Sienna Ranch SEED Group
GRADES: Ages 7-12
PRICE: See our class list page
Sienna Ranch SEED Social Groups are specifically designed for children with special needs who are looking for a unique opportunity to participate in age-appropriate activities, hands-on learning, animal interaction, hiking, group games and social reciprocity activities at our 21 acre Ranch in the hills of Lafayette. We always strive to find innovative, fun and effective ways to tie in all of our lessons to life on the Ranch. The Social Groups aim to leave all students with a positive association with each other, the Ranch, our animals and our environment.
NOTE ON AIDES: Sienna Ranch asks that if your student has a 1:1 behavioral aide that they attend together (extra support in this outdoor classroom sets students up for success!). We do not allow parent/guardians as aides.
More Information about the SEED Program
SEED Social Group Class Requirements
Sienna Ranch SEED Social Group Students are:
- Happy to get a bit dirty and be outside in all weather
- Able to stay with a group with no more than two adult prompts
- Curious and excited to push themselves in a different learning environment
- Able to effectively communicate their needs (e.g., using the bathroom, needing some space)
- Able to appropriately protest using words and/or communication device
- Willing to work with staff if behavioral challenges come up
- Able to follow verbal directions (e.g., “We’re going to the buckeye tree”, “Please walk”) in an outdoor environment filled with distractions
- Gentle with people and animals
Note- students who are not able to do the above should be accompanied by a 1:1 aide for the duration of the class.
Every day at the Ranch, our class aims to:
- Complete at least one hands on activity
- Engage with peers in a positive way
- Practice social skills
- Learn to negotiate appropriately with both peers and adults
- Practice effective communication
- Maintain attention for a short period of time to both peers, adults and activities
- Visit one of our beloved Ranch animals
- Play a group game outside
- Do a minimum of one physical activity
Sienna Ranch SEED Program Core Values
Sienna Ranch SEED Social Group Program Core Values
Our goal is to provide nurturing, engaging, social and fun experience for all children
We value a program which:
- Develops a lifelong positive association with each other, the outdoors and animals
- Our unique location at the Ranch allows us the freedom to enrich children’s experiences through activities, outdoors and projects
- Small class sizes allow us to become familiar with and work with your aide and work through challenges when necessary
- Students learn to have meaningful relationships with each other in a semi-structured, stress-free and creative environment
- Student can develop a greater understanding and connection by working with and being with our animals
- A greater appreciation for being outdoors, for our bodies and learning the ability to learn while outdoors
- Creates a positive and reciprocal relationships between peers
- An environment of total acceptance and kindness
- Maximises the benefit of learning at an educational ranch
- We spend time outside each day learning about our animals, our garden, and our land
- We endeavor to tie our curriculum to the Ranch as much as possible in imaginative, fun, and effective ways
What is Fun?
What is “Fun”?
- Fun can be exciting, trying something new and being flexible
- Fun can be using your imagination, like telling a story or imagining what might happen if…
- Fun can be being creative, like making art or building something
- Fun can be overcoming a challenge, like finishing an activity or problem solving with a peer
- Fun can be socializing, like laughing with friends
- Fun can be discovery, like exploring something or somewhere new
- Fun can be expressing yourself, like singing, chatting or telling a joke
Meet the Instructor
Lead Teacher: Lindsay Shannon
- Lindsay Shannon has more than 15 years experience working with children ages 2-17 years of age in school settings, preschools, early intervention programs (as a manager and tutor), day-cares, IEP’s, as a private family consultant, and within outdoor education programs.
- Prior to working with children with Autism, Lindsay worked with teenagers who are Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED).
- Lindsay’s experience includes, but is not limited to, making behavior plans, creating self-help and school goals, parent/staff training, facilitated peer play dates, writing ABA curriculum, behavior modification, designing teaching tools using a variety of visuals/behavioral techniques, teaching age-appropriate skills, making and supporting home programs, PECS, school support, food flexibility, sleep issues, rigidity, self-injurious behavior techniques, joint attention, flexibility, creating structure and predictability using visuals, motor skills, speech/language, OT and sensory regulation strategies.
- Lindsay has been teaching the Sienna Ranch Social Group (formerly known as the Wellspring Class) since 2016.
Resources for educators & families (also see books below)
How to talk to students about neurodiversity
Self regulation information and behavioral strategies
Books for instructors/educators and parents
- Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind, & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD, or Sensory Disorders By Teresa Garland
- A Practical Guide to Autism: What Every Parent, Family Member, and Teacher Needs to Know By Fred R. Volkmar and Lisa Wiesner
- The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder By Carol Kranowitz
- 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s ByVeronica Zysk and Ellen Notbohm
- The Autism Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers By Paula Kluth
- An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn By Sally J. Rogers, Gerarn
- Managing Anxiety in People with Autism: A Treatment Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Mental Health Professionals By Anne M. Chalfant