What Is W.I.S.E. Weekend?
W.I.S.E. Weekend is a specialized overnight program, started more than 25 years ago, designed for children with social-emotional difficulties, attention problems, high-functioning autism / Asperger’s Syndrome, and learning disabilities. Such difficulties often preclude these children from successfully participating in traditional summer programs. No diagnosis is needed to participate.
Children’s ability to get along with their peers is as important to self-esteem as the ability to meet with academic success in the classroom. The summer affords many children the opportunity for growth in this very important social area. Unfortunately, there are many children who exhibit social-emotional difficulties. As a result, social interactions are often strained.
Children may attend W.I.S.E. Weekend as part of their special education IEP’s extended school year (ESY) program depending upon the child’s individual needs and IEP team determination.
Why Social Skills?
W.I.S.E. Weekend implements social skills which allow children to initiate and maintain positive relationships with others and contribute to peer acceptance as opposed to rejection. In addition, clinicians and researchers have identified a set of skills which discriminate between socially competent and incompetent children. Clearly, children with limited social effectiveness are at risk for a variety of problems. Thus, they often are in urgent need of instruction in social skills that will improve their social effectiveness.
What Will Go On?
Beginning with Friday dinner after parent drop-off and ending after Sunday lunch with parent pick-up, W.I.S.E. Weekend consists of Social Skills Training Groups and recreational activities such as swimming, boating, soccer, and arts and crafts. Cooperation is emphasized rather than competition. Social-emotional skills are taught through discussion, demonstration, role play, and reinforcement. Recreational activities provide opportunities to practice applying the newly taught skills in a controlled, supervised situation.
Positive Incentive Program
The Positive Incentive Program (PIP) provides children positive feedback and points immediately upon demonstrating appropriate behaviors. These points can be used to purchase various items from the PIP Store. As appropriate, individualized reinforcement plans may be developed throughout W.I.S.E. Weekend.
Parents meet with the program director after the Friday 4:30 PM drop-off and then again Sunday at 3:00 PM prior to departure. The 1st meeting provides an overview of W.I.S.E. Weekend; the 2nd meeting focuses on how parents can help to generalize newly acquired skills to the child’s natural environment. Handouts are provided with practical strategies.
Wholesome and nourishing meals will be prepared by an experienced chef catering to hearty appetites. Ample snacks will be provided.
Counselors are carefully chosen based upon their interest & experience in working with children with special needs. They typically include certified teachers, college graduates, & college students, all of whom have experience working with children with special needs. Supervision is priority throughout the program.
$395.00 for the weekend. $100 deposit required with completed application. If child is accepted, balance is due within 10 days following acceptance notification. Deposit will be refunded only if the child is not accepted or if the responsible party notifies W.I.S.E. Weekend within 10 days following acceptance notification.
Please make check payable to:
“Behavior Therapy Associates” (credit card payments are also accepted)
Mail application and check to:
Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A. 35 Clyde Road, Suite 101 – Somerset, NJ 08873
How Do I Get Started?
- Fill out the Application Form on this page.
- Download the W.I.S.E Weekend Screening Form and follow instructions.
Other Important Information You Should Know
- All children are carefully screened prior to acceptance.
- Children are grouped based upon age, strength and needs relative to the other children in the group, and based upon the determination of the best match with specific counselors.
- There are specific social problem-solving skills targeted for all students in the program. We also teach children how to problem-solve so they can potentially handle any social situation. Additionally, there are individual goals for each child (determined after the first several days of the program and based upon parent input).
- Staff members rate each child’s behavior and social skills after each activity every day and provide ongoing feedback to the children. A daily scorecard and comments are sent home every day for parent feedback.
- A more detailed questionnaire, program information, and directions will be sent once the child is accepted. Applicants are screened to ensure they are appropriate. Forward a copy of recent IEP, reports/ summaries along with your application.