The Analysis of Group Interventions at Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy
This group took place at Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy’s special education classroom. It is a second grade students’ class in a self contained classroom of the public school. There are 8 students with diverse level of autism severity. There are 3 girls and 5 boys, aged 7-9 years. The school system provides overall teaching, counseling services, speech and occupational therapy for the second year and certain success can be observed.
One teacher and two teaching assistants facilitate educational process in this class. Social work services are provided weekly academic year long. All professionals involved with this group are licensed practitioners, with relevant education and professional experience.
Autism is a brain development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior patterns or interests (National institute of Health,2007), thus the purpose of social work intervention is to improve students’ social skills and social interaction, as well as teach living skills.
The social worker is a leader, setting the group purpose and directing the process. (Toseland & Rivas, 2009, P.121.). The social worker as a leader uses play therapy, social group intervention and empowerment/strengths perspective as practical and theoretical base for conducting the group activities.
Particulars and Purpose of The Group
The social work services are included in each student’s individual educational plan and parental permission is obtained to provide counseling for each student. The main purpose of organizing given group is the need of each student individually to improve social skills and social interaction.
This particular group is time-limited, with closed membership, formal purpose and is focused on its members’ goals (Toseland & Rivas, 2009, P.121.). The planned duration of the group is till the end of the current school year, thus the phase of the group process can be defined as middle phase.
The group consists of eight students: three girls and five boys. All of them were present during the session of here analyzed group intervention. The members of this group are mandated by individual educational plans and are identified as of need receiving social work services.
No specific criteria for selecting of these group members exist, rather, the unite need to improve their social interaction is a primary factor for being selected and is a common feature of all the group members. The ethnicity, race, gender, age, socioeconomic and family status are the characteristics that make the members of the group different.
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