Are the wilderness treatment adventure activities safe?
Safety and risk management are our number one priority. Guides are trained extensively on methods to ensure that participants are not only kept safe, but also that they are taught the tactics necessary to safely engage in high adventure activities. Guides are certified in First Aid and CPR, and there is always a Wilderness First Responder and/or EMT certified staff on shift. Guides have satellite phones with them on the trail and check-in to base camp multiple times a day providing updated reports. Aspiro also utilizes “SPOT” GPS technology to track the position of all groups, among other things. There is always risk associated with the outdoors and adventure activities, therefore Aspiro chooses to utilize multiple resources to ensure safety.
How do you make decisions as to which group to place my son/daughter in?
Group dynamics and personalities are regularly assessed by guides and clinicians. Efforts are made to support the participant in optimizing interpersonal skills. Cases are staffed by Aspiro personnel in order to determine what is in the best interest for the participant.
How does my child stay warm during the winter?
Participants are taught winter camping skills. Clothing and gear are designed to be utilized in a layering fashion, allowing for layers to be removed as participants engage in physically exerting activities in order to provide for ventilation, then also to add layers when participants are more sedentary while cooking, journal writing, participating in therapy, etc. The key component to staying warm while living outdoors is to generate sufficient body heat and then insulate with clothing in order to keep the warmth close to the body. At night participants and guides embark upon 30-minute night hikes in order to elevate body temperatures and ensure that sleeping bags work optimally to keep participants warm throughout the night.
Among other techniques, participants have the option to boil water and pour it into their nalgene water bottles and then place their nalgene bottle at the base of their sleeping bag.
How does the mail system work?
Mail exchange takes place once a week and is conducted by the therapist working with your family.
Therapists screen mail both delivered to and delivered by participants in order to utilize correspondence in the most therapeutic fashion. Parents are invited to send emails to their child and also are welcome to send photos and cards via traditional mail to the Field Office. Participants’ letters are scanned and then emailed to parents each week.
Specific communication information and instructions are provided to parents upon admission.
How frequently do injuries occur?
Thankfully Aspiro has a very good track record when working with participants. While the occasional sprained ankle is a given, sufficient vigilance and response from guides keep injury rates at a minimum. However, accidents can happen and Aspiro makes no promise of guaranteed safety.
If my son/daughter requests certain items can I send them to him/her?
Everything that the participant needs to sustain them through this experience is provided. Anything beyond that often serves as a distraction and reinforces their focus on things. They are being challenged and motivated to address fundamental components of themselves and their relationships, which requires a certain level of discomfort that would be undermined by any luxuries or “special treats.”.
Is my child sleeping in a tent?
Because supervision is essential given the nature of our program, tents are not an option.
When participants first arrive at Aspiro they are taught the basics in constructing sound shelters. Shelters are designed using tarps and typically follow an A-frame pattern. Tents also add additional unnecessary weight to backpacks.
What can I do while my child is at Aspiro?
Self care is often an oversight for parents. The time leading up to a placement at Aspiro can be highly stressful and exhausting. In order to be most helpful to your son/daughter it is crucial that you take some time to refuel and refurbish your energy supply and spirits. Pick up the Arbinger Institute books and read in order to learn the same vocabulary your participant will be using while describing relationship dynamics. It will also be important to become familiar with this literature in preparation for the Family Relationship Seminar. Consult the therapist working with your family for any additional assignments. We also encourage parents to obtain family/parent coaching or family therapy at home during this process.
Who can correspond with my child?
As parents are more intimately acquainted with their son’s/ daughter’s peer group, this question is deferred to them. As a general rule it is recommended that familial relationships take precedence throughout a participant’s stay. Parents are invited to use discretion in determining what other personalities can be included to appropriately support their child’s journey. In every case, the therapist will make recommendations regarding communication based on the specific family dynamics.
May I bring my other children to the Family Relationship Seminar?
It is recommended that siblings younger than 13 not attend the Family Relationship Seminar as their attentions will wane and it will be difficult for them to benefit much from the material shared. However, some allowances are made, thus it is best to consult with the therapist working with your family.
What happens when a participant loses necessary clothing or gear?
Parents are charged to replace any gear that participants were initially provided. While accountability is highly emphasized by the program model, ensuring that your child has necessary gear for survival takes precedence.
If participants lose/break equipment or gear due to neglect, they must take ownership of their mistakes and implement a way to earn the replacements.
What do the participants do in the winter?
Winter offers a unique array of sports for participants at Aspiro. With the legendary powder of Utah Mountains, the snowboarding and alpine skiing component of the program is exceptional. We’re also able to incorporate snow shoeing and cross country skiing into our itineraries. Winter camping skills and building snow cities provides a distinct experience for participants. Given that different regions of the state are utilized for Aspiro, many facets of the program remain constant year round. The southern parts of the state offer warmer climates that allow for ongoing canyoneering, mountain biking and rock climbing.
Why don’t the participants have fires every night in the winter?
Given Aspiro’s emphasis on cultivating self mastery experiences, fires often serve as honing devices which undermines the focus on activity. When fires are a part of a campsite, they become the primary attraction for participants. Thus productivity wanes and overall less would be accomplished through their experience. Fires are made when necessary.
What determines when a participant is ready to transition out of Aspiro?
First and foremost it is the participant that has the most influence in determining the timetable for his/her graduation. On average, participants stay 54 days. Their attitude, respect, degree of accountability, progress, growth and general consistency all contribute to establishing when a participant graduates. Post Aspiro plans and logistics also impact a graduation date. The therapist and parents, and at times the educational consultant ultimately, as a team, make that final determination in the best interest of the participant.
How do I get an Aspiro transcript to ensure those academic credits earned during my child’s stay?
Transcripts must be solicited from one educational institution to another.
Thus in order for your child’s transcript to be transferred to his/her current school; the school must fax in a written request for the transcript to 801-454-3805, Attention Academic Liason. Transcripts are typically made available within two weeks after the participant’s graduation.
Does insurance cover the cost of Aspiro?
In some cases, insurance companies will reimburse a portion of the participant’s therapeutic cost at Aspiro.
Once all services have been rendered and after completion of the program as well as upon request, Aspiro will provide the family with an itemized statement including a breakdown of costs, CPT codes, diagnoses, and license numbers of therapists. Parents can then submit this statement for any reimbursement to their insurance company.
Aspiro does not bill insurance companies as a third party.
Is Aspiro a cure? Will the treatment at Aspiro be enough to address and resolve the issues of my son/daughter?
Aspiro is a high impact program that provides your son or daughter with a unique experience where he/she is extracted from his/her immediate surroundings and inserted into an environment that is completely new. Living in nature and being subjected to the power and control of something greater than oneself elicits a humbling effect.
As participants undergo this experience they often gain a new or clearer perspective of life back home and the choices they were making there.
Often times, a participant’s journey at Aspiro cultivates heightened awareness and creates an incentive and desire for change. Integrating this change and overcoming old habits and tendencies takes time. Most often the nature of this change and the dynamics of home environments elicits the need for ongoing treatment and support beyond Aspiro. Consulting with your family’s therapist and other professionals, including educational consultants, is prudent in determining these specific longer-term recommendations to ensure future success.