Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sue Scheff: Parenting Teens - At Your Wit's End? Don't Get Scammed During Your Sense of Urgency to Get Help

With the recent closing of Magnolia Christian School, which was formerly Carolina Springs Academy, it seems that World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS) is slowly decreasing in size.  Is it the economy or the fact that there are many disturbing stories out there, as well as successful lawsuits such as mine.  Currently I believe Red River Academy is their East Coast/Central States main program as Horizon Academy and Cross Creek are on the West Coast.

Are you considering residential therapy?  Are you are your wit’s end with your teenager?  Researching these programs and schools can be a daunting experience.  Glowing websites and slick sales reps at many toll free numbers – how do you know who to trust?

I can’t answer that except to say to remember, your child is not for sale. You will know in your gut if someone is being sincere or simply doing their job.

I am considered a disgruntled parent by WWASPS, and I will accept that since my daughter was abused by them, I defeated them in a jury trial and feel that any parent that was duped the way I was would also be disgruntled. They also enjoy telling parents I own, operate or manage other residential programs – I don’t. The last thing I would want to do or am I qualified to do is run a program.

Finally they love to send parents to website that spread ugly lies about me and twisted truths. However neglect to add that I also won a landmark case for the Internet Defamation of over $11M in a jury trial.
So, as much as they want to discredit me, the truth is in the court papers. The truth is in my book, published by the home of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Health Communications, Inc.

Back to your at-risk teenager, if you are seeking outside help: Stop, think, research and take your time making this major financial and emotional decision. I firmly believe in getting your child help, I also believe there are many excellent programs out there – just do your homework.

As a side note, remember the Internet is not gospel - there are many sites that may have disturbing and ugly statements about a school you are considering – check out the source – in many cases they are former students with a beef. There is a difference between legitimate complaints and former students or parents (usually a divorced one without custody) that are just being vindictive.

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