Friday, November 11, 2011

Employment and Emotional Intelligence

This can be found in the "By the Numbers" section of November 2011 edition of Counseling Today:

Emotional intelligence is a general assessment of a person's abilities to control emotions; to sense, understand and react to otherss' emotions; and to manage relationships.  With the post-recession economy forcing many companies to operate with smaller staffs and higher stress levels, these intangible qualities appear to be gaining favor with employers.

Between May 19 and June 8, Harris Interactive conducted an online survay of CareerBuilder of 2662 nongovernmental hiring managers and human resource professionals in the United States.  Among the findings the survey revealed:

  • 34% of hiring managers said they are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting on employees post-recession
  • 71% said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than the employee IQ
  • 59% of employers said they would not hire someone who possesses a high IQ but a low emotional intelligence
  • 75% of employers are more likely to promote workers with high emotional intelligence over candidates with high IQ's
When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said employees with high emotional intelligence:
  • Are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  • Know how to resolve conflict effectively
  • Are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • Lead by example
  • Tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

Friday, September 23, 2011

Laser Tag

During PE we have been practicing for laser tag for a few weeks by playing adapted versions of capture the flag.  Team work, team think, and team communication are crucial elements for success in both capture the flag and laser tag, and we used the high motivation for laser tag as an opportunity to work on some these skills.

During the preparations, the guys learned many good strategies, became better team mates, and expressed a lot of excitement about the laser tag opportunity.

On the day of, we received some instructions on how to use the equipment, and were divided into two teams before eventually let loose.  There were several fierce battles including some very good hiding, some precision shooting, and some excellent team work.  The last and best battle occurred when the students were placed on one team and the staff were on the other.  The student defensive strategy took out the staff who decided to attack from various angles.  Staff hope for an opportunity to get revenge next week.

This ended up being one of the best Thursday outings ever...  

... only to be topped by next week as we get to play laser tag AND ride the triple zip line!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Water Slide

The water slide is on of the most thrilling activities of summer camp.  Here are some examples of how our campers (and staff) have enjoyed the ride.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mud Bath

How to get a mud bath at Learning on the Log

1)   Lay down in a muddy area

2)   Ask counselors to spread mud over you

(two counselors will enhance the experience)

3)   Make sure it goes everywhere

4)   Smile

5)   Give hugs if happy

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Team Building Activity

The staff at Learning on the Log are infamous for making a great team-building game out of nothing.  Here is an example of how:

Find a log in the woods, and provide some rope...

Ask the group to use all the rope, everyone must participate, and carry the log from point A to point B.  In this case the group was asked to carry the log up a steep stair way...

Have a follow up discussion after the activity is completed.  This is the most rewarding and fruitful part of the whole team-building game.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Noodle Tag

Here is a new version of playing the Tag.

You Need:
  • People (4 or more for optimal fun)
  • Noodles (cut in half)
  • Good attitude

  1. One noodle per person
  2. Every person for themselves
  3. Can only hit below the waist
  4. 5 push ups in order to come re-join the game

Friday, April 15, 2011

DIR®/Floortime perpective

I was reading through Dr. Greenspan and Dr. Wieder's book "The child with Special needs".  At the beginning of chapter 10 (page 160) was an interesting scenario I wanted to highlight and reflect on.  There are so many times we, as playing partners, can become frustrated with the play or interaction.  Here is what Dr. Greenspan and Dr. Wieder described and then suggested.

Three-year-old Sam sat on the floor playing with a car.  Paul, his father, tried to join in.  "That's a nice car," Paul said.  "Look how fast you're moving it.  Look at it go.  Oh, now you're moving it slowly.  Now it's going to the right.  Now it's going to the left."  Since Sam was patently ignoring his father's running commentary, Paul tried to be more interactive.  He switched to questions.  "Can you move the car here?" he asked, cupping his hands into a a garage.  Sam continued to ignore him.  "Look here's a tunnel," Paul said making a tunnel with his hands.  "Can you drive the car through the tunnel?"  Again, Sam ignored him.  Paul decided to be commanding.  "Bring the car here," he ordered.  Sam didn't.  Finally, frustrated, Paul grabbed the car from his son and hid it behind his back.  Sam, predictably, threw a tantrum; then he sulked and refused to touch the car again.

