We have had a great deal of success with placements at Aspiro (and here) and have a great deal of respect for their clinical team, (especially Gordon Day). This subset program at Aspiro, called Vantage Point, takes quirky, socially awkward young men and does a fantastic job with them. The profile for a young person going to Vantage Point is one who has been bullied by his peers, has not been a super athlete, and struggles often to process social information. These adolescents often have a disconnect between their heads and their bodies and do not have the confidence to try new physical activities. However, at Aspiro Vantage Point, they encounter adults and other youth who “get” them, often for the first time in their lives! What makes this program different besides the people who really do understand these unique individuals? The staff work to “slow down” activities and transitions so that these kids have time to process what is going on. Often kids with a social skill “difference” do not manage transitions well. A transition can be as simple as going from one activity, such as rock climbing, to returning to base camp. By offering many transition opportunities, as students try new physical activities, such as repelling, mountain biking, or back packing, they begin to gain new confidence in their ability to adapt and to learn new physical activities. Many of these young people have minor gross motor delays, and they have been teased and ridiculed by peers in the past. By being surrounded by a supportive staff, they are able to overcome fears and try new things! Learning to overcome fear and anxiety in the wilderness often translates into a better outlook and better resilience once they return to a more traditional setting!
We are grateful for the work of Aspiro!!
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