Author Topic: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?  (Read 4426 times)

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Offline studentsmom

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Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« on: May 31, 2011, 04:29:40 PM »
I am confused about the negative posts I see here about CALO.  My daughter is a student there and is not experiencing the negative things this board suggests.  She has been placed in a hold a couple of times for behaviors that I agree needed to stop  (danger to herself).  I have talked to her (privately) about those experiences and they were not traumatic for her.  What alternative do you suggest for an out of control teenager bent on hurting herself?  They need some mechanism.  As her parent, we've been in the situation where we've had to call authorities, who are not as kind as a trained de-escalation process.  The students are warned prior to holds and know what to expect.  You can't simply say "please stop" to a teenager with behavior problems and expect it to magically stop.  Students are in the center because of very real issues and other efforts have failed.  Our family is nurturing and loving and stable, but some kids need more help than what outpatient or even inpatient short-term hospitalization can provide.

I've seen a lot of CALO bashing here without any suggestion of a positive alternative.  I am in touch with CALO staff almost daily and with my daughter regularly.  Yes, there are a lot of controls in the environment, but my daughter's life is at risk if there isn't.  We couldn't provide those controls at home and her life was falling apart.  She needs that level of environmental control.  Teenagers at best create a level of chaos.  I expect a population of troubled teens to create even more chaos.  Have you ever sat in a high school and seen how "non-troubled" teens behave?  Any environment designed to help troubled kids needs a process they follow.  While it may not be the right process for each person, CALO has a reasonable philosophy.  My child is treated as an individual.

What alternatives are suggested by the folks posting here?  Your sympathy for the "abuse" suffered by students there doesn't seem to come from knowledge of the inner workings of the program or the variables at play.    You criticize things like "regroup"... but I'll tell you that as a parent I've assigned chores as behavioral intervention.  CALO uses discipline in a controlled way and communicates care and compassion to the students through the experience.  I've met many of the coaches and they genuinely care about these kids.

My child is there now, so I have first-hand knowledge of the environment.  And I love my child unconditionally and miss her terribly, but she needs more help than I can offer at home.

How does the group suggest she get the help?   We’ve provided repeated hospitalizations, partial hospitalizations, outpatient therapy – both individual and group (multiple times a week for months on end), and psychiatric medications.  We’ve taken time off work to focus on her needs, gone part time to work through her issues, and “been there” for her for every poor decision she’s made.  We have never abused her (though her father – my ex-husband has).  She has been in day therapy schools and could not succeed there.  She self-harms, has attempted suicide multiple times, and has even become violent with her family.  If you were her parent, what would you do?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Pile of Dead Kids

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 06:26:49 PM »
2/10
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
...Sergey Blashchishen, James Shirey, Faith Finley, Katherine Rice, Ashlie Bunch, Brendan Blum, Caleb Jensen, Alex Cullinane, Rocco Magliozzi, Elisa Santry, Dillon Peak, Natalynndria Slim, Lenny Ortega, Angellika Arndt, Joey Aletriz, Martin Anderson, James White, Christening Garcia, Kasey Warner, Shirley Arciszewski, Linda Harris, Travis Parker, Omega Leach, Denis Maltez, Kevin Christie, Karlye Newman, Richard DeMaar, Alexis Richie, Shanice Nibbs, Levi Snyder, Natasha Newman, Gracie James, Michael Owens, Carlton Thomas, Taylor Mangham, Carnez Boone, Benjamin Lolley, Jessica Bradford's unnamed baby, Anthony Parker, Dysheka Streeter, Corey Foster, Joseph Winters, Bruce Staeger, Kenneth Barkley, Khalil Todd, Alec Lansing, Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales, Janaia Barnhart, a DRA victim who never even showed up in the news, and yet another unnamed girl at Summit School...

Offline Redd

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 11:06:12 AM »
I am a parent whose child was in a program like this nearly 5 years ago. I have learned a lot about these programs as a result of that experience.

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I am confused about the negative posts I see here about CALO.

CALO appears to be connected in some way with WWASPS. Please google WWASPS and read some of the stories. If that does not scare you to death, I am sorry for you.

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I've seen a lot of CALO bashing here without any suggestion of a positive alternative.

Please google the US surgeon general's comments about residential therapy. You will find that there is no indication that long term residential treatment is effective. You are being sold snake oil, and most likely at a very expensive price.  Your daughter is not likely to be 'saved from death' by CALO, regardless of what they have told you. If your daughter is a suicide risk, CALO and programs like it will not help the situation and may make it worse. Google WWASPS and suicide.

