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The Dilemma facing Autistic students in after school program; The Boys and Girls club of America. Strategic Research Project Comment by Mary Clisbee: You need an actual title

by

Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur

A Strategic Research Project Submitted to the

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

and School of Criminal Justice in Partial

Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

Degree of Doctor of Education

Nova Southeastern University

2022

Approval Page

This strategic research project was submitted by Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur under the direction of the persons listed below. It was submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Nova Southeastern University.

Mary Clisblee,PhD Comment by Mary Clisbee: Mary Clisbee, EdD

Faculty Member

Kimberly Durham, PsyD

Dean

Statement of Original Work

I declare the following:

I have read the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility as described in the Student Handbook of Nova Southeastern University. This Strategic Research Project represents my original work, except where I have acknowledged the ideas, words, or material of other authors.

Where another author’s ideas have been presented in this Strategic Research Project, I have acknowledged the author’s ideas by citing them in the required style.

Where another author’s words have been presented in this Strategic Research Project, I have acknowledged the author’s words by using appropriate quotation devices and citations in the required style.

I have obtained permission from the author or publisher—in accordance with the required guidelines—to include any copyrighted material (e.g., tables, figures, survey instruments, large portions of text) in this Strategic Research Project manuscript.

Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur

Name

April 17, 2022

Date


Acknowledgments

I would like to take this time out to say with great gratitude thank you Jesus for seeing me through this tedious and challenging journey.

Most of all, from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the following instructors: Dr. Charlene Desir, Dr. Michael Gaffley, Dr. Gina Peyton, Dr. David Ross, Dr. Nydia Cummings, and Dr. Mary Clisbee, I would not have been able to complete this research to obtain my Doctoral degree. Your expertise and knowledge into my subject matter steered me through this journey to greatness. I truly appreciated the feedback and encouragement to keep pushing forward.

Lastly, acknowledgements wouldn’t be complete without thanking the people I’ve worked alongside with correcting the problems on this strategic research project. Honestly, without these people I would be lacking the knowledge I have gain today.

For me, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou


Dedication

Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. -Matthew 19:26

I dedicate this Doctorate to my mother, Dr. Charlotte Wilkins. My first teacher a strong and gentle soul who taught me to stand on Gods promises, believe in hard work, and trust that much could be done with little. I thank you for going before me giving me a clear picture of what it looks like to beat the odds. To my husband Chauncey McArthur, thank you for being my rock, my safe place to land, my inspiration and my heart. Thank you for giving me your unwavering support throughout this process. To my sons “three young kings,” Chauncey, Denim and King. My greatest blessings you are, I thank you for giving me my why. In a world full of troubles and sorrow, you have been the light that kept me going, always remember, you are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, smarter than you think and loved more then you know. To my daughter, Young Queen Royalty. The beautiful gift I receive from God four months before obtaining my Doctoral degree. My life is so magical because of you, thank you for giving me the strength I didn’t know I had. Baby Doll, you taught me the true meaning of peace and the power of prayer, in which all things I manifested I’m a different person compared to who I was this time last year because of you. To my sister Austrea Wilkins, I thank you for showing me the world in birds eye view and living a healthy unapologetic life. There is no better friend than a sister and there is no better sister than you. To my God Daughters, Chloe and Qimani. I love you both to life and thank you for being a beautiful extension to my family. I will always be in front of you cheering you on, behind you having your back and beside you so you will never be alone. To all my city girls, don’t just believe in your dreams believe in doing something about it! I’m just a little girl from Cherryhill in Boynton Beach, Fl who believe she could and did it. Lastly, I say thank you to all who didn’t understand my journey and my dedication throughout this process. What didn’t kill me helped build me. The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Abraham Lincoln

Executive Summary

The Dilemma facing Autistic Children in The Afterschool Program: The Boys and Girls Club of America. Rubineschia Wilkins-Mcarthur, 2022: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischer College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: education, autistic, students, after school, program, boys, and girls, behavior Comment by Mary Clisbee: Needs punctuation after the word Program. A colon?

When autistic children are not in school sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment. Autism is a developmental condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America seeks to assist all young people, especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are creative, compassionate, and responsible citizens.

The organization also focuses on improving the lives of autistic students by exposing them to activities such as sporting and art programs that enhance their development and improves their physical and mental health. Autistic children might resist participating in outdoor activities if they were used to staying indoors, going to new places, joining social clubs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, changing schools, and doing things at different times than they are used to. Autistic children’s resistance to change is average which makes the students prefer performing tasks through routines. The after-school programs in Boys and Girls Clubs of America offer programs that enable students of all social backgrounds, races, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to reach their full potential. Autistic children have difficulty adapting to transitions or changes to their daily routines.

It is easy to understand why autistic children dislike change because they prefer to stick to it. Students exposed to new habits are more likely to avoid such activities. Some of the solutions include hiring more specialists, spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine, using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities, and encouraging gradual transitioning.

.

Table of Contents

Page

Part 1: Critical Analysis 1

Researcher’s Role 1

Description of the Setting 2

Organizational Background and History 3

The Mission Statement 5

The Vision Statement 6

The Value Statement 7

Organizational Reputation and Sustainability 8

Relevant Terms 8

Identify Potential Gaps or Areas for Growth 9

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) 10

Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) 14

External Factor Evaluation (EFE) 17

Part 2: Define the Problem 21

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Problem 21

Research Methods 26

Pertinent Models, Frameworks, or Theories 27

Summary of Findings 27

Statement of the Problem 28

Description of the Context of the Problem 29

Scope and Significance of the Problem 29

Rationale for Investigating the Problem 30

Well-Defined Problem Statement 30

Part 3: Research Possible Solutions 31


Introduction 31

Possible Solutions 32

Possible Solutions One: Hiring more specialist 32

Possible Solutions Two: Spending more time with child before initiating a

change in routine ………………………………………………………..33

Possible Solutions Three: Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities……………………33

Possible Solutions Four: Encourage Gradual Transitioning 34

Part 4: Select a Solution 36


Overview of Four Potential Solutions 36



Pros and Cons of Solutions 37

Hiring more specialist 38

Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine

Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities……………………………………………………38

Encourage gradual transitioning…………………………………………39

Discussion of Barriers 40

Hiring more specialist 40

Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine 41

Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities 42

Encourage gradual transitioning 43

Conclusion 44

Part 5: Strategies to Accomplish the Selected Solution 44

Strategy One Communicating with the parents 45

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy 45

Strategy Two Using Visual aids 46

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy 47

Summary 48

Part 6: Evaluation of the Strategies 49

Quantitative Strategic Plan Matrix 49

Evaluation of Internal Factor Evaluation 50

Discussion of Factors that Influence the Plan 52

Evaluation of External Factor Evaluation 54

Discussion of Factors that Influence the Plan 56

First Alternative Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization 57

Second Alternative Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization 58

