Pinnacle Schools Reviews

Residents Share Their Success Stories and Reviews of The Pinnacle Schools

“I Evolved into an Improved Human Being”

Now, I have arrived at a desirable place in my life. I used to be miserable living a negative life. My bad decisions had an effect on others in my life. I thought sneaking out, skipping school and being a party animal would make me happy, but it did not work. However, I knew in my soul I was a screwed up kid. It was Elk River that made me realize the error of my ways. It was so upsetting to me that I almost cried. The program there could help anyone, as long as he/she wants to change. I had to do more than just want to change though, I had to discover who I really was. The program challenged me at Elk River in numerous ways, at times, it was difficult, but in the end, it made be an improved human being. Now, I am doing good things that bring me happiness thanks to the staff of Elk River.


“I Miss Camp Paradise”

September 6th marked one year since I was sent to the program at Elk River by my parents. I have attained many of my goals, since I left there, but keep in contact with many of the people I made friends with there. You may not believe this, but I do miss Elk River and hope to visit one day. Is this strange? It was quite difficult my first week, but I soon loved it. I managed to graduate high school, since coming backs and I have Master S to thank for it. If he had not been there I most likely would not ever have gone back to high school.

Elk River Treament Program

elk river treament programElk River Treatment Program is a program that is provided by the Pinnacle Schools. It is a therapy program that helps to provide assistance and intervention for at-risk and troubled teens. Helpful aspects of the program include diagnosis, assessment, education as well as treatment that all takes place from a base area. Elk River offers a treatment team approach that is used in combination with a wilderness type therapy.

Wilderness programs frequently make use of the outdoors to help in teaching and modifying the behavior of troubled teenagers. They offer therapy to teens who are having problems in school, with mood problems or who are experiencing disciplinary problems or self confidence issues. Some are trekking while others are base camp methods. Elk River is a model of program that did not–prior to the inception of this school–exist at all. The Elk River program is a medical model and it uses academics and therapies as a means to help the troubled teen, ages 12-18 to recover from the behavioral, medical, or psychological problems by which they are affected.

Outdoor and wilderness based but operating in an indoor and outdoor environment, Elk River offers a gym, a cafeteria, shower houses, cabins, laundry facilities, storm shelters and a school house. The children are given regular schooling in order to help them to keep up academically while they are learning to cope with the other issues in their life.

The goals of the program for its students is to help them to learn to adapt to new situations, to gain confidence and to move past the current problems and into a better outlook and a better place in life. They are supported by ethical and highly trained as well as caring staff members who help them by way of academics, individual and group therapies and hands on learning as well as other projects and challenges.

When admitted to the school, each student is given all that he or she will require to complete the program. They are given items such as hiking boots, hats, sleeping bags, rain gear and even outdoor clothing. When they leave the program, the items that they were given are their own to keep and take with them.

The parents are also included in the program and in fact are an integral and essential component of the program that will help the child to achieve success. Working closely with the staff, the treatment team and the children, they learn to understand their child better as well as visit and interact with the staff regularly by getting treatment updates and progress reports.

If you believe that your child is in need of advanced help in working through problems such as depression, drug experimentation or poor school achievement, the Elk River Programs may be able to help you and your child.

Tips to Escape the Flu – Even at School!

Every parent wants their children to have lots of friends and fit in at school, but friends come with germs. Those germs are spread when one child coughs or sneezes around other children or when a small child wipes his runny nose on his shirt sleeve and then pats his best friend on the cheek during play. Something as simple as sharing blocks or allowing a friend to borrow a pencil is enough for a child to catch the flu.Parents know what happens when germs make their way home from school. Everyone in the household is soon sniffling, sneezing, or possibly throwing up. If anyone in the family has a weakened immune system for any reason, this can bring problems far worse than a stomachache or a few missed days of school.Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your children leave those germs at school. Simple things like feeding your children the right foods and teaching them a few good habits can go a long way to battling flu for your entire family. If you work out in the public, then you probably need to follow these guidelines as well.

Eat for an Immunity Boost

Fresh foods in their natural state are loaded with vitamins and minerals that naturally boost the immune system. By focusing family meals on the following foods, you can help turn your children into germ-fighting machines.

1. Fresh Citrus Fruit

Buy the biggest bag of oranges you can find and throw them in a bowl at the center of your dining room table. Add a few grapefruits and maybe some tangerines. Encourage your children to eat these fruits daily because they are loaded with vitamin C, which is power for the immune system. You can also make fresh squeezed orange juice to serve with breakfast.

If you must go with orange juice instead of fresh fruit, make sure it is real orange juice instead of sugary orange drink. The vitamin C only comes from the actual fruit.

