Science agrees that all children progress through a series of developmental steps. Some children may not progress through all of the steps, may miss some pieces of a step, or even skip a step altogether. When this occurs there are holes found in that individual’s abilities as they continue to grow.
How many pieces are missing determines how and where your levels of functioning will be. Parents and teachers who come to support a participant are constantly saying, “I needed this! I think everyone needs this!” They are correct… we all have little pieces missing somewhere… and everyone can benefit from this program. However, if someone is missing too many pieces, it begins to hinder a person from reaching their full potential. When enough pieces are missing, it can result in a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD or Executive Functioning Disorder. A few more pieces missing can result in someone being diagnosed as on the Autism Spectrum— the number of characteristics directly correlating with the number of pieces that are missed.
So, if we can fill in the missing pieces in a systematic and complete way- we are going to find that the characteristics begin to fall away and natural growth occurs in those missing areas… allowing for removal of barriers, lifelong learning and full participation in life.
In order to reach full potential, there are three stages that need to be completed:
- Learning Readiness Tools: These tools and techniques create a mental state that is present, aware and ready for learning. Tools can be helpful for sustaining attention, focusing, following directions, communicating, relieving stress/anxiety, reducing constant movement… and more. We use a variety of methods to assist this process: visual, auditory or tactile depending on the participant’s natural strengths.
- Self-Development and Awareness: Developing a sense of self is the first step –it is the first stage of natural development. People on the spectrum have often partially got there but not fully… resulting in inaccurate perceptions, sensory overload, hypo/hyper sensitivities, meltdowns and blockages in learning. Learning is much more than memorized knowledge. Learning requires that the participant is actively involved, empowered and making connections to their own experiences. In order for this connection to happen- one must have a good sense of self to connect learning to. Once this connection is made, learning happens naturally.
This stage of the program consists of the series of core life concepts found naturally in development. These concepts are necessary for functioning effectively and confidently in this world. Concepts such as change, consequence, time, sequence and order. Active engagement is assured through a series of interesting, powerful, multimodal (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) learning steps:
- Participant discovers the concept through instruction and investigation.
- The concept in clay, empowering them with the learning process (Link why clay?)
- Directed exploration with support. Making lasting and meaningful connections to real life situations.
- Self-directed application and experimentation in their everyday life- resulting in lifelong learning, confidence and ability to reach their fullest potential.
There are a series of over thirty life concepts. Each concept builds easily off the prior concept and flows naturally into the next concept. Explorations of each concept can be embedded into everyday activities and routines and adjusted according to age, ability level, interests, pace and environment to ensure comfort of the participant. Because we are addressing the root concepts behind different struggles and behaviors- we do not need to specifically address each behavior. Instead, we address the root, and the result is a wide range of changes… many different behavioral patterns come from one root.
“I brought my son in for a program when we were at our wits end. He was yelling, arguing, biting, broke a window and basically turning our family upside-down. Meltdowns were happening every time we wanted to do something or go somewhere. We took the program 6 months ago. Our Rocky Point Academy facilitator, never once brought up any of these behaviors specifically, but instead focused on what things ‘could’ be like. I noticed right away that he was calmer and less aggressive; however, not in my wildest dreams did I expect what we got… it has been half a year and there has not been one meltdown or outburst! Of course, he doesn’t agree to everything, but we now have a way of getting to the root, making the needed change and moving forward. He is going new places, trying new things, taking on chores without being asked, is willing to give up his iPad to do things, and is getting himself up and ready for school without a fight. Such a huge difference and all without force or negativity! I never thought this could be possible. I always ‘loved’ my son, but now I can ‘enjoy’ him every day. Thank you!!!”
- Theory of Mind: understanding that others have different thoughts, feelings, intents and desires than our own, and that those differences come from their personal experiences (very helpful for those who often argue when someone has a differing opinion)
- Types of relationships
- How relationships work
- How to make good choices within those relationships
- Discerning healthy from unhealthy relationships
I find that my daughter’s social interactions have improved enormously. She interacts with her friends and acquaintances in a way that is more socially acceptable.
Mom, Asperger’s, teen
Rocky Point Academy is a BBB accredited business since 2002.