientation.

Session #1: Monday, July 8

Today is our first day of Group 2 and everyone is just getting settled in. We’ll be heading over the the office and spending most of the morning there doing group orientation discussions and activities. We will head over to Gelsons around 10am for a morning snack. We call today a “Close to Home Group,” as we are getting to know your kids. Lunch will be at Maria’s Italian Kitchen where we have a large table reserved. We have a special surprise for the students at 2pm. “Critter Squad” will be showing up with about ten different animals to show, discuss, and possibly pass around for gentle handling.

Following this, we’ll have a quick afternoon snack at 3pm. At the end of the day. I will publish an audio podcast summarizing today’s events. You will be notified when this occurs.

You should have received information about the behavior course for this week tomorrow and there will be a webinar held Thursday at 7pm. You should have received a survey asking about the most convenient parent meeting times.

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.


Dr. G.