am I nuts?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amazeofgrace, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    for seriously considering sending difficult child I here?

    to send him Sept. - June I would be in debt for about $35,000 give or take, I am sure I could not get the court to order S2BX to pay half, not like he's paying anything the court has ordered anyways.

    It looks like an awesome program, and the director spoke to me personally over the phone for an hour, she recommended Sally mae for a lone, my Dad thinks I am nuts for even considering this, I know I could get the court to order him to stay there, it's also on 52 acres of wilderness, not likely he'll waltz off the property!

    Am I nuts???
  2. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hi, I may be way off base, but I get the impression from all I've read on this board that these wilderness camp/boarding school programs don't have a real high success rate, although I'm sure that many troubled youth have turned their lives around in these programs - in fact, easy child 2's wife was one who did. I'd just think very long and hard about going into that much debt.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I think a lot depends on how long the program is. The wilderness programs do a short-term fix. That is, the kid may buy into the program while there, but things are a lot different when they get home. It doesn't take long to fall back into the old habits.

    An EGBS can be successful if (1) long enough (at least 18 months, 2 years is even better); (2) the kid actually works the program at some point; (3) the parent learns new methods of dealing with the child. The last two really do go hand-in-hand. The child is not going to change if the parents don't. Another factor is how much contact the child will have with old friends -- both while at the school, during home visits and once the program ends. Without the removal of these friends and influences, there isn't much chance of success in the long run.

    For my daughter, an EGBS wasn't quite enough. She needed more of an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) setting with staff that is more trained for her to have a chance of success. I do know kids who went to an EGBS in Idaho. One was successful when he came home but his parents moved to a new town to give him a new start. The other went back to his old ways of drugging and partying.

    One thing to factor in is that the $35K is just the beginning of costs. Few include the costs of private therapy; medications, including the physician fees for prescribing the same; clothing; school supplies; trips; your costs for visiting, which will include food and lodging; etc. My daughter's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was $80K/year -- the education fees were covered by the school district but everything else was on me. My additional costs were at least $40K/year, for a total of almost $100K out of pocket.

    These type of schools are very, very expensive. Before doing it, talk to parents of kids who are in the program, who have completed the program and who have pulled their kids out of the program. You need the input of all three to get an accurate picture of whether this type of place is a good fit for your son. If the school refuses to give you these names, then find someplace else.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't mean to sound hard, or cold. But right now aren't you living with your parents? I think you might have more success in the long run if you concentrate on moving the kids out of the house. the $35K is a lowball estimate, as meowbunny says. You also have to think about difficult child 2. Which kid has a higher likelihood of "buying in" to a program and would have more time to make it work?? I am very much not sure this is a good bet for a 17yo kid who would have to be court ordered to even go there.

    I am sure the person in charge spent quite a lot of time with you. That is there job - selling the school to parents.

    IF you are going to do a program like this, it would be best to invest in an educational consultant and let htem help you find a program that is the best fit between your child and the school/program.

    But just getting away from the home iwth your parents might be a better financial investment?? Just asking. I know for us it was a huge help with the other kids, and then moving difficult child back to my parents was an even bigger help. he got to be the "only child" he needs to be, and we got to deal with all the PTSD he left behind.

    Hugs and support no matter what you decide!
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you are doing it because he wants to (not, right?) you're not nuts. If you are doing it for reasons of your own? Well, I'll just say I think it would be a mistake.

    Of course the director talked to you for an hour. That's $35k she's looking at. I'd be more interested in what difficult child had to say about it after talking to the director for an hour. I have a very good friend whose sister sold their home and moved into an apartment to send her child to a boarding school because of behavioral problems. Four months later, the daughter was living with some friend in another town, and mom and dad were still living in their apartment. The school kept their money.

    Even a wilderness school can expel a student. Much more easily and with much less reason than a public school. And they don't give tuition back.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    They've got a very nice website but I could tell from the wording and photos that it would be pricey. No surprise to read Witz's guess at $35k.
    That's actually a typical boarding school price.

    Do you know anyone personally who has sent their kids there?
    We took a chance with-our son in the wilderness camp, but it's only a month, and not quite enough $ to need a loan.

    I'm not sure what sorts of behaviors you're looking for in regard to this school. Do you think that a change of pace would be enough of a shock to keep your difficult child in line better? They do have counselors and they do talk about difficult issues, so the kids can't get out of that.
    They have to earn their fun time--snowboarding, etc.--so fun stuff isn't guaranteed. Sounds like a pretty typical set up.

    I'm not so sure how a kid would ditch the system when they're located so far away from everything ... I suppose kids can arrange anything if they really want to. I know that my difficult child wouldn't ditch the program ... he would call home and tell us he's miserable, first.

    Remind me how old your kids are again?
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He's 17 now- you pay over $35,000 for a year (counting in all the extras)- what happens when he turns 18? Can he just walk away before the year is up, no matter what you have paid?
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    these are all good points, you can tell these school's pray on burnt out desperate parents, she's called me 2 more times today to follow up!

    I am on the fence, but we'll see what happens at court 2morrow