All Kinds of News for April 11, 2018
Trails Carolina, a wilderness therapy program that helps adolescents and teens ages 10-17, celebrates neurodiversity at their program this April by observing Autism Awareness Month. Several staff members recently had the chance to attend the Autism Symposium taking place in Asheville, North Carolina on April 2nd and 3rd, 2018.
In a wilderness setting, students on the autism spectrum are removed from the stimulus-rich environments that many find overwhelming.
“Wilderness therapy helps slow everything down for students and allows them to focus on gaining social skills and practicing transitions in a calm, slow paced environment,” says Ashley Brown, primary therapist at Trails Carolina. “At Trails, our focus on practicing and supporting students through transitions helps students form the habits necessary to break free from the rigidity they once experienced and carry the skills they learned in one environment to the next.”
When students feel that their senses are overloaded, therapeutic staff at Trails use coping strategies such as weighted objects and fidget toys. Additionally, many groups incorporate quiet self reflection time to prevent students on the spectrum from feeling overwhelmed by senses.
“We help students practice engaging in social interactions and understanding visual social cues,” says Brown. “We do this through role-play scenarios and in day to day interactions with their peers. By building social and communication skills, we help students gain the tools to build deeper, lasting relationships with peers and family members.”
About Trails Carolina
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy.