Challenges and Causes of Clinical Depression in Children

Clinical depression in children

Clinical depression in children


As a therapeutic boarding school, Boulder Creek Academy provides educational programs designed to help teenagers with behavioral difficulties. One such difficulty Boulder Creek Academy is designed to address is clinical depression, which is experienced by approximately one in 20 children in the United States. Depression can take several forms, including major depression, which causes extended periods of sadness that interfere with a child’s daily activities; dysthymia, which has less dramatic effects but can persist for a year or more; and bipolar disorder, which causes periods of depression to alternate with those of irritability and emotional outbursts.

Clinical depression is not merely the occasional sadness, lack of motivation, or low self-confidence that almost all children experience. Expecting a child to “snap out of it” or scolding a child for showing a lack of interest in his or her responsibilities is liable to upset the child further and intensify feelings of unworthiness. Likewise, it is rarely helpful to explain to a child why he or she shouldn’t be depressed, since major depression is not a rational response to pain or loss. The child may be fully aware that he or she has no specific reason to be upset, but this realization may not be enough actually to relieve the child of depression.

Depression can be caused by numerous factors. Traumatic life events such as a death in the family or parental separation can trigger long periods of serious depression, and its incidence is higher in children who have attention or learning disorders. There may be a genetic component as well, as some genes result in reduced levels of neurotransmitters that normally produce feelings of satisfaction or happiness. Because of this, children are more likely to experience depression if it is present in other family members.


Metacognition – Mastering One’s Own Mind

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As a therapeutic boarding school for 13- to 17-year-old students, Boulder Creek Academy incorporates a wide range of educational strategies to help students overcome developmental and behavioral difficulties. Among the techniques employed by Boulder Creek Academy is metacognition, an individual’s awareness of how his or her own mind functions. Through metacognition, students can develop their own uniquely effective approaches to learning and understand when to apply different strategies so they can overcome challenges efficiently.

In most educational environments, students are taught several different methods of learning, such as rote memorization, mnemonic devices, pattern recognition, and logical deduction. What these students may not be taught, however, is why certain strategies work as they do, and they are not always encouraged to apply different learning techniques to the subjects at hand. By developing their metacognitive awareness, students can plan strategies for completing particular tasks based on prior experiences with these techniques, as well as identify and eliminate anything that distracts from learning, including techniques that do not serve them well.

Students then becomes actively engaged in the learning process and are often able to learn more efficiently. Depth of knowledge increases as well, as the students becomes less concerned about whether a particular answer is correct, instead exploring the underlying cause of why it is correct. The end result our students with much stronger reasoning and problem-solving skills, in addition to an improved ability to process new information, all of which can serve them well throughout life.

Causes and Treatments of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Boulder Creek Academy has served as a therapeutic boarding school for adolescents with behavioral challenges for over 20 years. One of many challenges that Boulder Creek Academy is prepared to help students overcome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the fastest-growing developmental disorder among children in the United States.

Believed to be affecting approximately 11 percent of children in the U.S. between the ages of 4 and 17, ADHD’s increased rate of diagnosis is sometimes blamed on modern life in general. However, similar rates among developing countries suggest that the increase is more likely due to expanding awareness and recognition. Causes of ADHD are often erroneously attributed to such factors as head injuries, food additives, and video games. However, current studies strongly suggest that the only causes of ADHD are differences in brain chemistry and structure that are determined entirely by genetics, particularly several genes responsible for dopamine transmission and reception. Dopamine is a neurochemical responsible for a sense of satisfaction that comes with succeeding at a particular task or challenge, and some scientists believe that those with ADHD are, quite literally, feeling unrewarded by many of life’s challenges.

Medication can help manage important brain functions, helping dopamine receptors behave in a more typical manner, but therapy may provide solutions that are equally effective and more permanent. The prevalence of adults in the U.S. with ADHD is only 3 to 5 percent, indicating that it can be overcome with time. Therapeutic solutions include behavior therapy that teaches a child to replace harmful behaviors with more beneficial ones, or redirecting a child’s focus onto a constructive task or activity that does result in a sense of reward. With such treatment, children with ADHD can become highly capable in their adult lives.

A Primer on Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

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Boulder Creek Academy

Boulder Creek Academy in Bonners Ferry, Idaho provides therapeutic services for adolescent students who are struggling with learning disabilities and social deficits. In particular, Boulder Creek Academy assists students with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD).

