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PALS October 2015 - ICONz Founder Dr. Russ Johnson

PALS Meeting Minutes

October 7, 2015 9:30 a.m.

Roots of Faith 800 Main Street Sharpsburg, PA 15215


Dr. Russ Johnson: Founder of ICONz,a program designed to teach students social concepts in an effort to assist them in lessening their anger, anxiety, and confusion in everyday social situations.

Michael Carpenter: Studied under Dr. Johnson and now works with him as a team leader in bringing the ICONz program to school districts and other non-profit organizations in an effort to assist students and their families.

Dr. Johnson developed the 9 Basic Skills taught within ICONz while in private practice, using ICONz with people of all ages, including people with ASD, Anxiety, and ADHD.

ICONz was then developed into a curriculum for Middle School and High School age children with lesson plans for small group instruction (3-10 participants) using a mediation delivery technique, ranging from 12 to 24 weeks. Monthly parent support meetings are also provided to help develop a common language at home.

The lessons are based on teaching the participants to solve a problem for themselves or asking for help from those around that they trust. Over the course of the initial 12 week period participants experienced decreased anxiety and increased social awareness.

ICONz 9 Basic Skills: Participants are taught the following along with corresponding "icons":

Watch Your Speed: learning to self regulate, don't get ahead of the situation or yourself

Get the Big Picture: context awareness

Find the Middle Ground: compromise, most often life is not black and/or white but grey

Take Your Turn: reciprocity, life is give and take cooperating with others is essential

Flex Your Mind: adaptation, life is not a one way street

Change is OK: acceptance, things change in life and it is okay

Stop Yourself: self regulation, take a moment before moving forward and assess

Take Another Look: reevaluate, review and revisit a situation before finalizing

Talk to Other People: verbal communication, understand what others think or feel

ICONz is offered at the Parents in Toto Resource Center location in Zelienople. Dr. Johnson and Mr. Carpenter are also available to begin other small groups in areas around Pittsburgh.

Dr. Johnson provided the following two documents (click to open, download, and print):

For further information on ICONz please contact Dr. Russ Johnson directly at or Michael Carpenter at


Next Meeting: November 18, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Fox Chapel Area High School LGI Room 611 Field Club House Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (park in the back and use the Athletic Department entrance)

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