A different kind of school

Founded in 1984, Glen Eden Multimodal Centre is a unique school and clinical treatment centre for children with complex needs. In order to build individualized programs for each student, Glen Eden draws on the skills and experience of its own diverse staff as well as outside professionals. We asked these outside professionals what makes Glen Eden different.

Rob Padgham is a speech and language pathologist who has been working with Glen Eden students for over four years. One of the things that impresses him the most is Glen Eden’s detailed tracking system, developed by Dr. Rick Brennan, Founder and Executive Director.

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“The data system allows Glen Eden staff to prevent behaviour rather than reacting to it,” Mr. Padgham says. “Other programs do have tracking systems, but I have noticed that Glen Eden’s is powerful and preventative.” He notes that other programs may not focus on physiology – the body that is driving the behaviour. “The reason the students are able to make so much progress at Glen Eden is because the staff track their physiology and really understand how to help them function best.”

Mr. Padgham also says Glen Eden is unique in integrating his techniques and strategies into the classroom, and in how quickly the program can adapt to new research.  “They invite me to train their staff and teach classes to students, for example in Social Thinking skills. Other schools may not be as willing to have me involved,” says Mr. Padgham.  “In other schools it might take time to adapt to new approaches and research. I have noticed that Glen Eden can be flexible and incorporate new models and evidence-based research quickly.”

Julia Johnson Baker, a certified yoga instructor and the director of Yoga It Up, an organization dedicated to bringing the benefits of yoga into schools, has been teaching weekly sessions at Glen Eden for two years. “We focus on physical improvement, empowerment…. how to calm, breathe and self-regulate their bodies in moments of high emotion and stress. Our sessions on the mat provide that mind-body connection that is huge for school.”

“To me it is a place that respects the needs of each child, and family, individually,” Johnson Baker says.  “The staff work hard to discover and develop a plan for each child so they he or she can feel respected, valued and cared for. Every staff member is exceptional and students have a wonderful rapport and respect for their leaders. (Staff at Glen Eden are) always taking current research into consideration and applying it where appropriate to support decisions for each child.”

Because of Glen Eden’s small class sizes, and detailed data collection system, the school is able to offer highly personalized programming. “Glen Eden provides a unique and essential service,” says Dr. Robin Friedlander, Clinical Head of the Neuropsychiatry Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital, who has worked with several Glen Eden students over the years. Each child gets a program specifically designed to meet their needs, help them to improve their functioning, and ultimately meet their long-term goals, whether that be returning to mainstream school, going to post-secondary, or simply finding a greatly improved quality of life.

To find out more about Glen Eden Multimodal Centre, give them a call at 604-821-1457 to make an appointment, send them an email or visit their website. They are located at #190-13151 Vanier Place, Richmond, B.C.

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