Sue Scheff: Parent Choices for Teens

kids_thumbnailLocal Therapy:


Local therapy is a good place to start with children that struggling at home and school.  To locate a local therapist, it is beneficial to contact your insurance company for a list of adolescent therapists in your area.  If you don’t have insurance when calling therapists, ask them if they accept sliding scales according to your income.  Check your yellow pages for local Mental Health Services in your area or ask your Pediatrician or Family Doctor for a referral.


Military Schools and Academies:


Military Schools have been around for over a hundred years.  Many parents are under the misconception that Military Schools are for at risk children.  Military Schools are a privilege and honor to attend and be accepted into.  Your child must have some desire to attend a Military School.  Many children believe Military Schools are for bad kids, however if they visit a campus they may realize it is an opportunity for them.  Many parents start with a Military Summer program to determine if their child is a candidate for Military School. 


Military Schools usually do not offer therapy, unless contracted on the outside of the school.  They offer structure, positive discipline, self-confidence, small class sizes and excellent academics.  Military Schools can build a student’s self-esteem; motivate them to benefit their future both socially and academically.


Traditional Boarding Schools:


Traditional Boarding Schools are like Military Schools, in which your child will have to want to attend and be accepted into the school. There are many excellent Boarding Schools that offer both academics and special needs for students. Many specialize in specific areas such as fine arts, music, and competitive sports.  In most cases, therapy is not offered unless contracted on the outside.


Therapeutic Boarding Schools (TBS):


Therapeutic Boarding Schools offer therapy and academics to students.  Usually the student has not done well in a traditional school and is making bad choices that could have an effect on their future.  Although many of the students are exceptionally smart, they are not working to their ability.  Sometimes peer pressure can lead your child down a destructive path.  Removing them from their environment can be beneficial to them to focus on themselves both emotionally and academically.


Christian Boarding Schools:


Christian Boarding Schools and Programs for struggling teens offer therapy and academics.  They have a spiritual foundation that can assist a child to better understand Christianity as well as bring them closer to a Higher Power.  Many offer Youth Groups and activities that can create life skills for a better future.  A program with a Christian setting may enhance a child’s better understanding of the world today. 


Residential Treatment Center (RTC):


Residential Treatment Centers, similar to a TBS, offer therapy and academics.  However Residential Treatment Centers are for children that require more clinical support.  Their issues are more specific with substance abuse, eating disorders, self-mutilators, and other behavioral issues.


Summer Programs:


Summer programs are a great place to start if your child is beginning to make bad choices or losing their motivation.  Finding a good summer program that can build self-confidence can be beneficial to student’s prior starting a new school year. 


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