As educational consultants we work with many families whose children might be labeled “troubled teens” or have had issues with emotional problems, substance abuse, underachieving, or are simply oppositional. Many are very bright, college bound teenagers; they are good kids who have made poor choices. Some have had issues with computer games, texting, or bullying. One thing is for sure—it is far better for this to happen during the middle and high school years than after s/he turns 18. Really?
But what happens if he goes to a wilderness program? What will people say if she goes to a therapeutic boarding school? How on earth will he get into college, not mention a GOOD college? Who will want to accept her into their school? It’s hard enough to get into college these days without having been sent away to a special school or program!
Think about it—how will your son or daughter get into college doing what s/he is doing now? You could be the poor parents who lose their $40,000-$60,000 tuition if these problems aren’t handled now and your student goes off to college with no tools to handle the craziness of college life today. You won’t even know about it because with the privacy laws grades and disciplinary letters go to the student, not to the parent, even if you are the one who pays the tuition!
OK, so it sounds like getting some help sooner rather than later makes sense. But why should a college consider a kid with issues? Honestly, all colleges have students with unmet needs for therapy, medication, substance abuse treatment, and coping strategies. Admissions professionals love to read the essays about the growth and change of students and what has impacted them the most. They don’t need to hear the details of what went on before treatment; however these stories, if told without a “poor me” attitude, rather a story coming from strength and maturity, will make the admissions team sit up and take notice of such students. That said, there are many nuances to both the timing and strategies for getting a child the appropriate help, while maintaining a steady view of what possibilities lie ahead.Educational consultants who provide both special needs guidance and college advising, are in a unique position to help you determine when and how to get your child back on track to college.