Sunday, May 22, 2016

Teen Help Programs for Young Adults

Just because your teen has turned 18 doesn’t necessarily mean they are an adult.
As a matter of fact, I have spoken with many parents and explained that if they are having issues at 14, 15 and 16 — when 18 rolls around, it can seem like an earthquake. The problem is, teens believe they are an adult, yet their actions are still screaming child!
There are excellent young adult programs that can inspire, encourage and educate your son or daughter.
These programs offer structured support, typically education in accordance to what their needs are (whether they need to get their high school diploma or start college courses), life skills, enrichment and wellness programs to help them lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Some offer the therapeutic component as well as ongoing medical care if your child needs this.
The biggest hurdle can be convincing your son or daughter to attend.
Most parents are surprised that it can be easier than they thought. Whether they are facing jail time (usually for a minor offense, but since they are now being charged as an adult, they may have up to 30-days in jail) and would prefer to enter a young adult program in lieu of incarceration. Most judges are very agreeable to this, as we well know, the jails are full.
If you are at your wit’s end, your son or daughter may be left with no other options. They are done sofa-surfing with their friends and family. You can offer them this program as an alternative to you assisting them in the next phrase of their life. You are only asking for 90 days. Most kids can digest 90 days. What happens in these 90 days can be transforming as they start feeling good about themselves again.
These young adult programs range in tuition. If you have PPO insurance, it sometimes will cover a portion of it according to your policy. Most programs will help you with this.
We have helped many families from around the country area since 2001 with their struggling young adults.
Please contact us  for more information on young adult programs. The age for these programs are 17-22 years old.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

New Poll: Teens and Cyberbullying

Most Teens Spend at Least 3 Hours a Day Socializing Online

AT&T and Tyler Clementi Foundation Survey 1,000 Area Teens and Parents: Find Pervasive Cyberbullying and Significant Awareness Gap Between Parents and Teens
As middle and high school students spend more time online than ever before, a survey of New York City-area teenagers and parents finds cyberbullying is a prevalent issue that touches a vast majority of area children. The poll of 1,000 parents and teens in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and northern New Jersey was conducted by AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
  • 48% of teens have experienced cyberbullying.
  • 8 in 10 know someone who has been the victim of cyberbullying. Unlike in-person bullying at school or outside the home, cyberbullying is happening right under parents’ noses.
  • A majority of teens (53%) spend at least 3 hours a day online, with most of this socializing (86%) taking place at home.
“This first-hand account of what teens are experiencing online is a powerful wake up call to the pervasiveness of cyberbullying and its potential damaging effects,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President of AT&T.  “The results show that awareness of cyberbullying is high, and more education is needed to help teens make better online choices. By better understanding the extent of the issue, AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation hope to help teens and parents more safely navigate a connected world.”
To help that navigation, AT&T created Digital You last year. It’s a comprehensive program offering tools, tips, apps, guidance and community education events for people of all ages and levels of online experience. It provides education about using the Internet for a positive and safe outcome.
“These stats speak to the staggering problem of cyberbullying,” said Jane Clementi, founder and board member of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “It’s outrageous and simply unacceptable to allow this to continue.  Aggressive behaviors in the electronic world can cause great pain and destruction to one’s spirit.  We must instill in our youth the knowledge that technology is only as good as the people who use it.  It can be a wonderful and useful tool or a weapon of great harm and destruction, as in the case of many young people today, including my son Tyler.”
In addition to using the poll to raise awareness, AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation will work with the All American High School Film Festival to challenge student filmmakers with creating short films to address the impact of cyberbullying on teens’ lives.  Students from around the country will have the opportunity to shoot, edit and produce a final cut in New York City in time for Cyberbullying Awareness Month in October. The winning film(s) will be shared with middle and high schools throughout New York later this year.
This negative behavior persists even as a vast majority of parents (78%) say they have spoken with their children about online dangers and appropriate behaviors. In fact, the poll finds there is a significant gap between what parents think they know about their children’s experiences online and their actual experiences. 57% of parents say they believe their children would tell them if they’ve been bullied but, in fact, just 33% of teens say they have done so. 43% of teens say they would be “terrified” if their parents looked at their smart phones, while nearly half of parents (47%) admit they never scan their children’s devices.
The poll also found parents can do a better job of talking with their children about online dangers. 1 in 5 parents (21%) say they have spoken to their children about them only in passing and not as part of a sit down conversation.
1 in 3 teens say they prefer to socialize online rather than in-person, even though it may not always occur within a positive community. Of teens surveyed, 41% describe the comments their peers post online as mostly mean. Experiences can differ based on gender, race and where they live.
  • Teens are targeted for a variety of reasons on text and social media, most particularly for being socially awkward (52%), their clothing choices (43%) and their sexual orientation (31%).
  • Girls are more likely than boys to be subject to degrading or insulting comments, 58% to 51%.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 teens have peers who have been cyberbullied for their sexual orientation.
  • Of those teens who said they were cyberbullied for their sexual orientation, Hispanic teens were the most likely to be bullied (42%), followed by African American teens (35%) and white teens (26%).
  • African American teens are twice as likely to confront a bully (61%), compared to white teens (31%) and Hispanic teens (33%).
  • Hispanic parents are the least likely to talk to their children about appropriate online behavior (66%), compared to white parents (80%) and African American parents (89%).
  • Parents in the northern suburbs (87%) reported having more substantive conversations than City parents (74%).
To view the complete poll results, click here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sue Scheff Co-Host of The Internet Ruined My Life Aftershow

As I wrote in my previous Blog post, Syfy's latest new series, The Internet Ruined My Life representatives contacted me.

