November 7, 2016

The Power of ‘Adopt a Horse’ For Students Who Struggle with Attachment

It was late one afternoon, and Jimmy, a student in the equine therapy program at Heritage, was spending time with his adopted horse, Scout. He was teaching Scout to be comfortable with the body clippers. He had been working on this task for weeks—little by little gaining Scout’s trust. He was showing a great deal of patience and concern for his horse. He wanted his horse to feel safe, and to be comfortable with the task. As time went by, Scout let him get closer to him with the clippers turned on. Then he let him touch him on the […]
August 31, 2016
a bat, softball and helmet on the infield

Teens: Choose Your Team Wisely

Choosing the most talented and skilled players is a recipe for a winning team, right? Maybe sometimes, but not always. A recent experience taught me how choosing the right players is more important than choosing the “best” players. At our school, where students live for about 12 months, the teams are typically divided by the homes they live on. One year we decided that, to make the teams more even, it would be best to hold a draft for our softball season. Four students were selected to be team captains and participate in the draft. James (name has been changed), […]
May 5, 2016
Smiling happy teenage girl sitting in front of her parents

The “Golden Ticket” to Support & Perspective

“What am I supposed to do about my son?” “Why is this so hard? “Who can I talk to?” Parent conference weekend just wrapped up at Heritage, which was a marvelous opportunity for parents to rub shoulders with others in their same boat.  After a few hours spent together, learning and discussing this intensely emotional path, one father summed up the parent experience by saying “It’s like we’ve been given a golden ticket to an exclusive club – one we didn’t know existed.”  The chuckles from the rest of the parents in the room made it clear that this description hit […]
April 21, 2016
Family Playing Cards In Kitchen

It’s About Time! 10 Ways You Can Develop A Relationship With Your Teen.

Life is busy! There is not enough time in the day to do everything that we want and need to do.  Trying to strengthen your relationship with your teen may be something you want to do but you just don’t feel you have the time for.  What if you made a paradigm shift that allowed you to look at every experience with your teen as an opportunity to build trust and strengthen that relationship? This new view would make even the simple things become valuable opportunities.   You can use the time you do have in the best way possible. Here […]
April 5, 2016
Young woman wearing headphones and making notes

10 Sensory Processing Interventions

In presentations on the subject of sensory processing in the treatment of ASD, I’ve found that people love trying out sensory interventions in their own lives or lives of their families. If the sensory issues are serious enough, I recommend reaching out to an occupational therapist for an assessment and a professional sensory modulation program. Here are 10 interventions Heritage students love that you may want to try:   Noise Cancelling Headphones: Some people are overwhelmed by the sensation of ambient background noise in their environment. Noise cancelling headphones are a favorite of many students. You can achieve the same […]
March 14, 2016
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Peers Academy

Building Social Strengths through Awareness, Role-playing and Reinforcement Think back to your teenage years…what pops into your mind? Friends, school, budding romance, hanging out, feeling awkward, dating, erratic emotions, confusion, beginning independence, and the list could go on. For those individuals without mental health issues, the teenage years are challenging, but add a mental health issue and all these issues become overwhelming! At Heritage we specialize in identifying these unique issues and help create a pathway of learning and encouragement through our therapeutic framework. One main element in this therapeutic framework is known as our Peers Academy program. PEERS stands for […]
March 8, 2016
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Talking to Your Teens About Sex

Over the years working with adolescents and their families I have found that many times people find themselves in situations they are not prepared for.  As parents we want to protect and help our children grow up safe and smart. We want them to understand how the world works and be prepared for what life will bring to each of them. And yet, sometimes we shy away from certain topics because it is more comfortable for us not to have hard conversations. The human mind is amazing. Adolescents go through rapid changes during a short amount of time. Perhaps it […]
March 3, 2016
Chapel

Religious Diversity in Utah and Religious Offerings At Heritage

When one is visiting Utah for the first time, occasionally the assumption is made that everyone is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the “Mormon Church.” Such is not the case. The choices are tremendous. To help one navigate through the many religions located in Utah, Linda Walton, Chaplain and leader of the Utah Valley University Interfaith Association, and current Chair of The Utah Valley Interfaith Association created a very helpful resource. Use this website when you are planning a visit if you would like to attend services off campus. Let’s […]
February 2, 2016
Family Fun

Creating a Positive Family Culture

As we exit the holiday season and start the New Year, I have been reflecting a lot on the importance of quality time, tradition, and cultivating family culture.  Culture is defined in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary as, “a particular society that has its own beliefs, way of life, customs, art, etc.”  What this definition doesn’t explain is that culture is usually created very organically, and has many unwritten nuances and rules. The organic nature of culture is often so subtle that we rarely take the time to identify or consider what we are projecting as important to our children. So […]
January 26, 2016
Meditation

Creating Balance in Your Life

Life can be filled with highs and lows, happiness and stress, fun experiences and scary ones. I personally have many things in my life that make me happy and then in the next instant worry me to death. Working with teens brings this feeling daily. One minute everything seems to be going right and the next it blows up in my face and vice versa. Dealing with what comes your way in life is important, but more than that, it’s important to manage the things in your life that you can control. Being balanced in all areas of your life […]

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