Social Skills Groups; Ages 5 to 18 years

Social Skills Groups for students ages 5 to 18 years old

We have weekly Social Skills Groups all school year long, starting September 26th. These groups meet every Tuesday evening from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. 

 

How to Sign Up

We currently have a waiting list for our Social Skills Groups, but please fill out an inquiry form here and we will contact you as soon as we are able.

About Social Skills Groups

Our Social Skills Groups are designed for students who need coaching in peer relationships and conversations. The ideal participant is able to converse with others but may need prompting to initiate or respond to peers. We use the principles of Verbal Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). 

Each group session consists of fun social games and activities. However each activity includes learning opportunities that are specifically designed to focus on intensive instruction that supports peer-to-peer socialization. Intensive instruction is embedded into activities. It is derived from evidence-based concepts of verbal behavior and behavior analysis. Intensive instruction focuses on developing the necessary skills needed to initiate with and respond to peers.

Each session is supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The group conversations and verbal skills are facilitated by applied behavior therapists.

We have created 2 types of specialized social skills groups to best fit different student’s social needs. One group is a best fit for children who are conversational but require extra help and prompting to socialize. And the second group facilitates basic social skills for students who need more intensive instruction to interact with peers.

We are also developing a social skills class which will focus on more subtle issues such as bullying, personal space, perspective taking, etc. All classes will meet on Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. An interview with parents will help determine the best group for your child.

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Cost (per semester):

$150 for members of The Arc of Loudoun; for membership information go to: http://www.paxtoncampus.org/about-us/membership/ to learn more.

$200 for non-members.

 

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Please fill out an inquiry form here and we will contact you as soon as we are able.

 

 

 

 

 

Jingle Jam Dance: Friday, Dec 8th; 6pm-8pm

REGISTER HERE

WHAT: Jingle Jam Dance & Social Opportunity

WHO: Adults 18+

WHEN: Friday, Dcember 8th from 6pm to 8pm

WHERE:  The Aurora School on Paxton Campus –  601 Catoctin Circle NE Leesburg, VA 20176

COST: FREE!

REGISTER HERE

Come join us and have a great time with light refreshments, dancing, great music and social opportunities!

50 Faces of The Arc – Ronan

For the past four years, Ronan has been attending The Aurora School, (a year-round school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities). His ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Instructor, Ashley, describes Ronan as a an awesome, fun kid who’s also very loving,

“He’s always smiling and will come up and give you the biggest hug!”

exclaims Ashley.  Ashley goes on to say that the learning style at Aurora has left a huge impact on Ronan,

“Before coming here he couldn’t say much, but now he’s speaking words, and we can understand what he wants.”

Ronan is also learning how to use more verbs in his speech to convey what he needs, and will communicate with his instructors about what is bothering him instead of crying. Aurora’s unique program works for children like Ronan because they’re able to get the individual attention they need, Ashley explains,

“We genuinely care about our students and everyday we teach them appropriate skills they’ll use in their everyday life. We’re able to do all of this through ABA therapy, and I wish more people knew how our [Aurora’s] curriculum works.”

She goes on to say that because of the ABA therapy, and the dedication of the staff  Ronan is able to succeed,

“If he keeps learning at this rate, he’ll be unstoppable!”

50 Faces of The Arc – Katelyn

Katelyn was the first student to attend The Aurora School, a year-round school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her mom, the previous director of The Arc of Loudoun, started Aurora in 2003 along with all the other programs that are now part of The Arc. Katelyn was only eight years old when she first started attending Aurora and graduated this past August.

 

At Aurora, Katelyn has learned to become more accepting of changes in her environment. Her Program Director, Maureen, says,

“Before, she wanted to control everything in the environment. If she walked in a room, she wouldn’t like if the lights were turned on, or if other people were talking.”

Katelyn also wouldn’t like if things weren’t in their proper place, but can now tolerate if items have suddenly moved. Maureen states,

“If a notebook was always on the right side of her table and you moved it, she’d have to put it where exactly where it was before. She’s learning to ignore those changes now.”

