Behavioral Education Systems

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JRC’s behavioral education systems feature the following aspects of behavioral educational technology:

Programmed self-instruction using computers as teaching machines

A portion of a student’s learning makes use of self-instructional teaching software. The software enables him or her to progress through the subject matter at their own pace and provides immediate feedback to individual students as to whether their answers are correct.

Precision teaching

JRC also makes use of Precision Teaching, meaning that educational progress is evaluated by the rates of correct and incorrect responses that the students show as they do their lessons.

Data for each student is entered automatically in a database. JRC’s clinicians and teachers are able to look at the students’ charts on their computers. The charts are updated daily, showing the student’s progress on each academic skill being taught. This enables the teacher and clinician to see immediately how the student is progressing and to take any remedial steps needed to ensure continued progress.

Behavior modification

JRC uses the same powerful reward system that is used to motivate improvements in the student’s problem behaviors, to motivate improvements in academic skills.

Normally, when a student first comes to JRC, the reward systems are primarily used to improve the student’s problem behaviors. As those behaviors improve, the reward systems are re-allocated so that they are increasingly focused to encourage the student’s educational progress.

Students can earn money for completing a specified amount of academic work as required by the teacher. The money is kept in a computer account and can be used by the student to purchase his/her choice of rewards.

State of the Art Educational Materials are available

JRC provides one computer for each student. Students who are working toward a high school diploma can do assignments (writing research papers and reports) and take practice tests to prepare for state and college entrance examinations on the computer.

Developmentally delayed students use touchscreen computers to access programs. Students have access to iPads that can be used for instruction, communication, and/or rewards.

Self-instructional software in a variety of subject areas

Custom software has been developed by JRC’s own software development group. By using this software, students who have fallen behind in their academic skills (perhaps because of having to spend time in a psychiatric facility, at home instead of at school, or elsewhere) are often able to increase several academic functioning levels in a school year. Some of the programs are Alphabet Skills, Receptive vocabulary and phonics skills, Math facts, and the Numbers program.

Individual and Small Group Instruction

This instruction provides the support necessary to meet the individual needs of each student. Our high school students meet with subject area teachers (Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, and Spanish) for one on one and small group instruction to prepare for state examinations which are required for graduation.

Required daily school attendance

Students are expected and required to attend school every day. Students are not permitted to stay home or skip school. The school building is deliberately designed to be visually attractive and contains many special reward activities (movies, video games, retail store, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, internet café, and more) to motivate school attendance.

A rich variety of after-school activities

Many activities are offered that students can enjoy during the afternoons and evenings.

A reward area in the school has been designed to include a movie theater, teen lounge with video games and pool tables, boutique store where students can purchase a variety of items for themselves or gifts for their family members, hair salon, and internet café. JRC  has both girls and boys basketball teams.

Behavior permitting, students go on many community outings such as restaurants, malls, parks, movies, athletic events, and concerts, to name a few.

Special Features for Cognitively Typical Students

Instruction in Skills Required for High School Diplomas

Students who are working towards a high school diploma are given instruction in subjects such as Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Spanish. These sessions help prepare a student for the examinations that are graduation requirements of their home state.

During the remainder of the school day students work on academic assignments, either individually with their classroom teacher or in small groups.

Behavioral counseling

Counseling is provided by clinicians with doctoral or masters level training in behavioral psychology. Some of these clinicians are licensed psychologists and some are Board Certified Behavior Analysts.

Traditional counseling procedures have often failed to successfully treat the students we serve, and sometimes such procedures may even strengthen the inappropriate behaviors they have been designed to treat. Behavioral counseling avoids these problems and is totally coordinated with the student’s ongoing behavioral treatment.

Behavioral self-management training

This training is provided to those students who are capable of benefiting from it. Students choose the behaviors they want to work to change, record their own data, and share the data in group meetings with other students who are also working to change their own behaviors.

Training in the use of behavioral psychology

Behavioral psychology training is given to help students to understand their own behaviors and those of others, using the principles and understandings of behavioral psychology.

Opportunities for advanced education

Our students can take vocational and college courses at Blue Hills Vocational High School and Massasoit Community College, both of which are just around the corner from JRC in Canton. They also take various online courses such as Introduction to Science Fiction, Children’s Literature, Web Design, etc.

Job opportunities

JRC students are able to receive training and paid part-time jobs working in our kitchen, in our maintenance department, as receptionists, and as assistants in different departments doing tasks such as copying, filing, etc.

Students have also obtained competitive jobs working at Friendly’s, Wal-Mart, Chili’s, Bertucci’s, Dollar Tree, Stop & Shop, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Roxanne’s Taqueria, the Brockton Rox Baseball team, Target, and a local day care center.

Baby-Think-It-Over Program

This program, which is designed for both female and male students, involves taking care of a computerized baby, day and night, for two weeks. The baby cries, needs changing, and other care.

The goal of the program is to simulate the degree of work and responsibility that is involved in caring for a real baby.

Student website

Students have access to their own discussion board, chat rooms, weekly menus, and other features.

Students can use their website to make suggestions online, anonymous or otherwise, to suggest new items for the contract store or for the school menus, and so on.

Special Features for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Intensive Toilet Training and Instruction in Daily Living Skills

JRC has designed two classrooms especially for intensive toilet training.  Students are placed on a toileting schedule, which starts with alternate periods of sitting on the toilet for 5 minutes and off for 5 minutes.

When students void on the toilet successfully, they receive praise and their favorite rewarding items or activities. The schedule is adjusted gradually, in accordance with the student’s progress.

Eventually the student sits on the toilet for 5 minutes and off for 60 minutes or longer. This procedure has proven successful with every student with whom it has been used. Students who have failed toilet training for years and even decades have been successfully trained.

During the time when students are not sitting on the toilet they receive intensive one to one instruction in daily living skills such as buttoning, zipping, tying shoes, hand washing, brushing teeth, various chores, and computerized academics.

Students are also taught to request the bathroom through the use of words, signs, or picture icons.

One to One Instruction in Basic Skills

JRC provides one to one instruction to students who need training in skills such as these:

  • asking for desired items or activities by signing, vocalizing or exchanging pictures
  • reading
  • using JRC’s computers and computer software
  • self-care skills such as zipping and unzipping, buttoning, tying shoelaces, tying a tie, washing hands and brushing teeth
  • and pre-vocational and vocational skills

JRC staff use the methodologies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which include:

  • discrete trials
  • prompting and fading of prompts
  • immediate rewards for desired responses
  • individually created task analysis sheets
  • timings and precision teaching technology
  • recording prompt levels to measure student progress, and
  • making data-based intervention decisions to insure progress and mastery

JRC-created self-instructional software and touchscreen computers to teach basic skills

JRC has developed unique software that teaches basic ABA training skill to autistic-like students, including:

  • pointing
  • matching to sample
  • naming letters and numbers
  • phonics
  • counting
  • telling-time
  • receptive vocabulary
  • using a computer mouse
  • choosing a reward using a pictorial menu

This software enables students to continue learning on their own even at times when they are not receiving one to one instruction from the teacher.