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New Directions : Testimonials

Parents from NY (After Son was in New Directions for two months)

Just a brief note to let you know how my entire family noticed a great change and maturity in my son. I cannot adequately express my appreciation for all the progress he has been made these last two months. His confidence is at an all time high and physically he looks great from the exercise program.  More importantly I have never seen him happier.  He has made many friends and he just got his first paying job.  Thanks again

Parents from Tampa (April 2012)

We are the parents of a very challenging 18 year old girl.  She has tried on five high schools and an equal number of residential treatment centers for diagnosed bipolar, borderline and histrionic personality disorder issues.  She arrived at New Directions for Young Adults as one of the younger students with great trepidation on our part.  We could not be happier with New Directions and every single staff person there. 

This child breaks the mold.  Traditional techniques and expectations consistently backfire.  Somehow, despite her antics and misbehavior, the program has managed to place a loose, but effective, safety net around this girl, and, perhaps, most importantly, they have been incredibly willing to try different approaches and to modify the program rules to accommodate her unique personality and issues.  In her four months with the program, every staff person, and particularly, Dr. Rubin, have been taxed to the max and yet none have lost their cool with her or with us. Throwing in the towel, it seems, has never been an option. Patience and creative thought remain their long suit, as well as a willingness to receive input from our daughter’s local therapist and educational consultant.

All of our questions, concerns and fears have been addressed head on with directness, thoughtfulness and insight.  Lesser therapeutic environments would have probably kicked her to the curb by now.  With the support of New Directions, she is consistently taking her medications, has a full-time job for the first time in her young life and may actually learn to manage her finances effectively over time.  We know she is not out of the woods, but have a level of hope and pride in her accomplishments that we never would have thought possible. 

Thank you, Dr. Rubin and the entire NDFYA Staff!

Parent (Father) From Connecticut

As you know, our son has been at New Directions for just over two months. Originally we had been told by the folks at his previous wilderness program not to expect as much communication once our son was in a longer transition program. To the contrary, our experience has been very different. The communication has been constant and very informative. My wife and I feel that we can always reach someone by phone. Everyone on staff has been tremendously helpful. It gives us great comfort to know that Chris has the structure and support he needs to move forward in a very positive way with his life. New Directions lets him live independently with just enough supervision to make sure he stays on track .Thanks to your efforts, our son will go back to college part time in a few days, has already found one job, and is well on his way to gaining more confidence and life skills.

We really appreciate your experience and insights Dr. Rubin and think that you have assembled a staff that is empathetic, patient, and cheerful. Tim, Bobby, and Paula have been very helpful in their respective roles, and Dr. Kellen has been a great resource as our son’s day to day therapist. My wife and Iwould recommend your program without reservation.

Family from Florida (Received after son has been in Program three months)

“New Directions absolutely matched its name and goals for our son. The turnaround was amazing. Our personal interaction with our son greatly improved. In the past, it was nearly impossible to have a conversation that wasn't dominated by his OCD behavior. Now, if it goes towards that direction, our son realizes it and he stops it.

Our son never had much success with interpersonal communication with others let alone having social relationships. He now enjoys sharing with us some of his experiences with other members of the program. His happiness is a true joy to us.

Thank you for all you have done; not only for our son, but for our family. With much appreciation.

Family from Chicago

Our son has a complicated history. He has been very resistant to getting help and we have had some negative experiences with other programs. We have been extremely impressed by Dr. Rubin’s ability to both understand and connect with our son. In addition, he has won our son’s respect, which translates into our son making progress under Dr. Rubin’s care and direction. Almost from the start, we saw that Dr. Rubin is totally invested in his program and in the continued success and development of the boys in his care. He is patient and gentle, yet firm. He follows through on what he says he will do and his support staff does as well. In short, we are impressed with New Directions and its staff and feel very hopeful about our son’s future.

Student From Ohio

I have had difficulties with my family and school for a long time. I can to New Directions to get back on track. At first, I did not want to come. I didn’t want to participate in counseling. After being here for a few months I have accomplished more than I would have ever imagined. I am very thankful to the staff and have made some great friends. I have created a resume, and am now working for the first time. For once in my life, I feel I can live on my own and succeed. The life management training has helped me to feel more confident and organized about living. I also really enjoy the social activities with the other students. Dr. Rubin, Mellissa, and Ms. Danielle are great. Thanks again.

