Residental Treatment Center/Boarding School

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Two-Step, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. Two-Step

    Two-Step New Member

    OK, I'm new to this site, and am looking for suggestions on a residential treatment center or boarding school for my 14-year-old step son. He is oppositionally defiant and heading towards conduct disorder FAST (if he's not already there). He is currently at a facility that is unable to meet his needs, and they are trying to help find him another place, but I want all of the information I can get. My son is extremely aggressive, and refuses to take medications, so he is a danger to his siblings at home. If you have experiences (good or bad) with any treatment centers, please let me know about them.
    Thank you.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Two-Step and welcome!

    Sorry that your difficult child is in a program that is doing nothing.

    Our rules of the site are that we don't list proper names of facilities or doctors. However, this information can be shared through the private message (pm) feature as a member. Just make sure that you have that feature turned on (check the User CP section in the upper left of the page).
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I know a number of therapeutic schools, covering everything from a psychiatric hospital environment to wide open country. And it is important to match the student's needs with the facility. Apart from the board policy of no facility names in postings, the challenge is suggesting without knowing more. "Oppositionally defiant" fits a lot of teens, although being extremely aggressive doesn't. Does he have any diagnosis other than that, and by what kind of professional. Or does he seem more-or-less "normal" but for his defiance? Finally, what kind of school is he in now, and which of "his needs" is it unable to meet?
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nice to meet you!

    what kind of school is he in now, and which of "his needs" is it unable to meet?

    This is my question, too.
  5. Two-Step

    Two-Step New Member

    He is currently at a private ranch school that specializes in behavoir modification. His violent outbursts are becoming more frequent, and they are repeatedly having to involve the police. It is at their "suggestion" that he will be leaving this facility. by the way -- this is the second such school that he will have been kicked out of this year.

    We know that there is probably another psychiatric disorder underlying the CD, however; he is so unresponsive in therapy that three psychiatrists and a whole host of therapists have been unable to successfully diagnose him. The possibilities are ADHD, Bi-polar and/or Depression.

    I feel like I am running into one brick wall after another trying to get him help. I am just searching for any and all avenues to check into so that we can get this kid the help we all so desperately need.

  6. dadside

    dadside New Member

    With most teen behavior issues, you don't have sudden episodes of violence, least of all with increasing frequency. To me, that has to be addressed, and cause identified, before anything else can work. I'd guess there may be some physical issue behind it, but in any case he should have a competent neuropsychologist evaluation. Others on this board are knowledgable about those evaluations.

    So, I think you should be looking for more of a hospital/clinical setting with more professional mental health expertise than most TBS. Once there is a good diagnosis and effective treatment at least begun, moving to a TBS or even home might be in order.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome, Two-Step.

    Others may disagree with me, but we had good luck working with an educational consultant who worked to find programs that matched our son's needs.

    My own experience is that behavior modification does not work. Our complicated kids are often angry and oppositional because they feel so bad about themselves. They need professionals who will reach out to them and build a relationship with them. Only through that trust will the child open up and begin to make meaningful progress. in my humble opinion, any program you look at should combine ongoing intensive clinical assessment, relationship-based mentoring, some kind of recreational therapeutic activity to enhance mood (my son's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) does triathlon training) and an individualized academic component.

    My own son attended a wilderness program over the summer and then went on to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at the end of August. While progress is never linear, we are optimistic about his future for the first time in years.

    Please feel free to post any questions you might have. Hang in there and good luck.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I've been told that psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s (as opposed to a typical Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that happens to have a psychiatrist on board) are much more therapuetic oriented while still working on behavior and having a secure enough environment to prevent aggression/violence as mush as possible. Still, they vary in quality and unless you have recommendations by parents and profs for a specific place, I'd get the educational consultant on board as Smallworld suggests.
  9. dadside

    dadside New Member

    An educational consultant may be helpful, but I believe that you have to be careful in selecting one, just as you should be careful in choosing a placement. There are some Ed.Cons. who do little more than collect referral fees from schools to whom they refer kids. Others may not have adequate expertise to really identify the important issues and best place for addressing them. And, the owner of one excellent Residential Treatment Center (RTC) told me that there is a certain "herd mentality" among many ed.cons., which together with the need to "cultivate" relationships with them raises the risk of substantial dropoff of referrals if one consultant gets unhappy (rationally or otherwise) with a particular place. My point is not to avoid a consultant - some are excellent - but rather don't take the title as conferring special skill.
  10. Two-Step

    Two-Step New Member

    Thanks everyone. I am working with an education consultant, and he seems to have some really good ideas for the immediate, short and long term care of my son. Wish us luck!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great, Two-Step. You've made progress already.
    Good luck!