Common Questions


Does Project Six/The Commons give out high school diplomas?

Yes. The Help Group schools offer multiple educational tracks, including diploma tracks for families who wish for their child to obtain a diploma. The Help Group schools also have alternate curriculum tracks in which residents can obtain a certificate of completion. This track focuses on “real life learning” and prepares them for obtaining a job or entering a trade school.

How do I know how my child is doing in school?

Therapists are consistently in contact with the residents’ teachers at school to monitor how they are doing. Every day residents are sent to school with a homework log which allows teachers to report on their daily behaviors and assignments that need to be completed. Residents earn points based on their school behavior and returning their completed homework logs. Progress reports and grades are also sent out to parents by the schools.

How do you know residents are making progress?

Quarterly treatment reports are conducted to report on the progress each resident is making towards their goals. This is tracked by the resident’s therapist.

How do you know when residents are ready to go home?

Transition home is an on-going discussion that includes the resident, family, and often times the school district. As the resident makes progress towards their goals, the therapist will include these parties in creating an appropriate transition plan which may include extended home passes to determine if the resident is ready to return home or to a lower level of care.

How is Project Six/The Commons different from other Residential Treatment Centers?

Project Six/The Commons specializes in Autism and other Developmental Delays and has the capacity to address other mental health needs such as anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, mood disorders, etc. Project Six/The Commons incorporates multiple therapeutic strategies and activities such daily clinical groups, weekly equine therapy, and weekly Counsel groups (a Native American approach to communication) to support residents progress towards their goal. We are flexible in our treatment approach, meaning that we understand that every child is different and responds differently to treatment; therefore we are open to trying new things and utilizing “what works” for each resident. Families, including the child are crucial in developing the treatment plan.

How long do most residents stay?

How long a resident stays in the program is dependent on their level of need. On average, residents stay for approximately one school year, however a stay ranges from 6 months to three years.

How much exercise do the students receive?

We encourage that residents do some sort of physical activity at least once a day. Residential Counselors lead recreational groups which may include playing sports, fitness groups, working out in our on-site gym, hiking, and swimming.

How often do the residents integrate into the community?

Residents must demonstrate safe behavior on the unit in order to go out into the community. If they remain safe and appropriate, community outings occur multiple times a week.

How soon can I can I come and visit my child?

We typically ask for a one to two week transition period to allow new residents to become settled into the program before receiving visitors or home passes.

In what ways are families involved?

We encourage as much family involvement as possible. This includes participating in weekly therapy, frequent visits and home passes, and participating in our family activities we host throughout the year.

What are the class sizes?

The maximum classroom size is 14 students with typically one teacher and one assistant.

What are the qualifications of the teaching staff?

All of the teaching staff within The Help Group family of schools have a Special Education credential as well as an additional certificate in teaching students with Autism.

What are the types and extent of behavioral issues you handle in the residential?

Project Six/The Commons addresses a variety of behaviors ranging from externalized behaviors i.e. tantrums, property damage, yelling, self-injurious, AWOLs, school refusal, etc. to internalized behaviors i.e. avoidance, isolation, social anxiety, etc.

What curriculum is offered?

Village Glen and North Hills Prep are accredited by WASC (Western Association for Schools and Colleges). They offer a traditional college prep curriculum. They follow Los Angeles Unified School District A-G graduation requirements. The curriculum and assignments can be accommodated and modified per the IEP. Parkhill School offers both a diploma track and an alternative curriculum, depending on the needs of the student. Bridgeport offers an alternative curriculum which results in a Certificate of Completion.

What is the food like?

Simply said, the food is delicious! Our program includes a Healthy Living Specialist who is a Le Cordon Blue graduate. She cooks the meals for residents as well as teaches them how to cook, understand basic elements of nutrition, budget when shopping for food, and teaches them the necessity of healthy eating.

What is the Level System?

The Level System is a point system which provides residents the opportunity to earn points for completion of various tasks throughout the day i.e. hygiene, attending school, chores, homework, group participation, etc. At the end of each week points are added up to determine what level they will be on for the upcoming week. The higher the level, the more privileges they earn i.e. higher weekly allowance, more outings, later bedtime, access to personal media devices, etc. Points are never taken away, residents simply do not earn them if they are not demonstrating appropriate behaviors or completing certain tasks.

What is the makeup of the residential team?

The residential team at Project Six/The Commons consists of the Clinical supervisor, the Program Director, Therapists, Residential Counselors, the Psychiatrist, and the resident’s teachers, and the family, including the resident.

What kind of therapy do you offer?

Residents receive weekly individual, family, and group therapy. We believer that one size does not fit all. Therefore, therapists utilize several theoretical approaches when working with residents and families to address their goals. Common approaches used are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, TEEACH, PEERS, Mindfulness, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

What kinds of recreation do you offer?

Residential Counselors encourage residents to participate in a least one recreational activity a day. This may include on-site activities such as utilizing our fitness room, indoor basketball court, or outdoor play in our courtyard. Off grounds, residents enjoy all that Southern California has to offer. Beach and mountain excursions, museums and local cultural events, horseback riding and working with animals, and amusement park trips are all scheduled regularly.

When can I take my child out on a pass?

Typically families take their child on pass over the weekends so as not to disrupt the resident’s school participation during the week. However, afternoon passes and visits are possible throughout the week as well. All visits and passes are scheduled through your therapist.

Where do parents come and stay when they visit?

Out of the area families typical book a hotel near the facility. We are fortunate enough to be approximately 25 minutes from popular tourist spots such as Hollywood and Santa Monica, museums, restaurants, the beach, concerts, Universal Studios, Disneyland are all a part of Southern California’s appeal.

Where do your residents come from?

Although the majority of our residents come from within California, out of state applicants are welcome.

Who does not fit in your program?

Project Six/The Commons does not admit teenagers who are on probation, have significant history of aggression towards others, substance abuse, sexual acting out, or run away behaviors.

Who would be my contact at Project Six/The Commons?

Your primary contact at Project Six/The Commons is the assigned therapist for your child and family. However Residential Counselors are always available 24 hours/7 days a week should you need more immediate assistance.