Summary of Most Important Strategy 59

Part 7: Development of an Action Plan 60

Action Steps 62

Timeline 64

Roles and Responsibilities 64

Resources 65

Organizational Support 68

Barriers or Resistance 68

Evaluation 69

Reflection on the Overall Experience 70

Part 8: Visual Presentation of SRP 71

Part 8A: Narrative of Visual Electronic Presentation 71

Part 8B: Peer Review Questions of Peers 72

Part 8C: Oral Defense of the SRP 73

Narrative Defense of Selected Questions 74

Part 9: Conclusion 75

Findings 76

Recommendations 76

Final Conclusions 76

References 77

Appendices

A Mission Statement 85

B Vision Statement 87

C Value Statement 89

Tables

1 Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT) Factors 12

2 Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Factors 13

3 Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) 14

4 External Factor Evaluation (EFE) 18

5 Evaluation of Internal Factor Evaluation 50

6 Evaluation of External Factor Evaluation 54

7 Action Plan 61

Figure

Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case #

x

Part 1: Critical Analysis

Researcher’s Role

When autistic children are not in school sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment; as a former high school Mentor in the program, I am currently an Unpaid Consultant with the Boys and Girls Club of America. As a consultant with America’s Boys and Girls Club of America, I helped create a curriculum and created assessment tools to determine the program’s efficiency in character development. My responsibilities as a consultant culminate into meeting with staff and management to help understand their requirements, collecting necessary data for my research, undertaking short-term and long-term projects like this autism project to address various needs and issues. This helps me develop strategies that are fundamental to the improvement and efficiency of the organization. The Boys and Girls Club of America offers various programs like Sports & Recreation; Education; The Arts; Health & Wellness; Workforce Readiness; Character & Leadership Development; Teens & Young Adults; Initiatives; Youth of the Year; and MyFuture (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). Other programs offered in the club include programs to help autistic children develop cognitive functions, i.e., character and cognitive function development.

Autism is a developmental condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. Autism is classified as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since it presents differently in everyone, ranging from mild to severe. Specific enrichment programs require admission based on a particular autism diagnosis or level of functioning on the spectrum (Monz et al., 2019). Autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) are terms used interchangeably to describe a set of complicated brain development problems. The condition is characterized by verbal and nonverbal communication problems, social engagement, and repetitive conduct (Monz et al., 2019). As a consultant, the focus is on character development, which I facilitate by helping children develop cognitive skills and improve their communication skills to improve their social engagement with other children in the club. PDD children have more excellent linguistic skills than autistic children do, yet they cannot talk or engage socially (Arbreton, 2009).

Many schools have specialized in treating children with autism and other developmental disorders throughout the globe, intending to assist children in living self-sufficient, prosperous lives as contributing members of their communities. The Boys and Girls Program, for example, is an excellent example of an after-school program. My role as a consultant is specific to Autism children, where I provide an individualized assessment based on character development, general autism consultancy, and social skill development.

Description of the Setting

The Clubs’ various activities support its operations and assist all after-school students, including autistic youngsters. Among the various programs offered at the Boys and Girls Club of America, I specialize in ‘The Character and Leadership Development Chapter’ whose main focus is to encourage good character, empower the youth, and make a positive impact in society (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). The Character and Leadership Development Chapter, the chapter that I was actively engaged in, prepare, and empowers children to assist and make a positive impact in their community, form meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in a democratic process, and respect their own and other cultures (Arbreton, 2009). The other programs offered within the chapter for autistic children include education and professional development programs that help young people enhance their fundamental education abilities, apply what they have learned, and utilize technology to excel in their chosen field – investing in healthcare and life skills. The program teaches autistic children how to participate in healthy activities that improve their well-being, establish personal objectives, and live independently as adults (St. James, 2005)). Arts programs assist children in developing their creativity and cultural knowledge via visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). They also assist pupils in enhancing their communication abilities. Sport, exercise, and leisure activities help people improve their physical health, make better use of their free time, acquire stress management techniques, and better understand the environment and society.

Some chapters of the Boys and Girls Club of America have been at the forefront of local youth development. Children between the ages of six and eighteen are welcome to join any Boys & Girls club, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. The club keeps its costs low to attract as many boys and girls as possible to enroll in its programs (Monz et al., 2019). The annual membership fee is $15.00 per year. Furthermore, it provides low-cost transportation to and from nearby schools. No one has ever been turned away due to a lack of funds. This is especially important for autistic youngsters.


Organizational Background and History

The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGC) was founded in 1860 by three women from Hartford, Connecticut, to provide a safe environment for youngsters following Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and Elizabeth Hammersley’s killing. There was a rise in the number of street children engaged in gangs, invading coffee houses, and attacking people in the streets. They founded the first group because they believed that street youngsters deserved a better life and could move away from gang life. The key to the experience was developing an environment that piqued boys’ attention, altered their behavior, and raised their expectations and goals. It was a signal indicating the start of a movement. In 1906, several Boys Clubs banded together to establish an organization. The founding of the Federated Boys Clubs of Boston in 1898, with 53 member groups, signaled the start of a national movement and creating our National Organization. Boys Clubs of America was founded in 1931 as the successor organization to the American Boys Club Federation, founded in 1910. As part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations in 1956, the Boys Clubs of America received an official proclamation from the United States Congress. In 1990, the national parent company’s name was changed to Boys and Girls Club of America to reflect that the organization now encompassed young women and children (Arbreton, 2009).

Consequently, the United States Congress amended and expanded our nation’s founding document, the Constitution. The Constitution is a binding document that outlines the club’s purpose, mission, vision, and core values that every member needs to uphold. Boys and Girls Club of America offer nearly 4 million young people a haven to discover their potential in a positive environment, preparing them for a bright future. Millions of young people are still impoverished and will be unable to overcome the gap on their own (St. James, 2005). As a result, the American Boys and Girls Club of America has made a concerted effort to help more people, especially physically or intellectually challenged ones.


The Mission Statement

As stated in its mission statement, Boys and Girls Clubs of America seeks to assist all young people, especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are creative, compassionate, and responsible citizens. Boys and Girls Clubs are committed to providing a safe, healthy, and well-publicized environment for all its members to achieve their goals (Our Mission & Story, n.d.). The Boys & Girls Clubs of America encourages children and adolescents of every race, ethnicity, nationality, transgender status, sexual identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic situation, or religious affiliation to reach their full potential (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s mission statement emphasizes the importance of reaching underprivileged communities of young girls as their primary goal, and it is supported by a proclamation of the Organization (St. James,2005)). The phrase also implies that the company promotes the employment of various methods to assist workers in improving their overall personality development.

This shows that the stated mission is focused on human development. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) assist people in need to enhance their life chances. In an ideal world, the Organizations strive to bridge the gap between poor Americans and the rest of the world by helping them during one of life’s most crucial periods. This explains why the Boys and Girls Clubs of America refer to their programs as “afterschool activities.” The operations of this Organization are aimed at addressing issues affecting these children as soon as possible and giving equal opportunities for successful adult life on par with those of other children in the community (St. James,2005). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGC) declare that the safety and wellbeing of its members is their priority. This is just one of the numerous ways the Organizations’ young children have a better opportunity in life by working to keep them safe.

They are improving the quality of life in the neighborhood. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) demonstrate in this section of their purpose and vision statement that its impact extends beyond assisting individual young members. It does this by identifying and combating the many societal problems that endanger children today, such as the marginalization of the physically and intellectually handicapped and the LGBT communities. For example, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America recognize that children’s capacity to think about and prepare for their future is impaired by fear of physical harm, which significantly affects the society in which they live. As a result, the Organizations establish favorable conditions in these cultures to guarantee that children survive and flourish. This strategy is based on the notion that when young people succeed, their communities benefit as well.


The Vision Statement

“Providing a world-class experience that convinces every young man entering our doors that achievement is within reach of all graduates on a path to high school with a long-term scheme demonstrating outstanding character and citizenship and leading a healthy lifestyle,” states the vision of Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The company aims to improve the overall outcome of its lives by creating programs that assist young people in reaching their full potential. To fulfill this aspect of its mission statement, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America provide clubs for young people and incorporate activities that positively affect their lives throughout their whole program. The following components of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America vision statement: Experiment with an excellent club atmosphere (Our Mission & Story, n.d.).

