Individuals in our Paramus program are offered opportunities for in house and community based instruction. A number of our instructional opportunities are aligned with DDD’s draft of proposed services under the “Supports Program”. It is our intent to become an approved vendor for this program. Over the years, Paramus has been a qualified provider for the Governor’s Initiative – Self Determination, Real Life Choices, Self -Directed Services and Individual Community Supports and Services (ICSS).
Instruction takes place in small groups and individually- based on person centered planning activities and goal development. Skills are taught in structured, sequential steps with opportunities for real world applications.
Daily learning opportunities address: employment preparation, socialization, problem solving, independent living skills, coping skills, vocational training projects, responding to choices and making decisions, technology instruction, safety on the job and in the community, increased self -directed behavior and taking responsibility, career awareness, important “soft skills” , meal preparation activities and health education.
Individuals in Paramus Rehab participate in a number of community inclusion activities including, but not limited to: food shopping, going out to lunch, trips to the library and mall, bowling, movies and trips to the park.
Individuals can participate in weekly classes with our Work Readiness Instructor. This program provides intense support and instruction on focused topics. The Instructor partners with each adult to determine strengths, interests and preferences. Situational community based assessments, travel assessments and career preference inventories are used to develop a personal portfolio for each participant. The Instructor’s goal is to find the perfect job match for each adult and to provide the necessary supports to be successful on the job. The Instructor will continue to liaison with the employer and work to develop natural supports for each job site. Job Coaching support continues and the team works together to develop a successful fading strategy over time. Successful workers have the opportunity to come back into the Work Readiness classes for refresher courses and/or to become peer mentors for individuals in the class.
Health and wellness is an important part of our daily lives and health education has been an integral part of our Paramus program. Health classes are offered twice a week on a multitude of topics facilitated by our program nurse. Additionally, the program nurse provides individualized education and support, working with adults to develop health goals on an annual basis.
The Paramus program provides a forum for conflict resolution and problem solving groups facilitated by BCSS’s counselor, Dr. Simcha Willick. Individuals have the opportunity to participate in any of the groups or all three. Groups are configured with the intent that all participants learn to practice active listening for the purpose of understanding and empathy. Dr. Willick assists individuals to define and discuss a problem objectively and to develop solutions through role play and dialogue. Outcomes of the group include, but are not limited to: self-advocacy; increased self-esteem; greater sensitivity to the feelings and opinions of others; respect of boundaries; increased positive socialization; adaptive coping skills; decreased anxiety, increased ability to delay gratification and increased self-esteem.
Collectively, we look to respond to the preferences and support needs of the individuals we serve. We have cultivated a warm and supportive learning environment and encourage “stretching” and exposure new challenges. Through the years we have enjoyed open communication and collaborative partnerships with parents/guardians and family members working together to assist individuals to live and work successfully in the community.
The sky’s the limit!
Progressive Paths continues to provide individualized instruction in a small group setting for individuals with significant disabilities. The program’s success is in providing a nurturing, yet challenging learning environment. Individuals in this program benefit from a smaller staff to client ratio than our larger programs in Wood-Ridge and Paramus. Specifically, individuals in Progressive Paths are more successful with an intense hand on approach to instruction rather than the vicarious learning that can take place in the larger settings.
Progressive Paths focuses on four program components: vocational skills; communication and adaptive behavioral skills; community integration and independent living skills. These components are reflected in the program’s daily activities and weekly schedule. A variety of activities are presented for each of the program components. The instruction is individualized and builds tasks on small incremental steps to success. The in house instruction is followed by opportunities for real world learning in a number of community locations.
Throughout the day staff assist individuals with communication, but perhaps even more important, staff members assist individuals to socialize in the context of being part of a group. Being engaged with others represents a consistent support need for individuals in this program. Support in this area lays the foundation for participation, enjoyment in progress in other skill sets. We have recently added IPads to our “communication” tool box, and have set up a Smart Board for use in the Progressive Paths classroom. We are excited to introduce technology to the individuals in this program and believe it will enhance our learning environment.