It’s all too common for some teens to struggle with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues, making it nearly impossible for them to attend, much less succeed at, traditional schools. Often, traditional schools will not have the resources available to provide the specialized help that a troubled teen needs. When teen behavior reaches the point where it interferes with others, the student is usually suspended or expelled.
When this happens, many parents don’t know what to do, but there are alternative schools for troubled teens that can give them the help they need to get things back on track. Alternative schools have several different names, such as therapeutic boarding schools or reform schools. These facilities focus on academics with therapy to provide individualized help. It’s this specialized approach that helps troubled teens overcome the challenges in their lives and focus on the future.
Here are 5 ways that alternative schools for troubled teens can really help:
1. Structure. Alternative schools for troubled teens provide a safe and highly structured environment. Staff members are trained on how to work with troubled teens and they keep teens busy and engaged, while supervising them in positive activities.
2. Licensed professionals. From teachers and nurses to therapists–have experience in helping teens with their particular challenges. There are a number of issues that can be treated with therapy, including ADD/ADHD, ODD, bipolar, depression, anxiety, abuse trauma, low self-esteem and more. When troubled teens get professional therapy, regularly and consistently, they can overcome their challenges and progress toward a happier and healthier life.
3. School focus. Academics are a key part of an alternative school for troubled teens, and licensed teachers in small classrooms work with students to get them up to their grade level. Some alternative schools have college prep courses as well as vocational training, to prepare students for the next phase of their lives.
4. Extracurricular programs. Life can’t be all about work, and alternative schools generally have extensive extracurricular activities for teens to participate in. Not only do these clubs and programs boost a teen’s self-esteem, but they help teens discover who they are and what they can do. Developing talent, learning how to be part of a team, and setting and achieving goals are all benefits of recreation activities and clubs. Just some examples include horseback riding, outdoor recreation, team sports, art and drama clubs classes, and more.
5. Transitioning. Getting back into the real world after being at a residential facility can be difficult, but alternative schools help teens gain the skills they need to make better decisions, develop healthy relationships and set goals for their lives. Thanks to the extensive support groups at alternative schools, troubled teens can go from negative and destructive to positive and productive as they move from adolescence to adulthood.
Alternative schools are an excellent way for troubled teens to get a second chance at establishing relationships, repairing family bonds, getting back into school and focusing on the future instead of the past.