Take 2: An Innovative Program for Social Learning

Take 2 is a model program serving children with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism and their families. It affirmatively recruits a diverse group of children, serves families regardless of their ability to pay, and provides consultation to referring schools.
Apr 30, 2012

Take 2 Collaboration Yields Big Results

Since Take 2 began in 2004, clinician-researchers at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center have been integrally involved in developing the program’s curriculum.  Several years ago, the CASD doctors, together with Take 2 staff and teachers and administrators at the Ivymount School, developed and began piloting a novel approach to teaching children with autism spectrum disorders the important skills of flexibility, goal-setting and planning.  Difficulty with these and other “executive functions” are common in children with high functioning ASDs.   The collaboration has so far proved extremely fruitful: based on early successes, the National Institute of Mental Health awarded the group a grant to take the next step in testing the intervention:  the curriculum, called Unstuck & On Target, is now being tested in mainstream schools.  In addition, the curriculum has been published and is available to parents and educators who would like to give its methods a try.  The approaches described in the book are designed to be enjoyable and accessible and to integrate well into children’s real lives.  You can see the cover of the book at the top of this Project Update and you can  read more about it on the publisher’s website and on Amazon, which you’ll find links for below.  The forward to the book is by New York Times best-selling author John Elder Robison.  A training program for parents is part of the Unstuck curriculum and there are plans to publish soon the manual that accompanies this training. 

We are very proud that Take 2 played a key role in launching this much needed and so far extremely promising new intervention. 

As always, we thank you for your support for Take 2.  Also, we'd like you to know that in June Take 2 will participate in GlobalGiving’s “bonus day,” when all gifts will be matched.   We’ll be in touch with you before that to ask for your help. Please see below for links and for a glowing review of Unstuck & On Target.

With gratitude,

Lisa, Lynn & Monica

Here are links where you can learn more about Unstuck & On Target



And here's a recent review from Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars The most helpful book I've ever bought!, April 4, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Unstuck and on Target!: An Executive Function Curriculum to Improve Flexibility for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders, Research Edition (Paperback)
This book has helped me on so many levels help my son who has autism. I can take him shopping or take him to school; have him try new foods at a restaurant and even have him do something totally off his schedule and not have the meltdown explosive behaviors that he use to have. One of the things that this book teaches is that if I want him to be more flexible then I have to model what that looks like for him. I've learned to help him realize that when he is stuck that there are coping strategies that he can use. My son is so much more relaxed and I am so proud of how he is able to breathe and calm himself down rather quickly.

I recommend this book to anyone who has a child in need of being more flexible and goal directed!!

Apr 18, 2012

Looking forward to summer and back at the fall

Dear Take 2 Supporter,     

There's no "ask" here, none at all. You're getting this email because you've generously supported Take 2 in the past and we'd like to take a moment, as we prepare for our ninth summer (!) to thank you for your help and tell you a little about what went on at Take 2 this past fall.  Here is director Lynn Cannon's wrap-up:   

      This fall, some of our summer campers were reunited for a weekly social learning group that was designed to reinforce and expand on the skills and concepts they had learned over the summer.  The theme of the fall group was “learning to C.H.I.L.L.” This is also known as “hanging out.”  What’s involved in that?  You know, things like playing video games, enjoying a meal together, exchanging gifts – the goal was to simulate the ways that typical late elementary and early middle school students spend time with their friends.

To C.H.I.L.L you need to:

C- ompromise

H- idden rules (follow them!)

I- nitiate conversation

L- isten

L- augh, when everyone laughs

      Campers’ parents were also reunited in the fall program. Once a month, parents came together to discuss the group themes and generalization opportunities and to participate in our guest speaker series. Guest speakers included a speech and language pathologist who shared strategies for improving conversation skills, facilitating play dates and other peer interactions, and expanding social thinking. We were also joined by a local education advocate who provided tips on how to obtain appropriate special education services, and where and when to start the challenging search for the right middle school.

      Everyone took away something from our groups this fall. For parents, it was some useful planning tips and a chance to connect with a community of parents. For staff, it was the chance to see a group of boys re-unite and ultimately, and independently, “C.H.I.L.L” over a pizza dinner- laughing and chatting the whole time. Most importantly the campers had an opportunity to spend an hour each week re-connecting and enjoying time with their friends!

Thank you again for your generous support of Take 2.  We couldn't do it without you -- we really couldn't!


Lynn, Monica & Lisa

Oct 17, 2011

Take 2 Needs Your Help on Wednesday

Practicing friendship skills at Take 2
Practicing friendship skills at Take 2

Dear Friends of Take 2,

     Please consider a gift to Take 2 on Wednesday, October 19 as early in the day as possible.  GlobalGiving, our fundraising and communication partner, will match at 30 percent all gifts made on that day, beginning just after midnight Eastern Daylight Time the night before.  If you were thinking of an end-of-year gift, please consider making it a bit early to take advantage of this one-day match.  If you’ve never given to Take 2 before, we hope this incentive will appeal to you.  Gifts of up to $1,000 will be matched at the 30 percent level until GlobalGiving has exhausted $100,000.  We participated in this fundraiser last year and it gave us a very helpful boost.  Particularly since Global Giving partners with projects in different time zones around the world, it’s important to make your online gift early on Tuesday the 19th.  And if you can go one step further and post this fundraiser to your Facebook or Twitter account, that would be wonderful and very much appreciated. 

      While GlobalGiving has a big-sounding name and collaborates with large corporations to attract donations from their employees to projects like ours (employers like Gap distribute $10 or $20 gift cards to employees who use them then give to to the charity of their choice), we think you’ll be interested to know that Take 2’s relationship to GlobalGiving is very personal and accessible.  We learned of GlobalGiving from a neighbor who worked there.  GlobalGiving's creative and enthusiastic staff have helped us in a variety of ways that have benefitted our shoestring operation. They boosted Take 2 in a local radio show earlier this year and obtained newspaper coverage of our camp the year before. They have connected us with numerous small donors we would not have reached otherwise and provide us a platform for communicating with our supporters.  We're proud that GlobalGiving thinks of us as one of their success stories and we hope you'll feel good about giving to us through such a terrific organization. 

     Here’s a link to our Project Page on Global Giving, where you can make your donation on a one-time basis or as a monthly recurring contribution.  http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/teaching-children-with-autism/

     In addition, here’s a link to a really terrific story that ran on the front page of the Sunday New York Times a few weeks ago, describing the challenges that face individuals with autism spectrum disorders as they transition to adulthood.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/us/autistic-and-seeking-a-place-in-an-adult-world.html?_r=1&scp=5&sq=autism&st=cse (Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World)

     At Take 2 we know it takes more than strong cognitive ability and verbal skills to succeed at work and in the community.  Take 2 helps children in their quest to obtain the keys to the social kingdom we all live in.  Please give as generously as you can as early as possible on Wednesday, October 19th.  We thank you very much. 

Warmly and gratefully,

Lynn Cannon, Monica Adler Werner & Lisa Greenman

Take 2 Camp Director Lynn Cannon
Take 2 Camp Director Lynn Cannon


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