Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Transition from a Person-Centred to a Program-Centred Educational Model at a Treatment Centre School Serving Individuals with a Complex Dual Diagnosis and Individuals with Autism and Its Impact on Students' Challenging Behaviour

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Transition from a Person-Centred to a Program-Centred Educational Model at a Treatment Centre School Serving Individuals with a Complex Dual Diagnosis and Individuals with Autism and Its Impact on Students' Challenging Behaviour

Article excerpt

Educational settings are the source of much of the initial screening and subsequent treatment focusing on prevention and modification of the behavioral manifestations of mental illness, autism and other associated challenges. In spite of efforts to keep students with special needs in the mainstream school system, at times the complex challenging needs of these students require them to attend long term therapeutic, educational day programs based at treatment centres. Despite evidence supporting the adoption of such therapeutic educational models at schools serving individuals unable to function in the typical school system, regulations from district school boards may require the adoption of a curriculum goal orientated, program centred model.

Following this reality, this paper will explore the impact of an imposed adherence to such regulations at a day treatment program for adolescents with complex disabilities including developmental disability, Autism, mental health conditions and behavioural challenges. Before the transition to a curriculum Program-Centred model, the students within the educational treatment program experienced an individualized Person-Centred approach in which, in addition to their educational program they also received therapeutic interventions of various Expressive Arts modalities, sensory based Occupational Therapy, and social and communication interventions. …

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