For instance, the Organization collaborates with military groups in the United States to help children whose lives are often disrupted by frequent relationships and other problems. Additionally, homeless and underprivileged indigenous youth are given a place to call home, enabling them to compete with other youth throughout the country. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America distinguish itself via these efforts from more conventional juvenile groups that do much less (Our Mission & Story, n.d.)—creating a plan. Boys and Girls Clubs of America meet the criteria of this component via a range of programs that offer hands-on skill development opportunities for all its young members. One example is developing athletic and recreational skills and refining creative talents, career guidance, character and leadership development, and other life skills, such as promoting healthy lifestyles. People who benefit from the Organization’s activities have shown their capacity to participate in democratic processes such as voting and advocating on their behalf. They participate in the club’s electoral processes and sign up for leadership positions to help make a difference.


The Value Statement



The Boys and Girls Club does not have a stipulated value statement, and however, the organization has guiding principles that guide the actions of all Boys and Girls Clubs of America workers and stakeholders. To be successful, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America must first raise public awareness of the need for assistance among youngsters (Monz et al., 2019). Furthermore, the group promises to help all adolescents in need, regardless of race, ethnic origin, or other kinds of prejudice, and it seeks the governments and well-wishers’ full support.


Organizational Reputation and Sustainability

The Organization received many honors bestowed upon former members who have lauded the group’s achievements and success. Consequently, the group has an excellent reputational credit rating. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America are funded in several ways, including via government grants. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice Department and other federal agencies Additional funding sources include substantial donations and sponsorships from organizations and businesses like these. This adds to its continued viability and functionality.

Relevant Terms

Autism –Autism is a condition characterized by various conditions such as retarded development, social and cognitive skills, and speech problems (Munib, 2019)

Autistic children –Autistic children have difficulty communicating, have narrow interests, and need physical activities and therapy to enhance their development.

Enrichment programs –Enrichment programs are part of after school activities that give autistic children or other children a chance to develop their interests outside the classroom (Harpine, 2013)

After school programs –These are programs that teenagers or youths can voluntarily engage in outside the regular school days, usually conducted by clubs (Harpine, 2013)

Applied behavior analysis –applied behavior analysis is a scientific principle focused on analyzing behavioral and learning changes, usually among autistic children or children with related conditions, and how they are affected by the environment (John et al., 2020)

Indigenous youths –Indigenous youths are youths aged between 15 to 24 years. 

Marginalized groups –Marginalized groups are highly vulnerable members of society who often suffer exclusion from public forums limiting their participation or engagement in social and political life. Examples include senior citizens, persons with autism, and cognitive impairments. 

Boys and Girls Club of America-The Boys and Girls Club of America offer afterschool activities to children between 6 to 12 years to enhance their physical health improve their academic prowess and help them become better members of the community.

Identify Potential Gaps or Areas for Growth

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to analyze an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It enables an organization to focus on what it does well, address its shortcomings to reduce the effects of risk, and take advantage of the growth opportunities. I conducted a SWOT analysis for the After-school programs by America’s Boys and Girls Club of Americas. The SWOT analysis entails 40 internal and external factors that affect the organization. Internal factors are the strengths and weaknesses that accrue from within the organization.

In contrast, external factors outside the organization may positively or negatively impact the Character and Development Chapter of America’s Boys and Girls Club of America. A weighted score, an average of a set of grades, was used in this project during SWOT analysis calculations. A rating score was assigned to each factor and used to develop a plan to ensure the organization attains its goals.


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to analyze an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It enables an organization to focus on what it does well, address its shortcomings to reduce the effects of risk, and take advantage of the growth opportunities. I conducted a SWOT analysis for the Afterschool programs by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The SWOT Analysis entails a list of 40 internal and external factors that affect the organization. The internal factors are the strengths and weaknesses that accrue from within the organization, while the external factors are factors outside the organization that may positively or negatively impact the Boys and Girls Club of America. A rating score was assigned to each factor and used to develop a plan to ensure the organization attains its goals.

Strengths

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have much strength to improve the children’s lives and wellbeing. These strengths include a broad financial base, a credible reputation for instilling hands-on development skills in the children and keeping their costs low to accommodate students from different backgrounds.

Weaknesses

Among the weaknesses of America’s boys and girls, clubs for autistic children include frequent disruption and disorganization from the members, lack of enough resources and specialists to attend to the children’s needs, and not dealing with the sensitive members.

Opportunities

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have several opportunities to build on to improve the lives and wellbeing of their members. These opportunities include collaborating with the military groups and taking advantage of this collaboration to expand its operations and improve the lives of its members.

Threats

Autistic children have experiences with social phobia, excessive nervousness, intense behavior, hyperactive arousal, or appearing “shell shocked,” phobias, anti-social behaviors, rigorous workouts, and resistance to change. Such behaviors become a threat to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, wh

