When parents reach the end of their rope, they might consider a therapeutic boarding school for troubled boys as a last resort. These schools offer the consistency that parents might not be able to provide at home. For example, in a traditional school setting, children attend class for five or six hours each day but then go home to a different environment where each child now needs to abide by the rules of the home. Admittedly, these rules differ greatly, depending on parenting styles and a myriad of other factors. On the other hand, a therapeutic boarding school provides consistency and uniformity 24/7 for the students. The individuals can then begin to progress as a group since they are growing and learning together. A parent cannot offer group input into a child’s life that might be just what he needs to help him succeed. If you do not have the time to investigate therapeutic boarding schools for troubled boys so that you can make the right choice, you can retain an educational consultant who can do the legwork for you.
Incredible Opportunity or Last Resort
For one young man, diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, a therapeutic boarding school was the right choice for him. He had been to traditional schools and attended various therapy programs with limited success. His mother looked into a program that eliminated medications and instead opted for vigorous exercise in order to place their bodies on a natural schedule that improved appetite and promoted better sleep habits. She enrolled him in the residential portion of the program and never looked back. He thrived and progressed as she checked on him regularly. She believes that her decision saved both of their lives.
Selecting a School
Choosing a school depends on the needs of your family, but specifically the needs of your child. Schools range from one end of the spectrum to the other or from strictly regimented and tightly restricted to less structured programs with support for your child. You will need to determine how tight the controls need to be for your son. Keep in mind that federal law mandates that a child needs to be in the least restrictive environment that serves his needs. In some cases, you will have to make a judgement call as a parent. However, if the troubled teen is violent toward others or involved in self-injury despite school involvement, it might be time to look at a residential program. Even so, the goal is to return the student to public school with support as soon as possible.
When you are looking at therapeutic boarding schools for troubled boys, you can turn to the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, a professional organization that will help you select from different schools depending on criteria that you input into the system. The executive director of the agency recommends that parents choose from several facilities and then ask them the list of suggested questions in order to determine which placement will best meet their needs. While it’s not advisable to drop in for a surprise visit, you should be able to schedule a tour and talk to students and staff in order to see the quality of the program.
A Student’s Perspective
Listening to the experiences of students who have completed therapeutic boarding schools offers parents and prospective candidates hope for a positive outcome. Some say that the time at a treatment facility changed their life for the better from improving grades to acceptance of 12-step tenants to addressing depression or substance abuse.