I enlisted the help of Cyberwise to create The Aftershow to help educate viewers after watching the cyber-disasters that ruined lives. Sometimes people weren't even online!

The series is an eye-opener for everyone!

Twitterverse had this to say:

























Watch our final show with the Founder of STOMPOutBullying, Ross Ellis and from McAfee/Intel Security, Toni Birdsong.
 My latest Huffington Post, Digital Shaming, You're Only A Click Away.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Internet Ruined My Life Aftershow

On March 9, 2016 a new series started, The Internet Ruined My Life on the Syfy Network. Though the series is new, we know that keystrokes and cyber-wars have been destroying lives for a long time.

“I wish I had never hit send.”

“I never knew one Tweet would ruin my life.” 

“Everyone wants to be Internet famous.” 

 Do they? Well, not in the way these stories happened. Have you ever considered what would happen if you become a #hashtag? And I don’t mean a positive one. We have seen many people become victims of viral vomit that have innocently posted something benign that was completely taken out of context.

We have seen others that have posted things on what they believed were private forums or groups, or to their limited number of friends or followers — only to have them republished by that one friend that maybe wasn’t really a friend at all.

 As a viewer, you watch these cyber-disasters and simply can’t believe they can actually ever happen to you. However as someone that has been through digital warfare, I know firsthand, no one is immune to online attacks.

 No one is immune to suddenly becoming a victim of cyberbullying or stalking. You never know when a friend can turn on you — or if you have a disgruntled client or even an angry business partner. Maybe you have a competitor that is jealous of you. We are watching more and more people using their finger-tips for e-venge now.

 The keyboard has now become a legal lethal weapon that is not only destroying and ruining lives, it’s also taking lives.

We have read the devastating headlines of youth that have committed suicide over cyberbullying. We have also read where teens and tweens can become so involved in the video games it’s hard to define reality from fantasy.

Most babies learn to crawl before they walk. With today’s tech world, we need to teach our children digital etiquette before we hand them a keypad of any sorts.   It seems children today are more cyber-savvy than most parents, yet aren’t mature enough (or have common sense) to understand the consequences of adult situations – such as sexting.

Sexting is considered today’s new flirting for youth.

However what most are not comprehending is the seriousness of it.   Today revenge porn is rampant. Laws are slow to catch up and lives are being destroyed. Kids aren’t mature enough to understand that relationships are here today and gone within a click. However that image is there forever.

These are only a few of the topics that the great team of Cyberwise with special experts each week, will be discussing and offering takeaways.   Everyone is invited! Each week we will have new experts joining us.

Diana Graber will host and I will be joining her most of the weeks.
 Check out the first Aftershow LIVE (recorded) here. – March 17th, 2016 Show.  



Starting March 17th the experts are:

Bradley Shear is a lawyer who focuses on Internet, Technology, and Privacy Law. His advocacy efforts have led to at least 23 states banning employers and/or schools from being able to ask for access to your personal social media accounts.  He blogs at www.shearsocialmedia.com.




Dr. Pamela Rutledge  is a Media Psychologist who tries to answer those questions by combining an understanding of human behavior, cognition, and emotions with an equal understanding of media technologies. http://www.pamelarutledge.com/

  Coming on March 24th:
  Richard Guerry - is the founder of the non-profit organization the Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication (IROC2). Public and Permanent is how you can prevent any digital issue beyond sexting and cyber bullying.

  Emily Lindin - is the founder of The UnSlut Project, author of the newly released memoir, UnSlut and UnSlut Documentary.

Coming on March 31th:
 Andrea Weckerle - is the Founder of CiviliNation and the author of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks (2013).

Coming on April 7th:
Dr. Michelle Drouin is a developmental psychologist. Dr. Drouin’s  research on sexting, social media, and mobile phone addiction has attracted international attention, and she regularly does interviews for television, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

Coming on April 14th:
Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist for Intel Security. She is an author, speaker, and cyber safety expert.
Ross Ellis is the founder and CEO of STOMP Out Bullying.

RSVP TODAY: https://blab.im/cyberwise-gleek-disaster-glee-extra-tells-all
IRML407 IRML331     IRMY324   CyberwiseBlab317                

Can the Internet ruin your life? 5 tips to help you avoid online trouble. My latest post for Connect Safely.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Teen Internet Addiction Detox Programs

The world of technology is consuming many of us. Parents and teens alike are rarely without some gadget in their hand or very close to them.

When do you know that it's become harmful to your health?

