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Behavior Enhancement

Prior to admission, many boys and girls experience behavioral problems at home, school or in the community. Often, these problems cross over to other areas and involve conflict with parents, siblings, teachers, classmates, friends and neighbors. We address problematic behaviors while simultaneously focusing on a child’s clinical and educational needs.

In order to experience success, we teach and encourage our patients to learn to self-regulate and self-manage their own behaviors. This practice is in preparation for life in the home community, also known as the “real world.” Part of the process involves learning to replace old behaviors with new, more healthy and effective ways of functioning within the family, neighborhood, school and other areas of life.

One of the ways we teach boys and girls to do this is through the utilization of our Behavior Enhancement System. This is an important piece of the treatment milieu and life on campus. It is based on the notion that positive reinforcement can be used to teach, increase and maintain adaptive behaviors. Negative behaviors will decrease when positive behaviors are reinforced and supported.

We provide consistent and understandable rewards and privileges and consequences as a mechanism through which children and adolescents can develop personal control and accept responsibility for their own behavior.

This system provides ongoing opportunities for our patients to practice new pro-social behaviors, receive corrective feedback, make adjustments to their behavior and practice new skills again. This feedback loop for enhancement of learning is repeated throughout the course of treatment.

Our staff creates a therapeutic and supportive environment using guidelines and interventions to address numerous patient behaviors. Progress and treatment interventions are evaluated ongoing and reliable behavioral data is recorded and included in the Master Treatment Plan and subsequent monthly updates.

We focus initially on learning appropriate basic skills and following simple to moderately complex instructions. As patients progress to higher program levels within the Behavior Enhancement System, they gain additional privileges, begin to refine basic skills and experience more productive and responsible responses to their social and academic actions. Ultimately, patients acquire the tools necessary to resolve emotional conflicts and cope with interpersonal interactions.

Other areas of importance include:
  • strengthening basic social skills
  • increasing task completion without distraction or disruption
  • beginning to recognize cause and effect relationships with regard to feelings and behavior