To Board, or Not to Board … Our Decision

What’s the best therapeutic environment for Jack?

 In the two previous posts … Our Current Dilemma and Evaluating Options, I shared how I organize my thoughts, develop a decision-making criteria, and evaluate programs.

Trust me, we want Jack home!

I know when I am exhausted, I do not always make the best decisions.  My emotions get the best of me.  Going through a proven decision-making process helps me stay objective and have greater confidence in the final decision.

The process I used follows …

Step One – Identify the Goal:  To provide Jack with the best environment to advance academically, learn healthy coping skills for ADHD and anxiety, develop frustration tolerance (resilience), and work on social pragmatics.  We also want to support Jack’s feelings around being adopted and his dependency on technology as an escape from the daily demands.

Step Two:  Identify Options:  A) Build a Home-Based Program, or B) Pursue placement at a Therapeutic Boarding School

Step Three – Gather Information:  In the previous post – Evaluating Options – I shared our criteria for a program regardless of location and the list of questions I asked schools and programs.

That brings us to weighing the options and making the decision.

Step Four – Consider Pros and Cons:

Options Pros Cons
Home Based Program  Jack comes home

Continuity of some of the providers

Friends and family

Addressing Jack’s needs early


Need to change schools for special education supports – private to public

Technology everywhere – harder to manage addiction

Home environment unstable with brother; would need to hire in-home support

Pieces and parts of a therapeutic model – coordination of care falls on me


ABC Therapeutic Boarding School (we narrowed down our options to one school)  

Continuity of care under one program

Strong academic program for kids with ADHD and anxiety

Adoption program and digital literacy program

Clear, strength based token economy system

Comprehensive therapeutic model

Family involvement

Addressing Jack’s needs early


Far from home

Cost of program

Cost of travel

Finding care for Jack’s brother when we travel

Unknown of the milieu

Step Five – Make Your Decision:  We made the decision to send Jack to a Therapeutic Boarding School.  Only time will tell if we made the right decision.  We do have tremendous confidence in the program we chose and believe Jack will thrive there socially, academically, and behaviorally.

Again, we want Jack home.  However, based on Jack’s pattern of behavior over the past eight months coupled with the reality of our home life (having a special needs brother and one parent home during the week), we did not feel as if we were setting Jack up to succeed if we brought him home at this time.

We did not want to put Jack in a situation where he “fails” and then perceives therapeutic boarding school as a punishment.  

Our hope is that we made the best decision for Jack with the information we have today in order to provide him with every opportunity to be a successful and happy young man.

The journey continues …





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