Student Testimonial

New Directions is a perfect place for students with disabilities that have just graduated from high school. Or maybe even students that weren’t able to complete high school, either, because New Directions can help that student to get a degree from completing a public school. While helping the student with skills in general, they are assisted in signing up for classes at the Community Colleges in the immediate area. They are also assisted in filling out forms to move into the apartments in the immediate area. New Directions accepts students of all races, genders, and especially disabilities. That ranges from bi-polar, ADD, autism, and problems of any severity.

The reason why this place can help out these students is because of several reasons. There are tutors on demand to help them in each class they take at local colleges. There are psychologists to help teach the student how to deal with emotions and interacting with their peers. The Staff at the program, allow the students to have fun by planning activities, giving them options during the weekend, when classes don’t require as much studying. But most importantly, they teach students to live on their own in a college environment.

New Directions assists the students on how to budget money, cook food, and maintain a reasonable living. Times are planned out to teach students all sorts of skills that are necessary for college roommates, but are much more difficult for the typical New Directions undergraduate. This includes shopping at the local food market, having cooking classes, and visiting the apartments to teach the student how to clean their entire living space.

The entire process usually will produce results in 2-4 years, in which the student “graduates” from New Directions, while getting a diploma at their local community college and getting a real life job. In my case, I had already had some skills before coming to New Directions. I was accepted into the Rochester Institute of Technolgy, but felt that I couldn’t be successful until I taught myself the many skills listed above. I went to New Directions for only one year in order to teach myself to simply “learn how to live on my own”.

I needed only 1 year of experience at New Directions before I was able to keep up with my classmates at R.I.T. It is a prestigious college that is considered one of the more competitive colleges in the entire nation that is notoriously compared to colleges like Harvard and Yale. As a talented New Media/Interactive Media Designer, I lacked the natural ability to buy healthy food, to clean up regularly, and manage the time it took to finish my work on a weekly basis. But it only took me around 2 months before I quickly got the hang of this repetitive schedule. Where I truly struggled was interacting with my peers and superiors alike.

I almost had a complete meltdown 5 months after I started going to the New Directions program. That is when I started meeting with the head psychologist, Dr. Andrew Rubin. He taught me skills that will probably affect me for the rest of my life in a good way. I indeed have a disability that hinders my communication, but by suggesting that I read a book by Dale Carnegie called “How to Win and Influence Friends”, I learned the necessary skills that would help me whenever I interacted with people of any age. Many times since I read the entire book, I found myself using strategies on a daily basis to ask favors and win arguments without drawing the ire of the person I communicated with. By the end of the year, the program recognized my improvement in interacting with people in general, and I was able to successfully start the following year in the college dorms at R.I.T.

Aside from teaching me skills, Dr. Rubin also gave me advice on how to handle all situations in a different way while staying calm most of the time. To this day, I’m still calling him on a weekly basis, allowing him to oversee the improvement I’m able to make while moving along in my studies. Without his help, along with the program of New Directions, I would find it very hard just to be able to have passing grades each passing quarter. If this program could benefit me, a student who is much more conscious of the world around him along with the disadvantages of his disability compared to the many similar classmates around him, then it will always provide a method for any disabled high school graduate to fall back on.

Parent Testimonial

Why did we turn to New Directions for Young Adults? Because although our son graduated from high school with an academic scholarship, providing him free tuition at any state school in our state, having Aspergers, he was unable to live in a dorm and successfully function in a traditional college setting. He tried, but halfway through the first semester at state college, he was so overwhelmed that he had a break down, forcing him to withdraw. Intelligence didn’t keep him from succeeding; rigidity, poor time management, social difficulties, anxiety, etc., did. He seemed devastated that he wasn’t independent and happy like his college friends.

We searched for a program to help our son. Then, we found New Directions for Young Adults, and it has provided him with an opportunity to become a more independent, successful, and happy young man.

