ISST - Intensive Social Skills Training Program

Lisa-Marie Nicholson

Supervisor of Programming

Office:  (610) 379-5461
Fax: (610) 379-5462

413 Bridge Street
Weissport, PA

Welcome to BHA’s Intensive Social Skills Training Program (ISST)!  Our program offers a daily, six-hour fusion of academics and therapeutic interventions in a unique, family-like, student-centered, learning environment.  We are a center-based, K-12 emotional support program that focuses on building the skills necessary to successfully navigate not only the school environment, but life in general.

Our students participate in social skill building groups daily that focus on a wide variety of age-appropriate topics ranging from staying on topic, taking turns, asking a peer to play to recognizing negative peer pressure, personal  boundaries, and asking someone out on a date.  Students are given ample opportunity to practice these learned social skills during structured socialization periods built into the schedule throughout the day.  Staff provide the necessary behavioral rehearsal, prompting, positive reinforcement, and oversight to ensure that our students feel safe and in a secure environment to practice and enhance social interactions with peers.

In order to fully serve our students and districts, we only utilize research-based, evidence-driven practices in developing behavior plans and targeted interventions to address each student’s specific, individualized needs.  Our professional staff applies techniques such as Applied Behavioral Analysis, Conceptual Skills Check, Social Stories, Visual Scheduling, Sensory Diet, Premack Principle, Ecological Arrangements, Inclusive Family Practices, Family Engagement, and Functionally-Appropriate Replacement Behaviors in developing effective interventions.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the individual counseling sessions offered on a weekly basis.  This individualized time affords the student an opportunity to more fully explore their emotions, and enhance the development of insight and increased self awareness, to gain a better understanding of their own behavior and the issues, feelings and events that motivate them. The most useful benefit of therapy is often an improvement in health and well being, which often translates into increased self-confidence, productivity and a greater sense of vitality and peace of mind.

To further enhance their sense of well-being, students are also exposed to Mindfulness Meditation, which research has shown to be an effective method of strengthening the  immune system, improving social relationships with family and peers, and reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as increasing feelings of  well-being and happiness.   The student’s family is provided with educational material regarding the practice of Mindfulness Meditation and encouraged to practice it in the home as well.

Transition:  Work experience, Close collaboration with OVR, transition & self-determination surveys

Communication:   Family & Districts Daily forms..track progress  IEP social-behavioral goals throughout the day and over course of weeks, quarterly meetings 4x/yr to monitor progress and plan for transition back to district

The staff are some really well-trained, dedicated folks..they have been great with my son. I also love how closely they worked with me, and included me in all decisions concerning my son. I would recommend BHA to any parent whose child needs more than home school can offer.  They have provided my son with a quality education while addressing all of his social, emotional and behavioral needs.  He has really come a long way.

Michelle D., Mother

BHA has helped tremendously..he is happy to go to school.  I think his attitude and his self-esteem have improved a lot.

Chris S., Mother

My son has been in your program for a few years now.  We have seen him make friends and he has grown academically.  This program has been great for him.

Charlotte S., Mother

Thank you so much for the wonderful job you have done…this year your program was a true blessing for our family.

Karl P., Father