The most consistently asked question the parents have is how does this program work, how do you make my son or daughter behave, follow rules and progress as a functional member of society? Usually this question is generated by years of treatment failures, independent living catastrophes, college campus failures, substance abuse, behavioral issues, multiple and changed diagnoses, repeated medication regiments, leaving parents feeling as though there’s no hope for a normal life for them or their adult child.
First to be clear we don’t accept anyone who doesn’t want to be here. Students have to request to be enrolled with Integrated Interventions. This means we have the chance to meet and or at least interview over the telephone each individual student and find out what it is that they are trying to accomplish. It also means we have the chance to meet and or interview parents over the phone for exactly the same reason. If the parents values and goals don’t align with Integrated Interventions values and standards then we will not contract with your family. It doesn’t happen very often however if we find that we are not compatible in our treatment goals we may refer you to a program that seems like it might be a better match.
Secondly, we won’t accept anyone we don’t feel connected to in some way. Simply put, we won’t accept students just because their parents can pay for the program. We only accept students who want to and are willing to better their lives. Generally speaking our students have buy in because it’s their choice to come here, and they get to be directly involved in developing their individual treatment program. Their program is not already written, it’s not a cookie cutter or one size fits all program. When a student has buy in and is involved from the beginning to the end of their stay we are able to make great headway and progress tends to be outside of the parents scope of expectations. Most of our students surpass their parents expectations and attain unexpected accomplishments.
Dealing with resistance from the student
Integrated Interventions behavior model is simply to make the negative behavior more uncomfortable than the positive behavior. At times we can do this with our presence alone. An example would be a young person not wanting to get out of bed and go to work. Our being in the apartment and communicating with that young person makes it too uncomfortable to stay in bed. If they refuse employment then they have to work at the farm and we control that environment as well. There freedom of choice effects them directly, choosing a negative path is far more uncomfortable than if they just gone to their place of employment. We are not punitive, meaning we do not use imposed consequences. We do believe in natural consequences and allow for students to learn from their mistake as long as those mistakes aren’t a safety concern.
Work ethic and responsibility
Work ethic is the basis for all progress. Be that sobriety, stability, safety, employment, education, or interpersonal relationships. As productive adults we know that all of these things take dedication and dedication comes from a solid work ethic. All of our students upon enrollment are immediately employed at $8 to $10 an hour at the farm, wood-shop, landscape division, retail store, or detail shop. This gives us the opportunity to work one-on-one with the student and assess their ability to manage various degrees of assignments and work tasks. These tasks are all measurable and we are able to fine tune a young person’s ability to accept and follow direction , accept positive feedback, ask for feedback and manage multiple tasks. The goal here is to create an employable young person and train them to understand what the roles of the employer vs the employee are.
Once we feel we have an employable young person the next step is community-based employment. At this point we are training young people to obtain and sustain employment. This may happen quickly depending on the student, sometimes it takes several attempts before they understand their role as an employee. Along with employment comes paychecks, bank accounts, debit cards, budgeting financial responsibilities like bills, money management interpersonal relationships etc. Once they are able to maintain community-based employment and have a clear understanding of their role demonstrating solid work ethic, we move toward some form of higher education.
Higher education and career development
As we all know, not every student should be a college student. That being said, when we speak of higher education we are talking about any education that will enhance one’s ability to better market themselves in the work environment. This could be job-related training, certification courses, trade schools, short-term intense career development classes, or college education at a 2-year campus or 4-year University. Their education track may include some involvement in multiple education systems like those listed above.
Our Education liaison works directly with the student and the education source monitoring and supervising every aspect of Education. For some students the education experience may be simply to complete and pass one class that is enjoyable so they’ll have interest in completing another class. Four other students it may be getting their high school diploma and learning what sort of interest they have for education and employment. Other students may be finishing up their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees. Our education liaison is in constant communication with the student and their instructors supporting the integral needs of both parties creating a path for Clear communication and success.
We are also able to meet and specific special need or challenges students have concerning specific learning disabilities or diagnoses that may have been a roadblock to success in the past. Career planning and development go hand-in-hand with education. As a young person receives the education we want to make sure that it enhances their ability to obtain and sustain a career track. Finding job shadows and employment opportunities specific to their career development is also a task the education liaison and Integrated Interventions mentors manage during their one-on-one time.
Integrated interventions programs are individualized specific to the needs and goals of each student and family. One student’s program may look nothing like another student’s program. Although there may be slight similarities no two programs ever look the same. Duration of our program varies between 3 months long and several years, depending on the goals of the individual and family. Long term treatment usually comes with tapered services. This means that although we may start with 20 – 50 hours of one-to-one direct mentoring by the end of their program we may be only needed for 5 hours a week of minimal supervision and check-ins. A reduction in Services overtime also means a reduction in cost each time we reduce those services. Any student enrolled with Integrated Interventions always has 24 /7 crisis management.
Graduation, what comes after
Integrated Interventions goal is to have graduates that are self-sustainable. Students that have accomplished their education goals and are gainfully employed working on career tracks, paying their own bills, managing a checking and a savings account, having purchased and are maintaining their own vehicle, able to thrive in the workplace, their family relationships, and be a productive member of their culture and society. We feel that this should be the goal of every program. It’s our responsibility to teach young people all of the skills they need to be productive adults. Anything short of that is, in our program standards, considered unacceptable.
In regards to inclusion
Integrated Interventions prides itself in setting a world-centric standard of inclusion. We do not believe that religious, ethnic, or orientation should stop anyone from receiving quality care. Students tend to use these along with their personal diagnosis, disabilities, emotional and cognitive challenges as excuses for positive growth we find that these have nothing to do with work ethic, self discipline, educational goals, and maintaining forward inertia toward attaining long-term success.
Founder and CEO Integrated Interventions LLC