Dr. Rubin, Melissa Hoffman, and others at New Directions for Young Adults, helped our son develop a plan to live independently in an apartment and to successfully attend college classes while providing appropriate psychological services. After meeting with our son, they helped him set realistic goals, provided team support, and helped him to succeed both in college and in his personal life.

At this time, our son has learned how to cook simple meals and to shop for groceries. He manages his money significantly better than we ever thought possible, doing a fairly good job of keeping a monthly budget. We were floored the first time he told us that he didn’t buy something because he couldn’t afford it! We never thought that he would understand that concept! New Directions even came up with a plan to help our son learn to drive and to manage his first car.

Although our son’s housekeeping skills are a work in progress, he’s doing quite well in his college classes (getting all B’s in his most recent semester), and has selected a realistic career path, one that accentuates his interests and strengths. Our son has become more responsible, independent, and confident during the 7 months he’s been at New Directions, and he’s excited about continuing on this path. He seems to understand himself and the world better than ever before.

Not only has New Directions been a life saver for our son, but it has helped our family relationships. After his initial college semester, we worried that our son’s Asperger type behaviors would prevent him from attaining independence and that our family would always have to provide for him. We worried that he might become more isolated and rigid and that he would always feel like a community outcast. We know differently now.

Staff members at New Directions are always available via email or phone for both students and parents. With the supportive, professional staff at New Directions, we are convinced that our son will continue to become a more confident, content, and productive member of our community.

Parent Testimonial 2

As you know, we have been having some difficulty with specific needs for our son, Anthony. He does not fit the “norm” on so many issues. Often he seems to fall into an area that does not receive attention or even warrant help. With the medication that he is currently taking, inconsistent dosages of medications could result in serious problems.

However, the New Direction staff has done a great job in recognizing some subtle changes in our son and has taken action in an appropriate manner. Thank you for your individual tailoring of your program and services for my son as well as being available to respond to phone calls and messages in a timely manner.

The flexible nature of your program and your monitoring of unique cues for each student are what makes your program special and highly effective. Thank you for efficiency and concern for each individual enrolled in New Directions. I would appreciate your conveying my praises to your staff.

Parent Testimonial 3

I am writing this letter to express my thoughts about New Directions for Young Adults under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Rubin. Students in this program are given the rare opportunity to learn and thrive in a unique, well-managed setting that will better prepare them for an independent life.

My son is a high-functioning autistic young adult who always dreamed of attending college after high school. He is a talented, bright young man who responds well to a structured setting and a consistent routine. Unfortunately, college life rarely provides a controlled environment.

For an autistic student, the transition into college from high school is often an impossible feat. Many youngsters on the autistic spectrum have tremendous difficulty managing a variety of new situations. Attempting to navigate college life, keeping track of assignments, adapting to new academic challenges, communicating effectively with professors and socializing appropriately with peers are the first in a series of situations that require a calm and proficient problem solver.

While a typical college student usually gains these skills naturally, an autistic student must be taught these lessons repetitively. Additionally, there are few colleges capable of meeting the needs of the autistic population. Faculty and administrators alike lack the knowledgeable or are baffled about this neurological disorder.

It is at this juncture that New Directions for Young Adults steps in. Their highly professional staff is thoroughly trained to meet the individual needs of each student. True to its name, New Directions staff helps each youngster, through a multi-disciplinary approach, find his or her own path to a more self-reliant lifestyle.

The vast number of comprehensive and therapeutic services offered in this program cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Dr. Rubin and his staff helped my son navigate through college classes successfully while teaching him practical daily living skills and providing individual counseling on a regular basis. He personally provided the bridge that our son desperately needed before attending college independently. My son learned new skills and gained confidence that were previously missing in his life. New Directions for Young Adults is a unique program with a proven track record for success. I’m grateful my son was able to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity.

Parent Testimonial 4

New Directions for Young Adults and Dr. Rubin have been a wonderful asset in my son’s life. They have been very accommodating with his unique schedule and have followed through with all of their contracted services. Working with them to provide my son with the best services has been a very positive and rewarding experience. They are always there when you need them. They have taken a strong personal interest in his succeeding. He is working with them and being properly prepared for his studies and job searching skills. These excellent services have given my son the confidence, self-esteem and skills he needs in order to be a successful independent adult.

