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New Perspectives - Jan, 2002 Issue #89 

ABM Family Preparatory
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Larry Musgrave

ABM Family Preparatory is a Christian oriented home in Westmoreland, Tennessee for teens, aged 13-17, who are displaying defiance in their home environments. The program accepts and is appropriate for students who: are behind in school, have no goals, are depressed, have ADD/ADHD, stay out late, are sexually active, experiment with drugs, lack accountability, have poor peer selection or otherwise show defiance. ABM Family Prep is not appropriate for teens who are sexual offenders, have diagnosed drug addictions, are physically violent, physically impaired or have been diagnosed as schizophrenic. Students generally show progress after 2-3 months and catch up to their grade level in six months. It usually takes between 12-18 months for positive life changes to become solidified.

ABM is a year-round program and offers a structured daily routine with 24-hour staff supervision. The students receive individualized counseling by trained professionals, and are required to attend a non-denominational church service once a week in addition to their Life Skills Training.

ABM Prep uses appropriate natural consequences to bring awareness and consequential thinking. Students participate in activities such as camping, fishing, working with the animals, hikes, cultural enrichment activities, reward nights, and leadership weeks as positive reinforcement for acceptance of their responsibilities. Disciplines include loss of privileges associated with one’s level, time-outs, walking in the back field, additional work projects, loss of level, restriction of activities, and writing assignments. The consequences will have a direct and perceivable association with the maladaptive behavior, or poor choice the youth has made. ABM believes that “learning comes to each child through immediate, direct, and fair consequences for one’s actions, whether they are positive, or negative.”

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