Tag Archives: teens

Lots of great services and opportunities here in Orange County, CA!

If you have a high school student with Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD], a local organization has a fabulous monthly activity for your teen. The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group [OCASG] and College Living Experience-Costa Mesa have teamed up for TEEN NIGHT on the first Friday of each month. Activities change each month but it’s a fun time for the kids to hang out with teens–along with college-age mentors. It’s a big hit.  

The idea is to get kids out of their room, out of the house and integrating with others in the community and that’s exactly what’s being done with this group. Determine what your teen is interested in and help him/her get involved.

This article gives you an idea of the variety of other service organizations that exist here in the OC.

http://www.ocvote.com/poll-worker-insights/may-2014/incredible-kids-with-autism-make-a-difference/

PEERS in Orange County begins Nov. 12, 2013! ONE SPACE REMAINS!

There is ONE spot left!
Now is the time to register if you are still considering this wonderful program!

Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for teens who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends.

The  next session of PEERS offered by Dr. Alexander Gantman and Kimberly Orliczky, BCBA in Orange County is scheduled to begin November 12, 2013!

Topics include:

  • How to use appropriate conversational skills
  • How to find common interests by trading information
  • How to appropriately use humor
  • How to enter and exit conversations between peers
  • How to handle rejection, teasing, and bullying
  • How to handle rumors and gossip
  • How to be a good host during get-togethers
  • How to make phone calls to friends
  • How to choose appropriate friends
  • How to be a good sport
  • How to handle arguments and disagreements
  • How to change a bad reputation

Give your teen the tools he/she needs.
What:  PEERS Program
When: Tuesdays at 6:00pm for 14 (90 min) Sessions
Where: KLO Consulting – Irvine Office

Contact Kimberly Orliczky at 949-607-8560 or kimberly.o.bcba@gmail.com for registration information.

High School Anxieties

OK, my son is in high school. As an individual on the autism spectrum, his biggest challenges are socialization. But he tries. He tries so very hard. And that does my heart good.

I was touched recently as he reached out to me and shared his fears. At 16-and-a-half, this man-child with facial hair who stands over 6 feet tall, still needs me for something.

I am no longer able to help him with homework—especially math and science. He takes care of himself so much of the time. Aside from the fact that he doesn’t drive yet, he gets by nicely without my constant intervention.

And that’s bittersweet for me, for sure.

But recently he asked for my help, and that was wonderful on several levels. Selfishly, it’s always nice to be needed. But more importantly, I am thrilled that he spoke up and asked for help. As you know, that’s not always the case with our kids. I guess the talk therapy is paying off.

Here’s the story: He joined a new club on campus and was going to his third meeting. He got to the room but his anxiety kept him from opening the door and entering. So he called me. Me! His mom! And he articulated his fears:

Image

Keep your teen talking — if not to you, to someone. Other family members, clergy, counselors, therapists. The more they verbalize their emotions, the less build up there will be. It’s just healthy!

“Mom, I’ve passed by the room a few times, looking in, but, I’m kinda anxious. I don’t think I should go in. I don’t know what to do.”      

I tried to savor that—while also acknowledging his apprehensions but offering assurances and urging him to push through his anxieties. After a brief pep talk, he said he’d give it a shot. Then he hung up.

I must confess, a teeny-tiny small part of me was hoping he’d call right back. Hey, I’m human. And I’m a mom. But a much bigger part of me was relieved when my phone did not ring. And after school his very first words to me were, “I’m so glad I went to the club meeting! It was great! I did it!”

Ahhh, sweet victory! I urged him to recognize the good, happy feeling so he could recall it the next time his anxiety crept up—and use this euphoria as an incentive to push through the angst.

Here endeth the lesson. [My movie-guru son would appreciate this line—it’s a quote from ‘The Untouchables’, the 1987 movie directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet, of course.]