WHY DID THE PROGRAM RECOMMEND THAT I NOT TRANSPORT MY CHILD MYSELF?
Educational programs and therapeutic schools generally recommend an industry-recognized transport agency for several reasons:
• It reduces anxiety for both the child and the parent. It’s difficult for you to process your child’s feelings at the same time you’re dealing with your own, and it may be difficult for you to deal with your child without being dishonest.
• It has been our experience that an adolescent is less likely to be confrontational with our professional agents as opposed to a friend, parent, or other family member. Our agents represent an unknown “authority figure” and tap into that part of the at-risk adolescent who recognizes that there is a benefit to demonstrating appropriate behavior.
• Properly trained agents can actually help begin the therapeutic process during travel.
• VAS is also better prepared to deal with changes in travel itineraries.
• With a fully staffed office and round-the-clock on-call personnel, VAS is well prepared to deal with last-minute changes to travel itineraries, whether they be airline-, ground- or behavior-related.
What happens if my child becomes verbally abusive, threatening, or violent?
In addition to our training in verbal de-escalation, our experienced agents have seen everything from surprisingly agreeable to violently resistant. They respond calmly, and firmly. But in the case of an agitated child that is beginning to pose a danger, the agents are also trained in methods of temporary non-lethal restraint.
Should I tell my child about the plans?
No. Prior knowledge may only serve to increase the child’s anxiety. The child may lash out by running, playing on your emotions. If that doesn’t work, the child may even become more agitated, not knowing what he/she may be capable of doing.
Can we write a note or letter to our child to read during the transport?
Yes: We like the parents to write to their child. By doing so, you are letting your child know you are there for them, and that you love them. However, we like the parents to keep it simple. We just want your child to know that you love them, and you only want what is best. We would give the letter to him/her on the flight or when we feel it would be appropriate. However, whatever school, outdoor program your child will be attending, they will be asking the parents to write an impact letter, and what the parents should be writing to their child.
My child has special medical needs. Will you still escort them?
Yes, we will work around whatever need’s your child may have. If your child needs to take medication regularly, you can provide our agent with sufficient doses for the trip. Be sure to leave instructions on dosages and a copy of the prescription.
Will you handle my child’s luggage?
No. We want our agents focused upon your child, not upon the transfer of luggage. If your child’s destination allows, you may pack a small carry-on bag with basic necessities, which will be inspected by your primary agent.
What should I look for in a transport agency?
There are many good agencies to choose from throughout the US. Make sure they are qualified professionals with credentials. Ask as many questions in regards to back ground checks on agents, and the type of training the agents are put through.
At Vision Adolescent Services, we can provide you with background information on our agent’s specifics, agent résumés, insurance specifics, and references, including other relevant information to set your mind at ease. VAS is TrustLine compliant and registered with the registry.