Summer is winding down and it has been a wonderful summer of travel and learning.
The travel began in Northern Utah. Ogden was home base for a few days.
I was able to visit with old friends and new friends. Day one began with a tour of Viewpoint Center,
a sub acute psychiatric program. Neighboring Elevations and Seven Stars were lovely and
gracious, opening up their campus for touring. Day two began in Logan at Logan River
Academy. How wonderful to be able to spend the day with the Logan River family.
Then off to Solstice and The Journey Home to visit with the girls. Thank you Kate for all that
you do! For those that don't know she is simply a dynamo, very impressive.
Day three saw a change in geography and accommodations. Waypoint Academy is located
in the foothills of the Snowbasin Ski area. The vistas are breathtaking. The program is warm and homey and the boys were open and forthcoming. Next stop was Eva Carlston, after I ran late and got lost. They were nothing but gracious at my own mistakes. Thank you Allison. There I found myself with a great clinical team and lovely young women. I ended the day visiting with a student at Youth Care.
I moved locations toward the south and stayed in Provo. I had the pleasure of touring the Discovery family of programs. Discovery Academy, Discovery Connections and Discovery Ranch. Each of these programs had a different feel and worked with a different type of student. Thank you to the Discovery for such a great day. I truly enjoyed my last day in Utah. I toured The Heritage School and then New Haven Academy. I loved my time at Heritage with Matt and Ian and learning about how they are becoming one of the most sensory sensitive program there is. I also loved my time at New Haven. There was such a vulnerability that the girls could share with me. I feel honored and humbled to have had such a wonderful
I always appreciate a good learning opportunity. My next big trip was to Asheville, Black Mountain, more
specifically, for Expanding Recovery for Young Adults, Conference and Wellness Retreat. After some bad
travel experiences, and finally getting there, I was honored to be learning from Noah Levine who founded
Refuge Recovery. There were keynotes, mediation, break out sessions and a lesson
on Wilderness skills. One member of our group got fire started with nothing but steel and a rock. Others
were spending time doing 12 Step Yoga. What a fabulous event. I can't wait to see what happens next year!
Thank you to Deara Ball from SWUS. SWUS was a sponser of this event. Deara is a bundle of energy and deserves
many kudos for putting on an amazing event.
This week Kate Gosselin once again graces the cover of People Magazine. Her son Colin is missing from the family photo.
The Gosselin family has always been controversial because of how much they have shared of their lives in the public forum.
There is now even more controversy over how Colin has been sent away to work on his special needs, especially given his young age.
He is only 12 years old.
As a therapeutic educational consultant and parent to someone with special needs, the decision to send a child to treatment is not
an easy one. I applaud her decision to seek help for her son. I admire her for trying to be honest, help bust stigma around treatment, and doing the best she can for her son. I also applaud her for keeping details secret, as with any medical issue, this will be Colin's story to tell.
Sending a child to treatment, whether it be a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school can happen for a variety of reasons.
There may be a severe enough learning disability that the child is not progressing in either public school nor a therapeutic day school setting.
There may an autism spectrum disorder where resources to match individual needs are not available. There may be an emotional coping issue to the point that there are safety concerns for both himself or others. The family may have exhausted all local and outpatient resources, which is usually the case, prior to the decision to send a child to treatment. Additionally, in the case of multiple births, there may be an in utero organic brain development issue. At this point in time, when all else has been tried, a 24/7 therapeutic environment is the only one that can help a child learn the skills they need to learn to cope in their world.
Private residential treatment programs are not institutionalized. They are often home like setting. They often use animal and brain based therapies to help a younger child heal. The people that I have encountered work in the field do so because they truly want to help children heal. This is tough work and takes a certain type of person to work with children with this high level of need.
It also takes a certain type of Mom and Dad to be able to say, we have tried absolutely everything and we need to do more.