September 2016 Monthly Update


Social Skills

  • Social skills review- What are social skills? One member said, “it is a guide to life, a tool to allow you to fit into society”. Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. It is important to remember and understand the purpose of the topics that we cover in group. There are many benefits and advantages to having well developed social skills, such as, more and better relationships, better communication, efficiency, career prospects, and overall happiness. How you can help: Encourage positive social skills and give positive feedback. For instance, “Johnny, that was great that you went to introduced yourself to the manager, since you took the initiative he is more likely to remember when you turn in your application! ” Always include the ‘why’. Individuals with ASD are more likely to apply that knowledge when there is a reason associated with it.
  • Small Talk- Can be a hard concept for a lot of people. Many of the members are great initiating conversations, but the tricky part is how to keep the conversation going. Small talk is essential when getting to know people and forming relationships. Members expressed difficultly with small talk in the work place and getting to know coworkers, and classmates. How you can help: Encourage your son or daughter to try small talk where ever you go, coffee shop, grocery store, gamestop, etc. Practice at home, ask open ended questions that require a response other than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Encourage them to go ‘back and forth’ a few times to practice keeping a conversation going.  Asking about the other person is always a good trick to keep in mind.  Members were given a list of 101 Conversation starters.
  • Achieving independence- Members have expressed a lot of interest in this topic. We encourage members to be self-advocates and to express their wants and needs. Many members expressed concern that they are not as independent as they’d like to be, and have to rely on you, their parents, for a lots of daily tasks.  Personal desire for independence is the first step in achieving it!  There are steps to take to gradually move them toward independence. Your sons and daughters are capable of so much, they may just need some assistance and encouragement while learning it. How you can help: it is important to not complete tasks that your sons and daughters are capable of completing themselves. They may need some guidance along the way, or they may need to start over, but they will feel a great sense of accomplishment when they complete a task independently.  These tasks can be anything that affords them a “next step” in their individual independence journey – vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, taking out the trash, laundry, ironing – there many daily living skills to work on. Competencies in Daily living and self-help skills are the biggest predictor of adult employment, surpassing communication, IQ and ASD symptom severity! Here is an excerpt from the Autism Asperger’s Digest, “Tips for Teaching Essential Independence Skills” that I hope you find helpful.  (by Patricia Romanowski Bashe, MSEd, BCBA)

Independence Tip: The goal of providing assistance should be to teach skills, not to do for a child what it is age appropriate for him to do for himself. Any intervention designed to help should also include plans for teaching the missing skill and fading the assistance. Accept that it’s better for your child to fold the towels less than perfectly than it is for the towels to be folded perfectly by someone else.

  • Teaching independence skills the right way bolsters self-esteem, confidence, and the willingness to try new things. Studies have shown that the most effective praise specifically identifies what the child did to achieve the goal, not the possession of an inherent talent or ability (Bronson & Merryman 2009). Children who are “smart,” “creative,” or “talented” know that these are aspects of who they are over which they have no control. When typical children were praised for things they did not control, they became less confident and more aversive to risk. On the other hand, children who were praised for things they did control—their effort and the concrete results of their work—applied more effort in future tasks and were more willing to take risks.

Children who are indiscriminately praised for things like “being smart”—but not given the skills or opportunities to garner compliments for skills in other realms—are left with the erroneous impressions that “being smart is enough” or that “intelligence” is the most important asset they possess. One ironic result is that these kids feel even worse when they realize that they cannot do the simple things that peers they consider less intelligent do easily.


L.I.F.E. Workshop

  • Our month long L.I.F.E. workshop consisted of what is a healthy LIFESTYLE, why you should be INVESTED in your health, healthy FOODS, and E Topics included good habits, investing in long term health, short term fitness goals, analyzing nutrition facts, and effective exercise techniques. Members learned the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, and making positive choices when it comes to ones’ overall health and happiness. Our goal in presenting the L.I.F.E. Workshop was to provide the tools that are needed and to encourage our members to utilize those tools to live a healthy lifestyle. How you can help:You can encourage these same topics at home! As an adult, it is the members’ responsibility to be in control over his or her health and well-being. Ask them about their goals from the L.I.F.E workshop, and how you can help support them.





· Parent/ Member Potluck!   We will have games available, and lots of great conversation.                    Parents will be able to interact with other parents and members at IGNITE. It will be                    an informal   gathering, and our hope is for everyone to get to know each other. (We will              have name tags!  )
Please bring a FALL Favorite dish  (This is a great opportunity for your son or daughter to              contribute, and to cook at home! (hint, hint))
 Friday, October 21st 6-9 pm at IGNITE.  
· SAVE THE DATE FOR AMERICARNA LIVE Car Show to Benefit IGNITE! November 26th
We need members and parents to volunteer with the 50/50 raffle, please let me know if             you are interested. We need 6 volunteers from 9am- 1pm, and 6 volunteers from 12:30pm-            5pm.·IGNITE Pre-screening of Rogue One- A Star Wars Story. We only have 120 tickets for sale,                  first come first serve!
December15th at  7pm at Our Town Cinemas. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $25 and                  include any size drink and popcorn.
Tickets are available for purchase now!

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