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FamilyLight: Successor to Bridge to Understanding

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This  section of the website has been created to give insight into typical families we work with.  Actually, if you go through all the cases, once we get them all posted, you will see that there is no such thing as a typical case. Every one is unique.  But we will give you some usable examples.  We give you a very brief description of the vignette on this page with a link to a page with the complete story. Some of these stories are composites of more than one client; in all cases the names have been changed to protect identity. In all cases, the events described refer to something that actually has happened with at least one client. While "George" is a fictitious name, this is about one real person who can be identified from the story and who has no objection to this. 


As of this stage of construction, no links to actual vignettes are in place except George and Nick. When this is completed, each paragraph below will be linked to a complete description of that client.


George was constantly running away from the very strict emotional growth school where he was a residential student.  FamilyLight referred him to the school in Samoa that is now called "Coral Reef Academy."  George got off to a rough start but became one their most outstanding graduates. 

Joe started out to be a pretty typical teenager who had gotten into marijuana and was failing in school.   What we learned about Joe after he was in program was anything but routine.  But all is well that ends well. 

Mary and her brother (Fred, see below) were  brought up with very flexible household rules. Parents were pretty laissez faire about many of the usual teen areas where more conservative parents -- and even not-so-conservative parents are likely to set limits.  Parents were comfortable with their kids making their own choices so long as they followed basic safety rules. But when Mary and Fred got into an argument at dinner one night, they each told their parents about the exploits of the other, making clear to the parents that both were flirting with very dangerous behavior.  In Mary's case, she was having unprotected sex with various boys in the neighborhood, using a fair amount of marijuana, and experimenting with other drugs.  This was one of our very successful outcomes.

Ken's parents were into a power struggle with him.   They thought he needed a boarding school.   However we first went to a home contract.  

Fred is Mary's brother.  In addition to marijuana and a variety of other drug issues, Fred identified himself as gay at age 14 and started seeking out older men for sex, with a preference for men who were HIV positive.   Fred did not acquire HIV but getting things back on track was tough sledding. 

Sally was extremely complex.  The different therapists and treatment programs where she had been had disagreed on diagnosis.  Some said

Harry was eight years old when I became his consultant.  He showed all the symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder.  His father and step-mom separated and divorced during the time Harry was in treatment, with a devastating effect.

Tom was a high school student into cocaine.  His college age sister was a party girl but managed to stay successful academically.  We discovered that Tom was on the Autism spectrum, something no one had noticed before we got involved. 

Anne  had completed treatment and was a student at a transitional school when FamilyLight became involved.  She was extremely talented academically and wanted to move on to an academically strong boarding school to complete high school. 

Billy was only seven years old when we were brought into his life.  Parents were close friends of another special needs educational consultant but that consultant would only meet clients in her office.  The family was attracted to us by our home visit model.  He was one of most out of control children we had ever encountered.  Ten  years later we found his facebook page and it was obvious he was living as a normal teenager.

Rick was not a special needs student in any way.  But he was expelled from his public high school after being implicated in a  hazing incident.   FamilyLight's job was to help him find a suitable private school.  Following this vignette is a listing of other disciplinary incidents that resulted FamilyLight helping with alternative education.

Vivian, a woman old enough to qualify for Medicare, had become a compulsive gambler.  In this case, the job of FamilyLight was to guide an intervention so Vivian would accept treatment for gambling addiction.  

Louise  had been into drugs, had some boyfriends her parents were not happy about, and was a victim of date rape.   She appeared to FamilyLight to have many characteristics of borderline personality disorder, but the family could not afford the cost of the usual residential treatment centers which are the preferred venues for people with borderline personality disorder. 

Nelson's parents approached us expecting us to refer to a therapeutic program. We ended up referring him to a conventional boarding school.  Nelson was extremely bright but had two prior psychiatric hospitalizations and school seemed to trigger his instability.

Nick (or Nicholas)  was extremely bright but socially very awkward.   He tended to relate well to adults but tended had very few friends his own age (14).    He seemed to Family Light's consultant to be very similar to people who had been diagnosed as Aspergers,, although no formal diagnosis like that had surfaced.   He had been tested at age 12 with a Wechsler IQ showing  VCI  142,  PRI 96,  WMI 133, and PSI 66.  Parents wanted him to have an education that would prepare him for a prestigious college. 

Victor's parents came to us as a result of the fact that Victor, age 13 was being bullied, and they did not feel their public school was setting adequate limits on the bullying. In the middle of the home visit, we learned that the reason for the bullying was that the bullies were saying Victor was gay. 

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Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


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Last updated September 13, 2012

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