Teens With Problems

FREE literature, catalogs and video to help parents dealing with a troubled, out of control  teen What type of help does my teen need? Take this test and find out if your child would benefit from behavior modification and residential treatment. Check out signs of teenage drug abuse, including marijuana and other illegal drugs, huffing, Ritalin, and other over-the-counter drugs. Read about the difference between conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, and how they can be confused with ADHD or bipolar disorder Strategies for families with a defiant teen - restructure your home rules and tighten discipline

Detailed info on how to write a home rules contract for your family, including a printable blank contract Residential treatment programs, behavior modification programs, and boot camp alternatives for struggling, defiant and out of control teens. Pictures, descriptions and locations of behavior modification programs for teens. My son began his drug use at age 9-1/2 and was diagnosed with ADD, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder and severe substance abuse; learn what we did to save his life. Just when he was getting his life together, Chris was killed in a DUI accident

Our Story
  Our Son's Journey into Residential Treatment
  • Traveling to Mexico

  • Arrival at Casa

  • Behavior Modification Level System

  • Family Support

    No matter what we do to try to help our struggling teens, it is sometimes just not enough. We can love them and help them with their schoolwork and get them into counseling and put them on antidepressants, but despite all our efforts, our child is still acting out. We see them doing things that break the law and we don't know whether we should turn them in and have then prosecuted or protect them. We want to throw our hands up in despair because we don't know where else to turn

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    My 14-year-old son before entering residential treatment
    My son, 2 weeks before
    entering the program
    (looking pale and
    out of it)

    I went through all of the above with my 14-year-old son. He was hospitalized in inpatient adolescent treatment programs and partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, saw multiple counselors, and was on psychiatric medications including antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, and with all this, he just kept getting worse and worse. He was diagnosed with ADD and tried on Ritalin, which made him worse. He was then diagnosed with bipolar illness and put on Depakote and Risperdal, which helped somewhat. He complained of hearing voices, a probable side effect of the huffing and LSD he had been taking. His short-term memory was shot, and school work was next to impossible for him.

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    Emergency room visits for various types of huffing incidents and overdoses on things like cough syrup became more common. I was told separately by three different therapists that they feared my son would be dead if we did not get him into some type of program that included containment, due to his incredible drug hunger and drug-seeking behaviors.

    Residential treatment was the very strong recommendation given at his last discharge from the adolescent treatment program, but I was at a loss as to where I would find a program that would fit his needs. However, I had no choice...it became imperative that I try to find some type of treatment program fast in an effort to save my son. I called many places in and around our home, but none of them offered the type of program that we needed. We were told by a lot of these programs that if the kids ran away, they were discharged from the program. Well, it was a given that my son would run away, so obviously we needed something more secure.

    There were several drug treatment centers within a 150 mile radius of our home, but I discovered that for most it would take weeks to even get an appointment to see them, and once a child was admitted, he was generally only kept for a month or two, which I knew would not be long enough. We also had no insurance coverage as we had run out of benefits on our HMO, so I knew that any program we chose was going to be paid for out of our own pockets. We are just your average American people with average incomes, but we made too much money to qualify for any aid. What on earth would we do?

    I was advised by a few people that we could sign away custody of our son to the state, and then the state would pay for the treatment. However, I have heard horror stories about what happens to the kids when they are in state custody, so I was extremely reluctant to follow this path, although for a time I thought we might have to do just that.

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    Right about the time I was ready to give up, I heard about the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs. This organization offers a highly structured behavior modification program that they have guaranteed will turn your child around.

    The World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP) has facilities located in various parts of the United States, Mexico and Jamaica. As a parent, you can choose which facility your child will attend, including Casa by the Sea, located just outside of Ensenada in Baja California, Cross Creek facilities in Utah, Spring Creek Lodge Carolina Springs in South Carolina, and Tranquility Bay in Jamaica. After listening to all of our options, we chose Casa by the Sea.

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    After talking to the staff at Teen Help, an adolescent referral service that works with the World Wide Association of Programs, and receiving a huge amount of program literature, I phoned them stating I was ready to put my son in their program. I was told that they would be waiting for us any time I chose to bring him. I talked with them on a Tuesday,and by Thursday morning, we were on a plane from Chicago to Los Angeles. I could have used the option of an escort service, which is available for parents who are worried that their child may run away during transport to the facility. One family told me of two rather large young men appearing at their doorway at 4:00 a.m. to take their son to his facility. He had no choice but to accompany them.

    There are many reasons for choosing a specific facility, and we chose Casa by the Sea because we have family on the West Coast, but money was also a significant factor as this facility does not cost as much as those located within the United States. A family member met my son and me at the airport in Los Angeles and drove us into Mexico along the scenic route to Ensenada, where we witnessed the absolutely breath-taking scenery of Baja California's Pacific Coast, which I would describe as the Big Sur of Mexico. However, as beautiful as the drive was, I was an emotional wreck. I was in tears and I had butterflies in my stomach that were so severe I felt I would be ill. Flying 2000 miles away from home and leaving my child in a foreign country was the scariest thing I had ever done as a parent!

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    My son after graduating his first program seminar, looking much healthier
    My Son
    after graduating his
    first program seminar
    (gained 15 pounds and
    looks a lot healthier!)

    When we finally arrived at Casa by the Sea, all of my fears immediately vanished. The staff had been waiting for us, and some had even stayed two hours past their normal working hours (our plane had arrived in LAX two hours late). My son was taken almost immediately to his new home, and my relative and I were given a tour of the facility. We went back again the next day and spent another two hours with staff, going over the program and visiting the facility. When I left, I felt as though I had a 10,000 pound weight lifted off my shoulders. My son was SAFE!!! I had thought that leaving my son in Mexico would be extremely traumatic and that I would cry for days. WRONG! I was ecstatic! I felt as though a 2000 pound weight had been lifted off my shoulders! We were doing something very positive for my son, namely giving him a new shot at life! Maybe he was not doomed to die after all! All of these thoughts went through my mind as I drove away from the facility, knowing that it would be a while before I saw my son again but feeling totally assured that he was being left in very good hands!

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    The World Wide of Specialty Programs uses a behavior modification system which consists of six levels. All kids who enter the program begin on Level 1, which has no privileges of any kind. They are given a full physical examination and a school assessment, and they are given an individual educational program, which they begin working on immediately. At first, no phone calls are allowed, but parents and students may write letters to each other. Children are put into small groups, and each parent has an assigned time to speak with the group leader once a week for a half hour to discuss their child's progress.

    Once Level 3 is achieved, a student is given phone privileges home as well as more privileges at the school, on and off the grounds. Levels 4 through 6 build on the foundations of the first three levels, adding new responsibilities and role reversal situations, with students working closely with kids coming in new to the program. Students are taught accountability and coping strategies throughout the program.

    By the time they reach Level 6, students have many of the same privileges as staff. WWASP has a 96% SUCCESS RATE and offers a WARRANTY on their program, which states that if a child who graduates from Level 6 returns to old behaviors, he may reenter the program for up to two months free of charge.

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    There are support groups in every area for families who have children in any of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs facilities. I was amazed to find a support group meeting within ten minutes of my home! There are also seminars for parents to help them identify their own strengths and weaknesses and to help them relate better to each other so that when their child comes home, he is coming back to a family that has experienced much healing.

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