Gathering as much useful information as you can about residential treatment centers is an important initial step parents/guardians can take in deciding on residential or non-residential therapy for your teen. Parents may find conflicting information from different sources about private therapeutic schools, this will make it quite a task to sift through the information one gets regarding these schools. Each child is different and responds to situations differently. Each therapeutic treatment center is different and are not created equally. They may differ in focus, in size, and other important aspects. There are many different types of residential treatment centers, and whether parents are looking for military schools, therapeutic schools, religious schools, etc, everybody can find something to fit one’s needs.
Military boarding schools give students a highly-structured, disciplined, organized environment patterned after the military tradition. They usually put a lot of emphasis on a strict honor code, on personal responsibility, nationalism and camaraderie. Not all of them will accept troubled teens, but these kinds of high schools can be a good stepping stone to students who want to get into military academy. Military high schools sometimes offer courses which can be credited or carried over to college or would serve as additional merits when they enlist for military service in the future.
Religious boarding schools are those schools that are run after a certain religious tradition. Most of the time, the curriculum is the same with traditional boarding schools but there are additional courses and activities that are related to the religious growth of the students. For example, Catholic boarding schools would probably have catechism classes or classes where student can learn more about the Catholic faith. Most religious boarding schools are ecumenical in nature, not exclusively for students of the same faith.
Therapeutic boarding schools are schools that accept students who have a need for individual and/or group therapy. Most student accepted here have behavioral issues, or some have disorders like ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, and others. Therapeutic schools are very helpful for students who find themselves struggling in mainstream public schools or who have special needs that public schools are not equipped to meet. Most of these schools have very small class sizes which allows teachers to really focus on the individual needs of students. While mainstream public school classrooms can often be over crowded, it’s not unusual for some therapeutic boarding schools to have an average class size of between 2-10 students. Teachers are also specifically trained to deal with troubled and struggling teens. As the name implies, what sets therapeutic schools apart from traditional public or private schools is the kind of therapy that students receive while attending school. For some students, this may make all the difference that they need to succeed in the next step of their academic life; college. It’s also a great place to learn life skills that they would otherwise have trouble learning by themselves in mainstream schools.
Different children have different needs which may be addressed by different types of boarding schools and/or residential treatment centers. It’s very important for parents to work closely with their family doctor/therapist in order to know which school would be a good fit for troubled teens. Even the most well-meaning efforts may come to nothing if the teen is not the right fit for the school.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in: