Student Support Services
Speech and Language
Students enrolled in Speech and Language may work on developing compensatory strategies for succeeding in college level classes to improve adult communication.
Some examples of targeted skills include vocabulary building, comprehension of college text, study skills, and/or breaking down the language of assignments, texts, or tests. Students who are pursuing a Certificate of Completion may also work on developing strategies necessary for the work environment. Some areas of focus may be listening, auditory comprehension, expressing oneself, and sequencing tasks or ideas. Group work (pragmatic language) has been shown to be most effective in increasing the understanding and use of social communications.
Our full-time Speech and Language Pathologists may also recommend computer programs designed to increase a student’s skill in a particular deficit area.
Social Development and Strategies
OPTIONS goal is to assist students in acquiring and implementing effective social strategies. There are a variety of opportunities for this social skills instruction to take place.
OPTIONS staff members are firm believers in “teachable moments.” These are in-the-moment, everyday opportunities for staff to teach and reinforce social skills. These “real-life” interactions can be very meaningful and truly assist in the internalization of social skills.
There are many structured activities that target the acquisition and implementation of social skills. Classes such as Job Social Skills, Employment Strategies, and College Strategies address appropriate behaviors and interactions for each setting. Speech and Language Therapy offers individual sessions to address initiating and maintaining conversations, non-verbal communication skills, listening, and effective self-expression. Many students participate in small pragmatic language (social language) groups, which have been shown to be effective in increasing the understanding and use of social communications.
Each week, students participate in Social Strategies groups within the Independent Living setting. During the first semester, staff plans the topics addressed and utilizes the community to have students participate in functions that enable each student to implement targeted social strategies. During the second semester, each student prepares a presentation about a social strategies topic of interest to him or her. OPTIONS staff assists the student as needed so that each student presents an informative session to other students about his or her topic.
OPTIONS understands that effective social skills and strategies can form the basis for a happy adult life; therefore, we provide OPTIONS students with the tools to participate in fulfilling relationships and endeavors.
Employment Readiness Classes
In addition to providing instruction in the content areas of academics, OPTIONS offers a number of classes designed to take a direct approach in teaching students job readiness skills. Just as processing, social skills, and attentional deficits affect a student’s success in a classroom setting, those same issues can be, and most often are, impactful in a work setting. A Certified Rehabilitation Counselor instructs students on how to properly present themselves as professionals and how to find the best ‘fit’ for employment opportunities. OPTIONS’ employment preparation classes are intended to teach the students the critical vocational behaviors necessary for employment success:
- Career Explorations and Research
- Critical Thinking and Workplace Ethics
- Customer Service Seminar
- Employment Strategies
- Internship Support
- Interview Basics
- Job Social Skills