Re: DSM: Re: Finding like-minded people

Robert Swanson (
Sat, 28 Oct 2000 18:34:17 -0700

Yes, finding like minded people is like looking for needles in a haystack. I
suggested to Heartlight in Oregon that they consider a behaviorist model
where one is openly accountable for ones actions and measure of success.
When I did this in a group home the environment (socially and educationally)
changed dramatically overnight. We coordinated and became successful. Can
you imagine and comment how such a program might alter the effort in
starting and running a new school?

robert swanson

on 9/30/00 8:22 PM, Melissa Bradford at wrote:
> Dear Holly,
> Just my opinion, here, but speaking from experience as someone who has
> started a Sudbury school, I must say that I would never, ever, consider
> starting one if there was one already operating successfully only 40 minutes
> away.
> I know how hard a commute can be, and how difficult it is to have your
> children attend a school where their classmates don't live in the same town,
> but it is nothing compared to the unbelievable difficulties in starting a
> Sudbury school. Of course, there were no Sudbury schools in the Chicago
> area at the time when we began working on LVS, (still aren't) so I felt I
> did not have much of an option. But the impact starting a school has had on
> my family, especially my children, has been enormous, and, in retrospect,
> I'm not sure I would have chosen to put them through such difficulties had I
> known what I was getting myself into. Getting the school started is only
> the beginning of the challenge. Having it run successfully takes years of
> struggle. Finding like-minded individuals in your community can be like
> searching for needles in a hay stack. Many times I have wished I could wave
> a magic wand and move to a school that is already established.
> We have families who commute 45 minutes to an hour to attend our school
> (Liberty Valley School, Joliet, IL) and it is, without question, difficult.
> Our first year we lived a half hour away from the school. We moved so that
> we could be closer; only ten minutes away. Still, I would trade my
> situation for having an established school 40 minutes away any day of the
> week.
> Well, if this message doesn't deter you, you are probably just crazy enough
> to start your own Sudbury school!
> Best of luck.
> Melissa Bradford, LVS

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