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Elaine's Story

My teenage son was struggling at 15. It included anxiety depression, school failure, overuse of electronics and a bit of defiance. After the extraordinarily difficult decision to send him to wilderness we decided to send our son to a therapeutic program. It was a long stay but filled with so many positive experiences that it was actually very hard to say goodbye for us. Here’s what we loved about our program: the calf program for responsibility and empathy, the afternoon/evening self-paced school for my son and his ADHD brought success in the classroom for the first time, the cross country 5K running team gave him self pride and a focus on fitness and exercise, the Parent Days where we learned along with other wonderful parents and families, because they also spoke the language of the challenges of treatment. The parent days performances (my son would have never participated in song and dance and skits!) to the off-campus trips (skiing at Sundance, upper level camping trip), basketball team, wood carving, Sub for Santa, our visits to Utah, the Adoption Group, and a variety of fun elective classes. The kids did their own laundry and had chores to keep them responsible. They also had a lot of fun! The staff and therapists were friendly and caring. We felt like they were our family! We cannot thank our therapist enough. She took us on and helped our family in many ways. Our communication got better, our outlook towards the future improved. All of these things take time and that is one of the biggest challenges. There is no quick fix. We are stronger than yesterday, and so acknowledge the struggles of our son being at an RTC. “Strength is in the Struggle''. Very true indeed. Our weekly phone calls/skype therapy sessions were critical in repairing our family unit into one of kindness and love. One of the best things is getting my son’s smile back. He has come a long way in the happiness department!