It is truly amazing to put a word or phrase into Google and get all of the information that one could possibly need! Really? The biggest question is: Do we actually have all of the information by doing a search online for specialized programs and schools for our children? The answer is a resounding NO!!! But why?
The advent of the Internet has in some ways hindered a person’s ability to navigate the world of specialized schools and programs. Much of the online information can be accurate such as location, number of students, accreditation, etc., but obviously this information is written to market the school or program, not to render professional opinions on the best fit or in other words what type of student, be it child, adolescent, or young adult, would thrive there? They can list the profile of the students they want, but is it a good place for them to move forward in their academic and therapeutic growth?
Is it possible for a great consultant with an excellent reputation to recommend a place for your child that has a terrible write up online? Absolutely! Every company has had a disgruntled employee who perhaps was fired or not rehired, who has an axe to grind and in retaliation writes some horrific lies about the school or program that has been recommended! They also may have poor write-ups from students who were dismissed and want the school to suffer. But how do you know the difference: what is the truth, and what is not? The information out there (both good and bad) should not be dismissed, but how do you know what is from a disgruntled parent, student, or past employee and what is the truth?
The answer is to engage the services of a consultant who does his/her due diligence by visiting often. At the Goldberg Center, Josh and Leslie are visiting and revisiting programs a minimum of two weeks out of every month. Why? We visit our clients who are at each one and get an upfront and personal view of how they are REALLY doing. If we have no clients at a particular program, either because it is new, or they have new ownership, or we didn’t have a good visit the last time around, or our students have graduated, or they have such a particular type of diagnosis that we don’t see it often enough to always have someone there, it is just as important to keep up on every specialized program on a regular basis. This way if a parent has read something online, good or bad, we can respond with a comment that is backed up by truth not hearsay. Are they using best practices? Are they sustainable? Are all of the students safe, thriving, and moving toward a more mainstream educational setting? Our goal for each and every student is for him/her to graduate and move on toward the most independent life every child and young adult can have and that each and every one of our clients can find joy and success in their lives.