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Have you ever sat in a high school and seen how "non-troubled" teens behave?


Think about this. You have removed your daughter from an environment where she is surrounded by "non-troubled" teens and placed her in an environment where she is surrounded by "troubled" teens, many if not most of whom may have greater behavioral issues than she does. She spends maybe 1 or 2 hours per week with a trained therapist, and the remaining 166 or 167 hours surrounded by "troubled" teens. Who do you think will have the biggest impact on her?  Certainly not you, because you have withdrawn as an influence over her. Her therapists? Figure that most if not all of them are drug addicts that may or may not be recovering. Many if not most drug treatment therapists in programs like CALO are drug addicts themselves. If you ask them, they probably will tell you.

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You criticize things like "regroup"... but I'll tell you that as a parent I've assigned chores as behavioral intervention.


Ok, first thing you need to realize, is that your child's problems are probably a result of your problems.  Think about this. You should be the greatest influence in your child's life. If you are not, whose fault is that? If you want to change that situation, where can it most easily be changed? You are the person who needs to change. Your child will change in response to you.

Your comments about assigning chores as a "behavioral intervention" indicates you need to learn more about being a parent. A good parent never use as punishment, something they want their children to do. If you want them to carry out the trash, never use taking out the trash as a punishment. If you want them to go to bed at a certain time, never use bed time as a punishment. Use things you do not want your child doing as punishment.

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My child is there now, so I have first-hand knowledge of the environment.

No you don't. All you have is a very carefully crafted and distorted perspective of the enironment. I was there. I have experienced it myself. No one is telling you the truth. Not the program. Not the kids. Certainly not your daughter. You will not find out until afterward what your daughter is really going through.

 
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And I love my child unconditionally and miss her terribly, but she needs more help than I can offer at home.

You are the person who needs the help. You need it more than your daughter. Putting your daughter in the program will make it that much more difficult for you to influence her. And, if you wait too long to take her out, you may lose your relationship with your daughter entirely.  Investigate community resources for yourself and your daughter. You should be getting twice as much therapy as your daughter.


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How does the group suggest she get the help? We’ve provided repeated hospitalizations, partial hospitalizations, outpatient therapy – both individual and group (multiple times a week for months on end), and psychiatric medications. We’ve taken time off work to focus on her needs, gone part time to work through her issues, and “been there” for her for every poor decision she’s made. We have never abused her (though her father – my ex-husband has). She has been in day therapy schools and could not succeed there. She self-harms, has attempted suicide multiple times, and has even become violent with her family. If you were her parent, what would you do?

If I were her parent, I would seek help for myself. What is it about me that is causing this problem? I am overly controlling? Am I afraid of letting go of the apron strings? Am I hypocritical pretending to strangers to be a better person than I really am? Am I completely oblivious to my own faults and think that everything my daughter is doing is because something is wrong with her?

Fix yourself. If you can do that, the problems you are having with your daughter will disappear.

EDIT: Spelling
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 11:38:25 AM by Redd »

Offline eric

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 11:14:22 AM »
CALO is owned by West Ridge Academy (aka the Mormon Gulag), one of the most abusive youth programs in America today. Their director, Ken Huey, was the former clinical director of West Ridge Academy during a period of time where a lot of sexual abuse took place.

I have never been there, so I can't testify to anything else, but I think it's safe to assume that CALO has many things in common (other than ownership) with West Ridge Academy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
--Mormon Gulag.com

Offline Redd

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 11:35:37 AM »
And never use food as a punishment. Don't withhold food. Don't force food.
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Offline Anon64

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 02:07:04 PM »
The Surgeon General says these places don't work: http://http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter3/sec7.html. Why would you need any other reason to stop wasting your money than knowing they have no evidence of success and plenty of evidence of causing more harm, up to and including death, in the people forced into them?
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Offline studentsmom

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 12:58:01 PM »
Wow... interesting assumption that I'm the problem.  I am a healthy, stable adult with two other healthy, stable children.  I have attended therapies with my troubled daughter as much as her treatment teams have asked, and have been told by 4 different hospitals, two psychiatrists, and 3 therapists that I'm "doing everything right".

Even if there are things in the family dynamic that will help, those things take time and my child is at risk now.  

