Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cross Creek, Horizon Academy, Red River Academy, Specialty Boarding Schools or Not?

Not able to recognize your teen anymore?
Are you considering residential therapy for your teen, and recognize those program names? Stop and read on....

You find yourself surfing the net.  Your once happy baby, turned toddler progressed into elementary school then suddenly hit adolescence and something changed.  But what was it?

After all, your teen is smart, they are good looking, usually very athletic, capable of getting A's yet bringing home C's, you are getting reports that they are skipping classes, if they aren't skipping school all together - then you suddenly see a shift in their choice of friends.... what is going on?

Some parents will think - typical teen - maybe it is.  However when do you know when it is time to intervene?  It always it!  It is a parent's responsibility to know when safety trumps privacy.

Keeping the lines of communication open, even when your teen clams up.  It isn't easy, but talking is your road to finding out what is going on in their life.

All of this sounds so simple, but trust me - I know it isn't and if you are reading this - it means you have already tried all these avenues and you have reached your wit's end - just as I did over a decade ago.

I firmly believe in getting outside help - I absolutely believe in residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding school (though I am not an advocate of wilderness programs or boot camps - since both are short term programs with very short term results).  Wilderness programs, in particular, are an extremely costly band-aid and almost always recommend you go on to the next step - which is where you need to start anyway - so why spend the intitial $15K (approx).  Boot Camps, in my opinion, are just a bad idea all the way around - we want to build a child up - not beat them down.

So what do you do?

Take your time - do your research!  Don't let what happen to my daughter and myself happen to you!

Take 10 minutes to read my story - A Parent's True Story.  It could save you not only a lot of money, but from making a major mistake I made.

Want to know about the above mentioned programs and Lisa Irvin?  Click here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tough love and trying to help your troubled teen

Many parents call about the old saying "tough love".  What exactly is it?  It was an organization that, I understand disbanded several years ago.  Their philosophy of letting your child go - had some very good concepts, however many parents could not follow through, and with that - you would only empower the child.  Finding that middle road can be difficult.

Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of, tough love or not enabling the child to ruin or run the family unit. Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse. Tough love is exactly that: tough. Loving our children is unconditional, but we don't have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives. You can literally love your child to death. You can actually do more harm when you believe you are helping or saving your child.

There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough! This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a parent support groups or a local therapist. This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family. The entire family is suffering, including the child.

Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene. If you see that tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home).

Quality residential placements work with the entire family. Once the child is safely removed from the family, everyone is able to concentrate on the issues calmly and rationally.Tough love can mean finding the most appropriate setting outside of the home for your child, however working with the entire family.

While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur. Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, but in many families, very necessary and very rewarding.

Tough love if used correctly can be helpful. However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing. Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems. Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do.

Don't be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.

If you would like more information on Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Emotional Growth Programs, Life Skills Programs, Boarding Schools, Teen Help Programs, Behavior Modification Programs, please visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Horizon Academy - Neveda - Southern Utah - Specialty Boarding Schools? Really?

This is  big decision, take your time!
Are you confused yet? Looking for teen help and realizing this is a BIG BUSINESS?

So, your teen is driving your crazy.  You are at your wit's end. You have finally decided you need outside help. You have exhausted all your local resources.  Local therapy doesn't help, heck, you can't even get your teen to attend.  Your teen is failing in school, he/she is very smart yet doesn't want to attend school and believe they know it all.  Many say, "typical teen", but as a parent, we know it is more than that.

Where did our good kid go?  Good kids making bad choices - and they don't need to be placed in an environment that will make them worse in my opinion - learn from what happened to me!

As a victim of the WWASPS organization - I am often called or receive many emails about our (my daughter and I) experiences with them.  Obviously not pleasant.  Though I am happy to say the program she was at, Carolina Springs Academy, which attempted to go through a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy (or School) depending on the day you Googled it, is finally closed - it has been rumored some of the staff is now at their affiliate program - Red River Academy.

