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Schools, Programs, & Visit Reports - Aug, 1992 Issue 

Renewal Centers
A Resource for the Learning Disabled Substance Abuser
Kim Davis-Hetrick, Admissions
(215) 536-9070
Debbie Schadler, LD Services
(215) 723-0666
Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Tom Croke visit, July 15
(412) 532-0490

Renewal Centers, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, appears to have closed a major service gap for learning disabled students with substance abuse issues. For years, I have been frustrated by the difficulty of finding appropriate services for a severely learning disabled youngster who is in need of intensive substance abuse treatment and assessment for longer term care.

Historically, treatment centers have fallen short in three areas: (1) There is a didactic portion of the traditional treatment which depends upon ability to read a text or absorb a lecture, in a manner which learning disabled youngsters cannot do. (Many places, at long last, have put the written texts on tape, but that is usually the extent of accommodation to learning disabilities.) (2) Most are not getting appropriate Learning disability support in their home schools, and have not had proper diagnosis. Yet the short term substance abuse programs are generally unable to assess such difficulties properly. (3) The on-site school or educational program is rarely staffed with anyone with learning disabilities competence.

A very small unassuming treatment center in Quakertown, PA, known as The Renewal Centers, may provide an answer. An affiliate of Quakertown Hospital, The Renewal Centers contracts with Teach Me Tutoring, of Souderton, Pennsylvania, to provide educational services for residents. With three on-site teachers, all special education certified, one dually certified as a cognitive therapist, The Renewal Centers can both provide educational service appropriate to the needs of the learning disabled, and provide in-depth learning disability assessment so a proper educational plan can be written. While alternative media for the didactic portions of treatment are still limited, the Teach Me Tutoring staff will consult with clinical staff on best approaches to use. Debbie Schadler, Director Of Teach Me Tutoring, assured me that there are no extra charges for a full LD assessment during treatment, although classroom time may be impinged.

The Renewal Centers is fairly typical in the way it approaches treatment, with a competent caring staff, in a beautiful converted farm building, primarily serving a local population. The offering for learning disabled youth is a unique help for short-term treatment, or for immediate placement for holding and assessment while you select an appropriate longer term resource. I hope you will take advantage of it.

Copyright 1992, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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