All Kinds of News for February 03, 2016
Gateway Academy (UT) introduces the Gateway House, a residential home in a family neighborhood located around the corner from Gateway Academy’s main campus. In this smaller eight-bed setting, boys have the chance to try out fledgling skills in an atmosphere of greater flexibility and freedom. It’s a period of applying the treatment gains they’ve made to new contexts — with the full safety net and support of Gateway Academy.
Students will continue in individual therapy, family therapy and group therapy as well, though the topics and focus will largely shift to transition planning and the future. Along with student perspective, and taking into account the possibility of regression during this delicate transition period, the Transition Therapist monitors the student’s progress at every step.
During this final phase of our program, the emphasis shifts from clinical intensity to community-based in vivo (real life) interventions and increased independent choices. From getting himself up, fed and ready for school to deciding how to balancing free time with electronics, fitness, work/volunteering, each student — within his individual abilities — is given the chance to test and refine new skills little by little.
SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIONS START HERE
Research consistently points to two factors found in successful outcomes:
1) active family participation and
2) opportunities for practicing and solidifying new skills in the community.
Months before discharge from Gateway House, each boy’s therapist will work closely with his parents and our experienced Transition Therapist to design a transition plan. The future is the focus, and this phase includes forays into the community, structured interventions, visits home and more independent experiences. The level of structure and support each student needs at Gateway House and will need post-Gateway — as determined by his family and treatment team — highlights the roadmap for his transition.
During his time at the Gateway House, we begin to focus on mirroring what life will look like beyond our walls. During regular home visits, students are assigned tasks such as interviewing new therapists, visiting new school settings, interviewing for jobs, and locating recreational outlets in the home setting.
With each consecutive home visit, layers of responsibility and stressors are added, so that by the final visit, each young man’s schedule and experience looks just like it will when he leaves Gateway. Both students and families can visualize what to expect; what’s more, he’s had the chance to practice over and over again the skills and self-advocacy he will rely on every day at home.