The Bridge School

Self-Determination Program



While at The Bridge School, Job already had a lot of friends, but he was interested in expanding his social circle and selected a self-determination goal of making more friends and planning more things to do with friends. He was also a very competent communicator but was somewhat reluctant to use his SGD when with friends. It was also important to Job to be with his friends independent of adult support.  He worked with his speech language pathologist to develop language in his device to engage and train peer partners so that they could all more easily communicate. He also learned to politely request of his instructional aide to fade support so that he could hang out with his friends more independently.


During the Self-Determination Program, Job worked toward his goal of making more friends and doing more things with friends. He selected an important person to help him with his goal and wrote an email asking this person for advice. Based on this advice, Job developed a plan to select a less familiar classmate and asked for her email address, which he then programmed into his email page on his communication device.


As part of the Self-Determination Program, Job and his fellow mentee prepared a culminating event, which included a presentation to parents and other invited guests about the Self-Determination Program and a celebration of their accomplishments.
Through guided activities Job and his fellow mentee:

  • developed a guest list
  • designed the invitations
  • determined elements of the party (e.g., food, decorations, etc.)
  • created the Power Point Presentation highlighting the various activities, the process for setting personal goals and making plans of action


Job took an active role in planning his own graduation from The Bridge School and planned this special event with his close friend and classmate. After designing the graduation invitations, he personally distributed them to his classmates at Bridge School and North School. He and his classmate then began the process of planning the big event. They determined the graduation theme, music, food, beverage and guest speakers. They also selected the personal photos for the slideshow presentation of their years at The Bridge School.