Teen Internet Addiction Warning Signs:
  • You suffer from anxiety. You may use the internet to distract yourself from your worries and fears. An anxiety disorder like obsessive-compulsive disorder may also contribute to excessive email checking and compulsive internet use.
  • You are depressed. The Internet can be an escape from feelings of depression, but too much time online can make things worse. Internet addiction further contributes to stress, isolation, and loneliness.
  • You have any other addictions. Many internet addicts suffer from other addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex.
  • You lack social support. Internet addicts often use social networking sites, instant messaging, or online gaming as a safe way of establishing new relationships and more confidently relating to others.
  • You’re an unhappy teenager. You might be wondering where you fit in and the internet could feel more comfortable than real life.
  • You are less mobile or socially active than you once were. For example, you may be coping with a new disability that limits your ability to drive. Or you may be parenting very young children, which can make it hard to leave the house or connect with old friends.
  • You are stressed. While some people use the internet to relieve stress, it can have a counterproductive effect. The longer you spend online, the higher your stress levels will be.
If you have exhausted your local resources and considering outside help, contact www.helpyourteens.com for information. There are programs designed to help your teen find a healthy balance in life.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Summer Programs for Troubled Teens

Summer programs can be an excellent time to give your teenager a boost of self-esteem as well as helping them with grade recovery if they have been underachieving during the school year.
If your teen has been making these bad choices for a while, chances are good it will take longer than 6-9 weeks to undo this negative behavior. However since making the decision to leap into a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school is not only an emotional one, it’s also very expensive — starting with a summer program can sometimes be a way to determine if your teen is a fit for the longer-term program.
After attending a summer program, you can determine the following:
1. They come home and go back to school in the fall.
2. They continue with the residential therapy educational program.
3. They come home, go back to school and things don’t go so well, you know that he/she can go back to that program and finish it.
Summer programs can be a win-win situation if you select the right one. We believe in building teen’s back up to make better choices – not breaking them down.
Contact us today for summer resources.
We have helped many families since 2001 with their troubled teens.
Some summer programs will accept PPO medical insurance as partial payment.
Call today for more information or fill out our consultation form. (954) 260-0805.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Teen Help Program Closed: Alleged Torture of Students

Midwest Academy: Ex-students say they were tortured - NY Post - program is shut-down

Make no mistake, when parents reach their wit's end with their troubled teenager they can be vulnerable and believe just about anything when they are searching for help.

I was there once. My story or should I say nightmare, seems to be repeating itself with the headlines coming out of Iowa -- with the alleged WWASPS affiliated program Midwest Academy (now closed). According the the latest news report;
Midwest Academy Is Accused of Locking Students in Tiny Isolation Boxes for Days or More
bringing_families_back_togetherThis is not any different than we heard from students a decade earlier in their many other programs that are now closed. It's sad that we are now years later and this type of abusive behavior is still going on. This is why I created my organization to help educate parents about the big business of the teen help industry.

  It's not about frightening you, as I firmly believe that parents need options.  Keep in mind, I was in your shoes once. There are many excellent programs and schools in our country, however it's about learning how to sort the good from the not so good.

 Visit www.helpyourteens.com and you will find advice and questions to ask schools and programs before making your major decision.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Risky Use of Stimulants by Teens

TeensADHDMedsBy Constance Scharff, PhD

Prescription ADHD medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse are becoming increasingly popular for overworked and overscheduled college students. ADHD stimulants strengthen the brain’s inhibitory capacities, by increasing the amount of certain neurotransmitters, like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Students like these drugs because they enhance their study efforts.

Prescription “study drugs” are commonly abused to increase concentration for last minute cramming or paper writing. The numbers vary significantly by school, with the greatest proportion of users at private and “elite” universities. Some researchers estimate about 30% of university students use stimulants non-medically.

Students believe that they take these stimulants for the “right reasons,” to be more productive in classes and to stay afloat in a flood of intense competition. In the competitive atmosphere at many schools, students seldom take the time to consider short or long-term risks of taking these drugs, nor understand how certain stimulants may interact with other drugs.

 Sean McCabe, research associate professor at the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center said:

“Our biggest concern is the increase we have observed in this behavior over the past decade. College students tend to underestimate the potential harms associated with the nonmedical use of prescription stimulants.”

While students’ knowledge of the health dangers are limited, even less consideration is given to the illegality of use. Obtaining stimulants from friends with prescriptions, as the vast majority of college students do, seems less dangerous and illegal than buying drugs off the street. Yet these drugs are illegal if used other than intended or by someone other than the person to whom they are prescribed. These drugs are Schedule II substances, on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list right next to cocaine and morphine.

BookEndingAddiction Colleges and universities need to increase awareness about the abuse of these drugs and prompt broader discussion about misuse of medications like Ritalin or Adderall for study purposes. Prevention education for all students may help inform many that these drugs are highly addictive and can have serious side effects. A medical professional or counselor can provide help and support if a student you know is abusing these drugs, along with more information if needed.

About the author: Constance Scharff has a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery. She is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center, and co-author of Ending Addiction for Good with Richard Taite.