What is adaptability and why is it so important for our students and families? Adaptability is being able to adjust to change. It is a skillset used to quickly learn new behaviors to respond to a change in circumstance. An adaptable person can move fluidly, bend and be elastic through all circumstances. They are problem solvers and can pivot very quickly with grace and ease. It entails the ability to be interpersonally connected and creative and open in their way of thinking.

Oftentimes Cascade Academy students are very rigid, black and white thinkers who struggle to adjust to change. Through therapy, recreation, and programming our students learn to become more adaptable. This requires them to set goals and acknowledge their weaknesses, recognizing they need improvement. They are taught to be awake and aware of their environment and what is being asked of them to be successful. One of the most important insights we give them is to accept that change is part of life; it is needed for their growth. By gently pushing our students out of their comfort zones they gain more confidence to take on new challenges. It’s important that they are willing to make mistakes and fall short. They need to remember that no one is perfect, and success lies in the fact that they were willing to try.

Here are few skills we work on with our students that may help you on your journey to becoming more adaptable. We teach them to be more:

  • Collaborative
  • Curious
  • Determined
  • Empathetic
  • Innovative
  • Observant
  • Open-minded
  • Resilient

The aforementioned list quickly becomes relevant to parents placing their child in treatment. How do parents adjust when they are dropping off their child for months? For some of our parents and students, it is the first time they have been away from each other for an extended period of time. Feelings of guilt and remorse seem to hover while they try to put on strong front for each other.

As the Admissions Director at Cascade Academy my job is to help ease the pain of this transition. Teaching the parents that their quick, healthy adjustment to the separation positively affects their child is one of the important things I do to coach the families through the process. I provide a needed reminder that they will be growing as their child grows and embracing change is the ultimate challenge and it is necessary for healing.  As parents and children work together cooperatively during these moments of uncertainty and change, they increase their adaptability together and lay a foundation for a better future together.