December 2013

Founding FATE leader Vicki Nagengast called Jeannie Bolstridge in November 2013 to discuss the confusion that has arisen from the rumors being spread in Douglas. Multiple attempts have been made by telephone, personally, and e-mail to connect with members of FATE since the fall of 2013 with no success.  Our lawyer  and our Board wishes to see peace and unity for both sides of the merger- the nonprofit side who tutors different learners and the FATE group who supports families affected with Autism.

Jeannie Bolstridge spoke with the pastor of the churches who will be involved with providing an after-school program for children in Fitzgerald and Douglas.

Brittany Ammons added 27 apps to her Apps on Sale blog during December. She also e-mailed members a Christmas Letter to thank them for their support of our non-profit. Brittany contacted Jon Durkovic, the manager of the Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and arranged for members to watch the movie “Walking with Dinosaurs” privately.

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November 2013

Jeannie Bolstridge joins the forum of Halo-Soma, home of this dedicated mother’s rapid prompting methold (RPM).

Brittany Ammons added many apps to her Apps on Sale blog.

Brittany Ammons created the following posts on her  Autism 4 Life blog: Autistic Brothers in New York City Marathon, Cheaper is Better, and Belk Charity Sale.

Brittany Ammons sent out an e-mail to inform nonprofit members about the Belk Charity Sale.

Jeannie Bolstridge created the post “Teaching Plans Unite with Technology” on her Social Prompter blog.

On November 9, Jeannie Bolstridge and Brittany Ammons sold tickets for the Belk Charity Sale from 6 A.M. to 10 A.M. to raise money for the nonprofit.

Brittany Ammons contacted the Grand Theatre and asked if nonprofit members could watch the movie “Frozen” privately. A newsletter was again sent out to all Douglas and Fitzgerald nonprofit supporters, but there was no response from anyone in Douglas.

Vicki Nagengast, the original founder of the Douglas group FATE with whom SFL merged, called Jeannie to talk about the concerns Douglas parents had with the August 2012 merger written by our lawyer. Vicki suggested that it may please everyone in Douglas if we dissolved the merger and left the FATE parent group free to operate in the casual manner that they have since 2007. She suggested that these folks were not comfortable with the state structure or IRS designation under which our nonprofit needed to operate.

Monthly Douglas Meeting – September 2013

Clear your calendars on Saturday, September 14, 2013 because this is the day of Sensory Friendly Learning’s meeting in Douglas, Georgia! The meeting will begin at 11:00 AM in Conference Room 2 of the Coffee Regional Medical Center in Douglas, Georgia. The meetings have no set end time, but they usually end by 1:00 PM.

There is never an admission for these meetings and you are welcome to bring your children.

If you need any help to get to Coffee Regional or finding the Conference Room, e-mail me at autism4life@outlook.com and I will e-mail you the directions.

Monthly Douglas Meeting – July 2013

This month’s SFL meeting will be this Saturday on July 13. The meeting will be held in Conference Room 2 (Floor 1, by the lunchroom) of the Coffee Regional Medical Centerin Douglas, GA. The meeting will begin at 11:00 AM and has no set end time, but it usually ends around 1:00 PM.

Summer break is coming to a close and soon school will be up and running again. Be sure to come to what will probably be our last meeting before school starts. There is no cost of admission and anyone is welcome to attend.

E-mail SFL at mrsb@socialprompter.net for any questions, comments, or concerns.

June 2013

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On the 2nd Saturday, June 8, our non-profit held its monthly meeting at the Coffee Regional Medical Center in Conference Room 2. The meeting began at 11:00 AM. At the meeting, FATE members discussed possible events to do during the summer. One agreed to arrange a date to go bowling, to go to Just Jump for Kids, and to see a movie at the local theatre. Jeannie Bolstridge brought up the idea of Sensory Friendly Learning (SFL) Inc. buying a Wal-Mart $40 tablet to see how well the members do with it before possibly buying one for each member. Jeannie also told members about a site called Wright’s Law which has all the special education laws for the state of Georgia.

Three days after the non-profit meeting, Brittany Ammons sent a e-mail newsletter explaining what had been discussed at the meeting for those who could not attend.

In the end of June, Jeannie created a step-by-step guide on how to go to the Google Play (the Android app store) and purchase/download an app. This guide was designed for those who are not as familiar with downloading Android apps onto their phone or tablet.

Jeannie continued to work with the non-profit bank representative, the CPA supporting the non-profit, and our non-profit bookkeeper about needed receipts during the past 5 months of 2013.

May 2013

On May 7, Brittany Ammons announced the upcoming Douglas Meeting on her Autism 4 Life blog.

The monthly non-profit meeting in Douglas was canceled for May since Kimberly Duckworth was unable to attend.

Jeannie Bolstridge worked with the non-profit bank representative, the CPA supporting the non-profit, and our non-profit bookkeeper about needed receipts during the past five months of 2013.

Monthly Douglas Meeting – May 2013

On Saturday, May 11, 2013, SFL is having a meeting at the Coffee Regional Medical Center in Douglas, Georgia. The meeting will be held in Conference Room 2 on the ground floor on begins at 11:00 AM.

These monthly meetings are not for members only. Anyone is welcome to attend and feel free to bring your children.

Contact SFL at mrsb@socialprompter.net for any questions, comments, concerns, or just to say hello.

The “Social” Learning Style Defined

Dr Temple Grandin,Jeannie Bolstridge, and Max the therapy dog
Example of a trained assistance dog.