Why did this encounter fail?  Paul was trying to interact above his son's developmental level.  Because of receptive and expressive language delays, Sam couldn't understand or respond to his father's words (although he heard them) or sophisticated gestures.  His father's sudden frustrated move to grab the car frightened Sam into a tantrum.  Had Paul found a way to interact with Sam through very simple gestures, the scene could have  gone quite differently.

With coaching, here is what happened next...

When Sam began rolling the car back and forth again, Paul got a second car and rolled it towards his son's.  Sam saw it coming and pulled his car out of the way, closing a circle of communication.  Next, Paul turned and chased Sam's car.  But this time Sam didn't pull his car away; he held it tight and let Paul crash it.  Another circle closed.  Over the next few minutes the game escalated as father and son chased each other with the cars, going first fast then slow, sometimes crashing and sometimes not.  At the end of the game, Paul again cupped his hands in front of Sam's car - this time not as a garage, but as a barrier.  With no hesitation Sam drove his car around his father's hands, understanding and responding to this more complex gesture.  The game had become a full-fledge, nonverbal dialogue.  

Feel free to share your opinion after reading these paragraphs.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Minute to Win It

These deceptively difficult games need to be completed in 60-seconds with ordinary household objects.  As each challenge is completed, the difficulty level increases. Each time we play we offers new twists and turns.  

Some examples of the challenges we have presented our guys: 

Below are some examples of games we could play in the future.  Find out more @
Stack 7 Ding Dongs on the forehead.
Use swim flippers to pick up a tortilla from the floor and flip it up onto a plate balanced on the head.
With one hand holding an upside down pizza tray, contestant rolls an egg onto it to collect four small upside-down stickers.
Wearing a baseball cap, contestant picks up a toothbrush from a toothbrush holder by hooking the bristles on the cap's brim, and then transports it to another toothbrush holder.
SPARE MEPut marbles into one end of a pool noodle, then roll them out the other end to knock over three standing sticks of sidewalk chalk.
Contestant alternately stacks 4 paper towel rolls and 4 eggs into one freestanding tower.
Stack 5 empty cans on a plastic plate floating in a large bowl of water.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Staff Reflection

We always encourage our staff to reflect on their experience with us.  It is an effective way to put the day into perspective and relive some of the interactions.  Here is one excerpt from last summer.  (Names have been altered due to confidentiality reasons)

Today was defiantly a tough day. I had two interactions this morning that were kinda different but ended in the same way and I just thought it was kinda interesting. Both Johnny and Suzy were upset about something (at different points in the morning) and I tried a few different ways of trying to get them to settle down but what worked the best for both was to have a plan of what we were going to do that was going to solve what they were upset about. In Johnny's case we needed a plan of something to do when we got into the pit. It turned into a top secret mission to push someone in the pit, but once that idea was planted in his head he was much more willing to entertain the idea of going in and playing. Although Suzie's case was a little different, the only way I could get her to stop crying was to have a plan to go talk to Armann about what was making her upset. I just thought it was kinda interesting how both situations could be so similar at the same time. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Summer Camp Swimming

Summer Camp is coming up shortly, so we wanted to feature one of our activities.  Swimming has always been a fan favorite and we expect this year to be no different...

There are 4 areas to choose from:
  1. Shallow end
  2. Splash Pad
  3. Deep end
  4. 2 slides

This activity will give the campers the opportunity to:
  • Enjoy social interactions while in the water
  • Improve on basic swim skills
  • Continue to strengthen new or existing peer relationships
  • Participate in team games that will challenge each child's problem solving and negotiation skills
  • Strengthen self help skills while in the locker room

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Many times we invent, adjust, or modify known sports or team building games.  Last week, there was a failed attempt to play hockey on an astroturf field, so we had to think fast.  In the van there was a bag of tennis racket and the goals were already set up...
So Tennis/Lacrosse was invented.

