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Alumni Information and Resources

Asheville Academy helped my child find meaning and structure. The support from AAG helped me keep her moving in the right direction!

– Alumni Parent

 

Onwards and Upwards!

At Asheville Academy, we take pride in our work and how much we help the students that come through our doors and find their own way in the world. Part of that process is giving parents the tools and resources to help continue the progress made during the program. At Asheville Academy, we understand the months leading up to graduation and the anticipation of transitioning your child home often feel as stressful as it did when starting the journey. Just as it took a lot of learning, adjusting, and growing when your student first came to us, it is going to take an equal amount of those things to prepare for your child to return home and reintegrate into daily family life. While it is an exciting time for everyone, it often comes with a lot of questions, anxieties, and logistical nightmares. That’s why we have our Clinical Supervisor help guide parents through the muck.

Transition Services

Transition planning starts during the first week. Our Clinical Supervisor works with you on approximate timeline and goals. Then, roughly 3-4 months prior to graduation, our collaborative team, including educational consultants if involved, firm up graduation timeline and post Asheville Academy services.  The clinical and academic teams will provide you with, formal clinical and academic recommendations. The process begins with a Home Readiness Assessment to help pull into view the areas that might need a little more attention/consideration while building a Home Agreement. What’s a Home Agreement? It is similar to the by now very familiar Visit Contract, but it ultimately differs in outlining daily routines, weekly expectations, rewards and privileges, and what the consequences are when a student is “out of agreement” or non-compliant. The Home Agreement is completed and shared with the student prior to their last couple of home visits so that it can be tested by replacing the trusted Visit Contract. This way if changes need to be made before graduation there is plenty of time to adjust and review what worked and didn’t work. 

 

Our Clinical Supervisor will help you keep track of making sure services are set up (ex: therapy, psychiatry, summer camps..)  Your therapist will consult with your child’s next therapist, as well as ideally facilitate a joint session with their new therapist.  

We also help with organization and the school application process. This includes practicing for school interviews, scheduling/facilitating school interviews, help with essays, teacher recommendations, and test scores. Across the board, we recommend students applying to at least 3 schools, so when you imagine the application process and information gathering times 3 that can be a lot of moving pieces!

Becoming Alumni

Life at Asheville Academy can be a fun and fulfilling experience. We hate to see it end but it is important for all our students to take what they learned and rejoin their day-to-day lives. One advantage to graduating is that you can pass on words of wisdom and support to those still at the program. Many alumni enjoy coming back to campus to relive their fun experiences and show the growth they went through after graduating. This empathetic presence helps students gain perspective and is highly motivating to see people that were once in their position lead happy and fulfilling lives.

students at Asheville Academy

What Alumni Services Are Available To Me?

Alumni support is available (60-days post-graduation) to ensure your child and family are adjusting to their new environment, provide basic suggestions on Home/Technology Agreement revisions, and provide refreshers on skills learned. Support includes:
  • 3 Parent Check-ins w/ our Clinical Supervisor (post graduation 2 weeks, 30 days, and 60 days.)
  • Weekly Parent Alumni Support Group during common transition months (June – Sept and Dec – Jan)
  • Assistance in coordinating the right people if your child has significant struggles at home within the first 4-6 weeks post Asheville Academy.
  • Ability to visit campus and share story with current students

Insights From Parents

  • Don’t treat visits like holidays (except on actual holidays) because when they come home you’re not making their favorite foods every day.
  • The Redwood Cabin and the transition out of AAG is a good first step in transitioning. It’s helpful for a kid to get the full experience in Redwood.
  • Hire the most comprehensive wrap around service you can find – 360, Homeward Bound, Elevate Family. Many have waiting lists. Investigate and hire them now.
  • In terms of what I would have done differently, I would have had a back-up option for a therapist. I think we were pretty prepared with school and home plan and things went really well, but the first therapist was a disaster and we had a very big gap in therapy that didn’t serve my daughter well. I wasn’t prepared for that.
  • I think my best words of wisdom would be to not expect miracles and to trust the process. I definitely got very nervous with every little hiccup, but because she had such a strong foundation she was able to get back on course. So I could have saved myself a few sleepless nights.
  • Moving into regular school was really tough and I should have done her repeat NeuroPsych a lot sooner to get her the right plan and adjust meds to make things a little easier on her.
  • Some advice would be to expect some problems but give your daughter a chance to sort things out and use their skills. We were so worried what the first “blow up” would look like and it was a nice surprise to see her just go to her room or excuse herself from situations that in the past would have been extremely troublesome for her (and us).
  • Another thing is to expect some standard “teenage” problems to come up that may or may not have been what went on before they left for Asheville. After all, your daughter is at least a year older than she was at home previously so the “problems” might be different from what you had before. We certainly have had some over the last year (For us it was “boy troubles”) but the severity and impact have been manageable within what I would call “normal teenage parameters” instead of what would have been the case had she not built up her resiliency at Asheville.
  • Also what helped us navigate things is to have a good relationship with your daughter’s therapist/family therapist to navigate what does come up (because it will).
  • There are no good answers to the phone. Figure out your plan, and amend it as needed. No phone is like preaching abstinence – you’ll get the equivalent of a pregnant kid who is jonesing for a phone fix. Mixed metaphors, sorry. Don’t have no phone rules – they’re coming off a lot of rules at AAG. Figure out how to turn off screen time. Have them turn in their phones at night. Invest in a Mighty (an annoying gadget that is today’s version of the ipod shuffle) if your kid gives you the “I just want music! It’s a coping tool for me.” Music doesn’t have to equal the phone but it’s the easiest. Look into purchasing Mighty for music at night or when phone time is restricted.
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