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Strategic Research Project by Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur A Strategic Research Project Submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler College of
Education and School of Criminal Justice in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education Nova Southeastern
University 2022 Approval Page This strategic research project was submitted by Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur under the direction of the persons
listed below. It was submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and approved in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Nova Southeastern University. Mary Clisblee,PhD Faculty Member Kimberly Durham,
PsyD Dean ii Statement of Original Work I declare the following: I have read the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility as
described in the Student Handbook of Nova Southeastern University. This Strategic Research Project represents my original work, except where I
have acknowledged the ideas, words, or material of other authors. Where another author’s ideas have been presented in this Strategic Research
Project, I have acknowledged the author’s ideas by citing them in the required style. Where another author’s words have been presented in this
Strategic Research Project, I have acknowledged the author’s words by using appropriate quotation devices and citations in the required style. I
have obtained permission from the author or publisher—in accordance with the required guidelines—to include any copyrighted material (e.g.,
tables, figures, survey instruments, large portions of text) in this Strategic Research Project manuscript. Rubineschia Wilkins-McArthur Name
April 17, 2022 Date iii Acknowledgments I would like to take this time out to say with great gratitude thank you Jesus for seeing me through this
tedious and challenging journey. Most of all, from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the following instructors: Dr. Charlene Desir, Dr.
Michael Gaffley, Dr. Gina Peyton, Dr. David Ross, Dr. Nydia Cummings, and Dr. Mary Clisbee, I would not have been able to complete this
research to obtain my Doctoral degree. Your expertise and knowledge into my subject matter steered me through this journey to greatness. I
truly appreciated the feedback and encouragement to keep pushing forward. Lastly, acknowledgements wouldn’t be complete without thanking
the people I’ve worked alongside with correcting the problems on this strategic research project. Honestly, without these people I would be
lacking the knowledge I have gain today. For me, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people
will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou iv Dedication Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God
all things are possible. -Matthew 19:26 I dedicate this Doctorate to my mother, Dr. Charlotte Wilkins. My first teacher a strong and gentle soul
who taught me to stand on Gods promises, believe in hard work, and trust that much could be done with little. I thank you for going before me
giving me a clear picture of what it looks like to beat the odds. To my husband Chauncey McArthur, thank you for being my rock, my safe place to
land, my inspiration and my heart. Thank you for giving me your unwavering support throughout this process. To my sons “three young kings,”
Chauncey, Denim and King. My greatest blessings you are, I thank you for giving me my why. In a world full of troubles and sorrow, you have
been the light that kept me going, always remember, you are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, smarter than you think and loved
more then you know. To my daughter, Young Queen Royalty. The beautiful gift I receive from God four months before obtaining my Doctoral
degree. My life is so magical because of you, thank you for giving me the strength I didn’t know I had. Baby Doll, you taught me the true
meaning of peace and the power of prayer, in which all things I manifested I’m a different person compared to who I was this time last year
because of you. To my sister Austrea Wilkins, I thank you for showing me the world in birds eye view and living a healthy unapologetic life. There
is no better friend than a sister and there is no better sister than you. To my God Daughters, Chloe and Qimani. I love you both to life and thank
you for being a beautiful extension to my family. I will always be in front of you cheering you on, behind you v having your back and beside you
so you will never be alone. To all my city girls, don’t just believe in your dreams believe in doing something about it! I’m just a little girl from
Cherryhill in Boynton Beach, Fl who believe she could and did it. Lastly, I say thank you to all who didn’t understand my journey and my
dedication throughout this process. What didn’t kill me helped build me. The best way to predict your future is to create it. – Abraham Lincoln vi
Executive Summary The Dilemma facing Autistic Children in The Afterschool Program The Boys and Girls Club of America. Rubineschia Wilkins-
Mcarthur, 2022: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischer College of Education and School of Criminal
Justice. Keywords: education, autistic, students, after school, program, boys, and girls, behavior When autistic children are not in school
sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment. Autism is a developmental
condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America seeks to assist all young people,
especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are creative, compassionate, and
responsible citizens. The organization also focuses on improving the lives of autistic students by exposing them to activities such as sporting and
art programs that enhance their development and improves their physical and mental health. Autistic children might resist participating in
outdoor activities if they were used to staying indoors, going to new places, joining social clubs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, changing
schools, and doing things at different times than they are used to. Autistic children’s resistance to change is average which makes the students
prefer performing tasks through routines. The after-school programs in Boys and Girls Clubs of America offer programs that enable students of all
social backgrounds, races, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to reach their full potential. Autistic children have difficulty adapting to transitions or
changes to their daily routines. It is easy to understand why autistic children dislike change because they prefer to stick to it. Students exposed
to new habits are more likely to avoid such activities. Some of the solutions include hiring more specialists, spending more time with the child
before initiating a change in routine, using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities, and
encouraging gradual transitioning. . vii Table of Contents Page Part 1: Critical Analysis
………………………………………………………………………………………….1 Researcher’s Role
……………………………………………………………………………………….1 Description of the Setting
…………………………………………………………………………….2 Organizational Background and History ……………………………………………..3
The Mission Statement ……………………………………………………………………..5 The Vision
Statement………………………………………………………………………..6 The Value
Statement…………………………………………………………………………7 Organizational Reputation and Sustainability
………………………………………8 Relevant Terms 8………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Identify Potential Gaps or Areas for Growth …………………………………………………..9 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)
……………………..10 Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) ……………………………………………………….14 External Factor Evaluation
(EFE)……………………………………………………..17 Part 2: Define the
Problem…………………………………………………………………………………….21 Synthesis of Literature Related to the Problem
……………………………………………..21 Research Methods…………………………………………………………………………..26 Pertinent Models,
Frameworks, or Theories……………………………………….27 Summary of Findings………………………………………………………………………27
Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………………28 Description of the Context of the Problem
…………………………………………29 Scope and Significance of the Problem ……………………………………………..29 Rationale for Investigating
the Problem …………………………………………….30 Well-Defined Problem Statement ……………………………………………………..30 Part 3:
Research Possible Solutions………………………………………………………………………..31
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………31 Possible
Solutions……………………………………………………………………………………..32 Possible Solutions One: Hiring more
specialist…………………………………..32 Possible Solutions Two: Spending more time with child before initiating a change in routine
………………………………………………………..33 Possible Solutions Three: Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in
participating in new activities……………………33 Possible Solutions Four: Encourage Gradual Transitioning………………….34 Part 4: Select a Solution
………………………………………………………………………………………..36 Overview of Four Potential
Solutions…………………………………………………………..36 Pros and Cons of Solutions
…………………………………………………………………………37 Hiring more specialist
……………………………………………………………………..38 Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine Using
required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities……………………………………………………38 viii Encourage
gradual transitioning…………………………………………39 Discussion of Barriers ………………………………………………………………………………..40
Hiring more specialist ……………………………………………………………………..40 Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in
routine ..41 Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities
………………………………………………………………………………..42 Encourage gradual transitioning
……………………………………………………….43 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………….44
Part 5: Strategies to Accomplish the Selected Solution ……………………………………………..44 Strategy One Communicating with the parents
…………………………………………….45 Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy
45…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Strategy Two Using Visual aids
………………………………………………………………….46 Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy……………………………………47
Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………….48 Part 6: Evaluation of the
Strategies…………………………………………………………………………49 Quantitative Strategic Plan Matrix
49……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Evaluation of Internal Factor
Evaluation………………………………………………………50 Discussion of Factors that Influence the Plan……………………………………..52
Evaluation of External Factor Evaluation……………………………………………………..54 Discussion of Factors that Influence the
Plan……………………………………..56 First Alternative Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization …………..57 Second Alternative
Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization……….58 Summary of Most Important Strategy
………………………………………………………….59 Part 7: Development of an Action Plan
…………………………………………………………………..60 Action Steps
……………………………………………………………………………………………..62 Timeline
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..64 Roles and Responsibilities
………………………………………………………………………….64 Resources
…………………………………………………………………………………………………65 Organizational Support
………………………………………………………………………………68 Barriers or Resistance
………………………………………………………………………………..68 Evaluation
………………………………………………………………………………………………..69 Reflection on the Overall Experience
…………………………………………………………..70 Part 8: Visual Presentation of SRP
…………………………………………………………………………71 Part 8A: Narrative of Visual Electronic Presentation
……………………………………..71 Part 8B: Peer Review Questions of Peers ……………………………………………………..72 Part 8C: Oral Defense
of the SRP ………………………………………………………………..73 Narrative Defense of Selected Questions
…………………………………………..74 Part 9: Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………..75
Findings……………………………………………………………………………………………………76 ix Recommendations
……………………………………………………………………………………..76 Final Conclusions
………………………………………………………………………………………76 References
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..77 Appendices A Mission Statement
………………………………………………………………………………85 B Vision Statement
………………………………………………………………………………..87 C Value Statement
…………………………………………………………………………………89 Tables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT) Factors
…………………………………………..12 Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Factors ……………………………………………13 Internal Factor
Evaluation (IFE) …………………………………………………………..14 External Factor Evaluation (EFE)
………………………………………………………..18 Evaluation of Internal Factor Evaluation ……………………………………………….50 Evaluation of
External Factor Evaluation ………………………………………………54 Action Plan
………………………………………………………………………………………..61 Figure Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case
……………………………………………………………..# x Part 1: Critical Analysis Researcher’s Role When autistic children are not in school
sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment; as a former high school Mentor
in the program, I am currently an Unpaid Consultant with the Boys and Girls Club of America. As a consultant with America’s Boys and Girls Club
of America, I helped create a curriculum and created assessment tools to determine the program’s efficiency in character development. My
