Stanfield’s Circles Level 1 and 2 focus on teaching special needs students appropriate physical boundaries. Level 1: “First Step” is separated into two parts. The first explains the concept of “social distance.” Through video demonstrations and an enormous eight-foot by four-foot wall graph, students learn to “see” what the appropriate amount of physical intimacy is for different types of relationships.
Students learn that how one touches, talks to, and trusts other individuals is dependent upon their placement within the circles that emanate from the self. Students place themselves at the center, and their parents, siblings, close friends, neighbors and strangers into their appropriate rings around the circle. Via this exercise, they understand why it’s okay to hold hands with Aunt Sara, but not with Joey the butcher. In the second section of Level 1, students are introduced to the concept of exploitation and how to establish trust.
In Level 2 (“Second Step”), the tools developed in the first program are expanded to wider and more complex social settings. Level 2 uses a reality-show format where students witness reactions to demonstrations of appropriate and inappropriate affection. Level 2 is an excellent “second step” to Level 1, but can be used as a stand-alone tool for “regular” students and higher grades.
Winifred Kempton, MSW, creator of the best-selling Stanfield “Life Horizons” family life skills programs, praises Circles for its results with the developmentally disabled. Circles Level 1 comes with 17 live-action video programs in 3 dvds; Circles Level 2 comes with 18 live-action video programs in 3 dvds. Both come complete with the giant wall graph, 50 large laminated graph icons, 50 student personal graphs, 300 “peel ‘n stick” icons, and a complete teacher’s guide.
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The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.