Specialty Boarding Schools

Written by Shirley Parker
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A specialty boarding school may also fit into another category, such as outdoor, therapeutic, or even all-girls or all-boys schools. However, the primary need is for an environment that can deal with the ongoing results of a child's unacceptable or self-destructive behavior, whatever the root cause. The needs of the child will indicate, either to parents or a trained professional, the type of school that will be able to help the most. Within that category, choices can be made, based on the program that is offered and what the parents can afford to pay.

A child with emotional, drug or alcohol, or other behavioral problems can often best be treated through an intervention program at a residential treatment center (RTC). There, psychologists and psychiatrists are available who understand the special needs of teenagers or pre-teens. The schools may also conduct seminars for the entire family at specific road markers in the child's "recovery," if that is how it is described. If a child suffers from a combination of neuropsychiatric disorders, the need for specialty treatment will be greater.

Most specialty boarding schools and RTCs accept new students at any time during the year and also operate year round. This is because a child in trouble needs a year-round routine. Being sent home for three weeks or three months because a campus is closed could undo all the progress that has been made. Programs such as wilderness camping, or summer boot camps, may give a family relief for the short term. Disagreement exists over whether short-term programs make any lasting change for the good in a defiant child's behavior.

Advantages of All-Girls or All-Boys Schools

Serious studies in various countries, including the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, and Australia indicate that students in single-sex schools achieve significantly higher test scores than those attending coeducational schools. Male and female brains work differently and some educators are now responding to that knowledge by using different teaching methods for each group. Even without special approaches, girls immediately become more self-confident without male domination of class discussions. They find they no longer have to be "nice" and quiet because males are around. This gives them a jumpstart on any professional career. All-girls schools are free of sexual harassment from boys. All-boys schools are free of the distractions of girls attaining puberty.

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