Realistic Motivators and Giving Them Control
We aim to be a vehicle for our clients to explore their world in the safety and company of close friends. Our clients make the decisions about where to go and what to do in our unscheduled time, as long as the activity is aligned with our principles.
This is why we use choice motivators like “you get to choose what we do, what we eat, or where we go.” This accomplishes multiple things. For one, it gives them the control to explore their world and the activities they are most drawn to. Many programs ask the leaders which activities will be a reward, but we ask the students. Importantly, it also teaches that when they work hard and display maximum effort, or achieve a goal, they get to choose what to do with their free time…just like neurotypical adult life. This prepares them for when they achieve more independence and consequently have more options to choose from in terms of their free time.
We also make group decisions that involve voting democratically, so each individual’s voice is heard, but the group ultimately decides.