The Gramon Family Transition Program is continuously growing and evolving to help prepare our young adults for the world after graduation. The core values of our Transition Program are to provide our high school students with as many opportunities for both employment training and community-based programming. These opportunities are customized to the individual but are rooted in the belief that the more exposure and the more practice they better the outcome. The program has three core components: Employment, Life Skills, and Community Based Instruction.
The Journey Begins at age 14
Students begin exposure to work-based opportunities at age 14 which coincides with their first year of transition. At ages 14-15 students may participate in various introductory job programs on campus. With the assistance of a job coach, opportunities in our maintenance program (“Clean Sweep”) and our clerical program, (“Copy That”) are afforded to our students to get them acclimated to work. For example, students will learn to take direction from a job coach, report to their site on time, and learn how to build up stamina and endurance for work-related tasks. Furthermore, many of the tasks presented in their life skills programming are carried over into these employment settings and serve to reinforce these skills in other locations. Collaboration between job coaches, therapists, teachers and BCBAs is integral in order to establish a strong work foundation and build self-esteem and confidence in our students.
Structured Learning Exepriences (SLE)
Upon turning 16, students are then exposed to Structured Learning Experiences (SLE). The SLE program opens up the vocational training opportunities for our students to both on-site and in the community (See SLE locations). During SLE it is crucial to provide our high school students with a variety of work-based opportunities to help them develop interests and identify their strengths. Development of soft skills is critical during these years so that students can apply what they have learned to numerous job sites and locations. Soft skills include, cooperation, asking for help when needed, problem solving, hygiene, etc. The reinforcement of these critical skills in conjunction with exposure to various opportunities has proved to be effective for our students preparing to graduate. It helps to equip them with skills, confidence and comfort to apply for jobs in various areas of interest.
Community Based Instruction (CBI)
To coincide with the introduction to vocational opportunities, students begin the process of programming within the local community. Community based instruction (CBI) involves the generalization of skills practiced in the classroom or school setting into the real world. CBI locations are selected to help reinforce goals and objectives worked on in the various disciplines at the school. The locations include, grocery stores, eateries, recreation locations, and more. To coincide with the school’s collaborative approach, related service teams work with the classroom staff on what is referred to as “Infusion.” Infusion is the teaming up of these disciplines to work on staging community-based trips within the school setting in order to practice for the real trips. Related Service teams can identify and address a variety of skill sets and IEP goals while in the community that are necessary for independence and adult living. As students age through their transition years, CBI may become more individualized based on the needs of the student. For example, students at age 18 may participate in Community Coaching which involves accessing the community in a one-on-one setting. This allows the teacher and/or therapist to work more intimately with the student on community skills that are needed prior to graduation.
Activities for Daily Living (Adl)
Life skills programming is the third component in the transition program and ties in well with the other two components listed above. Utilizing our on-campus apartments, individualized programming is developed to enhance areas that are necessary for adult living and post-21 placements. Students are exposed to and practice life skills such as, bed making, laundry, table setting, vacuuming, etc. Reinforcement of these critical life skills are carried over into classroom activities, community-based programming and even specific vocations.