Our Approach

The Richardson School believes in an individualized, student-centered approach. Goals are IEP, district, and family-driven, with focus on data collection and individualized plans for every student. Keeping in mind that each student’s needs are different, our approach is always relationship-based, working to foster those relationships through Collaborative Problem Solving and DIR/Floortime.

Collaborative Problem Solving, developed by Dr. Stuart Ablon and Dr. Ross Greene, is a framework for solving difficult problems and building relationships in the process. The basis for Collaborative Problem Solving is for students to be a part of creating the solution through discussions of their concerns and staffs’ concerns. Through these discussions, difficult behavior is reduced, adult expectations can be pursued, skills are taught, and problems are solved so they don’t repeat. At TRS, staff that work closely with the student come together to develop a Thinking Skills Inventory, which highlights areas of strength and weakness. Triggers are then discussed and are the basis of initial conversations. As each problem is resolved, a new trigger and problem area is focused on.  More information regarding Collaborative Problem Solving can be found at www.thinkkids.org

DIR/Floortime, developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder, is a framework for building healthy foundations for social, emotional and intellectual capacities. The basis for DIR/Floortime is to foster communication (both verbal and nonverbal) and interaction by following the student’s lead. Through the interactions, students learn tolerance, interpersonal skills, and relationship-building skills. At TRS, staff work one-on-one with a student in their area of interest by following their lead to continue the interaction. As each interaction increases in length, skills are being taught.  More information regarding DIR/Floortime can be found at www.icdl.com

Social Skills is a program offered at TRS throughout the week in all the classes. Lessons are built around interest areas for students, problematic themes observed in classes, and social skill areas that should be seen at each developmental stage. Buddy groups are also held between classes on a weekly basis. Buddy groups focus on teaching students about differing peer’s abilities while working on fun activities.