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AIMS Program Increases EF Skills, Confidence

6-8 Team students, staff, and parents recently completed a specialized program to help students improve the executive functions (EFs) key to achieving academic success. Added benefits included improved confidence and social interactions.

Achieving Independence and Mastery in School (AIMS) is a 32-week program developed to help middle school students who struggle with social communication skills improve executive functions. These adolescents typically have EF deficits that impact their skill to start assignments, organize materials, plan and prioritize assignments, and study effectively for tests. The program helps students master strategies such as organizing a backpack, binder, locker, and computer files; using a planner to track and prioritize tasks; setting up an effective homework system; using study cards; and other learning tools.

LGS staff leads for the program received training last summer. Parents were invited to attend three evening sessions during the program implementation period not only to receive an overview of classroom activities, but also to provide insight on improved student study habits and behaviors at home.

Increase in Autism Rates Confirms Need for Continued Growth

Plan for Growth Single Tree1 in 44 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in December 2021. A similar report released by the CDC in March 2020 found that 1 in 54 children had autism. In 2000, the rate was 1 in 150.

Linden Grove School’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan: A Plan for Growth embodies the commitment of LGS trustees, staff, and supporters to help the increasing number of students with autism become valued, participating members of our community. During the current school year, strategies for growth include:

  • Increased physical space through LGS’s new Middle School building;
  • Enhanced instruction for students and parents, especially in regard to executive functioning skills;
  • Expanded partnerships to help students develop interests and skills for community participation;
  • Increased financial resources for program expansion as well as long-term sustainability.

See more information on LGS’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan.

Significant Gift Received to Establish LGS Endowment

Arleene Keller, a former LGS Board member and long-time supporter, recently made a significant gift to help establish an endowment for the school. Arleene Keller’s generosity will help ensure the long-term sustainability of LGS for the benefit of students and families in our community.

 

Local High School Students Encourage Confidence and Friendships at LGS

Mount Notre Dame (MND) and St. Xavier (St. X) high school volunteers are providing valuable supports and encouragement to LGS students throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Through the BeYOUtiful program, MND students encourage confidence among LGS students of all ages during after school activities and after-care. As part of their Learn to Serve class, St. X students promote friendship among LGS 6-8 Team students during recess, and provide supports during afternoon academic classes.

Below: Mount Notre Dame volunteers encourage LGS students in after school activities (center); St. Xavier volunteers interact with students in the classroom (left) and on the playground (right).

Carrie Cariello Guest Speaker for In-Person Signature Event

Carrie CarielloThe 2022 Signature Event will feature guest speaker Carrie Cariello, author of What Color is Monday?: How Autism Changed One Family for the Better and Someone I’m with has Autism. The event will be held Saturday, May 21, in the Grand Ballroom of the Savannah Center in West Chester Township. The evening will include dinner, auction, entertainment, prizes, and more.

Carrie lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe, and their five children. She is a regular contributor to HuffPost and The TODAY Show, has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, and also has a TEDx talk. She speaks regularly about autism, marriage, and motherhood, and writes a weekly blog at www.carriecariello.com.

For information on Signature Event sponsorship opportunities and other ways to be involved, contact Christina Waddle, Director of Development at 513-426-7105 or cwaddle@lindengroveschool.org.

Alumni Families Push Giving Tuesday Campaign Beyond Expectations

Support from individuals for Linden Grove School’s Giving Tuesday campaign surpassed expectations amid a difficult year for many families and businesses. This year response from former LGS parents doubled, helping to raise more than $50,000 in support of current students and families. For LGS staff, the best part of the campaign is receiving updates on LGS alums, some of whom are local and others who are as far away as Australia!

Distance Learning Creates Unexpected Benefits for Speech, OT

Typical speech and occupational therapy (OT) activities don’t adapt well to distance learning. It’s hard to teach a student how to tie a shoe or work on correct pronunciation via a computer screen. Amid these challenges, LGS therapists nevertheless have found unexpected benefits when working with students learning from home.

In distance learning, parents can experience what their students are working on in therapy sessions, and therapists can provide parents with ideas on how to reinforce activities at home. These ideas may be as simple as using a full sentence when requesting something at mealtime or how to help students hold utensils and scoop food.

Specific to speech therapy, students enjoy introducing therapists to siblings or pets and showing off their rooms and prized possessions. Therapists use these opportunities to work on conversation skills, language organization, and vocabulary.

In OT sessions, therapists have found mindfulness activities particularly effective among students learning from home, away from busy classrooms. Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can be easier to focus on and engage with, helping students self-regulate and feel better emotionally and physically.

Hatton Foundation Funds Supports, Resources to Aid Self-Regulation

Through the generosity of the Hatton Foundation, Linden Grove School has enhanced existing social-emotional learning activities and supports by initiating new strategies to improve self-regulation among students. Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage energy states, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors to increase positive results related to learning, relationships, and personal well-being.

New initiatives include: interoception activities to increase student awareness of and responses to physical and emotional states; Calm Classroom exercises to increase self-awareness, mental focus, and emotional resilience; and an increased number of calm spaces among the school’s middle school and main buildings.

Online Resources Inspire Engagement, Learning

Online resources continue to increase in number and variety, engaging students on a range of topics. Video recordings of books, video shorts, and related activities—to be completed online, in the classroom, or at home—help students learn their ABCs and 123s, understand what is “inside your outside,” consider the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of Squanto, and more.

READ MORE about these activities and others; go to “Inside LGS” or sign up for electronic updates by emailing Christina Waddle.

LGS Middle School Opens Ahead of 2020-2021 Enrollment Season

For a virtual tour of middle school classrooms and more, click here.

Linden Grove School’s new Middle School building opened for students on Monday, November 30. The building has six spacious classrooms, STEM Lab, sensory room, and offices for speech and occupational therapists as well as behavior staff. Moreover, the move of LGS 6-8 grade students from the Main Building to the new Middle School building has created more classroom space for K-6 grade students.

The opening of the Middle School building is especially welcome as LGS prepares for peak enrollment season. Autism prevalence rates increased 10% in two years, according to a CDC report released in March 2020. In the report, the CDC estimates 1 in 54 children as identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an increase from 1 in 59 children two years previously.

Over the next decade, an estimated 707,000 to 1,116,000 teens with autism will transition out of high school, and, if trends continue, their participation in post-secondary education or paid employment will be significantly lower than those of their typical peers or even those with learning disabilities. Linden Grove School’s specialized approach to education helps students with autism develop the skills and the confidence for success in school and beyond.

For information on LGS’s admission process click here.

To schedule a conversation regarding a potential new student, click here.

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