The stages of success

Founded in 1984, Glen Eden Multimodal Centre is a unique accredited school and clinical treatment centre for children with complex needs. There are three identifiable stages of each student’s personalized Glen Eden program:

1. Stabilization – By the time a student starts at Glen Eden, various programs and strategies have already been tried with limited or no effectiveness. After going through all of this, the child usually presents with a lot of “noise” – challenging behaviour that has developed as a reaction to failed attempts to control the child’s behaviour. In the initial period, our goal is to decrease stress to help stabilize the child’s body/brain as much as possible. These stressors can include external factors (e.g. noise, social/task demands, failed strategies) and internal (e.g. hunger, pain, high arousal). During this initial period, which can last a few months to a year, Glen Eden staff are building relationships with the students by listening and responding to their needs (what they are saying and what they are showing in our detailed and nonjudgmental data system) so we can create environments and programs that meet their physical and emotional needs and help them experience a state of well-being.

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2. Co-regulation – Once we are seeing periods in which the child is feeling calm, we want to expand those periods of stability rather than focus on eliminating any challenging behaviours. By this stage, some staff members will have developed a close relationship with the student. These are the key people to introduce stressors gently, and with guidance and modeling they support the student in learning to cope with stress. This teaching is naturalized and experiential (“in-the-moment”) rather than scripted, so the child is better able to generalize it to all environments.

3. Self-regulation – By this point our students trust our staff to guide them through stress, but they must learn to trust themselves in order to thrive with everything life will throw at them. In the final stage of each child’s Glen Eden program, we fade most accommodations and expect the student to ask for help when needed. We allow the child to navigate tricky social situations with our supervision, but with less guidance. In this stage, the regulatory strategies that have been developed and cued by staff become internalized, so the student can take this resilience with them out into the world.

The details of each stage, and how long each takes, will necessarily be different for each student. In all three stages students receive individualized education from BC certified teachers. By adapting to changing needs and readiness over time, we have helped many children and adolescents who had no hope achieve much higher levels of social and academic functioning than they and their families thought possible.

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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