Extended Insights
Extended Insights

Jan 25, 2010, 10:41

By: Paula L. Rudy

Everyone I know has been stretched recently beyond his or her typical stressors of everyday life. I certainly have. I have been mired at times in dealing with the challenging kids and parents we assist. I find it especially difficult when things go south with a placement. No matter the reason, its flat-out stressful for everyone!

Recently I had a moment of vision and I feel it's important to share my recent experiences. It is abundantly clear why I do this work and why I feel blessed by the fact that I am doing my "right work".

I've got two boys out in the woods (a wilderness program). The work with both of these boys has gone far beyond my expectations. I would call it truly brilliant and inspired. It is such an example of the "magic" of wilderness therapy and the power of this experience. The boys are very different in IQ, background, academic achievement and behavior. Yet these boys arrived at this program with a common lack of insight into themselves, their lives and their self destructive behaviors.

I follow up each week on their progress and I am hearing of experiences I know will positively affect the rest of their lives. They are growing and maturing at lightning speed! I knew the people at this program were good but quite honestly I didn't know they were this good.

I've got kids at a school in Arizona. One of my boys there has never in his life had this kind of academic success. School has always been miserable for him and a constant source of shame. Now he is turned on to school and learning and knows he can do it. I am so grateful to the excellent staff that has been patient and wise in their approach. Their patience was needed in order to allow this young man to have this experience.

One of my boys is at a therapeutic boarding school in the west. He has never known the presence of mature and balanced adults. Though young, he was already picking up lots of bad habits and a very unhealthy way of seeing the world. It has been touch and go with him. I went to see him and for once he looked calm and centered. He said he felt like the people at this school really care about him. I knew this would be critical. My last few reports tell me it looks like he's turned a corner. I don't know how long it will last. What I do know is this young man, for the first time in his life is experiencing a healthy self and lifestyle. I am finding their approach with this student demonstrative of brilliance. The dedication and attention to this one kid and his life inspires me.

These are just a few of my most recent successes I wanted to share with everyone in hopes that I can remind us all, like I've been reminded, why this work is so significant, impactful and valuable.

As I think back, I recall having excellent examples of Educational Consultants who paved the way for this incredible work. These admired individuals are: Ann Carol Price, Miriam Bodin and Diane Albrecht. Beyond the basics; having a true grasp of the background of the student, followed by making excellent placements and advocating for their kids.

There was never a question of their high ethical standards and a deep care for their students.

When I became an Educational Consultant my goal was to model my practice after theirs and to strive to achieve that same level of excellence.

I wish to publicly acknowledge each of these women and thank them for setting such a wonderful example.

About the Author: Paula Rudy is an Educational Consultant in Redding, CA, who works with families throughout the US and internationally, focusing on special needs placement for students ages 12-24. She can be reached via phone at 866-886-8336 or email at For more information, visit Paula's website at

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