All students (their families too!) are complicated. The harder question is not ‘if’ a situation is complicated but rather by ‘how much’ do those complications interfere with academic growth.
Our rule of thumb is that ‘uncomfortable’ is par for the course, but ‘distress’ is not.
SCOPES is a great option for improving the quality of life for uncomfortable students. However, more complicated situations are probably better served by support from local experts.
Examples of situations that probably run deeper than simple discomfort:
…families in the midst of an active crisis (for example, serious illness or death of a family member or close relative).
…students with serious chronic illnesses such as liver/ kidney disease, frequent sports concussions, etc.
…excessively* overscheduled students who are unwilling to reallocate short term desires to invest in long-term skill development.
…students preoccupied by substance abuse issues or criminal proceedings.
…families who are unwavering in their opinion that school is destined to be an unrewarding experience for most students and their families. These families feel it is inevitable that school will become a burden, rather than a springboard for personal growth and future well-being. Some families decline to invest in growth, presumably because striving for anything other than survival is, by their logic, futile.
IEPs – Individualized Education Plans
While many students with an ‘IEP’ at school ARE good candidates for SCOPES, we sometimes encounter where the underlying cause of an IEP placement represents a serious impairment and/or chronic health issue. An IEP on its own doesn’t disqualify a student from SCOPES, but a serious underlying issue might (feel free to contact us for clarifications as needed).
The terms ‘504’ and ‘IEP’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but in fact represent very different support structures in school. 504 plans typically do NOT represent distress, so 504 students generally ARE good candidates for SCOPES.
* – Of course, ‘excessive’ – like beauty – is best viewed through the eyes of the beholder. All of our clients, as well as most of the experts in our clinic (whom one would generally expect should know better), periodically wrestle with episodes of over-scheduling their own families’ lives. SCOPES is usually an excellent resource in these cases, unless of course it allows program graduates to become even more overscheduled in the future.