You couldn’t access your prior experience?
The only experiences you could access were negative?
Your stories were filled with fear, failure and self-doubt?
You couldn’t access your prior experience? What if the only experiences you could access were negative? What if our stories were filled with fear, failure and self-doubt?
We are all made up of stories. The stories we tell ourselves. The stories others tell about us. The messages that lie within these stories hold immense power. Our experiences provide the inspiration for our stories. The latest research from the field of neuroscience indicates that people on the spectrum and other related conditions, such as ADHD greatly struggle to encode, organize and retrieve prior experiences in a productive way that serves as a resource for the future self.
Our team has spent the past six years working alongside Dr. Steven Gutstein to better understand the complexity of this process, along with how to treat it. We have developed a highly effective model that emphasizes personalized, experience-based learning as the keystone to developing a strong sense of self.
What if we could change this?
Our model focuses first on strengthening the experiencing system so that students become more mindful of the roller coaster of thoughts and feelings they are having throughout the day. Many students we work with feel overwhelmed and confused by their feelings, therefore they just react to them often leading to unpleasant results. We work to help students connect with their feelings in order to understand them. We empower them to begin viewing feelings as information, cues that help them to make sense of the world around them.
I can change my own story.
Students learn to write and re-write their own stories. They begin to challenge old beliefs about themselves. They learn to activate their minds when needed. Once students begin to develop a greater understanding and awareness of their internal self, we begin carefully staging experiences that allow them to practice using their internal cues to navigate increasingly more complex situations. Students learn to use prior saved experiences to prepare for upcoming goals and challenges. They prepare for the feelings and thoughts that they may encounter and potential ways they may respond. This process is very dynamic and is not about teaching a scripted response, but rather preparing the self to respond in an authentic and dynamic manner. Their stories begin to change, the sense of self begins to emerge.
Learning to Fly
Over time, our students begin to experience themselves in a new way. They begin to perceive challenge as an invitation, rather than threat. The motivation to move towards growth grows stronger each day as students develop the mental agility needed to navigate daily life successfully. The internal dialogue transforms from, “I can’t,” to “I want to try,”.
The process of growth is ever-changing and is continuously adapting to meet the needs and desires of each individual. We work to enable each student’s ability to fight through personal challenges and meet their fullest potential! It takes time as the experiences are authentic and the change is genuine and lasting. Together with our students and families, we change the story…one experience at a time.
Through meaningful experiences, the narrative begins to transform.
"I’m scared to fly"
"I want to try"
"I wonder what it will feel like"
"I think I can do it"
"Here I go, I’m doing it. I’m flying"
“It was hard, but I did it. I am brave...”