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KidsPeace Academy is Really Different

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The KidsPeace Academy at Orchard Hills offers families an exceptional choice for placing children who require structured, caring programming for emotional, behavioral and mental health issues. Located on more than 260 wooded acres in the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania, the Academy balances a strong offering of treatment options with a solid academic program and opportunities for youth to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.  

A parent of a former student of the KidsPeace Academy recently had some positive feedback to offer our staff. The young man, whom we shall call Richard, was enrolled at the KidsPeace Academy for more than 8 months and made enormous strides in controlling his aggressiveness, impulsivity and defiant behaviors. Richard’s mother describes her son as having difficulties since he was 18 months old and being on medication and in psychotherapy from the time he was 4. As he grew older, the family and therapists realized that it was not safe for Richard to be at home, and, at age 12, he was admitted to a juvenile facility far from home that was very strict and showed him how difficult and unfair life could be. His continued defiance of authority made his life very unhappy at this facility as he made no progress and could not earn any home visits. His parents missed him so made the long trip to visit him every 6-8 weeks, which disrupted their personal and professional lives.

“Richard learned that life could be ugly if you don’t follow the rules,” according to Richard’s mother. “He hated being there, but he needed a wake-up call to make him realize that life can be unfair.” After several months, the family contacted the KidsPeace Academy about admission. Once the Academy had accepted Richard, his family immediately brought him to Orefield, PA, which was closer to home and a much different environment.

“He liked it immediately,” says Richard’s mother. The campus and facilities are clean and beautiful, and he felt safe and secure there thanks to the structure and staff.” The KidsPeace Academy has an entirely different approach to interacting with the students enrolled there, Richard’s mother explains. “The staff is warm and flexible and everyone works hard at developing relationships with the children there.”

Indeed, Richard was happier at KidsPeace than anywhere else he had gone for treatment and education. His mother was thrilled with the flexibility of the staff and especially appreciative that they included Richard’s private psychiatrist on the treatment team, allowing her long-standing understanding of him to help them adjust his medications and tailor his therapy. “KidsPeace also welcomed my husband and me as part of Richard’s treatment team and were in constant touch with us. We visited weekly and were part of treatment planning sessions and family therapy that was very helpful to all of us.”

Richard and his mother agree that staff members at the KidsPeace Academy are caring and truly fond of the teens in their care. They build relationships and are so involved that the students want to succeed in part for their counselors. “And the rules at the KidsPeace Academy are strict, but they are based on reason and responsibility, and they are clearly spelled out and communicated. The students must meet certain goals to progress, and they understand that,” Richard’s mother explained.

Richard’s family was also very pleasantly surprised that when Richard attained his goals and the parents and private clinician felt that it was time for him to move on. The KidsPeace Academy staff were just as accommodating in terms of arranging his discharge as they were in getting him enrolled. “We were so impressed with the professionalism and graciousness of all the KidsPeace Academy staff and how they made Richard and his father and me feel. It was a positive experience all the way around, and we are very grateful.”

To learn more about the KidsPeace Academy at Orchard Hills, please visit our website or contact a Customer Relations Representative at 610-799-8388, email TheAcademy@kidspeace.org or fill out the KidsPeace Academy questionnaire. 

 

 

 

 

 


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