2. Fresh Vegetables and Seasonings

Incorporate leafy greens like kale and spinach into your family’s meals. Use fresh garlic, ginger and onion as flavor enhancers. Make steamed broccoli as a side dish and top a salad off with fresh bell pepper. These foods are high in vitamin C, and you can even incorporate them into smoothies along with fresh fruit for taste.

3. Greek Yogurt

Use plain Greek yogurt to make smoothies extra creamy or to infuse probiotics into any of your home-baked goods. Create delicious parfaits for dessert by layering Greet yogurt and fresh fruits in a cup or bowl. The probiotics in the yogurt will help fight off germs that do make it into your children’s bodies.

Five Flu-Fighting Behaviors

What can you teach your children that will save them from the flu? These five behaviors are at the top of the list:

1. Hand Washing

If warm water and soap is available, every member of your family should be washing their hands. You can also send hand sanitizer to school with your children. Don’t trust the teacher to give out hand sanitizer at the right moments. Your children need to know the importance of regular washing.

2. Eliminate Face Touching

The human face has three points of entry for the body: eyes, nose, mouth. Teach your children never to touch other children’s faces, and discourage them from touching their own faces. When your children do get sick, teach them to block their own germs by using their sleeves or arms to block their coughs and sneezes.

3. Disinfectant Spray Down

It is not overkill to greet your children at the door with a bottle of disinfectant when they come home from school. Give their clothing and book bags a good spray, and then send them off to wash their hands immediately.

4. Break the Sharing Rule

You have probably worked hard to teach your children to share their toys and be nice, but flu season is a reason to break this rule. Teach them to keep their personal belongings to themselves to avoid picking up germs from other children.

Healthy Families Avoid the Flu

Make sure every member of your household gets adequate amounts of rest, exercise and healthy foods. Make sure you are all well hydrated and not overly stressed. The healthier your family lifestyle, the more resistance your bodies will have against the flu.

Getting in Your Child’s Business for Their Own Good

If you listen to some parents today you will get an entire spiel on how being a parent means giving your children privacy at all costs and trusting them implicitly. This may work in some situations, but there are times when being a parent means you are going to have to dig into what your children are up to, whether they like it or not.

Children of all ages have access to many communication devices. Where once you had to sit in the living room on the one phone in the house there is now a cell phone for every member of the family, computers with private chat and a great big internet to hide activities and details on. One big problem is the anonymity, you can say you are any age and predators will use this to prey on unsuspecting children. Before they comprehend these facts, your child can be lured into giving out some very sensitive and personal information.

There are people online who actively prey on young children as well as teenagers who have an axe to grind, and both have used the internet to elicit information and/or photographs from kids. In some situations these photos are personal or even provocative, which is why knowing exactly what the kids are doing and sharing on line is a vital part of modern parenting.

You need to prepare yourself, because some of the decisions you will have to make will not be popular! At the top of this list is the checking the accounts your children are using. You have a couple of options for accomplishing this goal, either from the outside looking in or by actually going into the accounts. Social media is here to stay and you should be privy to what your child is sharing at all times.

How is your child going to respond to you looking around at their accounts? In most cases not well, they will see it as an invasion of privacy when you check the internet history and phone logs. Of course, you could use software to block the sending of certain things such as phone numbers and addresses. This will probably work for a little while, but as you know kids are quite proficient at finding ways to bend the rules. Actually looking at the computer and phone yourself is the best way to keep up with what is shared.

Go now and explain to your children that you will be regularly looking into online accounts and cell phones. It may seem paranoid or even overkill, but when you think about the dangers out there, no amount of prevention is too much. It is also important to stay on top of who their current friends are and how they are getting along. Take groups of your kids friends out so you can get to know them better.

5 Helpful Tips Parents Can Use When Dealing with Troubled Teens

parentingRaising a teenager already comes with unique challenges. However, dealing with troubled teens that have behavioral or emotional problems brings even more difficulty to this tough task. When teens become troubled, parents have to learn new ways to survive the troubled time while figuring out how to find solutions that will enable their child to begin healing. Support is important for the parents of troubled teens, as is expert advice. Troubled teens do improve, but as you are dealing with your teen and working towards healing, here are a few helpful tips you can use.

Tip #1 – Find Ways to Connect

One of the most important parents can follow when dealing with their troubled teen is to find ways to connect. Sometimes you may feel like staying away from your teen, especially as the problems become even more difficult or it feels like things are getting worse instead of getting better. However, you have a lot more influence on your teen than you may think. It’s important to work on building a connection with your troubled teenager. While communication may be difficult, focusing on finding ways to connect can help.

