Developing strong friendships and peer groups is one of the most important factors in creating a treatment that is safe, predictable, empathic, and long-lasting. In fact, one of the most common types of feedback the O-School receives from its alum is that the school helped them form friendships, often for the first time, and that those friendships endured into adulthood.
As with all aspects of the O-School experience, this important outcome is the result of a thoughtful and intentional design. The O-School classrooms, culture and schedule are all designed to foster these relationships by providing regular activities that help students discover and build on current interests and passions with their peers in a safe and nurturing setting. During these activities, trusted O-School staff members engage with the students, and by being a part of the action, the adults present can ensure that the student interactions are positive and supportive. When needed, this approach also offers the chance for students to receive coaching on how to initiate, reciprocate and sustain friendly exchanges.
Over time, O-School students learn how to build healthy friendships and boundaries with peers, and these strong relationships are often a source of support and encouragement throughout their growth and treatment, both during and after their time at the O-School.