Individual Service Plans for Students with Special Needs:
- Clinical Psychology
- Vocational Support
- Life Management
- Educational Services
- Psychiatric Services
Individual Service Plans
Our services are centered around each client's Individualized Service Plan (ISP). The initial plan is developed at intake using input from the student and family, transcripts, standardized test scores, psycho-educational reports, and results from vocational assessments administered by New Directions. Long and short term goals will be developed in three areas; education and vocational, life management, and psychosocial. The ISP will be re-evaluated three times a year (i.e., December, May, and August) in order to assess progress in each area, the plan’s effectiveness, and to make any adjustments.
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The New Directions Counseling Center is free to all students who are enrolled in the New Directions program. All students receive one personal counseling session and one group social skills training session per week free of charge. Dr. Rubin and other staff psychologists are also available daily to meet with students on an ongoing basis. The college years can be a developmentally difficult period. It's a time when youths are forming their identities and moving from childhood to adulthood. Research tells us that Mental illnesses often develop in people during their late teens and early 20s.
Some students arrive to college with unresolved childhood issues or traumas. Others struggle with living away from home for the first time. They may face problems at the university -- challenging classes or the breakup of a romantic relationship -- or may be upset by world events. Students with special needs also present with a unique set of psychological challenges.
The New Directions Program is committed to a Multidisciplinary approach to service integration. All our staff formally meets each week to review each client’s progress and needs. This enables our services to be targeted and implemented most efficiently and comprehensively.
Vocational Assessment Services
The important process of choosing a career requires that several factors be considered. Personal abilities are essential to consider in deciding on a job. Interests, personal preferences, and life experiences also play an important part in helping select an occupation in which you will be satisfied. Research has shown that individuals have a better chance of being satisfied in an occupation if their interests are similar to those of people already employed in that occupation. Career assessments are used to ascertain our clients' likes and dislikes. These results point out areas where our clients' interests match and do not match other people who are working in various occupations. Therefore, the results can help to understand how individual preferences fit into the world of work. Results are designed to be an aid to help reach the career decision that will be most satisfying for each student/client.
Tried and true standardized assessment tools are utilized. Such tools have been revised and updated through many decades of research and provide the latest, most thorough information available relating career interests, personality, and work environments. These assessments will expand each of our client's understanding of both themselves and their career options.
Vocational Placement Services
When they are ready, clients are supported in procuring first intern and then full pay positions in their field of choice. Students are assisted with resume writing, mock interviews, and transportation to employment sites.
Life Management Skills
All students will have their life management skills levels assessed upon beginning the program in order to determine the appropriate level of services.
Students develop the skills and processes needed to organize and maintain their home
Students are taught to identify cooking tools, find recipes and gather ingredients, cook a multi-step meal independently, how to clean up after a meal, how to adjust a recipe for the number of people being fed, and appropriate table manners.
While all students are provided transportation to and from school, shopping, required outside appointments, and weekend social activities, they are increasingly encouraged to become more independent. Mobility skills may include: obtaining a driver’s permit or license, using map quest, reading a city/state map, utilizing a variety of transportation (i.e. taxi, bus, Tri-Rail), identifying locations of needed services, locating businesses in the yellow pages or online.
Students are taught the skills necessary for budgeting, paying bills, on-line banking, controlling impulse spending, basic consumer awareness, check writing, and how to obtain a money order.
Students are instructed in medication management, drug and alcohol awareness, sexual awareness, familiarity of their own medical history (including allergies, names of doctors, insurance, medications, etc.), basic health care when ill or injured, how to maintain health documents, and the benefits of regular exercise.
Hygiene and Grooming
Students are taught to identify appropriate attire for different occasions and to pay attention to personal cleanliness/hygiene.
Students are taught how to identify an emergency, whom to call, fire safety awareness, and methods on how to secure their home, internet safety, and hurricane preparedness (this is south Florida after all).
Students are instructed in methods to determine the amount of change received after a transaction, create a shopping list, the use of coupons, and how to determine the difference between a sale price and a regular price.
Students learn to identify healthy food choices and plan and shop for a weekly menu.
Students are taught to identify career opportunities that are commensurate with their education and experience, complete a job application and resume, interview for a job, follow up an after an interview, understand basic job principles (i.e. employee benefits, job responsibilities, etc), and proper social skills within the workplace.
Students are shown how plan leisure activities and identify physical activities to participate in to help reduce stress.
Students are assisted in developing an individual academic time line, a semester time line of assignments and expectations, and a daily time management schedule.
Assistance with academic advisement, registration, and scheduling
Every school has a unique process for admissions and registration. We provide support to help guide the students through the scholastic system’s requirements. This includes transcript requests, placement testing, pre-requisite/co-requisite requirements, and the selection of a balanced course load. Based on each student’s individual needs, attention is paid to details such as on-line vs. traditional offerings, time of day classes are attended, structured vs. unstructured teaching styles, and tests vs. class based projects.
Co-ordination of services and scholastic support (provided by the school)
Once a student moves from the secondary to the post-secondary educational arena, the rules governing the access to and the type of accommodations granted change. The onus is now on the student, not the school. We will review student expectations, make sure that the testing will satisfy the school’s requirements, schedule the intake appointment, and work together with the student and the Office of Disability Services to ensure that the student is receiving the accommodations to which they are entitled. Students are also encouraged and assisted in becoming a become part of their school’s community by participating in social organizations, honor or academic organizations, and/or intramural teams.
Transportation to and from Palm Beach Community College and Florida Atlantic University
Students will be provided transportation to and from classes and required academic events.
Tutoring (individually and staff supervised small groups)
Both on campus and at our offices, students will be given the academic support needed. All students will be provided one-on-one tutoring sessions for each subject. Some tutoring sessions will be held on campus in the learning labs, in order for the tutors and students to have access to the technology and curriculum required by the course. Weekend study halls, led by staff, are available to the students to provide a community learning environment.
Students will be given the support needed to identify career opportunities commensurate with education and experience. Education and assistance is provided for application and resume requirements, interview skills, dress codes, employee benefits programs, and appropriate professional conduct.
Psychiatric services will be available locally and on-site. Regular multi-disciplinary team meetings (i.e., psychiatry, psychology, and educational support) will take place so as to comprehensively address each clients individual needs.