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What’s on Your Social Bucket List?

by Janet Price, Regional Director of Community Education and Transition, CLE Rockville

What’s on Your Social Bucket List?
By: Janet Price, Regional Director of Community Education and Transition, CLE Rockville

social bucketlist as opportunityThe New Year traditionally is a time for new resolutions. But for many students, committing to a year-long goal, whether verbally or putting pen to paper, can be stress inducing. The pressure of making a resolution can even undermine their ultimate success. Yet, setting goals is important. So at Rockville CLE, we have framed this concept in a fun and adventurous way in order to avoid many of the normal pit-falls and obstacles that arise when our students are asked to formulate goals.

Dr. Scott Hykin, Director of Psychological Services, explains: “The concept of having a ‘social bucket list’ refers to a list of socially-related experiences that the student identifies as wanting to have before their college experience is over. It is essentially a student-driven plan for achieving goals within the social realm.” What kinds of social goals are we talking about? Whether it’s dating, social activism, or simply hanging out with friends, every student approaches their college experience hoping to be able to look around, make comparisons, and say, “Yes, I am a typical college student.”

Rockville CLE students were asked to discuss their social bucket list goals in their focus group sessions. During their time at CLE, they will work together and with staff to support one another in meeting these goals, and making their shared dreams a reality. Here’s some of what our students hope to accomplish socially before they leave CLE:

social skills at CLE

  • Go to a concert event like Warped Tour
  • Plan and execute an overnight road trip with friends
  • Be less anti-social; hang out with people more
  • Participate in an extra-curricular sports activity
  • Be part of a protest – any protest
  • Maintain long-term friendships from college
  • Go out on a date
  • Apply to art school and have the experience of living in a college dorm
  • Learn how to talk to girls
  • Travel as far as possible, preferably with friends

Although it was sometimes difficult for students to open up, discussing their social bucket list also opened up opportunities for practice and feedback that can ultimately help in achieving those goals. As an example, one student shared that he had met someone at a local supermarket that he’d like to ask out, but he doesn’t know how to go about it. He was able to role-play conversations with his peers and get reassurance when he was on the right track.

When the New Year comes around, so many of us make personal resolutions that are forgotten months later. How many times have you resolved to eat healthier in the coming year? How long did that last? The concept of a social bucket list allows students to think about long term goals in a less formal way, with periodic reinforcement and practice activities throughout their time at CLE. As for our staff? We resolve that our students’ time at College Living Experience will help them to make those social experiences that they aspire to achieve a reality.

Newsletter Articles – January 2016

Maddie at CLE Costa Mesa

Individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically have the executive functioning deficit of goal setting. Therefore, it is imperative as professionals to utilize a goal format that has a more concrete sense so our students can not only understand their goals, but see them in a way that they acknowledge as more achievable. The SMART goal format of constructing goals was created by George Duran in 1981 and since has been adapted as well as expanded by many other individuals with this original SMART goal concept (The SMART Goals Guide, 2014).

Independence goals at CLE

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for students with learning differences, and those who care for them.

Steven Ogle - CLE Austin

As long as I can remember every January 1st people have begun the New Year with a promise of a better year. It’s a way to re-write the wrongs we didn’t from the previous year. The tradition stems all the way back to the Babylonian era. The Babylonians made promises at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. Doing the right thing and giving back does seem like a worthwhile idea. Sadly, in our modern times it has became more about ‘self’ with improving physical well-being topping the list of most popular goals for New Year’s resolutions.

Setting goals with Jean Handler - CLE Fort Lauderdale

Jean Handler has been a part of the CLE Davie community since 2011. She has been a member of the Student Leadership Council since its inception in 2013 and Jean is entering the New Year with a keen eye on her future. “I’m ready to begin my career,” Jean said recently during a career development session. “I want to have a good job and use the skills I have learned from school.” Jean has created four goals that hold significant meaning to her, both personally and professionally.

The post What’s on Your Social Bucket List? appeared first on College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future.

This has been a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.