The article reference does indeed state that there is little evidence that RTC in the aggregate is effective, and then cites violent teens as those least likely to benefit.  My child needs 24/7 care as a threat to herself.  Inpatient hospitals (cited by the article as possible interventions) have repeatedly told my she needs residential treatment, that they cannot give her the care she really needs.

So folks on this forum assume the mother is to blame for a mental illness?  I will follow your logic... I am open to saying I am an imperfect human being and have made some mistakes.  At this point, however, my child's issues are an immediate threat.  Any treatment takes time to affect change.  So even if my parenting is at the root of some of her issues, she still needs to recover from how she now processes the world, interprets events, and how she views herself.  Changing me at this point, while it may be beneficial, does not address how she can change her.

You ask about taking her from school and the effect that has... and I think you have a valid point.  However, removing her from the primary school setting was not my choice to begin with, as the school could not manage her behavior problems and was sending her home several times a week.  Her grades were suffering as a result.  I am trying to keep her options open for her future.

The responses I see here sound to me to come from adolescents themselves who believe they understand parenting.  Don’t assign chores as punishment, I’m told.  I totally agree.  I do not believe in “punishment” either.
I do believe, however, that I have a duty as a parent to provide a consequence to my daughter for poor choices in preparation for the fact that the world has natural consequences, and she needs to learn that consequences come from choices.  This is the context under which I have assigned chores.  This is how I have explained it to my daughter.  If I do not teach her cause and effect, she will experience it outside the home in a much more severe way and I will not have fulfilled my responsibility as a parent to teach my child.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Pile of Dead Kids

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 06:25:47 PM »
Sending your daughter to CALO for self-harm issues is like using hydrochloric acid as zit cream.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
...Sergey Blashchishen, James Shirey, Faith Finley, Katherine Rice, Ashlie Bunch, Brendan Blum, Caleb Jensen, Alex Cullinane, Rocco Magliozzi, Elisa Santry, Dillon Peak, Natalynndria Slim, Lenny Ortega, Angellika Arndt, Joey Aletriz, Martin Anderson, James White, Christening Garcia, Kasey Warner, Shirley Arciszewski, Linda Harris, Travis Parker, Omega Leach, Denis Maltez, Kevin Christie, Karlye Newman, Richard DeMaar, Alexis Richie, Shanice Nibbs, Levi Snyder, Natasha Newman, Gracie James, Michael Owens, Carlton Thomas, Taylor Mangham, Carnez Boone, Benjamin Lolley, Jessica Bradford's unnamed baby, Anthony Parker, Dysheka Streeter, Corey Foster, Joseph Winters, Bruce Staeger, Kenneth Barkley, Khalil Todd, Alec Lansing, Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales, Janaia Barnhart, a DRA victim who never even showed up in the news, and yet another unnamed girl at Summit School...

Offline heretik

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 11:50:32 AM »

Not to be mean but I would have to agree with the GateKeeper here.


Obviously you have not done enough investigation to know 98% of the programs in America and outside are not worth a flip. Your child is not going to come home all better, well adjusted, character flaws corrected, personality in check ect........
Parenting is hard work sometimes, not all children are easy. I have not heard you really elaborate on what is your part in all of this. As parents how have you faltered, have your efforts been based upon shifting the blame and trying to get someone or something else to take care of the problem. Is their a problem with the child, are you two the problem or is the family structure the problem. IDK......
Just think about this if you would, the parents have to be involved 100% for the child. Sending your child away is not being 100% involved.
Good luck and please think about your child first.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline treatmentkid

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Re: Why the bashing? What is an alternative?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 07:59:15 PM »
As a former CALO student, I agree with some things that have been said on this thread, and disagree with others. I think that CALO is a treatment center with good intentions, but awful execution. There are a lot of things that go on that you probably don't know, but part of CALO's "thing" is this underlying emotional manipulation that you don't realize until after you're gone. They mold your mind - make you think differently, not necessarily in positive ways. You become a parrot.

I think that for actual, physical dangers - like self harm - CALO can help, in that it can physically stop you from self harming. However, that's honestly not a tough thing to do. Emotionally, CALO is quite lacking. I don't have much time to go into detail, but there has been a pattern at CALO of students doing phenomenally well (seemingly) before and when they leave, and slipping deeper than before they arrived as time goes on. However, CALO doesn't track long-term effects. If it does, it does not make widespread results open to the public.