Schools & Program
Visits - Jul, 1999 Issue #59
Part of The Brown Schools
San Antonio, Texas
Visit Report by Jodi Tuttle, Roving Reporter
Entering the environment at Laurel Ridge seems more like approaching a beautifully
serene resort for the week or weekend. This campus style facility includes a beautiful dining room with spacious lounging areas where
friends and family can enjoy the comforts of home while visiting loved ones. A luxurious pool area provides an opportunity for social
interaction, recreation and invigorating exercise. Living units are located at one end of the campus and surround an educational/vocational
building that has numerous classrooms, including a library, computer lab and deli training program.
Laurel Ridge offers programs for patients who are experiencing emotional,
behavioral, psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and/or substance abuse problems. Care includes hospitalization programs, crisis stabilization,
and residential care services. The residential treatment centers include a child program and an adolescent program, which will be
the focus of this article.
The children’s program serves patients between the ages of four and twelve.
This includes services for psychiatric and emotional disorders, and if needed, help for those with neurological complications that
compound their symptoms. This program is designed to address cognitive, emotional, social and behavioral development. Treatment modalities
include: individual, group and family therapy, play therapy, social skills training, parent counseling/education, speech/language
therapy, ropes and initiative activities, and art, music and occupational therapy. The psychiatric track places emphasis on processing
treatment issues, while the neuropsychiatric track includes skills acquisition and cognitive development as a primary focus.
The adolescent program serves young people between the ages of twelve and
twenty. Laurel Ridge provides pre-adolescent, adolescent and older adolescent units to allow patients to be placed in units to meet
their developmental needs. Individual and group therapies focus on patients acquiring and/or enhancing social skills, self-esteem,
independent living skills, values development, human growth and development, recreational/leisure skills and teamwork. Also emphasized
is communication, problem solving skills and stress management.
The school portion of the program provides a full K-12 educational component,
as well as special educational and vocational training to meet the unique needs of each youngster. At any time, students may receive
help in basic academic subjects, attend vocational training or become involved in therapeutic electives ranging from drug education
to theater arts.
The substance abuse track provides treatment for those adolescents who have
a history of alcohol or other drug use. It focuses on both the mental and emotional aspects of substance abuse and addiction. Addiction
education and a 12-step program provide the foundation for the track.
This seems to be an appropriate place for those who prefer a modern campus
setting with a feel of a real school and a resort atmosphere. Laurel Ridge has been successful with many gifted students, helping
them re-focus their lives and attend to academics. Students are placed in groups with similar developmental needs and learning styles.
Group selection is based on verbal and language processing skills, ability to control impulsivity, problem solving skills, and ability
to develop insight.
Copyright © 1999. Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without
prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)