Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jame Smith at Island View RTC, Aspen Achievement Academy and Oakley School

This testimony was found as a comment to an article. All rights goes to the original author.'

As a former resident/student at Island View RTC, Aspen Achievement Academy and Oakley School I would advise all parents in being very careful about where they choose to send their children. (I first attended Island View at the age of 15)

I understand that your child may be experiencing many problems in the home and may need to live somewhere away from home but it is very important that parents are able to assess just what kind of place their child actually needs in solving these problems. Many of these lock-down and Residential Treatment Centers will take just about any child regardless of the severity of their problems. But the problems your child is experiencing can escalate as a result of the constant in-your-face types of therapeutic treatments used as well as the level of strictness that these facilities enforce in their rules.

Before deciding to send your child to a center such as Island View RTC (a lock-down) I would first see if your child could be successful at a therapeutic boarding school such as the Oakley School or the Hyde School (if it is still around). If your child refuses to go to such a school there are always SHORT-TERM wilderness programs with which afterwards the child will most likely agree to goto a therapeutic boarding school rather than an RTC program. Therapeutic boarding schools offer lots of support in accepting children with problems, however from my experience at the Oakley School I was able to be myself.

At Island View I felt as if I was constantly being brainwashed – and I still have recurrent dreams about the place to this day at the age of 24. In addition, it seems that the success rate of students coming from therapeutic boarding schools is much higher. I have kept in contact with many people from the past programs I attended. Sadly, quite a few have committed suicide, some have joined the porn industry, become prostitutes and many were teen mothers. On the contrary, at Oakley many of the students went onto college – including myself (graduating with a B.A. last year.)

Island View forces the child into undergoing therapy almost 24/7 – and the only option the child has in completing the program is to go along with what they are being told to do – many pretend just so they can get out and therefore they have no ability to deal with things in the real world since what is going on behind the locked doors is nothing like the real world at all – much more closer to jail in actuality. At a therapeutic boarding school the child can learn that they can still be a normal teenager – they just need a little more guidance than they are able to receive at home. These schools are much more like regular schools with a few more rules and a little less privacy but on a much more minimal scale.

Hopefully, this helps any parents who are in search of a place for their child.

Years after a suicide Island View RTC has been sold. Aspen Achievement Academy has been closed down after numerous deaths in the wilderness industry forced them to downsize. Oakley school still exists but it currently under new ownership.


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