Ep. 159: The Benefits of Boarding for Diverse Learners with Sara Jackson

Nov 14, 2023 | 0 comments

Parents frequently find themselves searching for the perfect educational environment for their child. And when you have a child who thinks and learns differently, you may also look for an environment where your child has access to interventions that address their unique needs, a program that incorporates clinical support, helps your child develop social-emotional learning and adaptive functioning skills, and provides them with the support of a community of educators and peers. For some students, that could mean a residential or boarding program, where they live and learn in the same place. 

Sara Jackson joins us today to talk about the benefits of this type of program for neurodivergent youth. Listen to learn more.


Show Notes:

[2:30] – A boarding school is special because a student is getting the full academic learning, but their life after school is intentionally programmed as well.

[4:35] – Boarding school integrates social-emotional learning into the day-to-day schedule for students which in many other environments is missing.

[6:42] – There is a lot of opportunity for incidental learning.

[8:02] – The biggest benefit for neurodiverse students in a residential program is the built-in community.

[9:33] – Sara explains that the students they serve are experiencing life-changing events that are building self-confidence.

[11:04] – Who is a good candidate for a residential program and what is the right age? It’s a whole family decision.

[13:06] – For a child with learning challenges, the struggles are often the focus. But, a personalized education program like this gives the opportunity to focus on strengths and interests.

[15:13] – In order to thrive, some students need a specialized program.

[16:48] – When students are successful outside of school, it increases confidence during academic learning as well. 

[19:01] – Sara describes a typical day for students at Riverview School.

[21:16] – Parents are close partners with Riverview School.

[22:49] – For more information, visit their website. There are virtual and in-person information sessions available.


About Our Guest:

Sara has a BA in Neuroscience from Hamilton College and Master of Social Work from Boston University. She is a licensed clinical social worker. Sara has worked at Riverview School since 2001, in a number of positions including as direct care staff, a clinician, the social pragmatics and behavior specialist and currently as the coordinator of the middle school/high school boarding program. 


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.