Thursday, November 18, 2010

Countdown to Level 2

My son’s therapeutic school uses a level system where students earn more privileges as they advance to the next level. When students first enter the school, they start at Level 1. When they reach Level 5, they may be considered ready to transition back to their home school.

As the school handbook describes, “the system is designed to teach students the relationship between maintaining positive behaviors and their opportunities to learn in a less restrictive situation. Thus, the level system is an educational instrument to teach students that socially competent behaviors lead to success, independence, and self actualization.” They also state that “as children become more competent, they become more motivated to further achieve. (The school) creates opportunities for students to succeed while learning to overcome adversity; thus attaining achievement and building resiliency. By enhancing the motivation to succeed, we work to lessen the fear of failure.”

My son started at the school in February, and he is still at Level 1. There are several criteria for advancing to Level 2, and Kai has met most of them, but he still has too many major incidents to qualify. There have been other students who started at the school after he did who made it to Level 2 quickly, but Kai usually has some type of incident about once a week and that is just too often.

With Kai’s love of numbers, he is usually motivated about the idea of getting to the next level (as on his typing software). However, he did not seem too excited about trying to get to Level 2 at school. I think that may have been because he thought it was too difficult for him.

But, he has had fewer incidents at school lately as he earned Student of the Week last week. Yesterday, we got an email from Kai’s social worker at school saying that Kai is getting very close to Level 2. If he has three more incident-free days, he will get there. They made a visual for him so that he can track the three days he has left. And now, finally, he seems excited and motivated to attain the next level.

If he makes it, it will happen on the last day of class before we have our Thanksgiving break. I am very thankful that my son is becoming more successful at school and motivated to further achieve.

To find out if Kai made it to Level 2, read The Countdown Ends.

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