Aspiring Youth Parents:
We’re excited to announce that Aspiring Youth’s parent organization, Ryther, will be hosting the Seattle satellite campus for LEADPrep, a really great private school.
Here is a message from LEADPrep Director, Maureen O’Shaughnessy:
LEADPrep is Teaming with Ryther!
Knowing how well-served many of you have been by Aspiring Youth, it is a pleasure to announce our new collaboration. LEADPrep Middle and High School of Kirkland will be launching a Seattle campus here at Ryther this fall. Families on both sides of the “pond” will have easy access to this personalized, innovative teaching model. The Seattle campus will serve up to 15 students in 6th-10th grade.
The LEADPrep learning model will remain the same: project-based lessons, STEM, community building, with an emphasis on kindness and service. Flipped lessons eliminate homework; personalized coaching supports learning at school. (See details at lead-prep.org.) Experiential Fridays will unite students from both campuses for service projects, field trips, team building, and non-traditional Northwest PE. Additionally, LEADPrep will be able to access Ryther resources such as robotics teachers, the outdoor challenges course, and after school activities. Adding these to Digital Storytelling, Spanish, STEM, and core subjects will allow LEADPrep to become even more engaging and personalized.
Along with Kirkland open houses and hosting students for a day-long visit, there are parent information sessions at Ryther on April 20 and May 24, 6:30-8:00pm (register through the links). Digital Storytelling themed summer camps on LEADPrep’s Kirkland campus is another excellent resource to engage our students. (Details at cherrystreetfilms.org.)
Join us this spring for the 5-week Aspiring Youth Activity League! Sports offer a unique opportunity for our students to develop in both body and mind, as they work to build their athletic abilities as well as the nuanced social skills needed to form a cohesive team. The Activity League brings Aspiring Youth’s social skills curriculum to the playfield, providing a new learning environment for students to improve their communication, friendships, teamwork, and self-confidence!
Bowling Club: Players develop social and athletic skills, good sportsmanship, and a sense of belonging to a team as they prepare for the Championship Game.
Join us for FIVE WEEKS of the Aspiring Youth Activity League!
Location: Kenmore Lanes, 7638 NE Bothell Way Kenmore, WA 98028
Dates: Each Saturday from Mar 4 to April 1, 2017
Time: 3:00pm – 4:15pm
Fee: $275 for five weeks ($75 if already enrolled in another group).
Shuttle: Optional shuttle from Ryther leaving at 2:30pm and returning at 4:45pm for pick-up. Parents not using the shuttle will drop-off at 3pm and pick-up at 4:15pm from Kenmore Lanes.
Group members work on communication skills while playing Magic: The Gathering (card game) in a facilitated setting. Our group facilitators make sure that there is productive conversation during the game and that group members learn about being a good sport win or lose.
Ages 8-18. Group members bring their own decks.
Seattle: Mondays | Co-ed | 5:45-7pm | 1/23 – 4/3 (except 2/20)
Visit our website now to enroll in Aspiring Youth’s Social Skills Groups starting January 18! For ten weeks, our master’s level facilitators help participants identify and practice new skills, establish friendships and boost self-esteem. Young people develop the skills and confidence they need to feel more comfortable as they navigate their social world.
New to our social skills groups? Schedule your enrollment meeting.
AGE-BASED GROUPS: Topic-driven discussion ● Reinforcing games and activities ● Groups available for ages 8 to 18.
THEME-BASED GROUPS: Social skills curriculum through shared interest activities such as art, Dungeons & Dragons, indoor climbing, Magic cards and more!
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On Saturday November 19th, the Aspiring Youth Running Club took to the trails at Carkeek Park to compete in the team’s first 5k. Despite the rain and mud, our runners showed up with a positive attitude and support for one another. They did an incredible job navigating hills, stairs, and the occasional fallen tree, with […]
An ongoing tradition, winter break camp is a fun opportunity to connect with friends while pursuing games, activities and excursions. Our master’s level counselors make sure that winter break is a place for students to recharge while building social skills and confidence.
Mornings: Students select from their favorite activities:
Outdoor games and the Challenge Course
Board games, Magic the Gathering or D&D
Legos and K’nex
Comedy Improv, Art and Movement
Afternoon field trips to the movies, Kenmore bowling lanes and the Seattle Pinball Museum – for no additional fee! (Field trips are optional if child prefers not to go)
Sign up now on our website!
Ages: Explorers (ages 8-10), Navigators (ages 10-12), Teen Crew (ages 13-15) and Delphi (ages 15-19). Siblings are welcome!
Location: Ryther @ 2400 NE 95th St, Seattle, WA 98115
Dates: December 19, 20, 21 and December 28, 29, 30
Time: 9:30am to 3:30pm each day
Fee: $100 per day with a two-day minimum enrollment
Snacks will be provided. Students bring lunch from home. Personal electronic gaming devices are not appropriate.
Participants: We welcome students ages 8 and up who benefit from a small group environment. Some are shy, some are quirky, and some are twice exceptional. Some of our campers have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, learning disabilities or similar traits.
“How can my child be so smart, yet fail every subject?” This is a common question from parents of bright children. The answer: your child is smart, but scattered. Peg Dawson, international author and presenter on executive functioning, described the impact of executive functioning in her presentation to special education staff in the Federal Way Public Schools.
Executive functions are brain-based skills that help us to be successful in monitoring and achieving goals. They include response inhibition, working memory, emotional control, flexibility, sustained attention, task initiation, planning/prioritization, organization, time-management, goal-oriented persistence, and metacognition. Executive functioning deficits are common in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and in others who are neurodivese.
The impacts can have huge effects on their behaviors at school and home.
