Advising and consulting parents with Struggling Teens

As an educational consultant working with special needs children, adolescents and young adults, parents often ask me, “What exactly does an educational consultant do?”  Well the answer is complex and detailed, so I will be explaining educational consulting from the view of different populations, starting first with ‘struggling teens’.

Struggling, or troubled teens, are terms used to describe a wide variety of behavioral issues in teenagers ages 13 to 18.  These issues can include, but are not limited to, behaviors such as:

  • Defiance and anger
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Substance Use and Abuse
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor academic performance
  • Suicidal Behaviors
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Attachment disorders
  • Eating Disorders

When parents consult me, it is to help them find out of home placement for their child.  This is probably one of the most difficult decisions for parents to make, and to have me there to help facilitate the process, can take away much of the difficulty and distress of evaluating and determining what is the best program for their child.

Because I am an experienced therapist, I can offer parents more than just my expertise in finding the right placement.  I can evaluate and assess the child and the family’s needs, and speak with programs and schools, using and understand the clinical language.  I become the interpreter for both the family and the program, helping each understand the needs of the other, to create the best chance of success for the child.

Often, when parents contact me, the family is in crisis and action needs to happen fast.  I work for the family and help them get the information necessary to make the best decision during the crisis.

Placement can last from 3 to 18 months, depending on the program and school chosen. Wilderness Programs are usually from 3 to 6 months, and Therapeutic Boarding Schools can last from 6 to 18 months.   Deciding on whether to start with Wilderness and move to a Therapeutic Boarding school is another difficult choice that needs to be considered at the time of placement.  This also depends on having a proper evaluation and assessment of the child’s situation, and determining what will be in the best interest of the child and family.

My job is to help the family each step of the way, from the initial phone call with me, to placement, throughout the program to graduation, transitioning home, and aftercare.  I work for your family and am not employed by or represent any particular school or program.  I support your family by continued contact and updates from the program , following the progress of your child, and offering direction and guidance through, what can be,  extremely challenging times.

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