The ICONz Young Adult Curriculum consists of social stories about situations that young men and women experience every day. Strategically embedded throughout the stories are the nine ICONz concepts. The situations and the expectations of other adults help our clients focus on social interaction and gain an understanding of others. They learn about motivation in others and about how they respond to others in their daily lives across a range of adult relationships.
How It Works
Most of the 20 lessons in the Curriculum follow the same format. The stories change with each lesson as six young adult characters engage with their families, co-workers, law enforcement or friends on the job, at the movies or in their communities. Some of the characters first appeared in the Middle School and High School Curricula. For clients familiar with those curricula, there is an opportunity to meet these characters as their young adult selves. The discussion following each story is led by a trained Leader (teacher, family member, therapist or allied professional) or Certified ICONz Provider™ who high lights the main character’s use (or failure to use) the ICONz and relates this to the eventual outcome. The discussion emphasizes the client’s use of the ICONz in their own every-day lives. Clients provide personal examples of how they used the ICONz or should have, but didn’t. As further examples, the Leader describes various situations where they used, or should have used the ICONz in their own lives. The impact of seeing a trusted adult using the ICONz greatly facilitates the use of the ICONz by the client or group. Our Leaders make clear that they believe the ICONz will help their clients if they use them every day.
Young Adulthood brings expectations like never before. No longer a child, but not a fully functioning adult, life for people this age is often full of questions about today and tomorrow. Media presents a lifestyle that few enjoy. Satisfying relationships can seem out of reach. Adult responsibilities including self-sufficiency loom large. In the stories, Young Adult characters experience these new realities and respond to expectations of others by using (or failing to use) the ICONz to understand the situation and guide their behavior. At this age, although clients are able to think about the complexity of other people and life itself in more ways, there is often a reluctance to address these life issues thinking of them as “sometime in the future” if at all. The stories and the characters’ approach to situations facilitates our clients discussing these topics. Using the ICONz to consider their present living and working arrangements helps our clients assess their situation and decide on next steps. They learn that “Change is OK” and can gain the confidence to move their lives forward.