responsibilities as a consultant culminate into meeting with staff and management to help understand their requirements, collecting necessary
data for my research, undertaking short-term and long-term projects like this autism project to address various needs and issues. This helps me
develop strategies that are fundamental to the improvement and efficiency of the organization. The Boys and Girls Club of America offers various
programs like Sports & Recreation; Education; The Arts; Health & Wellness; Workforce Readiness; Character & Leadership Development; Teens &
Young Adults; Initiatives; Youth of the Year; and MyFuture (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). Other programs offered in the club include
programs to help autistic children develop cognitive functions, i.e., character and cognitive function development. Autism is a developmental
condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. Autism is classified as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since it
presents differently in everyone, ranging from mild to severe. Specific enrichment programs require admission based on a particular autism
diagnosis or level of functioning on the spectrum (Monz et al., 2019). Autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder
(PDD) are terms used interchangeably to describe a set of complicated brain development problems. The condition is characterized by verbal and
nonverbal communication problems, social engagement, and repetitive conduct (Monz et al., 2019). As a consultant, the focus is on character
development, which I facilitate by helping children develop cognitive skills and improve their communication skills to improve their social
engagement with other children in the club. PDD children have more excellent linguistic skills than autistic children do, yet they cannot talk or
engage socially (Arbreton, 2009). Many schools have specialized in treating children with autism and other developmental disorders throughout
the globe, intending to assist children in living self-sufficient, prosperous lives as contributing members of their communities. The Boys and Girls
Program, for example, is an excellent example of an after-school program. My role as a consultant is specific to Autism children, where I provide
an individualized assessment based on character development, general autism consultancy, and social skill development. Description of the
Setting The Clubs’ various activities support its operations and assist all after-school students, including autistic youngsters. Among the various
programs offered at the Boys and Girls Club of America, I specialize in ‘The Character and Leadership Development Chapter’ whose main focus is
to encourage good character, empower the youth, and make a positive impact in society (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). The Character
and Leadership Development Chapter, the chapter that I was actively engaged in, prepare, and empowers children to assist and make a positive
impact in their community, form meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in a democratic process, and
respect their own and other cultures (Arbreton, 2009). The other programs offered within the chapter for autistic children include education and
professional development programs that help young people enhance their fundamental education abilities, apply what they have learned, and
utilize technology to excel in their chosen field – investing in healthcare and life skills. The program teaches autistic children how to participate in
healthy activities that improve their well-being, establish personal objectives, and live independently as adults (St. James, 2005)). Arts programs
assist children in developing their creativity and cultural knowledge via visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing (Swigert & Boyd,
2010). They also assist pupils in enhancing their communication abilities. Sport, exercise, and leisure activities help people improve their physical
health, make better use of their free time, acquire stress management techniques, and better understand the environment and society. Some
chapters of the Boys and Girls Club of America have been at the forefront of local youth development. Children between the ages of six and
eighteen are welcome to join any Boys & Girls club, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. The club keeps its costs low to
attract as many boys and girls as possible to enroll in its programs (Monz et al., 2019). The annual membership fee is $15.00 per year.
Furthermore, it provides low-cost transportation to and from nearby schools. No one has ever been turned away due to a lack of funds. This is
especially important for autistic youngsters. Organizational Background and History The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGC) was founded in
1860 by three women from Hartford, Connecticut, to provide a safe environment for youngsters following Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and
Elizabeth Hammersley’s killing. There was a rise in the number of street children engaged in gangs, invading coffee houses, and attacking people
in the streets. They founded the first group because they believed that street youngsters deserved a better life and could move away from gang
life. The key to the experience was developing an environment that piqued boys’ attention, altered their behavior, and raised their expectations
and goals. It was a signal indicating the start of a movement. In 1906, several Boys Clubs banded together to establish an organization. The
founding of the Federated Boys Clubs of Boston in 1898, with 53 member groups, signaled the start of a national movement and creating our
National Organization. Boys Clubs of America was founded in 1931 as the successor organization to the American Boys Club Federation, founded
in 1910. As part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations in 1956, the Boys Clubs of America received an official proclamation from the United States
Congress. In 1990, the national parent company’s name was changed to Boys and Girls Club of America to reflect that the organization now
encompassed young women and children (Arbreton, 2009). Consequently, the United States Congress amended and expanded our nation’s
founding document, the Constitution. The Constitution is a binding document that outlines the club’s purpose, mission, vision, and core values
that every member needs to uphold. Boys and Girls Club of America offer nearly 4 million young people a haven to discover their potential in a
positive environment, preparing them for a bright future. Millions of young people are still impoverished and will be unable to overcome the gap
on their own (St. James, 2005). As a result, the American Boys and Girls Club of America has made a concerted effort to help more people,
especially physically or intellectually challenged ones. The Mission Statement As stated in its mission statement, Boys and Girls Clubs of America
seeks to assist all young people, especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are
creative, compassionate, and responsible citizens. Boys and Girls Clubs are committed to providing a safe, healthy, and well-publicized
environment for all its members to achieve their goals (Our Mission & Story, n.d.). The Boys & Girls Clubs of America encourages children and
adolescents of every race, ethnicity, nationality, transgender status, sexual identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic situation,
or religious affiliation to reach their full potential (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s mission statement emphasizes
the importance of reaching underprivileged communities of young girls as their primary goal, and it is supported by a proclamation of the
Organization (St. James,2005)). The phrase also implies that the company promotes the employment of various methods to assist workers in
improving their overall personality development. This shows that the stated mission is focused on human development. The Boys and Girls Clubs
of America (BGCA) assist people in need to enhance their life chances. In an ideal world, the Organizations strive to bridge the gap between poor
Americans and the rest of the world by helping them during one of life’s most crucial periods. This explains why the Boys and Girls Clubs of
America refer to their programs as “afterschool activities.” The operations of this Organization are aimed at addressing issues affecting these
children as soon as possible and giving equal opportunities for successful adult life on par with those of other children in the community (St.
James,2005). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGC) declare that the safety and wellbeing of its members is their priority. This is just one of
the numerous ways the Organizations’ young children have a better opportunity in life by working to keep them safe. They are improving the
quality of life in the neighborhood. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) demonstrate in this section of their purpose and vision statement
that its impact extends beyond assisting individual young members. It does this by identifying and combating the many societal problems that
endanger children today, such as the marginalization of the physically and intellectually handicapped and the LGBT communities. For example,
the Boys and Girls Clubs of America recognize that children’s capacity to think about and prepare for their future is impaired by fear of physical
harm, which significantly affects the society in which they live. As a result, the Organizations establish favorable conditions in these cultures to
guarantee that children survive and flourish. This strategy is based on the notion that when young people succeed, their communities benefit as
well. The Vision Statement “Providing a world-class experience that convinces every young man entering our doors that achievement is within
reach of all graduates on a path to high school with a long-term scheme demonstrating outstanding character and citizenship and leading a
healthy lifestyle,” states the vision of Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The company aims to improve the overall outcome of its lives by creating
programs that assist young people in reaching their full potential. To fulfill this aspect of its mission statement, the Boys and Girls Clubs of
America provide clubs for young people and incorporate activities that positively affect their lives throughout their whole program. The following
components of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America vision statement: Experiment with an excellent club atmosphere (Our Mission & Story, n.d.). For
instance, the Organization collaborates with military groups in the United States to help children whose lives are often disrupted by frequent
relationships and other problems. Additionally, homeless and underprivileged indigenous youth are given a place to call home, enabling them to
compete with other youth throughout the country. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America distinguish itself via these efforts from more conventional
juvenile groups that do much less (Our Mission & Story, n.d.)—creating a plan. Boys and Girls Clubs of America meet the criteria of this
component via a range of programs that offer hands-on skill development opportunities for all its young members. One example is developing
athletic and recreational skills and refining creative talents, career guidance, character and leadership development, and other life skills, such as
promoting healthy lifestyles. People who benefit from the Organization’s activities have shown their capacity to participate in democratic
processes such as voting and advocating on their behalf. They participate in the club’s electoral processes and sign up for leadership positions to
help make a difference. The Value Statement The Boys and Girls Club does not have a stipulated value statement, and however, the organization
has guiding principles that guide the actions of all Boys and Girls Clubs of America workers and stakeholders. To be successful, the Boys and Girls
Clubs of America must first raise public awareness of the need for assistance among youngsters (Monz et al., 2019). Furthermore, the group
promises to help all adolescents in need, regardless of race, ethnic origin, or other kinds of prejudice, and it seeks the governments and well-
wishers’ full support. Organizational Reputation and Sustainability The Organization received many honors bestowed upon former members who
have lauded the group’s achievements and success. Consequently, the group has an excellent reputational credit rating. The Boys and Girls Clubs
of America are funded in several ways, including via government grants. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice
Department and other federal agencies Additional funding sources include substantial donations and sponsorships from organizations and
businesses like these. This adds to its continued viability and functionality. Relevant Terms Autism –Autism is a condition characterized by various
conditions such as retarded development, social and cognitive skills, and speech probl

