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 very proactive 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.
In 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 helping 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 son’s 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.