Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 6252 times)

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Aether

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Introduction
« on: September 05, 2011, 02:45:02 PM »
Greetings,

I'm Ryan, and I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area; I recently joined this site because as a former attendee of both a wilderness program and therapeutic boarding school, this forum appealed to me. I have been browsing this website for a while, and I hope my perspective on the troubled teen industry can be both refreshing and helpful: I was always a pretty bright kid, but I stopped applying myself during the middle of my high school years due to my own personal issues; I wasn't in to anything sketchy, I was just isolating myself from other people because of my bouts of depression and lack of motivation towards improving my life.

I was escorted from my home June 6th, 2010, and spent two and a half months in Aspiro's Vantage Point group. Following my departure, I arrived at Boulder Creek Academy August 24th, 2010. I honestly must say that while both programs were frustrating at times, I got out what I put in; wilderness helped me re-discover the value in all things I held dear to me, and academically and program-wise, BCA was more beneficial than not. For one, because the school worked by terms versus semesters, I was able to recover credits and graduate from high school relatively on time; I left August 5th of this year, two days after my eighteenth birthday.

Although I had mixed feelings about the workshops (as I am aware of the history of CEDU and the initially cult-like religious connotations present in the ideas based on Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet"), they were insightful and the Brother's Quest trip was seriously epic; I was able to not only able to get to know my program friends and staff on a deeper level, but to also make peace with myself. As an advocate for youth rights, I am for improving the programs in the troubled teen industry to protect children's freedoms, but I am not for closing them down altogether; for example, if BCA closed, that could risk kids being sent to harsher places. It is never a solution to justify an organization's existence on the premise that there are worse places, but I sincerely believe where I went was the best place to be given the circumstance that you were going to a therapeutic boarding school.

There are good and bad people everywhere, and in both places I went there were staff that legitimately cared about us children. There is always room for improvement in all aspects of life, boiling down to even such as places as this forum; I think at the end of the day we are all for the same goal, and that is to ensure that parents/legal guardians go about the correct way in getting help for their children while protecting their individual liberties. One recommendation I have after reading this forum and wiki is to be better organized, and use concise speech and grammar (certain Fornits Wiki pages have terrible sentence structure and language, and we are largely judged by how we as youth present ourselves)! I can see why some parents and employees of said organizations would be turned away from this site, as it is a haven for irrelevant postings, spam, and venomous hate speech, which we should all agree on to be contradictory to our goal of being a forum dedicated to open discussion.

I come to this website in good spirits, and I hope this message finds the Fornits community well. I am privileged and honored to have this chance of getting to know people who were in the same boat as I was. Namaste to all!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 11:54:44 PM by Aether »

Offline Xelebes

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 12:09:55 AM »
Heyo, welcome.  I'd edit some but I don't have much information to contribute, knowing that the abuse I endured was not any of these private organisations.  I'm sure an admin would like another hand, especially when it comes to properly built sentences.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 12:45:53 AM »
Much thanks for the welcome; at which programs did you attend? I'm curious to hear your two cents worth of wherever you attended!
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Aether

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 12:48:18 AM »
EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to sign in before posting that comment (even though it's clear it's from me).
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Offline Xelebes

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 12:49:59 AM »
I didn't really go to a program.  I just went to a public school with below spec time-out rooms and abusive procedures, while the principals used the administration above them to maintain a fight with my parents.  Edmonton has very few private schools in the metropolitan region, so there was not much options outside of public schools.  Thing have been changing - the principal at that school is no longer there, the superintendants have changed a few times and things sound like they are changing.
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Aether

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 12:54:38 AM »
I see; I regret that such abuses were just as easily able to fly under the radar at, of anywhere, public schools... what time frame/era was this? I extend my utmost sympathies.
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Offline Xelebes

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 12:57:26 AM »
1992-1997

The junior high had better principal.  Worse children though.  *shiver*
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Aether

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 01:07:56 AM »
I could understand why things were harsher back then, even though that was only over a decade ago, I could see things being a little less "politically-correct"... exactly what labels were you stigmatized to "suffer" from?
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Offline Xelebes

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 09:46:01 AM »
Quote from: "Aether"
I could understand why things were harsher back then, even though that was only over a decade ago, I could see things being a little less "politically-correct"... exactly what labels were you stigmatized to "suffer" from?

I have Asperger's and Tourette's.  So I had some problems in the classroom and the playground.  The Tourette's diagnosis was available, but a doctor didn't diagnose it, there was no Asperger's diagnosis available.
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Aether

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 11:31:51 AM »
Ah, I see... Yeah, I have been diagnosed with Asperger's and NLD (Non-Verbal Learning Difficulties). No walk in the park to have dealt with social anxiety and major issues with Algebra.
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 02:09:39 AM »
Hi Ryan welcome to the group. Hope can heard some of your good insights about office furniture. Thanks :cheers:
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 10:09:51 AM »
Quote from: "Officefurniture159"
Hi Ryan welcome to the group. Hope can heard some of your good insights about office furniture. Thanks :cheers:
Ya mean... like about the HOT SEAT ??! . . .  :D
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Offline cmack

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2011, 03:39:49 AM »
Hello, Ryan: May I ask you a question about Aspergers? According to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome "The lack of demonstrated empathy is possibly the most dysfunctional aspect of Asperger syndrome." However, by reading your posts on this forum you seem to display a lot of empathy. In both your original post and in your responses you seemed to have concern not only in how you were perceived, but also for the feelings of others. May I ask what criteria was used to diagnose you and do you think it is an accurate diagnosis? I understand if this is too personal and you don't want to answer. I won't be offended. I just don't know much about Aspergers and am trying to understand better.
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Aether

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2011, 04:18:31 PM »
No worries, that's a fair and valid question; quite simply put, I have a heart. I never let myself feed in to the energy drawn by the Asperger syndrome label. I was diagnosed with this particular "disorder" because of my social anxiety and depression while in program. Apparently when people aren't thrilled to be thousands of miles away from home, family, and friends often against their own accord, the system can justify without question to keep children too medicated to complain. My integrity prevents me from finding ways to exploit the label for my own gain. Much like homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders in the early 1970's, I I feel Asperger's should experience the same fate. The problem lies in that these diagnoses are created by the medical industry, which desires to categorize people who display behaviors and methods of learning contrary to what stands as the institutionalized norm. In other words, the autism spectrum is seen through the scope and lens of individuals who don't process information the same way. When authority figures attempt to look like they are trying to "understand" people with learning disorders, it comes off as patronizing and condescending. Whether or not Asperger's is real is irrelevant; we are just like anyone else. We have feelings, empathy, a sense of right and wrong, and the natural instinct to demonstrate benevolence towards others and to fight for what we believe in.
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Offline cmack

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2011, 05:43:41 PM »
Quote from: "Aether"
I was diagnosed with this particular "disorder" because of my social anxiety and depression while in program. Apparently when people aren't thrilled to be thousands of miles away from home, family, and friends often against their own accord, the system can justify without question to keep children too medicated to complain. ... Whether or not Asperger's is real is irrelevant; we are just like anyone else. We have feelings, empathy, a sense of right and wrong, and the natural instinct to demonstrate benevolence towards others and to fight for what we believe in.

Wow, thanks for the response. I'm going to need more time to formulate an intelligent reply that doesn't come across as a mad rant. I hate it when people dump labels on kids. I don't know you and I'm not a psychologist so I don't know if it was the right diagnosis or not, but I admire you for not allowing other peoples' labels and diagnosis to define you. Stay strong.
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