– FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS –
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you tell me about the young people you work with? What are they like?
Although we occasionally work with elementary school students, most of the youth we serve are teens who are in middle school or high school, or college-age students in their late teens and early to mid-twenties. Our clients come from across the US and all over the world. We serve high functioning college-bound students, as well as students with more serious learning or developmental problems. Many of our students have learning issues, ranging from mild (such as dyslexia) to more severe (such as intellectual disability); others have autistic spectrum disorder, again ranging from mild to more severe. Probably the largest group of students that we serve has psychiatric or behavioral problems, again ranging from mild to severe, often (though not always) combined with drug or alcohol problems. We specialize in working with youth who have complex presentations, often consisting of combinations of these various challenges.
What kinds of schools and programs can you help me find?
Because we serve such a wide range of youth, we are able to help you find, access and effectively utilize a very wide range of schools and programs. These include mainstream boarding schools (usually those that are small, supportive, structured and nurturing), boarding schools for students with learning challenges, and a variety of treatment programs, such as therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, wilderness therapy programs, national psychiatric hospitals, and drug/alcohol treatment settings. We can also help you find comprehensive assessment programs, which are often very helpful when the diagnosis or intervention plan is unclear.
How do you learn about schools and programs?
Although we have many ways of learning about schools and treatment programs, the most important way we learn about them is through personal, in-depth site visits. Steve and Sherry are frequently on the road, making evaluative site visits to schools and programs throughout the country. Together, we’ve made almost 1,000 such visits! Please click here to see a list of many of the locations we’ve visited.
How does the consulting and advisement process work?
We’re routinely involved with our students and their families from start to finish.
The educational consulting process starts with your email or phone call to our office. We respond to your initial requests quickly, within 24 hours, usually even sooner. A pleasant and informative telephone screening allows us to confirm that we can help you, and it also allows you to get answers to your initial questions.
Our first meeting – either in person, by telephone, or by secure video conference – is a very comprehensive one. It typically lasts about three hours, and covers just about every aspect of your child’s life. We know that this is an important decision and we want to help you get it right. We work hard to understand not just the nature of your child’s problems, but also his or her interests and skills – we’re not just looking to treat the problem, we’re also looking to support the growth of the whole person.
We ask to review all relevant educational and clinical reports and records and, with your permission, we contact professionals (typically educators and clinicians) who know your child well.
After we’ve gained a full understanding of your child and his or her needs, we develop a list of appropriate options, and then assist you in the all-important process of narrowing down the list and coming to a final decision on the school or program that you will choose. Our many years of experience has taught us that in this part of the process we’re not only providing you with valuable information about schools and programs; we’re also helping you with the decision-making itself, helping you to feel comfortable with your final decision. We want you to have peace of mind with your decision.
We regularly monitor the progress of the students we place, and we’re available to become more actively involved should unforeseen problems arise in the new school or treatment program. We routinely help students transition from boarding school or treatment program back to a more mainstream environment.