Furthermore, Katelyn’s academic skills have also improved, she’s able to add and subtract double digits along with balancing a checkbook. Daniel, her ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Instructor, also says her progress with communicating has gotten better,

“Before she had little to no communication. Now she’s clearer to understand when she speaks and is really good at answering ‘who,’ ‘what,’ and ‘where’ questions.”

 

Daniel says he enjoyed working with Katelyn because of her happy, outgoing, and friendly personality. He states,

“I like working with her because she challenges me and she’s taught me so much about myself. She’s also super fun and is always saying humorous things!”

 

After being asked why The Arc is so important for students like Katelyn, Daniel responds,

“We’re really the only school like this in this area. And without it [The Arc] a lot of things would fall apart. What we do for all the kids here is huge!”

50 Faces of The Arc – Katie

Katie has been working at The Aurora School, a year-round school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the past 10 years. She began as an ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructor and is now the testing coordinator. She tests each of the students at Aurora so that they meet all of their required goals. Katie’s favorite part of her job is working with the students saying,

“I love the kids. I do. Since I have to prepare all the student’s individual tests, I get to know each of them really well.”

 

Working with all the students allows Katie to see the progress they’re making, which keeps her motivated and passionate about her job. She exclaims,

“It’s amazing to see the progress, and makes me want to come to work every day! We’re doing something good here [Aurora]. We’re literally changing lives. And not just the kids’ lives but their families’ as well.”

Through the different activities at Aurora, students are able to go on CBI (Community Based Instruction) trips, where they can practice social skills at the grocery store, restaurants, libraries, etc. Katie says,

“Because of CBI, parents are now able to take their kids to the mall or grocery store without a meltdown. They’re able to take them to out to eat for the first time. It’s made all the difference in the world in their lives.”

 

In addition to working as the testing coordinator at Aurora, Katie also volunteers every year at Paxton’s biggest fundraiser of the year: Shocktober. Katie has a starring role as Mawmaw Carver, one of the spooky line entertainment characters for the popular haunted attraction. She’s been a volunteer and an actor since the fundraiser began eight years ago. Katie says,

“To use my goofy skills [acting as Mawmaw Carver] to help raise that kind of money has been such an unbelievable opportunity.”

Even when she’s in character, Katie still manages to educate all the Shocktober attendees about the importance of the fundraiser stating,

“I tell people what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and where the money goes– and how it will go to good use.”

 

Katie is also pleased with all of the different ways that The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus helps the disability community saying,

“We have holiday parties and a Spring Festival, where children with disabilities who may not have the chance to see Santa or the Easter bunny, now get that opportunity. And it’s free and open to the entire community! We also have the Music at the Manor concerts, which is a great event for the community to come and hang out.”

 

In the future, Katie hopes to continue working at The Arc and help kids to the best of her ability saying,

“I feel good working here. I feel like my life means something. This place makes me feel like, ‘I make a difference.’ If I can get through to a student having a tough time, then I’ve done a good thing. It’s so worth it.”

50 Faces of The Arc- Jaquan and Owen

Since Jaquan has just graduated from The Aurora School, we thought we’d share his and Owen’s story as the next #50FacesofTheArc
 
Both boys have been attending the school for over six years, and were immediate best friends. Together, the boys love being active and enjoy participating in P.E. class where they play sports such as baseball and flag football. But their all-time favorite game to play is the card game, “War”, which they often play together.
 
Both boys are very creative. One of their ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructors, Britney, says Owen will write lyrics to his own songs, where he’ll sign them off with: “Written and Performed by Owen”. He’ll also constantly recite lines to DVDs and Youtube videos that he watches. Jaquan is just as self-expressive, Britney says,
“He’s super imaginative and a great storyteller. He’s always making up different stories about his favorite action figures.”
 
Owen and Jaquan’s friendship involves more than just playing games and sports with each other. Since attending Aurora, Owen has been working on his communication skills. His instructors are teaching him about different emotions, and how to appropriately react to situations when he’s frustrated. Instead of crying when he is upset or sad, Owen will often go to Jaquan. Jaquan is then able to comfort Owen with a hug and cheer him up!
 
