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An elementary school boy sits in front of a computer in his special education school while holding up a page of autographs.



Student Finds Success at School and Beyond


Lita came to New Story Schools as a ninth-grader to get some extra support. She struggled in social situations, finding it hard to make friends and converse with people around her. And she needed help learning to contain her emotions in difficult situations.

The staff began addressing Lita’s challenges by discussing approaches and developing a plan that would be right for her. They developed several interventions to use to help her address her challenges. For example, staff gave her written positive affirmation statements, throughout the day, to help her reset her negative thinking and build her self-esteem and confidence. She was also given talk tickets, which she could use to meet with a staff member to express her emotions and receive help maintaining a positive perspective.

Additionally, Lita has also worked with some of New Story’s programs, including Skillstreaming and Why Try. Skillstreaming is a social skills training program that uses a four-pronged approach, which includes modeling, role-playing, feedback and skill practice in the natural environment. Why Try is a resilience education program that uses visual analogies and a
multi-media approach to teach skills related to decision-making, dealing with peer pressure, developing relationships and support systems, and more.

All of these supports are paying off for Lita. Staff is seeing positive changes in her behavior and how she addresses schoolwork. She is also seeing her success.

“She now encourages other students and likes helping younger students,” said Clinical Director Suzanne McFall. “She has built out a lot of good relationships with staff and students, and she recognizes her emotions and how to deal with them.”

Lita’s progress in social skills has also helped her outside of the school walls. She is now making friends, a goal she set for herself long ago. “They’ve helped me a lot with my social skills. I never had the courage to approach and talk to someone. I’ve recently made a really good friend, and I don’t think I would have been able to do that before,” She said.

Lita then made another big step forward by joining New Story’s Transition Program. The program helps prepare students, ages 14 and older, for life after graduation. She has worked with local retail and manufacturing businesses where New Story Schools has established partnerships.

Lita has also joined the softball team at her local high school and bowls in a weekly recreational league.

Not only has Lita grown a great deal during her time at New Story Schools, but she has set lofty goals for her future as well. “I want to help kids in my situation or in a similar situation,” she said.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is I can face these challenges. If I didn’t go to this school, I wouldn’t feel the sense of accomplishment and be able to do the things I’m now able to do,” said Lita.

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