Part 10

Strategic Research Project

by

Ruby

A Strategic Research Project Submitted to the

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

and School of Criminal Justice in Partial

Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

Degree of Doctor of Education

Nova Southeastern University

2021

Approval Page

This strategic research project was submitted by Ruby under the direction of the persons listed below. It was submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Nova Southeastern University.

PhD

Faculty Member

Kimberly Durham, PsyD

Dean

Statement of Original Work

I declare the following:

I have read the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility as described in the Student Handbook of Nova Southeastern University. This Strategic Research Project represents my original work, except where I have acknowledged the ideas, words, or material of other authors.

Where another author’s ideas have been presented in this Strategic Research Project, I have acknowledged the author’s ideas by citing them in the required style.

Where another author’s words have been presented in this Strategic Research Project, I have acknowledged the author’s words by using appropriate quotation devices and citations in the required style.

I have obtained permission from the author or publisher—in accordance with the required guidelines—to include any copyrighted material (e.g., tables, figures, survey instruments, large portions of text) in this Strategic Research Project manuscript.

Ruby

Name

April 3, 2022

Date

Acknowledgments

I would like to take this time out to say with great gratitude thank you Jesus for seeing me through this tedious and challenging journey.

Most of all, from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the following instructors: Dr. Charlene Desir, Dr. Michael Gaffley, Dr. Gina Peyton, Dr. David Ross, Dr. Nydia Cummings, and Dr. Mary Clisbee, I wouldn’t
have been able to complete this research to obtain my Doctoral degree. Your expertise and knowledge into my subject matter steered me through this journey to greatness. I truly appreciated the feedback and encouragement to keep pushing forward.

Lastly, acknowledgements wouldn’t be complete without thanking the people I’ve worked alongside with correcting the problems on this strategic research project. Honestly, without these people I would be lacking the knowledge I have gain today.

For me, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” -Maya Angelou

Dedication

Jesus looked at them and said, with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. -Matthew 19:26

I dedicate this Doctorate to my mother, Dr. Charlotte. My first teacher a strong and gentle soul who taught me to stand on Gods promises, believe in hard work, and trust that much could be done with little. I thank you for going before me giving me a clear picture of what it looks like to beat the odds despite of
. To my husband Chauncey, thank you for being my rock, my safe place to land, my inspiration and my heart. Thank you for giving me your unwavering support throughout this process. To my sons “three young kings,” Chauncey, Denim and King. My greatest blessings you are, I thank you for giving me my why.

In a world full of troubles and sorrow, you. have been the light that kept me going, always remember, you are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, smarter than you think and loved more then you know. To my daughter, Young Queen Royalty. The beautiful gift I receive from God four months before obtaining my Doctoral degree. My life is so magical because of you, thank you for giving me the strength I didn’t know I had. Baby Doll, you taught me the true meaning of peace and the power of prayer, in which all things I manifested I’m a different person compared to who I was this time last year because of you. To my sister Austrea, I thank you for showing me the world in birds eye view and living a healthy unapologetic life. There is no better friend than a sister and there is no better sister than you. To my God Daughters, Chloe and Qimani. I love you both to life and thank you for being a beautiful extension to my family. I will always be in front of you cheering you on, behind you having your back and beside you so you will never be alone. To all my city girls, don’t just believe in your dreams believe in doing something about it! I’m just a little girl from Cherryhill in Boynton Beach, Fl who believe she could and did it. Lastly, I say thank you to all who didn’t understand my journey and my dedication throughout this process. What didn’t kill me helped build me. The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Abraham Lincoln

Executive Summary

The Dilemma facing Autistic Children in The Afterschool Program The Boys and Girls Club of America. Ruby, 2022: Strategic Research Project, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischer College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords: education, autistic, students, after school, program, boys, and girls, behavior

When autistic children are not in school sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment. Autism is a developmental condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America seeks to assist all young people, especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are creative, compassionate, and responsible citizens.

The organization also focuses on improving the lives of autistic students by exposing them to activities such as sporting and art programs that enhance their development and improves their physical and mental health. Autistic children might resist participating in outdoor activities if they were used to staying indoors, going to new places, joining social clubs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, changing schools, and doing things at different times than they are used to. Autistic children’s resistance to change is average as the students
prefer performing tasks through routines. The after-school programs in Boys and Girls Clubs of America offer programs that enable students of all social backgrounds, races, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to reach their full potential. Autistic children have difficulty adapting to transitions or changes to their daily routines. It is easy to understand why autistic children dislike change because they prefer to stick to it.
Students exposed to new habits are more likely to avoid such activities. This study discovered that autistic youngsters struggle to respond to changes in their daily routines.

It is easy to understand why autistic children dislike change because they prefer to stick to it.
Students exposed to new habits are more likely to avoid such activities. Some of the solutions include hiring more specialists, spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine, using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities, and encouraging gradual transitioning.

.


Table of Contents

Page

Part 1: Critical Analysis
1

Researcher’s Role
1

Description of the Setting
2

Organizational Background and History
3

The Mission Statement
5

The Vision Statement
6

The Value Statement
7

Organizational Reputation and Sustainability
8

Relevant Terms
8

Identify Potential Gaps or Areas for Growth
9

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)
10

Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE)
14

External Factor Evaluation (EFE)
17

Part 2: Define the Problem
21

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Problem
21

Research Methods
26

Pertinent Models, Frameworks, or Theories
27

Summary of Findings
27

Statement of the Problem
28

Description of the Context of the Problem
29

Scope and Significance of the Problem
29

Rationale for Investigating the Problem
30

Well-Defined Problem Statement
30

Part 3: Research Possible Solutions
31

Introduction
31

Possible Solutions
32

Possible Solutions One: Hiring more specialist
32

Possible Solutions Two: Spending more time with child before initiating a

change in routine ………………………………………………………..33

Possible Solutions Three: Using required accommodations such as timers
to assist youngsters in participating in new activities……………………33

Possible Solutions Four: Encourage Gradual Transitioning
34

Part 4: Select a Solution
36

Overview of Four Potential Solutions
36

Pros and Cons of Solutions
37

Hiring more specialist
38

Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine

Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities……………………………………………………38

Encourage gradual transitioning…………………………………………39

Discussion of Barriers
40

Hiring more specialist
40

Spending more time with the child before initiating a change in routine
41

Using required accommodations such as timers to assist youngsters in participating in new activities
42

