Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ongoing Education for Adolescents in Residential Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Centers

When taking time away from school to take part in treatment for disorders such as bulimia nervosa, eating disorder clients in adolescence and their families should consider how to ensure that their education does not stall out.  Treatment for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, along with other common eating disorders, can require a relatively long stay in a residential bulimia nervosa treatment center or another focused facility.  At a crucial time for personal and educational development like the adolescent years, major pauses in education can have deleterious consequences, including:
  • Being held back
  • Falling behind in the coursework
  • Being unprepared for tests
  • Loss of extracurricular eligibility
Quality Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Centers Provide Education Options

Of course, the primary goal of any bulimia nervosa treatment program is to address the symptoms and underlying causes of the disease and help clients to become fully recovered. However, the best facilities which treat eating disorders like bulimia nervosa make a special effort to ensure the girls and young women in their care are able to not only become more comfortable with their bodies and their relationships with food and movement, but that they can learn valuable life skills that can be applied long after treatment for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa ends.  When an adolescent is removed from the high school experience, this can mean that an important point during her development is interrupted.

What Can Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Centers Do About It?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the average onset of eating disorders like bulimia nervosa is age 18, meaning that a significant amount of those who need treatment will begin to show symptoms while they are still in high school or even middle school.  During this time of crucial development in cognitive function, basic life skills, and even socialization growth, separation can throw a wrench in the works. 

For these reasons, at facilities that treat bulimia nervosa, eating disorder treatment programs for teens should include a variety of educational options.  More than self-guided study, there are a variety of programs which can help.
  • Having certified educators on-site
Teaching is an art and a science.  The presence of qualified, professional educators with state and local certifications greatly increases the quality of the supplemental education clients can receive during a residential or outpatient bulimia nervosa treatment program.
  • Availability of specialty tutors
Especially in the junior and senior years of high school, students are able to choose special coursework – for example, a teenager especially talented in the sciences may take a special physics course limited to four or five gifted students.  In these cases, the availability of specialty tutors, even for referral, can make all the difference in a talented student’s academic growth.
  • Daily educational sessions
During residential treatment for eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, the majority of time will be spent, naturally, on treating the physical, psychological and spiritual needs of the client.  However, during a crucial period of development such as late adolescence, education is a key as well.  Because of this, and to prevent the client from falling behind, it's recommended that there is a period of time set aside daily for ongoing education.  While a normal 8 hour day is, of course, impossible, it’s recommended that 2 – 3 hours a day are made available.
  • A well-designed and implemented reentry plan
After having been away from school for an extended period of time, it can be difficult for an adolescent to reintegrate into daily school life.  Especially in cases where anxiety accompanies anorexia or bulimia nervosa eating disorders, the returning individual may struggle to get back into both the academic and social aspects of school life.  That’s why a well-designed reentry plan is so important.  A quality bulimia nervosa treatment center will coordinate with the school and parents to pave the way for a successful return to daily life.

Setting the Foundation for a Recovered Adulthood

The late teenage years are the time when children transition from being youths to being adults, and therefore are among the most critical periods in any person’s life. During this time, if eating disorder treatment is needed, it’s absolutely critical that their education is not neglected.  If your adolescent daughter has received a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or any other eating disorder, reach out to a quality treatment center today – and make sure to check out their educational programs.

This is a guest blog entry.

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