Survival Skills Testimonials

SURVIVAL SKILLS – A Life Skills Solution

Nancy J. Erskine
( School District of Philadelphia Director, Special Education, Low Incidence Program)
I am pleased to provide this letter in support of your efforts to expand the Survival Skills Program. The letter is intended to provide the salient information regarding the Survival Skills Program and its outcomes and benefits in the Philadelphia School District. My position in the Philadelphia School District at the time of its implementation was Special Education Administrator for the Southeast Region of the School District of Philadelphia. Survival Skills was implemented throughout the Philadelphia School District for a 5-year period. During this time 25% of all the ES teachers in the city were taught to use the Survival Skills method. You and your team, provided in-class coaching to teachers, and held ongoing monthly workshops throughout the 5 year period with teachers to aid their internalizing the 42 skills a child involved the parent in the Survival Skills program. The results of the 5-year implementation were as follows
Marshall Gorodetzer
(Principal, Robert Morris Elementary)

I am writing to share my very positive experience - over several years - with the Survival skills program. The survival skills Program is effective. It has had a profound effect on the morale of our teachers, and our schools. The concepts taught during our multiyear exposure to this program resulted in out teachers significantly increasing their understanding of the behavioral management, which resulted in our being able to reach children who were very difficult to reach, and as a result, teach. Another benefit was that we were able to ultimately mainstream more students successfully and continue to improve the academic performance of those students who remained in our special education program.

Historically, Philadelphia has had significant problems retaining teachers who were working with students needing emotional support. The regular meetings that were held with Dr. Gordon and Andrea Wilson-Harvey and the advice and counsel they provided, fostered the development of a very strong support system for our teachers, enabling them to learn and work together in funding ways to be more effective in reaching their students. The support system resulted in a high level of esprit be corps among our teachers, and we experienced on additional turnover with our staff.

Equally, the students made great strides in learning how to control themselves, and their improved discipline and understanding of how to negotiable the school environment, enabled them to improve their performance and communicate better. I recommend this program for all schools. It works

Ms. Berry,
(Parent of former Special Education child, School District of Philadelphia)
"My child had been assigned to Special Education. Many thought my son was one of the most impaired of all of the special education students. After Survival Skills was introduced in his class, his teacher taught me how to use Survival Skills techniques at home, and I was able to use them with him and my other children. They eventually could put him back in the regular classroom. Later, he went on to succeed in the district's Talented and Gifted Program."
Laurentine Fromm,
M.D. (President, Regional Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, Affiliate of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Child psychiatrists are well aware of the large number of children with development delays and deficits in this area of emotional / affective growth. Developmental delays and deficits in this area are common in learning disabled children. Studies have shown that LD children with emotional skills deficits are more susceptible to academic failure, and are at a higher risk of having problems with juvenile and legal authorities. Thus, it is very important that effective methods to remediate these deficits in LD children and disseminated.

I am familiar with Dr. Gordon's impressive "emotional skill building intervention" and agree that it needs to be more widely disseminated. There is a dire need for this kind of training for teachers. Its extreme effectiveness is proof that, with the right training, non-mental health professionals, like teachers, can play a crucially important role in helping LD children develop the emotional / affective skill building " training should be available to all teachers who are working with LD children. The web would seem to be ideal modality by which to deliver this important training to teachers.

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