Britney says she loves working with both boys, exclaiming,
“Their friendship is so awesome, and I love that I get to be a part of it!” She goes on to state that she enjoys working with Jaquan and Owen because they have such different perspectives on life, “Jaquan, in particular, will ask hypothetical questions all the time. It’s really cool to look at things in a different way, through their eyes. They really blow my mind sometimes.”
Britney’s only wish is that more people were able to experience what it’s like working with the boys and all the Aurora students, saying
“Watching their progress and growth is amazing.”
 
We are so proud of both Jaquan and Owen, and we can’t wait to see each of them thrive!
 

12 Band Jam and Ride – August 12th; 2pm-12am

12 Band Jam & Ride

Proceeds benefit The Aurora School serving students with special needs

Saturday, August 12, 2017

10:30am Kickstands up – Riders Depart

2:00pm to Closing – 12 Band Jam Lineup

 

Where: Spanky’s Shenanigans
538 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

 

$20 for motorcycle riders/$10 for passengers, includes t-shirt and lunch

Riders, come and enjoy ½-price breakfast starting at 7:30 am!

$10 admission at door for 12 Band Jam

Win fabulous raffle prizes!

50/50 raffle, restaurant gift cards, wine tastings, area merchants, and so much more!  Win this one-of-a-kind custom puzzle-piece guitar signed by dozens of music legends!  Prizes awarded every hour!

Check out the awesome lineup!

2:00 pm   Al’s Big Truck

2:50 pm   Mink’s Miracle Medicine Show

3:40 pm   Voodoo Blues

4:30 pm   Andy Hawk and the Train Wreck Endings

5:20 pm   90 Proof

6:10 pm   Shortness of Breath

7:00 pm    Fast Eddie and the Fast Lane Blues Band

8:50 pm    Silver Lining

9:40 pm    Fresh Cracked Pepper

10:30 pm  Mike and the Cyclones

11:20 pm   Bastards of Twang

12:10 am   Ricky J. and Blue Rhythm

 

 

Workshop: PCM for Parents and Professionals; May 20th and May 21st

 

WHO:             Parents and professionals who work and care for individuals with behavioral difficulties

DATE:              May 20th and May 21st from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm (Participation is required for both full days)

COST:            $250

REGISTER:     Respond by May 1st  2017 to Kendra McDonald kmcdonald@paxtoncampus.org

LOCATION:     The Aurora School

601 Catoctin Circle, NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

  • Professional Crisis Management courses teach a range of verbal (non-physical) and physical strategies for managing crisis situations safely and effectively.
  • Training will include repetition of physical procedures, an introduction to behavior analysis and the function of behavior, real life discussions of scenarios, coursework, and problem solving of individual concerns.
  • Participants who meet the requirements of this course will be certified as a Practitioner 1. Certification is for a period of 1 year, and will be issued upon PCMA receiving testing and training materials, and participants passing a practical and written exam.

What is Professional Crisis Management? – reprinted from the link: http://www.pcma.com/pcmapcmwhatis.asp

PCM is an advanced system of crisis management. Unlike other methods that teach intervention techniques only after individuals have become non-compliant, agitated or aggressive, PCM focuses primarily on prevention before a crisis occurs. PCM includes Crisis Prevention, Crisis De-escalation, Crisis Intervention, and Post-Crisis Intervention components. PCM utilizes “hands on” competency-based training and written tests to certify that individuals who receive instruction in PCM reach the highest level of skill acquisition. PCM is the only complete crisis management system available that can guarantee successful prevention and intervention with maximum safety, increased dignity and total effectiveness.

Crisis Prevention

The best way to handle a crisis situation is to prevent it before it happens!

The crisis prevention component of the PCM system teaches a wide range of nonphysical and verbal strategies for the prevention of crisis situations. Since PCM is based on a teaching and learning model, it integrates smoothly as well as complements and strengthens your existing teaching and treatment strategies. Furthermore, throughout the PCM course, an emphasis is placed on the importance of individual choice and basic human rights.

Crisis De-escalation

The PCM system is based on a cognitive-behavioral model of intervention that utilizes established research based techniques for verbally de-escalating disruptive and aggressive behaviors. The PCM de-escalation component benefits from the groundwork established during the prevention process. During the PCM training course, participants acquire skills that enable them to quickly and safely stabilize an escalating situation before it becomes necessary to physically intervene.

