Valley Haven’s individuals are learning about history, geography, science, and math in the Academics Class, as well as improving their skills in writing and vocabulary. Some of the individuals are also working on the basics of numbers and alphabet; writing names; verbally giving name, address and phone number; telling time – day, month, and year; recognizing fractions, and the values of coins and making change.
One area of focus in all class rooms is Community Living Skills, which help the individuals function as independently as possible in the community. This includes teaching them about community resources, money and banking skills, survival sign identification, and emergency phone use. Individuals are taken into the community to aid in developing skills such as dining at various restaurants in the community and learning to order independently from a menu.
Physical Activities and Leisure & Crafts
Physical Activities and Leisure & Crafts can be a prime agent in bringing happiness to individuals. It can become the foundation of a productive and worthwhile life. The goal of this class is to emphasize ability – not disability, encourage – not discourage, and provide challenges that will stimulate and motivate the individuals while having fun. Activities are found to interest each individual as well as to achieve success regardless of age, degree of their disability or previous experience. Many times a person’s inability to do or even attempt a task is a reflection of a lack of expectation or experience.
Domestic Skills and Family Living
In the Domestic Skills/Family Living area, skills such as housekeeping and maintenance are taught in rooms that resemble a home or apartment. The Domestic Skills class has a full kitchen where cooking skills are taught. Individuals plan and prepare their own meals. Other skills taught in this family living area include laundry, ironing and bed making. Individuals are taught those skills which will make them more independent.
Grooming and Hygiene
Grooming and Hygiene concentrates on cleanliness, neatness, and appearance. Individuals practice the skills they would use in getting ready in the morning. Some of the targeted skills include selecting appropriate clothing, matching clothing, and wearing clothes neatly. The need for Grooming and Hygiene skills is reinforced by group discussion about the importance of being neat and clean and by individuals helping and encouraging each other to recognize areas that need improvement.
The Socialization program focuses on personal and social skills with individuals participating in group discussion, activities, and role playing. During group discussion, individualslearn how to communicate with others, express and recognize feelings, handle conflicts, and exhibit socially responsible behaviors. Group activities, such as support groups like Weight Watchers and Aktion Club, teach individuals how to encourage, help and work with others. Role playing gives the individuals the chance to demonstrate what they have learned in a controlled environment. This training helps individuals achieve a positive self awareness and builds self confidence. Individuals also practice these skills during planned social gatherings and community outings.
Individuals who rotate through Valley Haven’s Alsobrook Workshop are exposed to a variety of tasks, which improve the individual’s pre-vocational and vocational skills. Many skills are necessary for individuals to be able to have a job and these skills are taught in the workshop. There are many work-type tasks such as sorting, collating, matching, and assembling. While in the class, the individuals participate in class projects such as recycling cans and recycling old electric meter parts. Activities are geared toward the individual’s wants and functioning level and includes training in basic skills such as remaining on task and following instructions through upper level skills such as labeling, packaging and advertising button making.