Tip #2 – Try a New Perspective

It’s easy to see your teenager’s situation only from your perspective. This often makes it difficult to figure out what is triggering the behavior of your teen. However, working to find a new perspective can help. Try to view your teen’s problems in a different way. When you see the problems in a different light, you’ll begin responding to them differently, which may help change your teen’s behavior as well.

Tip #3 – Know When to Get Professional Help

Sometimes your teen’s problems are too much for you to deal with. Parents of troubled teens must know when it’s time to go get some professional help. Instead of waiting until the situation is untenable, getting help when problems first show up can be a huge help. While many parents fear that getting help is a sign that they aren’t a good parent, getting your teen the help needed shows what a loving, wonderful parent you really are.

Tip #4 – Learn How to Deal with a Crisis

Many parents fear that they won’t recognize the signs of a serious crisis. Take the time to learn how to deal with a crisis situation should it occur with your teen. Learning how to recognize these situations and how to deal with them will give you the information you need to deal with a crisis should it occur.

Tip #5 – Don’t Forget About Your Needs

While you are probably focusing most of your energy on your troubled teen, you cannot forget about your own needs. Sure, you want to do everything possible to help your teen. However, you have to take time to take care of your own needs or you won’t be able to help your teen. Take time to re-energize, relax and make sure you’re at your best. This way you can offer the best help to your teenager.

The Pinnacle Schools Talks Abuse

Elk River Treatment Programs of The Pinnacle Schools Talks Abuse

Cory Monteith, co-star in the TV series ‘Glee”, recently died due to toxicity from heroin and alcohol.  Family, friends and fans were shocked and saddened. Because Monteith was in the public-eye, his unfortunate death may give the public pause to consider the seriousness of heroin use among the younger generation.

Parents of teens should be especially wary of the possibility heroin addiction could happen to their son or daughter. Although practitioners aren’t observing a trend toward heroin use, they are mindful it can happen.

For example, the Alabama School of Alcohol and Drug Studies hold an annual conference for drug addiction counselors to brainstorm about recent developments. According to Martez Rogers, Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor,  a high point was about pressures to reclassify medications, such as Hydrocodone, Lortab and Percocet to controlled Schedule 1 substances, due to their abuse potential. However, reclassification would cause the meds to be less accessible, causing users to seek street opiates.

The conference participants were concerned that should the schedule change take place, the risk of overdose among users will become greater, since heroin is commonly cut with dangerous chemicals to boost potency.

Most parents have probably heard horror stories about teens living on the street, doing illicit drugs. Heightened awareness of this possibility, plus the tragic death of Cory Monteith could serve as a wake-up call to parents of troubled teens.

Parents’ biggest hurdle is where to turn for help. The Pinnacle Schools are seeing success with their drug and alcohol abuse programs for teens suffering from addictions. Addiction professionals use teen-friendly models to provide emotional support and multi-layered therapies.

Sometimes just knowing that other kids have faced similar problems is a breakthrough catalyst for troubled teens. For example, a college student named Ashley shared her story, from the time she was jerked out of the classroom in handcuffs to the present where she is working toward a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

A powerful motivator, Ashley has discovered her life’s calling to help others “find their personal power and live purposeful lives”. She urged the students to, “Stop saying it is impossible and believe that they are possible”

The Pinnacle Schools-A Parents Review

I, as a parent, chose to turn to The Pinnacle Schools for assistance. I read some information about the many programs offered at The Pinnacle Schools and decided they were the best choice for my child, who has Asperger syndrome. There are individual academic programs designed specifically for the needs of each student within the residential treatment plans connected with The Pinnacle Schools; the Elk River Treatment Program (see Linkedin page for more info) is a residential program under the Pinnacle Schools umbrella. I was excited about out the teachers, counselors and rest of the staff work in harmony together to help my child and me, for the purpose of setting goals that fit his specific needs. They even addressed all my concerns one by one. I also did independent research with the Alabama Department of Education and didn’t fidn any reported complaints of abuse from The Pinnacle Schools or the Elk River Treatment Program.

