Ever wonder what happens in Rex Groups? Ever wanted to sign up, but held off because you didn’t know what to expect? Then this Behind the Scenes post series is for you.
Since we kicked off our School-Age and Pre-teen/Teen Groups with strong enrollment last month, we’re taking this opportunity to give you an inside look into each week at Groups.
In week 3 of the School-Age Group, we focused on the topic of personal boundaries. Discussions included how to measure one’s personal space within context of different social situations.
In week 4, we’ll talk about rules of social conversation. We’ll do exercises that focus on paying attention to the person you’re speaking with, and how to show an interest in that person and in the topics they bring up, even if those topics aren’t your personal favorites! We’ll also cover asking questions and define what a follow-up question is and is not.
In week 3 of the School-Age Parent Group, participants received an article to read about emotional disregulation and we discussed how that affects individuals with autism.
In week 4, our clinician will present on the difference between temper tantrums and meltdowns. We’ll continue to review the parents’ efforts in coaching their children and providing effective communication when practicing social skills.
Finally, we’ll encourage parents to find opportunities to discuss feeling states, to set aside time to share with their kids about the nature of feelings, the differences between various feeling states, and how to communicate feelings effectively.
In week 3 of the Pre-Teen/Teen Group, our theme was “showing self-control”. We covered the importance of using calm words and calm body language benefits you in any situation.
Our feeling of week was “guilty”, and we practiced describing, verbalizing, and demonstrating that feeling. As usual, we wrapped up group with a calming activity, this time a guided visualization involving favorite relaxing memories.
In week 3 of the Pre-Teen/Teen Parent Group, we also focused on self-control and emotional self-management. The feeling of the week was anger, so we talked about how one stays calm when angry.
We asked questions such as, “Where do you notice anger in your body? How do you label it and control it?” We also provided a handout on handling meltdowns from the parent perspective.
Parent Conferences Starting Soon
Finally, it’s worth noting that families recently had the opportunity to sign up for parent conferences. Parent conferences are a chance for family members to meet with the clinicians who are running the groups for their children.
In these individualized meetings, parents and clinicians discuss participants’ strengths and share general impressions of how participants are doing within their Groups. The clinicians may also make recommendations for the future. This important service allows families to receive individualized attention and mid-session feedback.
What About Other Groups?
Earlier this month we announced dates for our next Adult Group. We’ll be scheduling more Group dates soon – we’re particularly excited about a new School-Age Group with a Spanish-language Parent Group! – so be sure to subscribe via email for the latest updates.
~ The Project Rex team