Who We Are
We are educational and therapeutic consultants. Think of us as experienced guides and advocates for your child, and for your family. Since 1979 we have helped thousands of families address the widest range of issues – from learning differences such as attention and memory disorders, to emotional and behavioral difficulties including defiance at home, at school or in the community as well as substance abuse, eating disorders and other self-harm, high-risk, and mental health-related disorders. We do not provide therapy directly – we help you design the best course of action and get you the right help for your specific circumstances. And while we have deep experience with the special needs child, adolescent and young adult, we also provide educational and pyschological testing as well as traditional private day, boarding and college placement services.
We know how daunting and overwhelming the number of therapy options are. So we don’t get on the Internet, we get on airplanes. Our consultants continually visit, evaluate, and develop personal relationships with hundreds of specialty schools, programs, and therapists, knowing that major differences, as well as subtle nuances, can separate an inappropriate placement from a successful outcome for your loved one. We also maintain constant contact with school, program, and clinical leadership, as well as local professionals. These ongoing relationships ensure that we are up to date on staff changes, environmental shifts, and other dynamic elements in this constantly changing field. We also collaborate extensively with specific therapists at schools and treatment centers, as well as those in private practice, to ensure our families are receiving the best care possible.
Our diverse, seasoned, and compassionate team consists of psychologists, educators, legal experts, and other professionals with deep expertise in such fields as chemical dependency, mental health, education, coaching and testing. Their expertise combined with their knowledge of thousands of programs, schools and other resources nationwide help ensure that you are prepared to make the best choices for your son or daughter. You can depend on us to understand complex situations and diagnoses, and to treat you with sensitivity and respect.
Every family is unique, so in each case the path taken is tailored to your specific needs. Working collaboratively, we help you and your family create and execute a plan for appropriate educational programs and treatment interventions. This goes far beyond just recommending a single school or program. Our philosophy means that, as we help establish priorities and educate the family, a more consistent and committed approach becomes viable. As important, our team makes sure your family is properly prepared before, during, and after whatever course you choose. We pioneered this holistic approach and continue to enhance it to meet the ever changing needs of modern families.
Our initial process includes:
- First meeting with parents (without the child). We want to have a frank and open conversation to understand the situation and begin determining further steps and what opportunities may exist.
- Meet your child/young adult. Direct interaction helps our consultants get a more informed analysis of both your child and your family situation. Meeting the child later in the process may be best given urgency of action as well as proximity.
- Problem clarification from a range of people close to your child and family. This is a process of mutual education on your situation. We listen, we ask questions, we share. You (and we) need to know what we’re really up against and what are your options.
- Testing. Part of the process may involve the use of formal tools to analyze cognitive, academic and emotional functioning — from a status check on your child’s relative strengths and weaknesses to the full battery of psychological testing.
Forming and Executing a Plan
Once we have met with the child and the family, reviewed transcripts, testing and any other documentation and talked to the treating professionals, we can formulate a plan with you. This may include local alternative schools, specific therapeutic options, residential programs or a combination. Our extensive experience and knowledge of available options allows us to tailor a solution to the specific needs of the individual and family. While it is important to be thorough, we can also be very expedient as often we are presented with crises that call for action in hours or days, not weeks or months.
- Managing the plan. From the available options, the family is equipped, educated and able to make informed decisions that will be in the best interests of your son/daughter. We assist the family in developing realistic priorities, goals and objectives. We also help the family understand how the recommendations meet their criteria and how to choose the one that best meets their needs at each step in the plan.
- Preparation for programs if necessary. A formal treatment program is only part of achieving a successful outcome for your child. As critical is preparing the family beforehand, helping them fully understand the road ahead and developing strategies to attend to the myriad factors affecting success.
- Follow up. An agreed upon plan is not a static event. Our consultants will continue to stay involved in the progress of the individual and family. If after the initial step assessments and evaluations reveal new conditions we will coordinate with the family and adjust to these changed circumstances.