All Kinds of News for October 04, 2017
Cabin Mountain Living Center is one of three options in the Q&A Associates family of programs. Cabin Mountain was developed when the leadership of Q&A recognized an increase in the number of young adult clients who needed longer term care. These young adults are challenged with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Developmental Delays and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
The clients of Cabin Mountain Living Center can live within the structure of the program as long as is warranted on an individual basis. The goal for the clients is to facilitate opportunities and supports which allow them to reach the highest levels of independence possible, with lives of purpose and meaning.
Mark Shockley, MSW, LGSW, is the Director of Cabin Mountain Living Center. Mark began working for Q&A Associates as a Mentor with Applewood Transitions while completing his MSW at West Virginia University. Mark never intended to work with the young adult population in general, and certainly not with the clients who live at Cabin Mountain. His goal was to work with addicts and specifically, pregnant women struggling with addiction. Mark is in recovery himself, which affords him a unique view of those living with addiction. However, when his MSW program was complete in 2014, he was offered the position of Director at Cabin Mountain, and he accepted. “While I didn’t plan to work with this population, I feel very fortunate to do so,” he said. Mark has worked in every position within the structure of Cabin Mountain and has been a part of the team, along with his wife, Merisa, that developed the program structure, model and the leadership of Q&A Associates. “The program model for this population is ever changing as we respond to the specific needs of our clientele,” continued Shockley.
Along with his team at Cabin Mountain, Shockley has recently implemented a modified token economy as part of the daily programming. “Working with this population, you realize quickly that they truly need some level of immediate gratification, and the token economy can meet that need,” said Shockley. The staff of Cabin Mountain utilizes the token economy within the structure of allowing natural consequences to occur for each client. It is important to ensure that while the clients can accumulate tokens throughout the day, they also understand that their behaviors and choices are their own and are directly connected to the real life situations they must navigate. Achieving this result requires a lot of management and team work, and the staff at Cabin Mountain do an excellent job. “The downfall of the token economy occurs as soon as it is utilized as a punishment/reward system, so we must be diligent to ensure this never happens,” said Shockley. “This system works because we have a talented group of individuals, including Asst. Director Kelly Gooding and an incredible team of mentors; Ellis Wyatt, who came to us as an intern, was instrumental in developing our version of the token economy and mentors Patricia Thompson, MA, and Tyler Shockley provide input and daily management with a great deal of care and quality.”
Shockley talks about the rewards of working with the Cabin Mountain clientele, “Helping each client maximize his or her level of safe independence is just awesome!” Anytime a client comes to share a success, it reminds Shockley that he is a part of their family and they want him to be proud of them. “Seeing a client achieve independence, living on his or her own and self-managing is the best reward of all!”
About Cabin Mountain Living Center
Cabin Mountain is operated as a communal environment on a 15 acre farm where clients care for goats, a pot-bellied pig, chickens, cats and dogs. They also care for a garden in the summer months and learn the importance of the foods they eat by working with a nutritionist regularly. The male and female clients share common spaces, but enjoy private sleeping areas as well as two resource areas featuring an educational area and a newly developed sensory room. For more information on Cabin Mountain, please contact Angie Shockley, CEO and Owner of Q&A Associates at 304-642-9070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.