Copper Hills Youth Center

Through teamwork, integrity, accountability, communication and respect, Copper Hills Youth Center looks to make changes for the greater good and provide extraordinary service to the youth we serve, their families, our employees and our community. We provide a structured and safe environment where youth ages 12-17 can work on the issues that have caused their need for treatment.

Copper Hills Youth Center is located in West Jordan, Utah, in the suburbs of Salt Lake City and is licensed by the Utah Department of Human Services

Demonstrating our program’s strong commitment to accountability, Copper Hills Youth Center is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission. Our on-campus private school offering fully transferrable academic credit is accredited by AdvancED.

Arches Autism Spectrum Disorders Specialty Program

The Arches program offers a highly structured learning, social skill development and treatment environment created specifically for children and adolescents who have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or related disabilities. Since research proves that treatment, learning and social skills go hand-in-hand, our caring team of professionals individualizes each resident’s treatment plan with interventions and strategies that can be replicated when residents transition home with their family. Our multidisciplinary team looks at the “big picture” and how each resident and their family can manage their specific situation in order to make it better.

The team at Copper Hills has high standards for every resident in our care, but is fully aware that progress will likely come in small steps and require hard work. Behavioral, developmental and other educationally based interventions aim to improve a resident’s quality of life by working on their communicative, cognitive and social skills simultaneously.

Research-based, applied behavioral analysis techniques are used to build upon the individual strengths of each child. The Arches ASD Program focuses on modifying behavior through a system of rewards and positive behavioral supports overseen by our Clinical Program Administrator. Each and every day, residents have the opportunity to practice new behaviors and skills through our Super Jobs Ticket Program, Copper Cash Reinforcement Store, Community Based Outings and Daily Psychoeducational Groups. Daily behavior and skill acquisition data is recorded on our Phase Feedback Forms to measure progress and to develop new interventions if needed.

The Arches ASD Program also harnesses the research-proven strategy of using Social Stories throughout daily activities. By authoring individualized Social Stories based on each resident’s needs, the entire team of teachers, therapists and parents work together consistently teaching new skills and reinforcing positive behavior. Sample Social Stories topics include Making Friends, Taking Turns, Sharing, Getting Ready in the Morning and Asking Questions in Class. Each Social Story is printed out in color and bound in a folder so it can be taken home when a resident completes treatment.

The Arches program fully integrates Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) into daily routines to build our residents’ skills in distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal relationships. The SPARCS program can be modified to meet the needs and abilities of each resident.

Consistency and structure are integral to the Arches ASD Program and our residents excel when they have visual supports to help them complete their activities. Visual supports include pictures, charts, lists, visual boundaries, labels and task analysis for certain activities and are visible throughout the entire campus. We go to great lengths to break a skill into smaller, more manageable steps in order to teach and reinforce important concepts. Copper Hills firmly believes that all of our residents with ASD can learn, but perhaps in different ways than traditionally prescribed.

Critical to the success of each resident’s experience at Copper Hills is the involvement of the family. Family therapy brings the entire family together and typically focuses on education about autism spectrum disorders, strengthening relationships, clarifying boundaries, setting goals for future behaviors, implementing the strategies learned in treatment and accessing supports in the home community. If location makes it difficult for parents/guardians to attend family sessions in person, “phone-based” or “videoconferencing” family sessions will be conducted.