As a professional working with young adults or teens with special needs, you know how hard it is to locate quality support services for your clients. Many times, clients with special needs may have acquired a number of skills, but have trouble independently implementing them in their natural environment without some additional support and guidance.
At Advance LA we work closely with other professionals and family members to identify common goals; observe the client in the community and offer feedback to the team; provide support where it is needed; and work closely with other professionals to help the young adult or teen reach his/her goals.
Who should I refer?
One important factor in Advance LA’s success is our intentional focus on each individual and his/her goals. We work with young adults and teens who are in need of additional support in reaching their personal goals and actively participating in their community. The specialized and individualized nature of our program has allowed us to successful with clients with a wide range of needs and diagnoses including: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aspergers Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Challenges, ADHD, and Social/Emotional/ or Behavioral challenges including dual diagnosis.
What types of goals do coaches typically work on?
Advance LA coaches work to support clients in a variety of ways and focus on the development and enhancement of: independent living skills, executive functioning skills, social relationships, academics, internships and careers, as well as health and wellness.
We provide the various supports required for the client to achieve success in the community, whether it is at home, school, or at work.
How do you work with other professionals?
We find that our services are the most effective when we are able to work as a team on agreed upon goals. Many times therapists or other service providers have been working on developing skills with their clients but wish they could be with the clients more often, helping them apply these skills in various setting. This is where we can help, we will work with you to identify the areas you would like us to focus on and the strategies you have found to be useful. We will then help your client generalize these skills in their communities with the team’s support and guidance.
How do the coaching services work?
Advance LA relies on a team-based approach. Team members may include all significant people in the client’s life. For example, the team may include the client, family members, service providers/professionals working with the client, the coach, and the administrators of the program. An assessment is conducted at the outset of services and continues throughout the coaching process. Once the initial assessment is complete, individualized goals and interventions are developed in conjunction with the client’s team. The coaches implement the individualized program plan, assess progress, celebrate successes with the client, and work with the team to adjust goals. When needed, the Advance LA team will communicate with instructors, dorm personnel, employers, and others in the community to gauge client progress and identify additional needs.
While interventions used are often creative, innovative, and fun, they are firmly based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).ABAis an evidence-based practice that is frequently utilized in helping people achieve important goals. Within this framework, we focus on strength-based approaches in the natural environment to enhance outcomes and build on the client’s current skills and personal competencies.
Why is Advance LA coaching effective?
There are several reasons that our clients experience positive outcomes and an improved quality of life; some important aspects include:
- Clearly defined realistic goals support the client in moving toward these goals with improved confidence and efficiency
- The use of evidence-based strategies and direct instruction in various natural settings allows the clients to develop new skills and these skills translate into more successful experiences in many aspects of their lives.
- Clients receive intervention and support in better managing their time, organizing various aspects of their lives and completing projects
- Continued progress monitoring and feedback provided to client and team allow the client to celebrate successes and note areas for improvement
Areas of need frequently addressed: vocational/employment; self-advocacy; academic; independent living skills; hygiene; stress management; money management and budgeting; recreation and social, making friends, motivation, building a life beyond high school.
Additional Support for Professionals
Collaboration and Consultation Services
Advance LA works collaboratively with the young adult, family and professionals to ensure consistency in services. Collaboration can include coaches and/or supervisor coordinating services, sharing information and goals, as well as team meetings. In addition, Advance LA works with each young adult to share their progress and needs with all treatment team members on a regular basis.
Advance LA provides hands-on consultation support for professionals in multiple settings including universities, colleges, schools and other service providers. Our support also includes training, program development, and team meetings to facilitate and monitor the implementation and progress of these programs.
College/School Based Support
Advance LA offers a range of services for young adults who are in need of additional support in order to be successful in their current environment. Many universities and colleges have reached out to Advance LA in order to gain assistance in meeting the needs of their students with special needs.
We have had particular success in working with young adults in the transition into college. We provide the support they need to access services available to them, develop organization systems that work for the individual, and ultimately help them successfully enroll in and complete the coursework in their chosen field. Using this experience we provide consultation support to the universities and colleges serving them.
“I think other professionals need to know Advance LA exists because there's nothing like this available locally. Leave it to The Help Group...always on the cutting edge!”
-Clinical Psychologist in the San Fernando Valley
“Advance LA is a service I recommend to students/families that are interested in or need services and support beyond academics. This is an amazing resource!”
-University Director of Admissions
“My client has made tremendous progress with the support of the Advance LA team.”
-Los Angeles based Therapist
A few weeks ago I was on the campus of Cal State Northridge. I noticed one of my colleagues from work walking along side a friend. I said hello and he introduced me to Jeff. We talked about his rigorous schedule and the classes he took to get him to this point in life. It wasn’t until several minutes of conversation that I realized that my colleague was Jeff’s coach/mentor. Up until that point, I just thought they were two buddies sharing a class together. I thought it was incredible to see the camaraderie and just normalcy of their relationship. As I left campus that night, I thought how helpful it would have been for me to have a partner like Jeff had to navigate through my freshman year in college. It was quite endearing and very touching to see how this partnership is making all of the difference in this young man’s life and the lives of others they encounter along the way!
-Sue Anne Brocca, Principal, Sunrise School