Common ASD deficits
Emotional reactions inconsistent with the incident
Difficulty being flexible when something changes
Struggling with sustaining attention in non-preferred situations
Impacts on prioritization, often seen in a child’s written expression
Difficulties creating and maintaining organization systems
Inability to self-reflect and change behavior based on these reflections
Common ADHD deficits
Impulsive behavior, especially when the reward is immediate
Struggling to remember several steps to a task and implementing those steps effectively
Difficulty attending when the situation is not stimulating
Procrastinating on homework or chores
Struggling to plan out steps of a project
Inaccurately estimating how long something will take
Inability to persist towards a goal
How to Help
It’s our job as adults to help children develop these skills and provide opportunities for them to practice. For children with executive functioning deficits, these skills may not be learned from their surroundings; they need to be explicitly taught. Until they are developed enough to practice, adults will need to be surrogates for our kid’s executive skills.
Here are some ideas for facilitating the development of these skills:
Provide alternatives to highly stimulating environments. It may be hard for the child to effectively use executive skills when overstimulated.
Give close-ended tasks with explicit steps.
Shorten tasks or provide breaks
Make a checklist for your child first and show him how to use it; then, help your child to make his own checklist.
Give 3:1 positives to correctives feedback, with the positives specific to executive functioning (i.e. “Nice job leaving that cookie on the counter, I know that is not easy to do sometimes”; “You did great adjusting to our change of plans”, “I like how you made a goal and then planned out the steps to achieve it”
Ask your child two simple questions: “What do you have to do? When are you going to do it?” This helps facilitate the process of goal setting, planning, time management, and task initiation. Then, hold them accountable to their plan.
Want more information about how to help support your child’s executive functioning skills? Consider one of Aspiring Youth’s social skills groups, or red Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, which is an excellent book that helps explain executive skills and how to intervene.
Breea. M. Rosas, Ed.S. graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013. Her undergraduate major was Psychology, with a minor in Family Studies. She completed her Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology from CWU in 2016. She is currently a school psychologist for Federal Way Public Schools. Breea has worked with Aspiring Youth as a program coordinator/facilitator for summer camps and served on the curriculum development team. Additionally, Breea has experience working with adults of varying abilities, including autism spectrum disorder, as well youth in the school setting.
The “Through our eyes” series invites you to hear and learn from the perspectives of young adults in our community living with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, learning disabilities or other social challenges.
Before we begin, I would like to clarify that I only speak on behalf of myself and no one else on the autism spectrum. My experiences with Asperger’s syndrome are entirely my own, so your child or someone you know who is also on th spectrum may have some differences, whether it be with social interaction or sensory-motor skills. In fact, people will not always have the same experiences with any mental or developmental disorders — it’s entirely dependent on the individual.
As someone on the autism spectrum, I have to admit that it’s a little difficult to imagine the life of a non-autistic person. I can’t picture myself not being very sensitive to heat and cold or not being socially awkward. Asperger’s syndrome has been a part of my life since I was born.
I guess if I had to say something, though, it’s sort of like being a foreigner from a different country and having to learn the language and customs. Things feel similar to your own country, but learning to adjust to the differences is difficult. But once you’ve mastered that, it doesn’t erase the fact that you’re a foreigner. No matter what, you’ll always stand out in some way.
Now, that isn’t to say being on the spectrum is horrible. On the contrary, I find it annoying when people pity me for being different or because I “don’t understand”. It’s insulting, not just to me, but to others on the spectrum as well, regardless of what the intent was. Just because we might not pick up on social cues or have a vastly different outlook on life than most people, it doesn’t mean that we’re unable to learn.
But I digress.
Asperger’s has had its perks growing up. For instance, as I have a passion for writing (especially creative writing), I always did really well in English class, especially when it came to essays and vocabulary tests. I also have very sensitive hearing, so if someone needs help but no one can hear them, I can hear them and help them to the best of my ability.
I think the point I’m trying get at is: autism isn’t that bad. I mean, yes, there are times where we struggle with socializing and sensory-motor skills. With a bit of support and understanding, we get by pretty well on our own. I believe that there are people out there who need to be reminded of that sometimes.
There are pros and cons to everything. Autism is no exception.
Sara Breidenbach is an intern helping with Aspiring Youth summer camps. She is also a student at Bellevue College where she will graduate with an Associates Degree in Digital Media Arts in the fall of 2016.
Young adults want to succeed. We provide the guidance.
Delphi is for young adults, ages 18-28, who have Autism, ADHD or other similar traits.
Delphi Workspace gives young adults the chance to connect with a peer community while pursuing real-world projects. Participants select project roles based on interest and work in small teams — also with informal time for socializing.
Delphi Workspace participants can receive 1:1 adviser time, offering guidance on topics: job search/resume, health and wellness, money management and independent living skills.
When: Mondays and Wednesdays
Time: 12:00 – 3:00pm
Where: Ryther, 2400 NE 95th St, Seattle, 98115
No fee! Delphi Workspace is in pilot phase.
Come one or both days! No need to RSVP. For questions, contact email@example.com.
Delphi Social Clubs
Delphi Social Clubs are a great weekend hang-out for young adults, ages 21-28. Come to hang out and meet some awesome people. We will have some fun social card games, too. One of our coaches will be there to make sure everyone is having a great time. When you arrive, look for our “Delphi Young Adults” sign at the large table.
When: Saturday, Nov 5, 20 and Dec 10
Where: Pub at Montlake at 2307 24th Ave E in Seattle
No fee! Bring money for food and beverages.
A big thanks to Pub at Montlake for their commitment to creating an inclusive environment.
No need to RSVP. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.