All Kinds of News for February 14, 2018
Seven Stars, a residential treatment center and assessment program for teens ages 13-18, utilizes a behavioral management system for students based on positive reinforcement and immediate feedback. Based on ABA best practices, our system uses frequent feedback and immediate points which promotes important life skills and behaviors. Instead of using a traditional level system, which can be frustrating for students with significant executive function deficits, this system provides the opportunity to reset quickly if a students has a rough patch.
"Our students do best when they have frequent coaching and feedback and when they can reset quickly from a difficult time.” comments Dr. Gordon Day, Executive Clinical Director and Founder of Seven Stars.
Each day, students are divided into four teams which focus on improving and encouraging a specific set of behaviors. These teams are: Safety, Cooperation, Relationships and Leadership. Each team is focused on a specific set of expectations and moving through the teams builds confidence and emotional regulation. Students can be on any team at any given time, depending on what they are working on that day. As students gain skills and improve behaviors, there is a progression as they move from Safety team into the Leadership team. As students go about their day, staff members check in and go over the progress students are making. Feedback and awarding of points happens in a very timely, immediate fashion.
"With every change in activity, (every 1 to 2 hours), staff meet with each team and ask them questions about their progress,” said Dr. Day. "For example, on the Safety team, one of the behaviors students are focused on improving is following directions the first time. We’ll ask them ‘How did you do on following directions the first time?’ These questions encourage them to think about their behavior during the time they were on the Safety Team. We then ask them to give us a specific example of the ways in which they carried out the behavior effectively.”
Dr. Day explained, "Based on what students display in terms of concrete behaviors, we provide feedback. This feedback focuses on the positive elements of their behaviors rather than what students may have done wrong. "
Students earn "pluses” and "points” based on the behaviors they exhibit during each team session. Pluses allow students to move up to the next team. Points can be used at a store on campus in exchange for items like fidget toys and snacks.
"The behavioral management system we have put in place focuses on what students have done correctly and helps students understand what they are doing well," comments Day. "This positive feedback is continued throughout the day. After implementing this system, we’ve seen a dramatic improvement in each student’s behaviors. Students have undergone a significant amount of growth due to this system.”
About Seven Stars
Seven Stars is a premier therapeutic program for teens ages 13-17 struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Learning Disorders (verbal or nonverbal). Seven Stars " treatment model takes a revolutionary shift from normal therapy methods. By combining acute care stabilization, with residential treatment and academics, true multidisciplinary assessment and treatment, outdoor experiential therapy and positive psychology, Seven Stars therapeutic program understands, assesses and builds the confidence and skills of students struggling with neurodevelopmental disorders.