Educational Consultants ($$$) Do you Need one?

Tips for Parents on Surfing the Internet for Teen Help Schools and Programs – Do you Need an Educational Consultant?


Internet Search – Many parents will use Search Engines to type in key words and search terms to describe their child.  Unfortunately, in many cases, the parent will see the same group of programs/schools with different titles and descriptions, however leading back to the same organization.  Parents that are not familiar with this industry can easily be misinformed.  An example is a key word such as Military Schools.  Are you aware that reputable Military Schools are not for at risk children? Please review


The term Spamdexing has been used when organizations will purchase many websites and URL’s all leading back to the same group.  The vast number of key words and search terms, no matter what the issues, may all be filtered back to the same group.  This can be very deceiving and detrimental when searching for the best placement for your child.This can be a farce and totally an attack on desperate parents seeking help. Some of the websites are owned by “parents” that actually gain free tuition by you enrolling from their website. Even though “full disclosure” is required, it is sometimes missing. In reading a site recently parent’s claimed a program had saved their twins lives. However the story read that the children are still in the program. If the children are still in the program, how do you know if it saved a life yet? They don’t, but they do gain a free tuition from if you enroll from their website ID number. With twins in a program, this must be costly.

Sponsored listings are sold to the highest bidders.  It seems only businesses with large marketing budgets can afford to be seen in top spots. This causes many very good and qualified programs and schools never to be seen. Many, including Computer Consultants, frown upon this tactic and Internet Professionals that feel it is causing unfair solicitation.  Unfortunately this is part of marketing and public relations, which can leave out the small people. 

Are you looking at websites that offer a Clearing House of Schools and Programs? Or offer to sell you a book? Do you think you are getting a qualified school and/or program since it is listed in the book? Did you know most times it is paid advertising

So whom do you trust? It is very scary in this industry of children needing intervention. That is one of our main goals; to recognize who is qualified and who is not.  We are not a clearing-house for programs; we do not have a large number of schools and programs that we have researched yet. We try to give parents a peace of mind with the programs we have researched and personally visited. No matter how much trouble your child may be causing, they are human and deserve to be in a safe and qualified environment. These programs that urge you to act now are not taking the time to fully evaluate what is needed for your child. They seem to assume that every child will fit their program. Please parents, step back from this and think, research and investigate.


Does the Advertising look too good to be true?

Most literature and brochures are made up to be glossy and fancy to advertise as an answer to your troubled child. Some even send tearful DVD’s of parents that claim to have been rescued from their child. When a program needs to use these extreme measures to market and advertise, it is time to investigate and analyze where all the money is being spent. Remember to read the small print and recognize that many of the pictures were not taken at the facilities.  Marketing people can also be good sales people.  Reaching out to your emotions at a delicate time of your life with your child.  For more Helpful Hints in researching please read 


Do you need to hire an Educational Consultant? What about an Independent Educational Consultant? Why are they so much money?

This seems to be a very political group of questions. First, not many can explain their outrageous costs to an already expensive trip. In our research, Educational Consultants do not require a degree and do not need any qualifications. There are not any state or government regulations that they need to comply with. With this, most EC’s are a product of someone that has worked in the field of schools or programs, and there are some that are qualified. The game is figuring out the difference if you need one. We don’t appreciate these games when it involves our children.The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a group formed to elaborate their proclaimed profession. They do have certain standards to meet within their own group, however they are not regulated or governed by any State or Governmental Offices. Some are very knowledgeable and quite impressive, however some are extremely self-centered. Most will refer to the same programs time after time.  This may not be the best case for your child and family.  We have found that there are many politics that mandate their decisions into the same programs and schools time after time. With families that we have spoken with that used an EC, tell us their EC has recommended the same school or program as the previous family (most always starting with Wilderness). There seems to be a pattern here; We feel parents should realize just because they are paying a high priced EC, doesn’t mean they are getting the interest for their child in our opinion. 

We are not saying that one should not hire an Educational Consultant if they deem it necessary; we are telling parents to do research, investigate and consider your child. In most cases, your therapist can be more beneficial to make a final decision in placement of a child. It can be helpful if the child’s local therapist can participate in helping parents make the most appropriate choice.   

For the record, I am not anti-Educational Consultants, I have only witnessed time and time again that parents that used them seem to be lead down the same path, always starting with Wilderness Programs and then moving to a residential therapy program.  It is my belief that these teens need consistency – starting and finishing at the same place.


There are non-political Educational Consultants – it is a matter of taking the time to find them, as you have to take time and diligence to locate the best school or program for your individual teen and family.


Inhalant Abuse – Parents Need to Learn More

Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of “getting high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be “gateway” drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual’s head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.

What Products Can be Abused?

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Visit for more information.

