8 Things to Look for in Wilderness Therapy Programs

Experiential Learning teaches more than just the individual lesson; it teaches tenacity. It teaches that it’s okay to fail, as long as you don’t give up. It provides an almost tangible feedback loop between cause and effect, and for some, this makes a significant difference in their ability to absorb information. As we discussed in our last blog post, when paired with wilderness adventure therapy, has found to be a highly effective solution.

If you opt for the wilderness therapy route, it is important to select a credible program that is not only research-driven and adheres to clinical best practices, but also one that can provide expertise in treating students with executive function deficits such as Nonverbal Learning Disorder, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Make sure you select a program that offers all of the following: (more…)

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The Power of Experiential Learning in the Wilderness

Some students with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder are of above average intelligence, and they may be academically successful. On the other hand, they often experience social alienation because of their impulsivity or inability to interpret social cues.

In our last blog post, we discussed how experiential Learning can be a powerful tool in these situations, allowing a student with an executive function deficit to safely experiment with social interactions. For adolescents in particular, this kind of opportunity at such a tender age can offer an individual insight into how to connect with others. For students who struggle making social connections, providing a safe, nurturing environment to experiment and learn can change the course of their lives.

The struggle then becomes: how to best implement Experiential Learning in the daily lives of individuals with severe ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Nonverbal Learning Disorder

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What is Experiential Learning and How Can It Help Your Child?

Experiential Learning refers to non-traditional education that involves, essentially, learning by doing. The process, developed by psychologist David Kolb, requires the student to have a hands-on experience, reflect on the results of that experience, and then to apply this reflection to the lesson again. It typically requires the student to select the area of study for the lesson, and then leads to a “transforming experience” resulting in the creation of a very concrete understanding.

The reflection time during and after the exercise allows the student to connect the lesson to daily life, in addition to finding ways to practically implement their new learning. This process is often facilitated by an educator who asks the student questions, such as: (more…)

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What makes ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder Brains Different

Life can be a struggle for just about all of us at times. We all have our strengths and weaknesses; there are certain skills, like athletic ability, or an innate understanding of mechanical workings, that come effortlessly to some, and yet are painfully difficult for others. Those born with these advantages may take for granted how frustrating it is for people without them to try and succeed in these areas.

Children and adolescents with serious executive functioning deficits, Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) struggle with certain skills, such as understanding the changing environment, picking up on nonverbal social cues, understanding different perspectives, and staying focused on the task at hand in a world that is increasingly full of distractions. This blog post will discuss what makes these brains different and will also take a deeper look into each of these learning disorders.

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Social and Academic Challenges for Teens With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder that impacts a person’s ability to relate to their peers, communicate with others, control their emotions, follow instructions, and transition throughout the day. The symptoms and characteristics of ASD vary greatly and range from mild to severe. However a common issue that many adolescents with ASD struggle with is known as the ‘triad of impairments’ which include nonverbal and verbal communication, social behavior, and flexible thinking. In this blog post, we will share specific ways that these challenges are manifested in teens with ASD.

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