Let me be clear for legal purposes - these are rumors - but if I were placing my child in program, I personally wouldn't take any chances - and furthermore, Red River Academy is clearly named in the current lawsuit which is extremely disturbing with allegations of fraud, abuse, neglect and much more - (click here) that is current.

Then we come to Horizon Academy.  Another alleged WWASPS facility.  Why say alleged?  Maybe they will deny they are affiliated - yet look at their staff, again, you will see they were once employed at other WWASPS programs.  Jade Robinson was at the program in Mexico (named in that lawsuit with alleged abuse and neglect) Casa By the Sea, then went on to Bell Academy, which didn't last long, and I assume is trying to continue at Horizon Academy.

So when the "sales rep" tells you that "Sue Scheff" is a disgruntled parent - I say - YES, I was - you put my daughter in a box for 17 hours, she was mentally and emotionally abused - food and sleep deprived - I was complete defrauded - and she also missed out on 6 months of education.  None of which I had signed up for.  Grant it, this was 10 years ago - a lot has changed - but those original owners haven't - so in my humble opinion - I wouldn't trust any of their programs with my pets..... BTW:  I am the only parent to have defeated WWASPS in a jury trial.  

Most of the other (many) lawsuits have settled out of court with silence agreements.  I don't have one, which is why I can still share my story - which is why I get slimed online - which is why their sales reps have all sorts of stories about me - including "the jury made a mistake" - neglecting to tell you I won the appellate court too.  No one condones child abuse - period.

I have been called a crusader (and not in a flattering way) though I take it that way.  I have made it my mission to find the better programs and schools, since I do know what it is like to be at your wit's end.  I know what parents need help. I am not against residential therapy, which brings us to many  of my stalkers that were formally abused in programs that believe all programs should be closed down.  That is being extreme - they are not a parent trying to save their child's life and future.

I will share with you that there are more safe and quality programs than there are bad ones - it is just about doing your homework and research.  Today you are more fortunate than I was - you have more access to information and you can learn from my mistakes and  my knowledge.

Please - take 10 minutes to read my story and see the list of programs that are and were once affiliated with Carolina Springs Academy - and from there, you make your own choices for your child.

I had one parent that almost went to Red River Academy that actually said the sales rep said they could have their teen "extracted" within a few hours?  Extracted?  Really - is your child a tooth?  Please don't get rushed into a quick decision - this is a major emotional and financial decision.

My organization is Parents' Universal Resource Experts - and no matter what those "sales reps" or the Internet fiction - I don't own, operate or manage any schools or programs!  We are about educating parents when they are looking for help for their at risk teen.... Don't get scammed when you are at your wit's end.

Oh - and when these "sales reps" send out these defamatory links about me - another FACT they neglect to tell you is I won the landmark case for Internet Defamation that awarded me $11.3M in damages for what was said about me online!  Lies and twisted facts!  Here is my recent appearance on Anderson Cooper.

This is strictly my opinion on my own experiences - you are free to make your choices...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sue Scheff on Anderson Cooper talk about Cyberstalking

Anderson Cooper speaks with Sue Scheff
Yes, I was more than thrilled to meet Anderson Cooper and must say I was humbled by his sincere concern for those that are victimized by others that are being destroyed online by vicious keystrokes.

For those that don't know my story, it starts in 2000 and ended in 2006 with a landmark victory for Internet Defamation and invasion of privacy.  My stories were written and published by Health Communications Inc (HCI - home of Chicken Soup for the Soup book series) and over the past decade, my mistakes and my knowledge has helped thousands of people and families to make better decisions for their teens and their virtual lives.

Whether you are considering residential therapy or thinking about creating a Facebook page, you will learn from the mistake I made.  After spending years in litigation - with two major victories - and almost being silenced to tell my story, I am here to not only share my story, but to be sure what happened to my daughter and myself doesn't happen to others, but to let you know that what you post online today - can and will haunt you tomorrow!

Check out part of my segment on Anderson Cooper - click here.

My books: Wit's End and Google Bomb are both available on Amazon!