Independent Living Program
The intimate nature of the Yellow House dorm is designed to encourage deeper social connections, independence, and self-management in addition to compliance with behavioral expectations and skills for success targeted in the other dorms. The small number of residents translates to increased time with individual dorm-mates and staff, resulting in greater opportunity to develop meaningful relationships.
In addition, smaller numbers in the dorm are especially useful to boys who are stimulus sensitive. Finally, higher levels of functioning allow for more intensive therapeutic work with the social group.
Living in the Yellow House requires greater responsibility on the part of LKS residents. Activities of daily living are taught with increased expectations for independence. As old patterns of dependency are addressed, expectations for initiative of daily care tasks can be appropriately increased according to each student’s individual development.
Besides daily responsibilities, residents are routinely asked to devise and implement a household budget, shop for ingredients for weekend meals, cook a meal for other residents and occasional student guests, and wash their own laundry. They are also responsible for roadside clean-up in the Adopt-a-Highway program.
Staff promote an expectation among students that Yellow House residents are generally more mature and hold higher status than other students on campus. Accordingly, Yellow House students typically interface with the community outside of LKS more frequently than residents of other dorms. To encourage students to meet these higher expectations, staff foster a perception of dorm-wide maturity and status that clearly scaffolds their ability to act accordingly.
A student’s alignment with program values and expectations is implied by their acceptance to the Yellow house. Because his membership in the Yellow House signifies program support and personal competence, staff do not have to continually negotiate behavioral compliance. Staff task becomes supporting the success already accomplished.