Day and Boarding Schools
Our families come to us when their child’s current school is no longer meeting their needs or challenging them to grow. We visit hundreds of schools, network with admission directors and use our intimate knowledge to help you decide what your child needs in order to reach their unique potential. We spend the time personally meeting with your family, evaluating records and speaking with others who understand your child’s strengths and struggles so that we can suggest the “right fit.” We specialize in suggesting schools that offer a variety of supports and structures to help students access their best selves.
We keep current with best practices in educating children and adolescents with special learning needs. While many schools offer learning support, some students require a “culture of support”—specific learning strategies instruction, executive functioning and/or social pragmatics. Specialized schools target their academic, social and residential curriculum to the needs of students who are fragile learners.
When an adolescent requires a therapeutic placement, Educational Resources Unlimited will use a multi-tiered evaluation process to assess the correct level of programming required. There are residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools and emotional growth schools that can offer the clinical supports and behavioral structure needed to effect change.
Residential Treatment Centers are often the most intensely clinical and offer specialized therapies such as trauma informed therapy, DBT, equine, CBT, as well as a milieu that is structured and provides 24/7 supervision. School is an integral part of the child’s experience and growth, but academics and the treatment plan are carefully interwoven. There is a heavy emphasis on family work and the length of stay is often driven by the child’s growth in working through the therapeutic goals that are benchmarked and assessed regularly and individually. The average length of stay is 9-12 months.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools are a logical next step from wilderness programs or residential treatment centers. They provide a structure and positive peer culture that supports a child’s academic, social and emotional growth so they may transition home or on to college. Therapeutic boarding schools run year-round accredited academic schools and offer rolling admission, making it possible for credit recovery and to get back on track to complete their high school curriculum. Many of the best therapeutic schools require “readiness for change” as a precursor to being accepted for admission. There is usually a strong emphasis on both the group/peer process as well as individual and family counseling. The average length of stay is 12-18 months.
There are times when a child or young adult will need to be out of the home for intensive short term treatment. A doctor or therapist will refer him or her for crisis intervention if they are at risk to harm themselves, but once they are stabilized they will need treatment. We can refer to specialized hospital programs that are designed to both diagnose and treat anxiety, personality or mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive behaviors or substance abuse.
Wilderness Therapy Programs
A wilderness therapy program is the appropriate intervention for the adolescent or young adult who is stuck in a self-defeating pattern of behavior. Wilderness programs are designed to offer a “time-out” from the typical ebb and flow of daily life. They make use of the outdoors as a forum for personal growth. When a child no longer has to contend with the stressors of school, a social life, and parents, they often become more receptive to learning that will enable them to emerge from wilderness with new coping skills and self-confidence.
We focus on the growing number of programs aimed at facilitating self-discovery through directed, therapeutic interaction with nature and a skilled-staff support system. Wilderness has a unique way of reaching kids and YA adults who have not thrived in traditional therapy settings. Research shows that wilderness programs have great success working with individuals struggling with substance use, defiant behaviors, or difficulty with identifying and expressing emotions. These programs help to increase accountability, reestablish family boundaries, and improve relationships.
Transitional Young Adult Programs
Aimed at young adults ages 18-25, transition programs are designed to assist students in need of support as they take steps toward achieving a healthy, independent adult life. These programs help young adults gain confidence and improve self esteem while developing skills to live a healthy and independent life. They offer support in meeting educational, vocational, and social goals. Transitional programs range from highly structured and clinical group living models to mentor-based programs that bolster a first college or work experience.
Managing a schedule, budget, nutrition and school are all areas of independent living these programs target.
There are many types of transition programs that offer a combination of sober living, home-based coaching that transitions into independent living, vocational training, college or GED education and guidance.
These private programs are geared toward adults with differing abilities to live independently. Most offer an array of case management services to assist residents in job coaching, independent living skills, financial management and recreational activities; however, all provide a sense of community and support for adults.
The process of getting your child the right services for a successful school experience can be a daunting one. We can guide you through understanding the “alphabet soup” of special education law and work with your school team to build appropriate Individual Educational Plans or 504 Accommodation Plans.
Exploring local options often involves helping families build a supportive clinical team in their area of residence and securing appropriate local resources, including parent coaches, mentors, psychotherapists, and psychologists.