Autism Specialist Daniel O’Connell has joined the staff of the Mind Matters Clinic. He will interview students and their parent/guardian, teachers and therapists. He also will observe the young clients in schools and other settings to report on strengths and challenges.
With a master’s of science degree from Cal State East Bay, O’Connell has 26 years of experience as a K-12 educator, having taught self-contained classrooms from second through eighth grade. He has also served as a school-wide counselor and interpersonal skills instructor and mentored homeschooling families. O’Connell and his wife, Mary, who has also been an educator for more than 25 years, and their two children live in Sonora.
Among O’Connell’s first assignments will be to facilitate the “Summer Adventures in Teamwork” program, which will be offered beginning June 18. Based on social-thinking concepts developed by Michelle Garcia-Winner, groups will receive instruction and practice working or playing with a partner and in groups. Some specific concepts to be covered include brainstorming, disagreeing appropriately and compromising. There will be craft activities, games, sports, food and music.
Participating youngsters will meet for 15 hour-long sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in age-appropriate groups: 5 to 7 years old, 10 a.m.; 8 to 10, 11:30 a.m.; 11 to 13, 1 p.m. Sessions will not be held Thursday, July 4. Information may be obtained, and reservations made, by calling 728-2184. For more information about Mind Matters, go to mindmattersclinic.org.