October 2016 Monthly Update


Social Skills-

  • Goals- Vision Dream Board- Your son or daughter created their own vision board to help them visualize their goals. This powerful tool serves as an image of the future – a tangible representation of where one is going. It represents dreams, goals, and ones’ ideal life. Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation-by representing your goals with pictures and images-you will actually strengthen and stimulate your emotions. It is often difficult for members to verbally express their wants and needs, especially as it relates to their goals, it was a great exercise to help them identify what they want in life and the steps that it will take to get there.
    • How you can help: These vision boards should be placed in an area where they can look at it each and every day to be reminded of these goals. Encourage your son or daughter to work towards these goals. If your member was not present during this group- it would be a great project to do at home. Just gather some old newspapers and magazines and start clipping away. Here is a link to a project page where it explains more. http://makeavisionboard.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/#top
  • Personal Goals- After we found the big picture, your son or daughter identified one goal that they would want to achieve and we broke that down into smaller manageable steps. They should create these goals independently, with some assistance if needed, to ensure that it is person-centered. This starts with the person’s own view of his or her life and defines what is truly important to the person. Each member was given a binder to keep track of his or her progress towards their goals and they will be monitored once a week. This is not to ‘grade your son or daughter, but to help them hold themselves accountable of the progress they are making.
    • How you can help: Help your son or daughter create goals at home, they could be social, financial, personal care, educational, or employment goals (just to name a few). They key is that they are their own goals that they are setting for themselves. SMART is a good acronym to think about when making goals attainable. (S- specific, M- measurable, A- attainable, R-realistic, T-time based) More on SMART Goals here! https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
  • Executive Function- this is part of the brain that makes sure things get done from the planning stages to the final step. If your son or daughter is has difficulty planning, organizing, memory, flexible thinking, or time management, any task could be challenging. Many of the members that were present during this group, could relate in some way. We wanted to cover this topic to give strategies that can help strengthen these skills in their everyday life.
  • Restaurant Etiquette- Free time is a great opportunity for your son or daughter to socialize with peers in a natural environment, as well as practice proper manners and skills. We started the staff/member dinner once a month so we can help to facilitate natural conversation and proper etiquette outside of IGNITE but the rest of the month free time is for the members. One member was specifically concerned with others’ etiquette and behavior at dinner during free time. During this social skills group, we practiced examples and non-examples of appropriate behavior at a restaurant. We will continue to reinforce appropriate behaviors in the community and during free time.
    • How you can help: Encourage proper etiquette at home and in the community. Some members were surprised to hear that certain behaviors are not typical in a public setting. You can go out to lunch and have your son or daughter order their food, ask for an additional side, correct an order, and/or fill out the tip independently. Some things to look out for that were brought to our attention;
      • volume control- talking, or laughing too loudly, can be disruptive to other patrons or people in your party- remind them to use inside voices
      • we have noticed that people can force 3 or 4 bites of food in their mouths at one time without swallowing and as a result can get food on their faces, we can remind them to take one bite and swallow before taking another
      • often times it is not what is said, but how it is said; ask them to re-phrase if it may come out differently than expected. For instance, if the waiter forgot to bring a side of ranch, they can ask politely to remind them.
      • Tipping is not optional- once they receive the check they should check to make sure that it is correct, and tip appropriately. There is an app called ‘tip calulator’ that they can find out the correct amount to tip.

Pot Luck Review

We had a great turn out and great food! Thank you all for coming and I hope your enjoyed it! I reviewed the survey results, and really wanted to thank everyone who was able to give some feedback. It really helps us plan for the future to make it as accommodating to as many as we can. If you had a specific concern, please email me, the survey results were anonymous and I do not know who asked what!  Overall, 70% of people who responded said Friday is a good evening. I will see if other opportunities can be made available on other days and all of the feedback will be taken into account! We really appreciate all that you do!


Just wanted to remind everyone that the Autism Society of NC has an abundance of resources available for you to use and reference! There are toolkits that may be helpful and can be found here http://autismsociety-nc.org/index.php/get-help/toolkits . Another awesome resource we have is the largest nonprofit, ASD-specific bookstore in the United States. We have a variety of books available to use at IGNITE, and books can be found on almost every topic online. Check out https://www.autismbookstore.com/ . If you have any questions, please email me. If I am not the best person to help, I can point you in the right direction!

AmeriCarna Live 2016 !

Our biggest fundraiser of the year is coming to Davidson on November 26th! We still need 8-10 parents/members to volunteer to sell raffle tickets. Please email me if you can! You can also help by creating a gift basket for the silent auction. If you would like register a car or buy a spectator ticket, you can do so at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/americarna-live-car-show-registration-26704814820 .

Holiday Open House – Save the date!

Wednesday, December 7th– invitation will be sent out soon.

‘Rogue One’ Pre-screening Event

Thursday December 15th. Tickets can be purchased online at http://rogueoneprescreening.eventbrite.com


Happy November!



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