As young adults begin to age out of our Camp Northwood program, families are often faced with the prospect of “What’s Next?” In order to prepare their older teens for the transition out of high school and away from home, significant planning and independent life skills instruction must take place… and it is not a quick process.
The Northwood Center program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to live “independently” in a residential setting for up to three summer seasons. in order for young adults with social immaturity and learning challenges to develop the necessary ego strength and life skills to function independently, they first must be taught the necessary skills to do so and then have an opportunity to practice these skills in a structured/ supervised environment so that skill internalization and mastery can occur.
A balance of communication skills, independent and shared decision-making techniques, focused social performance and mastery of specific life-skill tasks are all contributing factors in the development of independence. Elements of these key factors are woven into the fabric of The Northwood Center’s curriculum. Experiential learning enables participants to develop life skills in a supervised setting as they perform daily tasks previously completed by their caregivers. In doing so, a greater sense of independence is achieved promoting a desire for continued learning.