Crisis Intervention

PCM provides individuals with a continuum of painless physical procedures and techniques that can be utilized to intervene in a crisis situation. Specific procedures have been uniquely designed for children, adolescents, and adults. All of the procedures have been designed to maintain human dignity and to completely avoid awkward positioning and physical pain. The PCM training course teaches participants to respect the dignity and value of all human beings and to be sensitive to individual human rights and freedoms.

Post-Crisis Intervention

The PCM course teaches participants various methods of interacting (verbally) following the implementation of crisis intervention. Specific content for post-crisis intervention counseling is presented and practiced at all training courses. Participants gain skills that enable them to quickly reintegrate individuals back to their regular teaching or treatment activities. Participants obtain training in how to conduct post-crisis analysis which includes ways of improving future interactions in crisis situations.

 

 

 

Food Drive for Loudoun Interfaith Relief: 6/6 to 6/16

ALL PAXTON CAMPUS PROGRAMS (OPEN DOOR LEARNING CENTER, ALLY ADVOCACY CENTER, STEP UP, THE ARC OF LOUDOUN, THE AURORA SCHOOL, MAGGIE’S CLOSET)

June 6th – June 16th

SUGGESTED WISH LIST ITEMS TO DONATE THIS SUMMER ARE:
Cereal, 100% Juice, Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Canned Meats (tuna or chicken), Mac & Cheese, Peanut Butter, Hearty SoupsFood Drive 2016

Teen/Young Adult Social Group- June 9th Picnic and Outdoor Games

To attend any of these events, please contact Katie at kwilcox@paxtoncampus.org to RSVP today!

Teen and Young Adult Social Group 2016

WHO SHOULD JOIN US?  Young Adult (ages 16-20) who  are interested in making friends!  We accept teens and young adults with and without disabilities who are looking to foster new friendships and interested in trying new activities!

What we do: Every other week we get together and have fun  doing various activities in the community.

 

OUR NEXT EVENTS ARE HELD FROM 5PM to 6:15PM

Date Activity Location Cost
April 14th Photography Class with Ms. Tine Paxton Campus FREE
April 28th Boxing/Fitness Class with Ms. Paula Paxton Campus FREE
May 12th Hiking Red RockRegional Park FREE
May 26th Dining Restaurant- TBD $10-$15
June 9th Picnic and Outdoor Games Ida Lee Park Bring a dish!

Please contact Katie at kwilcox@paxtoncampus.org to RSVP  today!

Facilitated by: Katie Wilcox, M.A., BCBA, LBA

 

Katie Wilcox

Katie Wilcox

Katie Wilcox, M.A., BCBA, LBA  kwilcox@paxtoncampus.org

Katie began working with children and adults with autism and related disabilities in 2009 at The Faison School for Autism in Richmond, VA.   Following her graduation from University of Richmond in 2011, Katie went on to continue working in the field in a variety of settings including Kennedy Krieger Institute’s LEAP Program, consulting in D.C. and VA public schools, and conducting therapy in various in-home settings.  While in VA, Katie received her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis in Autism.  Katie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a provisional special education teaching license.  Katie’s interests include reduction of problem behaviors, feeding, natural environment teaching, and increasing functional life skills needed for a successful transition to an independent lifestyle.

 

Workshop on Providing Meaningful Experiences in Community Settings – April 29

REGISTER HERE

How to Effectively Provide Meaningful Experiences for Individuals

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:   Professionals who work with people with disabilities

WHEN:   Friday, April 29;  10am-12pm

WHERE:   ALLY Advocacy Center   601 Catoctin Circle, NE,   Leesburg, VA 20176

Registration required. REGISTER HERE

 

FACILITATOR: 

Kendra McDonald, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at The Aurora School on Paxton Campus in Leesburg, VA.

 

DETAILS:   Individuals with disabilities  in our community want to participate in activities that enhance their education and promote community involvement.  Providers of these activities often face barrier behaviors that may prevent meaningful experiences.  This workshop will focus on teaching providers on how to work with individuals with challenging behaviors so that all individuals in our community can enjoy interacting with providers and participate in therapeutic and social activities within their community.