My child has had to deal with many challenges during his school years. He was home schooled, along with his brother until he went into the second grade. I notice during homeschooling that there were some definitely difference between the boys. My youngest child’s characteristics made me concerned. He did not have the same level of social skill compared to the oldest. My youngest had a more difficult time communicating with other people than the oldest did. He had fixed interests and participated in activities with a repetitive approach. He was also obsessed with the character Godzilla. Continue reading

Seeing the Impossible to I’m Possible

We all get the ability to choose is the one thing Ashley stressed to the children, all of whom seemed to be quite captivated by her tale. She gave a pointed example of this principle from her own actions at a party one night. You see a fight broke out but instead of walking away or discouraging the combatants Ashley circled the fight cheering and egging on the participants. In Ashley’s mind, she had not really done anything wrong; after all, she did not hit anyone so when the principle came in and pulled her out for punishment you could say she was a little shocked. Simply being present at the fight was enough to earn Ashley a trip, in handcuffs no less, to the police station. In spite of her typical teen stance of “I didn’t do nothing!” and “I didn’t touch nobody!” As Ashley looked around the room, she wondered why none of her “friends” were speaking up. When she asked the Pinnacle kids why they thought her friends remained silent, several immediately spoke up and said, “cause they didn’t want to go to jail.” Precisely, Ashley agreed, they were looking out for themselves.

“It is practically impossible to determine the difference between your second chance and your last one”, Ashley said repeatedly. Over time, she distanced herself from the home where she was abused and felt unwanted as well as her “friends”. During this time, she found an escape through sports. “I had games on the weekends and at night through the week as well as practices after school, which means I did not have to go home.”

Winning cam easy for Ashley as a natural athlete so she clowned around and even show boated a lot during track meets and games. All that changed when she found herself being disqualified for provoking another runner at the finish line. It was at this point in her life when a simple question from her coach began to turn around her hopeless thinking: Continue reading

Pinnacle Schools Reviews Manic Depressive Disorder

Manic depression or bipolar depression is actually considered to be one of the most difficult types of depression to manage. The term manic is used because the sufferer of bipolar or manic depression will experience very high highs and very low lows. They may be euphoric one minute and nearly suicidal another moment.

The person who suffers from bipolar disorder may seem to be just another moody person. In a teenager particularly, who is already prone to mood swings of a sort, the disorder may simply not be seen or understood as what it is for quite some time. Teens are often moody in their own right and can be problematic. Parents may not view this as a disorder until some of the damage that can take place has been done.

According to therapists, Manic depression should be considered when a parent sees a child have outbursts of anger and irritation for days on end. They may also have days of euphoria which are a very high sort of high. The behavior is such that it can disrupt their learning, their social interaction and their life at home. Parents may not know which way to turn in order to get the help that they need.

The Pinnacle schools can help you to not only get the help that you need to cope, but also to get the initial diagnosis of Manic Depression that will allow you to seek out the help that you require. Pinnacle Schools treatment program involves in house, residential treatment that may be inclusive of:

One on one therapy
Group therapy
Medication therapy if required

In addition, the schooling of the affected child will be continued so that they do not fall behind in their studies as they are working on addressing the medical problem that is affecting them.

The Pinnacle Schools offer you and your child the help that you need to address serious issues in behavior as well as problems which may be of a medical nature. This is done while addressing the continuity of education to ensure that your child emerges from the experience well rounded and healthier in every aspect of their life.

Five Complaints Teens Have about Parents

Author Sean Covey took a poll and interviewed thousands of teens to narrow down the not only the things they find important but to learn what complaints teenagers had about their parents. While he offers advice about how to cope with those complaints to his teen readers, adults will find the knowledge about how their teen views their behavior enlightening and can use such insights to open a dialogue for communication. Here then are the top five complaints that Covey identified.

Comparisons between the teen and someone else.
Lack of praise or satisfaction with the teenager’s work.
Being out if touch with fashion or music (or trying to act like they are in touch with it when they are not).
Parents being overprotective or overly strict.
Fighting in the home, between parents, parent and sibling, or parent and another family member.

In most cases the advice given by Covey targets the teenager, and explains how to moderate personal behavior. Parents who find their teen voices one of these as a problem can learn a lot about their own reactions by reading the same advice. For example, comparisons between your teen and another might seem like a way to encourage better behavior, but reality is, the comparison hurts the teen and lowers their self esteem. Instead of using comparisons an adult should encourage their teen with recognition about what they do well on their own and encourage them to be well rounded by seeking help on those things they struggle with. Sharing pride in your child’s accomplishments for their own work is extremely powerful.

Embarrassing your kids is a fact of life, but acting like you know something when you are out of touch with music or fashion trends is a huge thing for kids to hide from. Perhaps you are trying to show interest in their choices. A better way is to express that you are interested and listen to them when they share with you. In return you will find that your teen comes to you when they need a mature ear to help them over important issues. Along with this comes learning how your child is maturing on his or her own and slowly allowing more freedoms as they prove they can handle them. Do not be surprised if your teenager slowly develops into a unique personality that dislikes drama. Taking a mature approach will help more than fighting will.