Encourage gradual transitioning
43

Conclusion
44

Part 5: Strategies to Accomplish the Selected Solution
44

Strategy One Communicating with the parents
45

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy
45

Strategy Two Using Visual aids
46

Synthesis of Literature Related to the Strategy
47

Summary
48

Part 6: Evaluation of the Strategies
49

Quantitative Strategic Plan Matrix
49

Evaluation of Internal Factor Evaluation
50

Discussion of Factors that Influence the Plan
52

Evaluation of External Factor Evaluation
54

Discussion of Factors that Influence the Plan
56

First Alternative Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization
57

Second Alternative Attractiveness Score and Benefit for the Organization
58

Summary of Most Important Strategy
59

Part 7: Development of an Action Plan
60

Action Steps
62

Timeline
64

Roles and Responsibilities
65

Resources
66

Organizational Support
68

Barriers or Resistance
69

Evaluation
70

Reflection on the Overall Experience
70

Part 8: Visual Presentation of SRP
71

Part 8A: Narrative of Visual Electronic Presentation
71

Part 8B: Peer Review Questions of Peers
72

Part 8C: Oral Defense of the SRP
73

Narrative Defense of Selected Questions
74

Part 9: Conclusion
76

Findings
76

Recommendations
76

Final Conclusions
76

References
77

Appendices

A Mission Statement
85

B
Vision Statement
87

C
Value Statement
89

Tables

1
Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT) Factors
12

2
Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Factors
13

3
Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE)
14

4
External Factor Evaluation (EFE)
18

5
Evaluation of Internal Factor Evaluation
50

6
Evaluation of External Factor Evaluation
54

7
Action Plan
61

Figure

Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case
#

Part 1: Critical Analysis

Researcher’s Role

When autistic children are not in school sessions, after-school activities may offer social and behavioral stimulation outside of the classroom environment; as a former high school Mentor in the program, I am currently an Unpaid Consultant with the Boys and Girls Club of America. As a consultant with America’s Boys and Girls Club of America, I helped create a curriculum and created assessment tools to determine the program’s efficiency in character development. My responsibilities as a consultant culminate into meeting with staff and management to help understand their requirements, collecting necessary data for my research, undertaking short-term and long-term projects like this autism project to address various needs and issues. This helps me develop strategies that are fundamental to the improvement and efficiency of the organization. The Boys and Girls Club of America offers various programs like Sports & Recreation; Education; The Arts; Health & Wellness; Workforce Readiness; Character & Leadership Development; Teens & Young Adults; Initiatives; Youth of the Year; and MyFuture (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). Other programs offered in the club include programs to help autistic children develop cognitive functions, i.e., character and cognitive function development.

Autism is a developmental condition that affects children’s ability to engage socially and communicate. Autism is classified as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since it presents differently in everyone, ranging from mild to severe. Specific enrichment programs require admission based on a particular autism diagnosis or level of functioning on the spectrum (Monz et al., 2019). Autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) are terms used interchangeably to describe a set of complicated brain development problems. The condition is characterized by verbal and nonverbal communication problems, social engagement, and repetitive conduct (Monz et al., 2019). As a consultant, the focus is on character development, which I facilitate by helping children develop cognitive skills and improve their communication skills to improve their social engagement with other children in the club. PDD children have more excellent linguistic skills than autistic children do, yet they cannot talk or engage socially (Arbreton, 2009).

Many schools have specialized in treating children with autism and other developmental disorders throughout the globe, intending to assist children in living self-sufficient, prosperous lives as contributing members of their communities. The Boys and Girls Program, for example, is an excellent example of an after-school program. My role as a consultant is specific to Autism children, where I provide an individualized assessment based on character development, general autism consultancy, and social skill development.

Description of the Setting


The Clubs’ various activities support its operations and assist all after-school students, including autistic youngsters. Among the various programs offered at the Boys and Girls Club of America, I specialize in ‘The Character and Leadership Development Chapter’ whose main focus is to encourage good character, empower the youth, and make a positive impact in society (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 2021). The Character and Leadership Development Chapter, the chapter that I was actively engaged in, prepare, and empowers children to assist and make a positive impact in their community, form meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self-image, participate in a democratic process, and respect their own and other cultures (Arbreton, 2009). The other programs offered within the chapter for autistic children include education and professional development programs that help young people enhance their fundamental education abilities, apply what they have learned, and utilize technology to excel in their chosen field – investing in healthcare and life skills. The program teaches autistic children how to participate in healthy activities that improve their well-being, establish personal objectives, and live independently as adults (St. James, 2005)). Arts programs assist children in developing their creativity and cultural knowledge via visual arts, crafts, performing arts, and creative writing (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). They also assist pupils in enhancing their communication abilities. Sport, exercise, and leisure activities help people improve their physical health, make better use of their free time, acquire stress management techniques, and better understand the environment and society.

Some chapters of the Boys and Girls Club of America have been at the forefront of local youth development. Children between the ages of six and eighteen are welcome to join any Boys & Girls club, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. The club keeps its costs low to attract as many boys and girls as possible to enroll in its programs (Monz et al., 2019). The annual membership fee is $15.00 per year. Furthermore, it provides low-cost transportation to and from nearby schools. No one has ever been turned away due to a lack of funds. This is especially important for autistic youngsters.


Organizational Background and History

The Boys and Girls Club of America (BGC) was founded in 1860 by three women from Hartford, Connecticut, to provide a safe environment for youngsters following Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin, and Elizabeth Hammersley’s killing. There was a rise in the number of street children engaged in gangs, invading coffee houses, and attacking people in the streets. They founded the first group because they believed that street youngsters deserved a better life and could move away from gang life. The key to the experience was developing an environment that piqued boys’ attention, altered their behavior, and raised their expectations and goals. It was a signal indicating the start of a movement. In 1906, several Boys Clubs banded together to establish an organization. The founding of the Federated Boys Clubs of Boston in 1898, with 53 member groups, signaled the start of a national movement and creating our National Organization. Boys Clubs of America was founded in 1931 as the successor organization to the American Boys Club Federation, founded in 1910. As part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations in 1956, the Boys Clubs of America received an official proclamation from the United States Congress. In 1990, the national parent company’s name was changed to Boys and Girls Club of America to reflect that the organization now encompassed young women and children (Arbreton, 2009).

Consequently, the United States Congress amended and expanded our nation’s founding document, the Constitution. The Constitution is a binding document that outlines the club’s purpose, mission, vision, and core values that every member needs to uphold. Boys and Girls Club of America offer nearly 4 million young people a haven to discover their potential in a positive environment, preparing them for a bright future. Millions of young people are still impoverished and will be unable to overcome the gap on their own (St. James, 2005). As a result, the American Boys and Girls Club of America has made a concerted effort to help more people, especially physically or intellectually challenged ones.


The Mission Statement

As stated in its mission statement, Boys and Girls Clubs of America seeks to assist all young people, especially the most vulnerable, in realizing their potential as productive members of their community who are creative, compassionate, and responsible citizens. Boys and Girls Clubs are committed to providing a safe, healthy, and well-publicized environment for all its members to achieve their goals (Our Mission & Story, n.d.). The Boys & Girls Clubs of America encourages children and adolescents of every race, ethnicity, nationality, transgender status, sexual identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic situation, or religious affiliation to reach their full potential (Swigert & Boyd, 2010). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s mission statement emphasizes the importance of reaching underprivileged communities of young girls as their primary goal, and it is supported by a proclamation of the Organization (St. James,2005)). The phrase also implies that the company promotes the employment of various methods to assist workers in improving their overall personality development.

