It is a heart-stopping moment for any parent when you realize that your child needs much more help than you can give him at home and at his current school. Perhaps a therapeutic school is the answer.
What is a therapeutic school? A therapeutic school is a special residential school designed to help troubled children, typically teenagers, with a variety of emotional and other problems. As a rule the child cannot get the consistent treatment she needs in a local school and at home. As a result it makes sense in many cases to send the child away to a highly structured environment where she will receive the treatment she needs 24/7. Most schools also work with their students to get the academics back on track as well.
The Admissions Process
Admissions under the supervision of a consulting physician or other professional can occur at any convenient time. You don't have to wait for once a year admissions deadlines as you do with normal day or boarding schools. Determine what the problem is. Identify a school which can turn things around. Pay for it. Those are the broad steps you will take to get your child into a therapeutic school.
How do you know for sure if you should consider a therapeutic school for your child? Always consult with your doctor and other professionals to discuss the situation if your child has any of the following symptoms or issues:
- Substance abuse
- Violent or threatening behavior
- Defies authority
- Refuses to follow rules or take guidance
- Poor grades
How do the programs work?
Each therapeutic school has its own treatment procedures and philosophy. But most concentrate on providing a highly-structured, isolated environment in which your child can learn new behaviors. The schools provide the intensive support and encouragement necessary to eliminate destructive, bad habits and replace them with new patterns of behavior which will build confidence. They accomplish this with group and individual therapy sessions.
How long does this take? It varies with each child. The typical stay is at least a year but a longer stay is often may be necessary to achieve the desired results. In addition students frequently arrive at a school with significant gaps in their academic work. It is not always easy to predict how quickly those deficiencies will be made up.
What do therapeutic schools cost?
Because the schools provide therapeutic services as well as academic instruction, they tend to be fairly expensive. Monthly charges of $5,000 or more are common. In addition you can expect to pay for medications and specialized treatments which may be necessary.
Where can I find schools?
Start by searching this site with the keyword therapeutic
Read the articles which you can find on sites like Therapeutic Boarding Schools and The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs
. Ask professionals such as doctors and educators for their advice. Always visit schools and understand fully how their programs work.