April 12, 2021
Why Professionals Refer Turn-About Ranch [Personal Statement Included]
The following is a statement provided by Karen Odell-Barber, MS, CISD.
As an Educational Consultant, I have personally referred to Turn-About Ranch since 2008. From the very first site visit, I recognized the magic of the program and how it changed the lives of the adolescents who became students there and I have a great respect for the carefully created program and the clinical professionals who work there. It is a place I have grown incredibly fond of, and protective of. It is a place that saves lives and restores broken dreams. In fact I have said to parents and colleagues, “There really isn’t a kid in America who wouldn’t benefit from some time at Turn-About.”
Turn-About Ranch’s core values are old school: Honesty, integrity, hard work, and respect for authority. A visit to Turn-About is like a trip backward in time. There are no electronics, no slang terms, and no brand names. The kids rise with the sun and feed the animals before they go to school. It isn’t fancy, although the scenery is breathtaking. School is in a one-room school house where they ring the bell, and the class size is small. I have sent kids with gifted IQ to Turn-About and those with learning differences. All of them have benefitted from the individualized instruction and attention. In fact, they have thrived. The smiles on the faces of the kids tell the story of the value of feeling needed and important. Before bed, there is a time of quiet reflection. The kids journal, or read classic literature or the Bible. They go to sleep feeling the value of a hard day’s work that reaped immediate observable benefit. They fixed a fence, or helped irrigate a field. They moved cattle and earned the leadership skill needed to go on a trail ride. The letters they write home and the weekly photographs show the joy on their faces and help them to find the good person inside who has a desire to be an honest, good person. Every kid has value, every kid is important and every kid is respected and cared for by the staff at Turn-About.
Over the years I have referred all kinds of kids to Turn-About—adopted kids, kids with physical disabilities, diabetic kids, kids with low self-esteem, angry kids, kids who have been bullied, kids who have lost a parent or both parents and are deeply grieving. Not one of those kids are “bad kids”. They have each lost their way, for different reasons. Over the last 13 years, I have received so many thank you notes from parents, and from kids who have grown into adults, who shared how this incredible place changed them. Turn-About is a place of hope and great love. The staff are perhaps the most genuine people I have ever known in a therapeutic program.
There was a time in my own life where I experienced what all Turn-About parents have experienced. My own child struggled mightily with grief and anger and I didn’t know what to do. I could have sent him to any one of the more than 110 treatment programs I routinely refer to. Several programs offered a total scholarship as a professional courtesy. Instead, I sent him to Turn-About Ranch where his life was saved. He is a grown man now. He is finished with college and has a job he loves. He is respectful, and honest and copious with his word. He has thanked me many times for sending him to Turn-About and he would be the first one to tell you that he found himself there—in the quiet of the slot canyons, on a trail ride with Myron—he realized who he was.
I am humbled and grateful for the empathy my own experience provided for me as a clinician who is also a parent who has “been there” and proud to refer to Turn-About.
Karen Odell-Barber, MS, CISD
Treatment Consultants, LLC
Written April 7, 2021
Want to Learn More About Turn-About Ranch?
We understand that you may have many questions about Turn-About Ranch. Please be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions page. A teen’s daily life at the ranch is designed to be a rewarding learning experience, focused on learning real values that will continue to help them well beyond the ranch and into their adult lives. Feel free to browse through our site to learn more about the types of students we admit, our students’ typical day, and our equine therapy program.