Self Advocacy Method (SAM)

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The SAM program is an innovative technique developed at Weaver Center that includes a structured, written manual of strengths, challenges, and compensatory strategies that enable effective and ongoing self-advocacy skills. The program includes self-advocacy, communication and assertiveness skills training through role-playing. The program utilizes the evaluation information so clients can learn about their learning styles and executive functioning, and empowers clients to be more active and effective participants in school and life.  This service is often based on the results of our neuropsychological, projective and educational evaluations.

An Effective Individualized Program
The Self-Advocacy Method (SAM) Program is a structured therapy program, which uses cognitive and behavioral strategies. The initial focus of the program is to collaboratively develop an organized manual documenting an individual's strengths, challenges, and compensatory strategies.

Each client develops, in collaboration with a trained clinician, his or her SAM manual, beginning with eight individual sessions. At the conclusion of this process, participants are able to:

  • Articulate areas of strength and challenge

  • Implement compensatory strategies to deal with their challenges

  • Develop appropriate accommodations in school and work environments

  • Evaluate effectively the success of strategies

 
Delivering Results
The SAM process helps individuals develop deeper insight into their learning style so they can develop successful compensatory strategies. As individuals grow older, they must develop the critical awareness and assertiveness skills needed to navigate school and work environments. As individuals advance through the program they receive additional training and support to develop self-advocacy skills. This enables individuals to consistently obtain the understanding and modifications that facilitate their effectiveness. The SAM Program uses role­-playing and videotaping to develop practical advocacy skills.

Open the Door to Potential
With these skills in place, the individual can turn away from feelings of frustration and disappointment to feelings of empowerment and accomplishment. Clients who have completed the SAM program are able to:

  • Understand strengths and areas of challenge

  • Identify and effectively use compensatory strategies

  • Improve self-esteem and advocacy skills


Part of a Comprehensive Approach
The SAM program should be initiated after completing an initial consultation evaluation. SAM is very effective when done in conjunction with process tutoring. The program always integrates all available information and often involves collaboration with other professionals.