Our family sought the help
of an educational consultant after our son
had run away and
been found. He was depressed and we were
not communicating well. Several programs
were recommended and we chose Alldredge.We
chose it primarily because it included two
parent programs in the overall three month "semester
back" program.We did not want to be
separated from our son any longer than necessary
and have two other children who were very
affected and also needed to be part of the
process, in our opinion.
The first month,
the kids stay in the wilderness with counselors. Our son was a
flight risk and we were very comforted by the tracking
system and communication that was in place.
He did, in fact, try to run and was unsuccessful.
is used as an environment in which the
kids explore beliefs and feelings. They have truth discussions
and hold each other
accountable to being honest about feelings.
Our son took eighteen days to open up.
This was a very scary time for him and us, however, the communication
with Alldredge was excellent
He formed a tight bond with the three other
boys and two girls in the group.
At the first
parent program, our son had a look, posture
and smile of confidence that we had
not seen in years. All parents in our group
had the same impression of their child. The
first program lasts three days. The bonding
with the other families and the other kids
is indescribable. Several methods are employed
to evaluate communication in each family
and to share stories and feelings . The
setting is so intimate, supportive and safe that the
kids open up and so do the parents. We
explored game-playing, roles and how an
individual develops beliefs about the world and their identity
Repeating family patterns over generations
are explored. Our family learned how we
had gotten "stuck" with
our communication and strategies to move
In the second month, the kids live in a
primitive village setting. The kids are
more focused on community life and live
with the group ahead of them in the program.
The previous group acts as mentors. Our
son grew tremendously this month in terms
of how he was to tell us how he felt and
had been feeling for a long time.
The second parent
program comes after the village. Our whole
family attended. This was the
most profound experience of my life. Our
family learned so much about each other
and our patterns of communication. We now have "tools" to
get out of ruts of communication and are aware of our trouble
The third phase is school. Our son completed his entire second semester
here. The kids continue to work on emotional growth which is still
emphasized as the most important objective.
Our son is now
home and has been described by both sets of grandparents as a "miracle".
We know that we have a lot of work ahead
but now have confidence about the strength of our family. I try
face fears openly and honestly.
I feel that Alldredge saved our sons life. He stated at the second
parent program that he does not know what would have happened to
him if he had not made it there. Our son also said that he met several
kids at Alldredge that had been to other programs and that this was
the first that had worked for them.
We have not experienced any other program, however, we feel that
the values at Alldredge , as stated in their mission, including the
search for virtue closley matched those of our family.