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Messages - AlanOregon

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Feed Your Head / Re: NATSAP staying strong in todays economy.
« on: March 29, 2011, 02:43:50 PM »
I spent a great deal of time researching a program for my son, who is currently enrolled at Anasazi.  As an ex river guide, I had a number of friends that either worked or still work at programs run by Aspen Group or Anasazi.  I visited with staff from Red Cliff Ascent (an Aspen group program) and talked to "graduates" and parents.  While I have nothing bad to say about their programs, they are certainly oriented towards profit.  Anasazi is NOT associated with Aspen, it is the only non profit program of its sort.  It shares a common history with Aspen but I found the approach to be a very different one.  There is no doubt that the program's LDS roots run deep, and this was troubling for me.  But after talking with trail walkers that I knew, all of them were clear that while certain LDS concepts and philosophies are taught at Ananasazi (principally the LDS concept of Agency) there was never, on any level, any attempt to steer kids towards the LDS church, or even towards Christianity.  The program is unrepentantly spiritual though, to the point that it makes my son's step father--an atheist, uncomfortable.  I suspect that it would not be a very good fit for families that are not spiritually  oriented, nor would it necessarily be a good fit for families with a strongly dogmatic approach to spiritual issues.  Unlike Aspen, Anasazi demands a high level of parental participation.  There is a strong focus on the parents and how they have must engage in "forward walking" just like the kids.  As far as the food goes, it is basic-but not a surprise.  The parents receive a complete list of the food pack along with the amounts.  I am eating the same foods to be in solidarity with my son.  Not much fun, but I'm sure I'll feel better because of it.    I have been very impressed with the therapist that is working with our son and the way he "got" his strengths.  Weaknesses of the program I have seen so far, most of the trailwalkers ( the people who are with the kids day in and day out) are young and inexperienced--but really sincere).  They rotate them out of the field once a week so the kids in a "band" don't get continuity with them.  Also I've heard from ex trailwalkers that sometimes a "band"--the group of 4 to 9 kids-is really not ready for another newbie when one is added.

I'm sure I'll have other things to say as time goes on.  From talking to other parents, I wouldn't expect miracles.  But those parents that really seem to have worked the program and really looked at themselves seem to have had overwhelmingly positive experiences.

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