I would highly recommend New Directions for Young Adults. It has proven to be an excellent program.

Parent Testimonial 5

Our experience with New Directions has been a positive one. With the exception of getting a part-time job, our son has accomplished all of the goals that were set for him during his time at New Directions. He has been very motivated in school and has gotten straight "A"s in his classes this semester. He has been drug-free. He exercises all the time and eats well. He is being very pro-active about how he will stay on track when he goes back to California to finish his degree. Our conversations with him are warm and adult. We talk things through and even if we sometimes disagree, we arrive at solutions together.

At the beginning, there were many times that our son threatened to leave, but Dr. Rubin managed to draw him back in and help him see the value of staying. Of course he had the freedom to leave at any time but Dr. Rubin helped him realize how shortsighted and futile it would be for him to leave. I felt that Dr. Rubin really understood our son from the very beginning. He could relate to our son's intellect while at the same time help keep his demons in check. At one point, our son expressed to Dr. Rubin that he was feeling a strong desire to get high. Immediately (and on a Sunday night), Dr. Rubin personally accompanied him to a 12-step meeting. It was quite a wake-up call for our son to listen to people who had lost everything or ruined their lives because of their drug use. Going to that meeting so quickly helped him deal with that strong urge and gave him the tools to combat it.

Dr. Rubin and his staff also delivered on their promise to help deal with our sons former university and make sure that he got credit for any classes that he had taken.

It is extremely difficult to get answers and deal effectively with the bureaucracy at the University (name deleted). Unfortunately, we know that firsthand. Dr. Rubin persisted and kept contacting (University) to find out what classes Our son still needed and what classes he could take in Florida. I must emphasize that this was no small feat. For example, Drew contacted someone at (University) to try to determine whether certain classes would be accepted. The first person he spoke to told him that she was not the appropriate person and gave him another name. That person referred him to someone else, who referred him to someone else, who referred him BACK to the first person he spoke to initially!

Our son has acknowledged that Dr. Rubin also works with a psychiatrist who is extremely effective and knowledgeable about the medicines he prescribes. He found someone who truly knows what he is doing in this very complicated area. Dr. Rubin had told me about his effectiveness with other clients and our son has agreed that he feels better than he has in a long time.

Of course, our son has complained about certain things, most notably his social life. Many of the kids in the program have more severe Asperger's than our son (if that is truly what he does have). Despite being higher functioning, our son still had many issues to cope with when he arrived in Florida and I feel that he has come incredibly far and matured a great deal during his time at New Directions. I don't think he could have done better anywhere else. Our son has been rough on Dr. Rubin. Dr. Rubin has not put his own ego into the mix. That is not always easy to do with our son.

Of course, the program is not perfect. I do feel though that New Directions is an extremely worthwhile program and that Dr. Rubin truly and deeply cares about the students under his care.

We are so proud of our son. As you know, it was his choice to leave (university) and to change his life. Although our son will always have to be vigilant about certain things, he has come so far it is almost miraculous.

Parent Testimonial 6

New Directions has been a Godsend for my son. My son suffers from Aspergers and all its related complications. He had almost Never lived away from me or his mother until he went to New Directions. New Directions has taken my child to a level of independent living I never thought possible. My son has a ways to go but with New Directions he will get there. I encourage any parent to take a good look at New Directions for their aggressive, holistic, caring program!

Parent Testimonial 7

After his high school graduation in 2006, I realized my son was not prepared to go to college. He lacked the social skills, organizational skills and independence to be a success. As a result, we enrolled him in New Directions, which provided the support and therapy he required to enter college a year later.

However, after 2 years in college, he realized that his anxiety was affecting his health and his organizational skills and grades soon deteriorated.

He asked to return to New Directions to gain a fresh perspective and a stronger work ethic. Under the excellent leadership of Dr. Drew Rubin and daily sessions with psychologist, Dr Michael Kellen, our son learned specific techniques and tools to move forward in his life. In addition, he made new and lasting friendships in a caring and positive environment.

In the fall of 2010, our son will return to college better equipped, more independent, and confident that he can handle new challenges.

In summary, the biggest compliment I could pay to New Directions is the fact that my son asked to return to the program after spending 2 years in college.

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