Therapeutic Programs For Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome
How Does Trails Carolina Help Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome?
Trails Carolina is a holistic and groundbreaking treatment center that helps teens with on the Autism Spectrum, and with Asperger’s Syndrome. Our dynamic treatment program, rooted in wilderness therapy, is especially helpful for teens on the spectrum.
Change is hard. Then suddenly, with the advent of the teen years, the changes become internal, too. Hormonal fluctuations, the quest for self-identity, and the pressure of trying to be socially acceptable, all come together to make the world a complex, disorienting, and often highly troubling place.
Our treatment options are based on assessments by our professionally trained staff. We treat using the holistic and safe environment of nature in wilderness therapy, skill building, academics, quiet self-reflection, physical fitness, nutrition, social skills, and relationship building. Our patient staff takes the time to gradually help teens with Asperger’s Syndrome learn social life skills that they can take with them to live a successful life outside of Trails Carolina.
Additional information about the ways in which Trails Carolina helps teens on the spectrum can be found in the following blogs:
What are the Causes of Asperger’s Syndrome in Teenagers?
The exact cause of Asperger’s Syndrome in teenagers is unknown. Asperger’s may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that cause changes in brain development. Asperger’s may also be hereditary. Other professionals believe that environmental factors in early pregnancy may have an impact, but this theory is unconfirmed.
Asperger’s Syndrome can be recognized from early childhood, but signs don’t always show up until the demands of their environment increase. This can happen as late as early adulthood, when the individual leaves high school for college.
Asperger’s Syndrome becomes much more difficult for teenagers. Between social pressures, stressful academic workload, activities, peer pressure, friendships, relationships, bullying, and physical changes due to hormones, teens with Asperger’s Syndrome may feel very isolated.
A lot of teens with Aspergers Syndrome will develop anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. These mood disorders make it much harder for these individuals to function. Teens with Aspergers Syndrome develop negative coping mechanisms. They also avoid socializing and forming peer relationships. These negative habits lead to more severe isolation problems later in life.
Transitioning Success and Progress Back Home
Throughout their time at wilderness therapy, Trails students continuously transition from a wilderness therapy setting to base camp. These transitions help students learn to smoothly transfer newly acquired skills and behavior patterns from one environment to another.
Its common for other therapeutic programs to get students into a sort of rhythm within a certain setting with specific people. The skills and changes being made in those sorts of stagnant environments can make students completely dependant on staying in one type of setting with their one group of individuals. This can delay growth and progress.
Within our program at Trails, we move students through different situations with different professional staff members in order to challenge their skills, assess, and continually build new ones. This leads to better outcomes.
Our specifically designed programming around transitions works closely with families to develop a plan for after students graduate from Trails. This plan for the tomorrow helps instill confidence in students and families that they will be able to smoothly transition skills and changes made at Trails back into the real world.
Learn more about transitions at Trails here.
Helping Teens With Asperger’s Syndrome Achieve Success
Trails Carolina offers a unique approach to treating teens with Asperger’s Syndrome. Our wilderness program specializes in offering a holistic, natural, peaceful, and patient method to treating Asperger’s Syndrome.
Trails Wilderness program removes teens from an over stimulating environment and places them in serene surroundings. Wilderness therapy specializes in: helping teens gain confidence, learn how to socialize with peers, adapt to new environments, skill building, learning coping skills, learning how to calm themselves down, education, social redos, replacement behaviors, visual cues, participating in healthy dialogue, and building relationships.
Trails Carolina also offers various therapeutic methods to help teens with Asperger’s nSydrome. Cognitive behavioral therapy allows the teen to see their actions in front of them. With that recognition, the teen can learn to control her emotions and decrease obsessive interests and repetitive routines. We aim to help teens find positive coping mechanisms to take back to the real world and live a healthy and successful life.
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How do I know if my child has Level 1 Autism or Aspergers?
Signs that your child may have Asperger’s syndrome include:
- Obsessive Interests
- Formal Speech
- Social Isolation
- Delay in motor skills
- Lack of imagination
- Sensory difficulties
- Inability to read social signals
- Appear to lack empathy
- Limited eye contact
- Use gestures inappropriately
- Hard time understanding conventional social rules
- Issues with proximity
Family Programming at Trails
Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy provides an evidence-based therapeutic approach to young people ages 10-17. Located in Western North Carolina, Trails Carolina is surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.
One aspect of our programming that we believe to be one of the most important is our family programming.
At Trails, we believe that lasting change can only occur if the entire family is on board throughout the therapeutic process. Our family programming includes:
- Weekly calls with the entire family: Every week, a student and their family will meet over the phone, mediated by the student’s Primary Therapist. During these calls, the family will address specific challenges and discuss areas for continued growth and progress.
- Trails Family Calls: Every week, we offer parents the opportunity to speak with other Trails Carolina families who are in similar stages within the program. Through these sessions, families can feel less isolated and alone during the process.
- Parent Workshop: After your child has attended the program for several weeks, we invite parents to a parent workshop where they are able to experience wilderness therapy and gain skills to build a stronger, closer family system. After the workshop is completed, parents speak with a new set of Trails parents on the weekly Family Calls. This offers a new level of support.
- Common Ground: Common Ground is an optional 5-day extended program which takes place at the end of a student’s time in our program. This program offers the same skills and training taught throughout wilderness therapy to the entire family. Every member of the family attends equine relational programming sessions, as well as other aspects of the program.
Help Guide: HelpGuide is an online mental health information guide with over 160 articles discussing various issues within mental health ranging from healthy eating to sleep deprivation. Their website provides tools that parents can utilize to help a child struggling with mental health challenges. They collaborate with Harvard Health Publications in the production of their evidence-based articles.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH is a federal agency conducting research and spreading awareness about mental health. Their website contains a variety of information about statistics and general information covering information about prevention and treatment of mental health issues. NIMH conducts research and organizes outreach programming for mental health issues.