F.A.Q. for Parents

Parent Placement Questions Regarding Trauma Focused Treatment

TLC offers specialized education and treatment services to students who have diagnosed needs for modified instruction, specific therapies and highly reliable milieu that demonstrates integrated fidelity of treatments and academic methods. Please refer to our admission criteria.

1. Does your facility specialize in trauma-informed therapies?
Not specifically. However, we have successfully worked with many students (including current students) who have had trauma histories. We find that those students who receive effective trauma treatment just after their trauma experiences tend to respond well to our program which is clinically oriented to a relational approach with students (i.e., building healthy, positive relationships with family, other adults, and peers).

2. Does your facility use trauma-informed CBT and DBT at appropriate developmental levels?
Our CBT clinical model is solution-focused and can address PTSD issues within that format in individual, group, and family therapies. Our clinical program and Master’s-level clinicians are supervised by our clinical director who is a licensed clinical psychologist who is Board Certified.

3. Do you use behavior-based therapy?
Yes, it is a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy (i.e., reframing perceptions, beliefs, and thoughts to influence positive behavioral changes).

4. What is the age range of your population?
We are approved by the CT SDE for ages 6 through 22. We also have students who are 21 and beyond supported by adult services agencies.

5. What is the cognitive range of your population?
We look at IQ as one of many factors in making admissions placement decisions. Typically, many of our students have IQs 75 and higher with 90 to 100 being the mode IQ. However, IQ alone would not be the only rule in or rule out indicator for student-candidates.

6. Does your facility use time out and/or isolation rooms?
No. Our students can initiate time-offs in a predetermined area in the school or residential buildings. If a student earns a time-out, there is a space outside of the classroom that can be used. At the residential houses, students use their bedrooms for taking space/time-outs.

7. Does your facility use physical and/or chemical restraints?
No to chemical restraints. All staff are trained in the CPI model to provide guide alongs or physical holds if a student is demonstrating unsafe behavior to self or others. Physical intervention is the exception. If a student requires consistent physical interventions, then that may be an indication TLC may not be the appropriate program. We are not set up to provide ongoing physical interventions.

8. If you use physical restraints, do you adhere to CPI or other safe restraints?
Please see #7.

9. Are milieu staff members trained in the use of safe restraint?
Yes. Please see #7.

10. Are therapists MA level or above?
Yes. MSW, MFT, M.A. (clinical or counseling psychology). They also need to be licensed or license-eligible by their respective licensing boards.

11. Who delivers individual therapy? How often?
The Master’s-level clinicians. All of our students are assigned a clinician for individual, group, and family therapies.

12. As part of the attachment model, do you have an assigned staff member for each student in the milieu?
Each student is assigned a certified teacher, a Master’s-level clinician, and a residential case manager (if student is placed here residentially).

13. Who oversees the milieu? Level of education?
Residential Director for residential program (LCSW), Head of School for day educational program (Ed.D.), Clinical Director for the clinical program (Psy.D., licensed clinical psychologist, Executive Director for entire TLC program (Ph.D., educational psychologist).

14. Do you have on staff or rapid access to psychiatric nursing 24/7?
We have on-call clinical and/or administrative staff 24/7. Our RN and clinical director also have direct communication with our consulting psychiatrist.

15. Do students typically remain on the same or increased psychotropic medication while at your facility?
Each case is personalized. Many students do reduce their medication regimen. We also recommend and follow through with genetic metabolic testing to ascertain which medications can be more effectively metabolized. We have a comprehensive data collection system across all settings to correlate the efficacy of medication adjustments with behavioral and skill development outcomes.

16. Is there a family education component?
Yes. We provide family training workshop sessions and monthly parent training sessions with assigned therapist.

17. Who delivers family therapy? How often?
The Master’s-level clinician twice a month.

18. Who delivers group therapy? Do you offer specialty groups?
One of the Master’s-level clinicians and yes we do offer specialty groups, such as an adoption group, assertiveness group, self-presentation group, social pragmatics and judgment group, and sexuality education groups.

19. What is the typical protocol when there are challenges in the milieu?
We have well-developed protocols for addressing disruptive behavior in the classroom and residential house. Staff are trained throughout the year on these protocols and strategies for eliciting cooperation and safe behaviors. Overall, we have a stop-and-separate approach for a student who is demonstrating non-compliant behaviors. Staff engage in a team approach with direct or consultative support from a clinician and administrator.

20. Have you had children come from different areas of the country to your facility? If so, have you had difficulty dealing with family therapy with those families?
We have had families across the country from CA to CT. We use Skype and teleconference for long-distance families.

21. What is the approximate percent of students with learning differences?
100% of our students have learning differences. Each present uniquely and the educational and clinical programming is personalized to each student’s strengths and challenges. We are strength-based model in that we focus on students’ strengths and areas of interest in order to compensate for their other challenge areas. Assistive technology is also used to accentuate strengths and develop certain need areas.

22. Does your school offer Special Education teachers, regular education teachers, and/or both?
Both. We are approved by the CT SDE as an approved non-public private special education program. We have over 50% of our teachers who have been with us for over 10 years with about 25% of them here for 20+ years. Teachers are either certified regular or special education with some teachers who are dually certified.

23. What is the typical classroom size?
4 to 6 students. Our teacher-to-student ratio is around 1:4.

24. Are milieu staff members present during school to assist the teachers if needed?
Teachers, teaching assistants, clinicians, and administrators are working with students through the school day, 8am to 4pm. At 4pm, residential house managers and house parents work with students in their residential houses. There is also clinical and administrative support during residential hours.

25. Do you offer Speech and Language and/or Occupational Therapy services?
Yes per the IEP decision-making process. We tend to have more students receiving consultative services versus direct services.

26. Are these services limited to the school day or are they accessible in the milieu as well (such as a sensory room, etc.)?
Direct services are provided during school day. Consultative services can be provided across all settings.

27. Do you offer transition advice and/or services when students leave your facility?
Yes. We work closely with families and outside agencies in creating and following through with transitioning planning for our students. This process starts as early as age 14 and continues into young adulthood and beyond.

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