Vantage Point

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Vantage Point

Vantage Point by Aspiro

Every child’s struggle is unique. Some struggles require a more focused method of treatment than what a standard wilderness therapy programs provides. We’ve taken everything that makes Aspiro great, and working from the ground up, we’ve used our core principles to develop a separate program that helps to address the following common challenges and behaviors:

Common Challenges

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Learning disorders
  • Processing issues
  • Social deficits
  • Executive functioning deficits
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

Common Behaviors

  • Excessive video game or electronic use
  • Computer addictions
  • Impulsivity
  • Verbal aggression
  • Unhealthy hygiene
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Parent-child conflict
  • Academic difficulty
  • Cognitive Rigidity (black and white thought process)
  • Limited or no true friendships
  • Poor organizational skills

Vantage Point


Why Wilderness?

Utilizing an integrated, multi-disciplinary treatment model, the Vantage Point Team understands the complex nature of this student population. The transitional base camp offers Vantage Point students predictability, accessibility, and safety. A comprehensive, functional assessment is administered, utilizing both objective and subjective measures. In addition to ongoing assessment, Vantage Point students receive weekly individual therapy (such as Autism spectrum therapy, etc.), group therapy, social skills training, combined with sequenced, experiential learning and adventure therapy programming. There are several names for it: “outdoor therapy,” “wilderness therapy,” or “adventure therapy.” The reason for the tremendous growth in programs offering wilderness and adventure therapy is that it is the very best way to challenge struggling teens and build new confidence and skills. Our number one priority is for each child to experience success, which will look different for each individual. When adolescents and young adults struggle with feelings of low self- esteem, frustration, or insecurity, they benefit richly from learning new physical, emotional, and relationship skills. For example, the right Autism spectrum therapy for children and young adults can be the difference between life-long struggle and life-long fulfillment. Many adolescents and young adults are not able to adequately process life lessons by simply talking about them. We have all had the experience of “telling” someone what is good for them, but unfortunately it rarely has the desired outcome. Those with social, learning, or emotional difficulties have not yet developed the ability to process information verbally in order to apply it to their lives. Many struggle with “connecting the dots,” or cause and effect, in their lives. These connections are best made through experience, otherwise known as “In Vivo” therapy. Playing, relating, working, having fun, trying, struggling, and trying again are crucial to healthy adolescent and young adult development. Life in Vantage Point at Aspiro is focused on these experiences. As our students play, work, try, experience difficulty, try again, and eventually succeed, we help them generalize these successful experiences to the rest of their lives (eg, transfer new skills to new settings). Motivation, feelings of self worth, and inner strength are developed through facing new challenges and doing things out of their comfort zone. Each student is treated with respect and dignity, and they learn respect for themselves and others.

Vantage Point by Aspiro is about learning and growing. Our adventure therapy is focused on assessment, treatment, and genuine, positive change in a short period of time. The therapeutically rich and inviting nature of our program helps to reduce resistance to treatment while enabling our students to understand the need for change. Further, it gives them the skills and motivation necessary to make positive choices, which lead to future success. Our students participate in an expedition-style adventure where nature has a way of healing. With direction from professional, dedicated and caring staff, our students are led along a path where hope and healing begin. While the ongoing therapeutic milieu remains the primary focus of Vantage Point, students are also taught many life lessons, character development and adventure skills designed to enhance their quality of life for years to come. Our goal is to connect our students with outdoor and adventure skills they can take with them and that will enhance their lives forever. Adventure components vary depending on the time of year and other factors, however, our activities include alpine skiing, rock climbing, mountain-biking, primitive living skills, hiking/backpacking and canyoneering. Each activity helps students climb to a higher level of self-efficacy, and enables them to transfer learned skill-sets into everyday life more effectively. Traditional “talk therapy” methods alone are not sufficient, or effective for our Vantage Point students. The Vantage Point model and our daily life on the trail also combine research and theories from:

  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Experiential Education
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Self Efficacy Theory
  • Self Determination Theory
  • Character Development Theory
  • Conscience Use of Metaphor