This shows that the stated mission is focused on human development. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) assist people in need to enhance their life chances. In an ideal world, the Organizations strive to bridge the gap between poor Americans and the rest of the world by helping them during one of life’s most crucial periods. This explains why the Boys and Girls Clubs of America refer to their programs as “afterschool activities.” The operations of this Organization are aimed at addressing issues affecting these children as soon as possible and giving equal opportunities for successful adult life on par with those of other children in the community (St. James,2005). The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGC) declare that the safety and wellbeing of its members is their priority. This is just one of the numerous ways the Organizations’ young children have a better opportunity in life by working to keep them safe.

They are improving the quality of life in the neighborhood. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) demonstrate in this section of their purpose and vision statement that its impact extends beyond assisting individual young members. It does this by identifying and combating the many societal problems that endanger children today, such as the marginalization of the physically and intellectually handicapped and the LGBT communities. For example, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America recognize that children’s capacity to think about and prepare for their future is impaired by fear of physical harm, which significantly affects the society in which they live. As a result, the Organizations establish favorable conditions in these cultures to guarantee that children survive and flourish. This strategy is based on the notion that when young people succeed, their communities benefit as well.


The Vision Statement

“Providing a world-class experience that convinces every young man entering our doors that achievement is within reach of all graduates on a path to high school with a long-term scheme demonstrating outstanding character and citizenship and leading a healthy lifestyle,” states the vision of Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The company aims to improve the overall outcome of its lives by creating programs that assist young people in reaching their full potential. To fulfill this aspect of its mission statement, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America provide clubs for young people and incorporate activities that positively affect their lives throughout their whole program. The following components of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America vision statement: Experiment with an excellent club atmosphere (Our Mission & Story, n.d.).

For instance, the Organization collaborates with military groups in the United States to help children whose lives are often disrupted by frequent relationships and other problems. Additionally, homeless and underprivileged indigenous youth are given a place to call home, enabling them to compete with other youth throughout the country. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America distinguish itself via these efforts from more conventional juvenile groups that do much less (Our Mission & Story, n.d.)—creating a plan. Boys and Girls Clubs of America meet the criteria of this component via a range of programs that offer hands-on skill development opportunities for all its young members. One example is developing athletic and recreational skills and refining creative talents, career guidance, character and leadership development, and other life skills, such as promoting healthy lifestyles. People who benefit from the Organization’s activities have shown their capacity to participate in democratic processes such as voting and advocating on their behalf. They participate in the club’s electoral processes and sign up for leadership positions to help make a difference.


The Value Statement




The Boys and Girls Club does not have a stipulated value statement, and however, the organization has guiding principles that guide the actions of all Boys and Girls Clubs of America workers and stakeholders. To be successful, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America must first raise public awareness of the need for assistance among youngsters (Monz et al., 2019). Furthermore, the group promises to help all adolescents in need, regardless of race, ethnic origin, or other kinds of prejudice, and it seeks the governments and well-wishers’ full support.


Organizational Reputation and Sustainability

The Organization received many honors bestowed upon former members who have lauded the group’s achievements and success. Consequently, the group has an excellent reputational credit rating. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America are funded in several ways, including via government grants. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice Department and other federal agencies Additional funding sources include substantial donations and sponsorships from organizations and businesses like these. This adds to its continued viability and functionality.

Relevant Terms

Autism –Autism is a condition characterized by various conditions such as retarded development, social and cognitive skills, and speech problems (Munib, 2019)

Autistic children –Autistic children have difficulty communicating, have narrow interests, and need physical activities and therapy to enhance their development.

Enrichment programs –Enrichment programs are part of after school activities that give autistic children or other children a chance to develop their interests outside the classroom (Harpine, 2013)

After school programs –These are programs that teenagers or youths can voluntarily engage in outside the regular school days, usually conducted by clubs (Harpine, 2013)

Applied behavior analysis –applied behavior analysis is a scientific principle focused on analyzing behavioral and learning changes, usually among autistic children or children with related conditions, and how they are affected by the environment (John et al., 2020)

Indigenous youths –Indigenous youths are youths aged between 15 to 24 years. 

Marginalized groups –Marginalized groups are highly vulnerable members of society who often suffer exclusion from public forums limiting their participation or engagement in social and political life. Examples include senior citizens, persons with autism, and cognitive impairments. 

Boys and Girls Club of America-The Boys and Girls Club of America offer afterschool activities to children between 6 to 12 years to enhance their physical health improve their academic prowess and help them become better members of the community.

Identify Potential Gaps or Areas for Growth

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to analyze an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It enables an organization to focus on what it does well, address its shortcomings to reduce the effects of risk, and take advantage of the growth opportunities. I conducted a SWOT analysis for the After-school programs by America’s Boys and Girls Club of Americas. The SWOT analysis entails 40 internal and external factors that affect the organization. Internal factors are the strengths and weaknesses that accrue from within the organization.

In contrast, external factors outside the organization may positively or negatively impact the Character and Development Chapter of America’s Boys and Girls Club of America. A weighted score, an average of a set of grades, was used in this project during SWOT analysis calculations. A rating score was assigned to each factor and used to develop a plan to ensure the organization attains its goals.


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to analyze an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It enables an organization to focus on what it does well, address its shortcomings to reduce the effects of risk, and take advantage of the growth opportunities. I conducted a SWOT analysis for the Afterschool programs by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The SWOT Analysis entails a list of 40 internal and external factors that affect the organization. The internal factors are the strengths and weaknesses that accrue from within the organization, while the external factors are factors outside the organization that may positively or negatively impact the Boys and Girls Club of America. A rating score was assigned to each factor and used to develop a plan to ensure the organization attains its goals.

Strengths

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have much strength to improve the children’s lives and wellbeing. These strengths include a broad financial base, a credible reputation for instilling hands-on development skills in the children and keeping their costs low to accommodate students from different backgrounds.

Weaknesses

Among the weaknesses of America’s boys and girls, clubs for autistic children include frequent disruption and disorganization from the members, lack of enough resources and specialists to attend to the children’s needs, and not dealing with the sensitive members.

Opportunities


The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have several opportunities to build on to improve the lives and wellbeing of their members. These opportunities include collaborating with the military groups and taking advantage of this collaboration to expand its operations and improve the lives of its members.

Threats

Autistic children have experiences with social phobia, excessive nervousness, intense behavior, hyperactive arousal, or appearing “shell shocked,” phobias, anti-social behaviors, rigorous workouts, and resistance to change. Such behaviors become a threat to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, who have to find ways of dealing with the problems that may arise due to the children’s uncontrollable behavior. These threats include conflict with the authorities due to a loud and chaotic environment, the member being resistant to change and exposing other children to socio phobic members.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

1. Provide professional and educational development

2. Enhanced participation in healthy activities

3. Wide Sources of finance

4. Has a credible reputation

5. Acts as home to underprivileged youths

6. Prioritizes safety and wellbeing of the autistic children

7. Provide sporting activities that improve physical health

8. Keeps their charges low to attract more students

9. Provide low-cost transportation to and from nearby schools

10. Offers hands-on skills development opportunities


Weaknesses

1. Has limited geographical existence

2. Limited support staff

3. Dealing with the sensitive members

4. Lack of enough specialists to attend to the members in case need arises

5. The institution lacks public awareness

6. The issue of time management

7. Disorganization due to the diverse needs

8. Frequent disruptions of the everyday routines

9. Lack of trust by the members

10. Inability to attend to the diff