A learning disability characterized by weak social, motor, or visuospatial skills, NVLD is an oft-misunderstood disorder that affects many children in the United States. Unlike students with verbal learning disabilities such as dyslexia, students with NVLD experience difficulty with nonverbal communication. Both learning disability types can cause considerable challenges for children in the school setting.

Nonverbal learning disabilities often include symptoms such as difficulty with fine motor skills–for example, tying a shoe, trouble coping with changes to a routine, or an inability to recognize nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expression. Some students with NVLD may excel at language-based learning tasks, leading teachers to overlook their other deficiencies. As such, treatment for NVLD focuses on the unique challenges faced by each student, typically involving individualized attention from the teacher and other educational professionals.

Three Ways to Help Your Child Overcome ADHD

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Overcome ADHD

For 23 years, Boulder Creek Academy has provided therapeutic services and a stimulating learning environment for socially immature and clinically complex students in grades 8-12. Located in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Boulder Creek Academy focuses its efforts on students with learning disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Parents of children with ADHD play a major role in the academic success of their children. Below are three ways to help your child overcome ADHD and excel in the classroom.

Make a calendar: Because children with ADHD often struggle to keep organized, you can use a calendar to help your child stay on top of his or her commitments. For an added layer of organization, color-code the calendar or use a digital platform.

Establish a homework routine: For many children, the home environment can be a highly distracting place, making it difficult to complete homework on time. By creating a designated homework space with minimal distractions and setting aside time every day for homework, parents can help children build a daily routine.

Teach prioritization: Children with ADHD may have trouble prioritizing their activities, ending up feeling overwhelmed by everything they have to do. To teach prioritization, parents can use a color-coded “priority level” system on a calendar to help instill this important skill.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program Helps School-bound Nonimmigrants

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Student and Exchange Visitor Program

Boarding school Boulder Creek Academy opened in 1993 and continues to provide academic instruction and therapeutic care to students facing difficulties in school due to behavioral, academic, and clinical challenges. Located in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Boulder Creek Academy also works with international students through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which administers the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program serves as a bridge for government organizations with an interest in nonimmigrants traveling to the United States with the intention of becoming students. It provides services and management to schools, nonimmigrant students, and their dependents on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) depending on visa classifications.

Nonimmigrants with F and M visa classifications fall under the DHS management, and the DOS manages exchange visitors with J visa classifications. Also, both entities use SEVIS to track and monitor schools, exchange visitor programs, and nonimmigrants in the M, F, and J visa classifications attending school in the US.

To know more about the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and the SEVIS, visit

Five Benefits of a Boarding School Education

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Boulder Creek Academy

Boulder Creek Academy serves troubled teenagers from eighth through twelfth grade with behavioral, clinical, and academic challenges that make it difficult for them to succeed in a traditional school setting. Boarding schools like Boulder Creek Academy offer a number of additional benefits over standard school systems, a few of which are illustrated below:

1. Fosters independence and responsibility. Students attending boarding school learn to become independent and responsible due to the absence of a parental figure to perform everyday tasks for them. They must do their own laundry, learn to navigate the campus and surrounding community, and manage their own schedules for study and free time. Also, the lack of constant surveillance enables students to better understand the impact of their actions and the potential consequences of their choices.

2. More personalized attention. Boarding schools tend to offer much smaller class sizes than public schools, in addition to smaller student-to-teacher ratios. A smaller class size typically means that teachers can provide more individualized and one-on-one attention to students and enables the curriculum to integrate more activities that focus on student participation.

3. Improved facilities for athletics, art, and theater. Many boarding schools offer a wide range of programs and facilities for special interest activities such as art, theater, and sports. Special interest facilities in boarding schools may also outclass commercial ones with better equipment and more diverse programs.

4. Provides a sense of community. A community atmosphere often comes hand-in-hand with a boarding school experience as students maintain regular interaction with roommates, teaching faculty, and other school staff. Also, students can come from all walks of life and a variety of different cultures, which makes for a very diverse community.

5. Improved academic opportunities and college training. The boarding school model encourages communication between students and teachers and often offers a wide range of educational opportunities to help students succeed. It also prompts students to explore new things and prepare for college life due to its more rigorous academic expectations.