Sue Scheff Speaks about Wit’s End on Here’s Help Talk Radio

I was honored to be a guest on the Y-100 Here’s Help Radio Show talking about my new book, Wit’s End! as well as parenting teens today.
About Here’s Help, Inc.
Founded in 1968, Here’s Help has become one of Miami-Dade County’s premiere providers of residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, annually serving 800 adolescents and young adults starting at the age of 13. Funded by local, state and federal contracts, Here’s Help has excelled as a substance abuse treatment provider and is lauded by the Departments of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Probation and Parole for its treatment, educational and preventive services.
Learn more at .

Cool Parenting Articles and Blogs to Check Out

Vanessa is an amazing young adult and author that creates a website of vast information to help parents with today’s teens – visit – for more!
By Vanessa Van Petten
As some of you know, I have started a private social network for some of my favorite mom and dad bloggers and website owners from around the web called Parents Who Click. This is a truly awesome group of individuals who are working tirelessly to promote positive family values, put out helpful advice and make good connections for families and youth.


Once or twice a month I will be featuring and highlighting some of their websites along with some of their helpful articles for you to see (so you do not have to go RSS to a bajillion different websites). They also are constantly pointing out great sites and tips to me, which I will bring to you.

Visit for cool parenting articles and Blogs!

Promoting Community Education by Sue Scheff

By Sue Scheff

One of the most important parts of any community is the local school system, and it’s easy for concerned parents and good citizens to become intimately involved in some important aspects of school decisions. Becoming involved with local schools helps decide the direction of the youth in your community, which is of the upmost importance for the success of any community system.

A simple way to begin your citizen school involvement is by attending school board meetings. School board meetings help decide most of the important aspects of a school’s future, including school curriculum, dress code policy, disciplinary measures, budgeting, hiring teachers, new school buildings, and a variety of other things. This is one the best ways to be a part of local school decision making, and if your school board is elected it allows you to vote on school board members while understanding the types of administrative issues that my affecting your kid. At the very least, attending school board meetings provides you with a better understanding of how to be a productive citizen in both the community and school system.

Many schools also seek volunteer help. This work could include anything from grading papers to providing transportation on school field trips. Most public school systems in this country are overcrowded and underfunded, so any volunteer work is looked upon favorably and can help the schools function better. In the end, maintaining the education of our younger generation is always a major part of a good citizen’s workload.

Another great way to get involved in education is organizing after school programs. Many schools have after school programs that they coordinate with volunteers designed to give kids something productive to do after school. Keeping kids out of trouble after school and stimulating them with meaningful work is an excellent way to promote community involvement and healthy learning. Studies show that kids who participate in afterschool programs and extracurricular activities are much more likely to succeed in school then those who don’t.

(Sue Scheff) Michael Phelp’s Mom on How to Raise an ADHD Superstar

As a mother of an ADHD son, I am constantly reminding others that being ADD/ADHD is not a handicap – these kids are highly intelligent!  Being a parent we will do what is best for our children, whether it is medication (which to some is controversial) or using specific diets such as the Feingold Program.  Either way, we as parents have to find what works best for our families and child.

Source: ADDitude Magazine

Meet the mothers of three ADHD super-achievers — an Olympic record-breaker, a TV heavyweight, and a world-class adventurer — and learn how they helped their kids beat the odds.

What does it take to succeed despite attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD)? It takes hard work, for starters — a willingness to meet challenges head-on. It takes support from family members, teachers, therapists, and coaches. And, of course, it’s hard to overstate the benefits of ADHD medication.

But, of all the ingredients needed to make a happy, successful life, nothing is more important than good parenting. Behind almost every ADHD success story is a devoted parent (or two). In honor of mothers, let’s give credit where credit is due.

The three mothers profiled here helped their sons and daughters achieve great things — more than they could have imagined. Steadfast and resourceful, they saw strength where others saw weakness, and kept looking for ways to help their children after others were ready to give up. Let their stories inspire you!

Read entire article here:

(Sue Scheff) The INTERNET – Has it become a WEAPON?

Since winning my unprecedented lawsuit in September 2006 – with a jury verdict for damages done to my family, my organization and myself over $11M – I am contacted on a daily basis from other victims of Internet Harassment, Abuse, Slander and Defamation.

This is a growing problem with today’s expanding Cyberspace and more and more businesses being rated online. It has been stated that many time that many clients, when they seen negative posts on someone or a business, will usually not take the time to find out if it is Internet Gossip or fact.

I have heard from small business owners who have filed bankruptcy, struggling professionals that had one client or former employee take revenge with the keypad, as well as potential job applicants not getting a job after a firm did an Online Search. This is becoming a serious problem and needs to be addressed.

For those that believe that free speech will condone defamation, think twice – and read about my case. This is not about free speech – this is about people intentionally and maliciously destroying others with a few keystrokes in what is being called E-Venge.

I continue to answer as many emails as I can hoping to give others the support in the fact they are not alone.