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We will give priority to those questions that appear on members only pages and allow us to publish both your question and our answer. If we agree that you could not ask your question without identifying yourself, we will give your question the same level of priority we would give it if we could publish both question and answer on the web. We expect to all questions from paid members placed in comment boxes on members only pages to be answered if we can publish question and answer. We will respond to as many as we can of those that do not precisely fit these terms.

Yes, we do get an immediate notice to check any entry into a comment box.

This is likely to be more of a concern on comments as opposed to questions, but we do require all items published in the comment boxes to conform to our posting rules. Please check that out. Our main concern is that you not directly attack a person, a school, or a person or anything else.  We don't want to spend all our time and money defending lawsuits even if they are frivolous. You may tell us you lack confidence in a particular school or program or that you don't trust someone. That is about you and it gets the message across.  No problem.

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Last updated January 12, 2018

8 thoughts on “Ask FamilyLight a Question

  1. My son turns 18 December 15–are either of these programs ( Wediko and Family Foundation) appropriate? What is the financial difference? I can’t call tonight bc they’re close until the morning.
    Thanks. Chris

    • I don’t like to quote prices and, in any case, I don’t know the specific answer as to costs in any case.

      Family Foundation School/ Allynwood Academy is priced as a therapeutic school and Wediko as a residential treatment center. In addition Allynwood will consider financial aid in hardship situations. My guess would be that Allynwood is about 2/3 of the cost of Wediko.

      If your son does not turn 18 until December 2014, you do have time to get him into programs for the under 18s. Once he is 17 1/2, some doors begin to close.

  2. What is your current impression of Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell Montana? Do you think they would be considered a “Positive Intervention” program?

  3. Carol,

    [Addition October 2017: My opinion of Summit Prep has changed — really a 180 degree change. Old problems have been corrected. We had tremendous success with one client coming from a family that could not have paid the full charges at Summit. The financial aid was generous and the therapeutic care was first rate in every respect. We are now comfortable recommending Summit to a well matched student.]

    First, I never formally gave that status because it was tied to responding to my questionnaire which programs found too onerous to complete. We will get back to that concept in the future.

    Summit has a fabulous physical plant but when I used it I found too many shortcuts. For example individual therapy occurs only once per week — or that was what was promised at the time. However on a student stay of less than a year the assigned therapist was away seven weeks between vacation, conferences and training. Nothing was ever done to make up the missed sessions. I did not feel the family got their money’s worth.

    The therapist was excellent when she was there. Aside from the amazing physical plant, nothing make Summit special to me.

    Tom

  4. My 14 year old is gender non-binary (using the pronouns they/them) and has been diagnosed with depression. They have been hospitalized for suicidal ideation six times over the past year and a half. They are not disruptive and do not have behavioral issues. They are very strong academically but are out of class so much being triggered by one thing or another that a regular school environment doesn’t work for them.

    All their medical professionals have said that it is time for residential treatment – that they need intensive DBT to support emotional regulation and coping skills. We are looking for a place that is LGBTQ supportive and DBT intensive but hopefully not with many kids with severe behavioral issues, since that’s not our kid’s issue and I think could be disruptive for them.

    We would love your thoughts.

    • One excellent choice might be Youth Care (http://bit.ly/FL_YC). I have had good experience with them serving a female to male trans person. In that situation physical gender determinants we unambiguous. I think you are suggesting that your child is physically indeterminate.

      In that situation, due to state regulations at the time, that young person needed to be housed consistent with physical gender. But it was in a co-ed house.

      There is no question but what this program is LGBTQ friendly and supportive. It is divided between a series of small programs, with very little interaction between the populations of each. They are not averse to accepting young people who are behaviorally challenging but they can separate those from the folks who are more gentle. No one is admitted to Youth Care due only to behavioral challenges; there must be a really profound psychiatric issue.

      Three caution notes here: They might not have an available bed in a unit that meets your behavioral parameters; I’m not sure how they would respond to the needs of a person whose physical gender is indeterminate; and this young person’s clinical needs might be milder than you suggest, making Youth Care overkill.

      Please follow this up with a further input from you on in the comment box on the member’s page for Youth Care. Especially if Youth Care seems wrong for you, tell me why on that page. If it seems good but you want some additional suggestions, in the same location tell me what what you like and what you don’t like about what you see there.

      I want to help you figure this out.

      Tom

  5. Dear Tom:

    Thank you so much for your response. I will follow up on Youth Care page but also wanted to follow up here.

    We have spoken with YOuth Care at length, and I will visit there on Tuesday. We have also spoken with Elevations (also near Salt Lake City). Both programs were recommended to us as programs that are LGBTQ supportive and are familiar with gender non-binary kids.

    It’s possible that Youth Care might be too restrictive, but since I don’t really have much to compare Youth Care with yet, I can’t say based on the website.

    I would love to know your assessment of any and all residential treatment centers that are LGBTQ supportive and co-ed, AND that you think are high quality. Smaller is probably better for our kid, but I think beggars can’t be choosers at this point.

    Thank you for any advice .

    Best,

    • Sarah,

      I am deeply embarrassed that I did not see your posting in a timely manner.

      I have a very positive impressions of both Youth Care and Elevations. I have more immediate knowledge of Youth Care with LGBTQ populations than I have of Elevations, although every indicator we have available here points to Elevations doing their very sincere best effort on LGBTQ issues.

      I probably would tilt a bit toward Youth Care in this situation for two reasons. First, everything except sleeping rooms and bathrooms tend to be co-ed at Youth Care, which seems to me to give non-binary young people a better opportunity to “blend.” I suspect (but do not absolutely know) that both facilities would move toward individual privacy in those very sensitive situations. I suspect that Elevations would have more situations in which your young person would need to be in a gender specific setting. Clearly they will minimize that to the best of their ability, but I suspect they would have difficulty doing so as broadly as Youth Care. If your young person were more typically transgender, having one clearly defined physical gender with an opposite self-identity, I would not be as concerned about that, but in your situation that might make a greater difference.

      The other issue is size. Youth Care in its entirety is smaller than Elevations and its individual separate buildings create a situation that each resident’s sense of size is confined to one individual building.

      As to your question about LGBTQ friendly facilities, I have hastily created two pages addressing this: http://member.familylight.com/virtual-consultant/ioc/lgbtq/intro/ (public access) and http://member.familylight.com/virtual-consultant/ioc/lgbtq/ (member access). These pages will be further developed in the near future.

      Tom

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