Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Social skills training, in a therapeutic boarding school.

Sorensons ranch has recently undergone a change in the program that encourages positive reinforcement, teaches social skills, and gives responsibility to students to acknowledge how to improve behavior. Where points were mostly used as a negative consequence to correct behavior, the emphasis on the new program is recognizing positive behavior and awarding points accordingly, when negative behaviors must be addressed, students are given the option of recognizing how they could improve and minimizing point loss. This makes every staff and teacher a partner of the therapist, and encourages all interaction to tie back to the therapy. Positive reinforcement increases an individual’s tendency to adopt a new practice over time. This conditioning method has gained popularity over other operant conditionings, because it creates a positive learning environment preferred by therapists, staff, and teachers in the classroom. Students are also encouraged to do behavioral role play, which involves practicing new skills during therapy in simulated situations. Social skills training is not a specific curriculum, but rather a collection of practices that use a behavioral approach for teaching age-appropriate social skills and competencies, including communication, problem solving, decision making, self-management, and peer relations. As staff and students readjust to a different way of helping clients the effectiveness of the program will continue to improve.

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