Learning Socially is the official web home of the nonprofit Sensory Friendly Learning Inc. I’m the founder and CEO of this 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered with the IRS. So, when I write a post saying that I am “defining” something as big as social learning, I mean that I’m defining how kids learn socially under our care. Sensory Friendly Learning Inc holds the vision of incorporating therapy dogs into one-on-one tutoring sessions to strengthen reading and academics in young students.

LinkedIn logo

You can view the Linked In company page for Sensory Friendly Learning Inc. by clicking the LinkedIn logo.

Over the years our tutors, mentors, and interns have served in-school, after-school, and supported home education with therapy dog training and mobile and web educational apps to strengthen remedial students.

In 2012 Sensory Friendly Learning merged with an Autism Support Group named “Facing Autism Together Everyday”. We have a social group home on Facebook located at facebook.com/facingautism

exploring the "social" learning style

April 2013

On April 5, Brittany Ammons sent a e-mail newsletters announcing Facing Autism Together Everyday’s (FATE) 3rd Annual Autism Awareness Month Family Day Picnic. She informed everyone of when and where the picnic was. It was held at the park in Ambrose, Georgia from 2 P.M. and had no set end time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013, FATE had its 3rd Annual Autism Awareness Month Family Day Picnic at the park in Ambrose. The picnic began at 2:00 P.M. Snacks and drinks are provided, but members need to bring lawn chairs as there is very little seating at the park. The children jumped in a bouncy house, popped bubbles, threw water balloons, ran under a sprinkler, and played with several toys.

Brittany Ammons made the post Family Day Picnic and Kiley at Just Jump for Kids on her Autism 4 Life blog.

Jeannie Bolstridge continued to Skype or e-mail Georgia Tech, work one-on-one with a child with Autism, and build the ReadDogs blog.

Kiley at Just Jump for Kids

On August 11, 2012, Facing Autism Together Everyday (FATE) held a meeting at Just Jump for Kids in Douglas, G.A. Just Jump for Kids is a great place that has four big blow-up slides and jump houses for children to play on. The meeting was the first announcement to FATE members about the merger with Sensory Friendly Learning.

Mrs. Jeannie Bolstridge brought Catriona, her granddaughter with ADHD, and Kiley, an autistic girl, while I brought my brother Garth.

When Mrs. Bolstridge had asked Kiley’s mother whether or not she could bring Kiley as well, she had said that it was fine but that she didn’t think that we would ever get Kiley in an enclosed space. She thought that we would be there five minutes ad have to leave.

Mrs. Bolstridge told me about this a few days before the meeting and has asked me what I thought about it. I told her that I would watch Kiley. I knew I wouldn’t have to keep an eye on Garth, that was the second time he had been there, so I knew he would be no problem. He could just play and I could focus on trying to get Kiley on the blow-up things. I was determined that if I could get her on one, she would love it.

So, when we got to Just Jump for Kids, I said hello to everyone there and let Kiley look around before trying to get her on the smallest blow-up.

This one was for really young children. It has an opening in the front that you used to enter and exit. The opening had a net hanging down on the inside of it, which you just pushed through when you entered, but you had to pick up when leaving.

Inside, it had a horse inside that you could sit on, not all the way or you would crush it, but you could sit on it slightly. It had a little Native American teepee with a tunnel at the bottom that the children could crawl through. There was a dog sitting down for the children to pet and there was a slide in the back.

It did take some time before Kiley would get in. I took off my shoes and crawled in first, hoping that by seeing me in there it would help her fear. I laid down inside so that she could see my head through the hole and stuck my hand out. “Come on, Kiley. It’s okay,” I said again and again.

She would take a step toward me then whine and step back. This continued several times but she was a little bit closer each time. Finally, she took my hand and crawled in with me.

Mrs. Bolstridge, Bobbie, and I were so happy that she had a good time. We took lots of pictures of her. I took my camera out and just sat down inside the thing and took pictures for Mrs. Libby. I took a few videos too.

I was so proud of how Kiley reacted when another child climbed in.

At school, Kiley is considered “violent” because if something throws her off and she has a tantrum and no one tries to do anything to help her, she will hit whoever is closest to her. Now, that’s if no one helps her. I have seen her hit a few times, she even hit me one time, but it wasn’t hard enough to hurt. During tutoring, if she starts screaming, all we have to do is say nine words to her she always stops screaming: “Do you want to go sit in the truck?”

If you say this to her, she always stops, it may be for five minutes or five seconds, but she will say “No!” and calm down.

Anyway, when the little boy, maybe only three or four, climbed on I watched Kiley to see whether or not she would strike at him. She had never been on one of those bounce thing before, so I was worried she would get upset if someone she didn’t know got on.

But Kiley never even tried to do anything. She stared at him long enough to make me worry that she would react, but this so-called “violent” little girl just carried on jumping like she had been doing. I was so proud of her.

The meeting at Just Jump for Kids had begun at 8:30 A.M. and Kiley lasted all the way to noon (over three hours) before it became too much and she had sensory overload, so Mrs. B. took her home.

I could not wait to get the pictures and videos I had taken of Kiley to her mom. I knew she would be so surprised to hear about how I had actually got Kiley onto one of the blow-ups since it was an “enclosed space.”

This just goes to show that just because an autistic child is labeled as “violent” in school does not mean that they really are that way. Kiley was in an unfamiliar environment and in a confined space, which she has a hard time with, and she never once tried to hit anyone. 

At one point, I had tried getting off of blow-up secretly to see how Kiley would react to being on there by herself. The first time I did it, she followed me out once she saw me standing outside . However, the second time, she was fine being in there by herself, which allowed me to take a picture of her.