The Rules:

  1. Two teams
  2. Each person must have a tennis racket
  3. One tennis ball
  4. Each person is able to use both hands to secure the ball,
  5. Once the ball is secured, the person needs to run with the ball balanced on the racket face
  6. The other team could lightly bump the person with the ball
    1. This was reported as the best feature of the game
  7. We had two small goals to score on
    1. No goalie

Friday, February 25, 2011

5 Rules of Learning on the Log

We have thought long and hard and have come up with 5 great rules/suggestions/guidelines for how to support parents, volunteers, or counselors in training (CIT) when they are on our outings.

  1. Talk to the kids, not the adults
  1. Talk to the kids at their level
·      Adult conversations should be done in private or after the program

  1. Our main goal is to develop Relationships, thinking, and meaning, not compliance 
  1. Play so that you both have fun
·      Find the inner child in you

  1. When in doubt follow the Learning on the Log staff lead

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our First Award

We have been awarded our first blogging award!

Here are the rules for passing it on:

1.) Thank and Link back to the blog that gave you your award
2.) Share seven things about yourself.
3.) Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4.) Contact the bloggers to let them know you've given them an award.

7 things about Learning on the Log (Autism's Social Perspective):
  • We are a non profit in Atlanta, GA offering recreational/sensory programs that emphasize social and emotional growth
  • We are really two kids at heart who love working and playing with these children 
  • We love to talk about problems and analyze how we could do things differently or make things better
  • We are both big babies when it comes to surviving the winters in GA
  • We love Summer Camp and wish we could implement this program year round somehow
  • We believe in working hard and playing hard, taking time for what is important and living in the moment
  • We love reading your comments, so please come and visit our blog and share in this journey with us! 
We would like to highlight the following 15 wonderful blog sites you should visit:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The R in DIR®

At a recent Floortime seminar  we learned valuable information on how to Develop/Maintain/Deepen relationships (The R in DIR®):

1.      Create Shared Attention
2.      Have Shared Pleasure
3.      Expand Reciprocity
4.      Follow the Childs Lead
5.      Join
6.      Imitate
7.      Assist
8.      Persist
9.      Treat behavior as Intentional
10.   Act Dumb
11.   Be Playfully Obstructive
12.   Have Fun
13.   Reflect
14.   Process Your Own Experience

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fitness Test

WE DID IT, THEY ALL PASSED.  In one of our School Programs we have been working on our fitness levels by extending our warm up a little and running laps around the gym.  Initially we did one or two laps, and then extended it to three or four.  Our goal for the year was to be able to run 5 laps without stopping or walking,  but being comfortable with the idea has been just as challenging as actually physically running the laps.  Yesterday was test day.  Last week I described how this week was going to go, and how we were going to prepare for the big challenge.  In addition to warm up, Monday we ran 3 laps, Tuesday we ran 4, and Wednesday we ran all 5 laps.  There was some anxiety about the test, but once we completed the test I saw satisfaction and confidence within the group.  I am extremely proud of how had everyone has worked and how we have accomplished our goal of 5 laps around the gym.  
Having said that, we have a new goal... 15 laps by the end of the year.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Recipe for an Awesome Staff

In our line of work we have found (through much trial and error) that it is extremely difficult to find quality staff.  We ask a lot of our staff because we care deeply about our clients and have built a quality program which needs to be followed out with the staff that we hire:

It is not enough for them to "be good with kids"
It is not enough for them to have experience working with special needs children
It is not enough for them to be reliable and trustworthy employees
It is not enough for them to like working with children
It is not enough for them to love children, they must love OUR children
They must be all of these things and so much more because we won't settle for anything less.
Most of all, you know you've found the right staff when they love our children so much they take time out of their vacation/holiday schedules to come back just to play with and love on OUR children!
Thank you all for not only being our best employees, but for going above and beyond.