1. Why can’t you come to our home and work with us here?
Our main goal is for your life and your child’s life to become easier and more
rewarding. Empowerment is a gradual process that builds momentum as it
grows. PACE Place provides a safe, distraction free context in which that process
can begin. The power of the Family Immersion Model lies in the absence of
familiar routines and structures for everyone in your family. The absence of
routine means that every decision you make will require more thoughtful
deliberation. The day at PACE Place is not structured by regularly scheduled
appointments and commitments. The immersion experience allows your family
a full week to think only of your family and how you relate to one another. There
are no phones to answer, appointments to keep, or lawns to mow.
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2. My spouse is resistant to coming to PACE Place. How can I help my family
come to a decision about coming to Oregon?
The decision to visit PACE Place is an important family decision. Whether it is a
spouse or a sibling who is expressing doubts, we understand that it is ultimately
a family decision to commit to the experience. It is a commitment that requires
time and costs money. We do not take this concern lightly. We encourage family
members who are considering a visit to talk with other families who have been
through the experience before. We have many parents who have graciously
given us permission to pass along their phone numbers and email addresses to
families who are struggling with the same questions and concerns that they
struggled with prior to their visit. Please contact Dr. Calouri for a list of references.
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3. Should my other children attend?
You are encouraged to bring your other children as it will help us better
understand your entire family system. Like “real life,” all of your children will
participate in the day’s activities as much as possible. Like many families
routinely practice, sometimes a “divide and conquer” strategy is employed to
optimize learning. We do not provide or arrange for child-care.
Many siblings are grateful for the week’s experience at PACE Place. They are
encouraged to contribute to the learning process by adding ideas for activities
and interactions. Siblings have often learned to compensate for their brother or
sister and teaching them to not over-assist can be pivotal. As often is the case,
siblings are expected to be very flexible, compensating for a non-flexible sibling.
Often siblings are extraordinarily compassionate and are eager to help; they are
thrilled to have an effective role with their brother or sister. All too often, siblings
are frustrated by the amount of time their parents spend with their brother or
sister and are relieved that some new strategies may give their parents a better
handle on the child with challenges and free up time for the other children.
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4. Why is PACE Place so expensive?
The PACE staff spends time before each family’s visit preparing for the week-
long immersion experience. The PACE professionals spend 25 hours of direct
time with each family over the week. During the week, the PACE team meets for
several hours without the family, thinking about the family’s needs and planning
for each day’s consultation. The PACE professionals prepare a comprehensive
report. In addition, the family’s week-long housing is included in the total cost.
Many families report that after their week at PACE Place they have reduced their
professional support at home due to new found confidence in their ability to work
with their child. Some families increase outside services with professionals, with
a renewed vision of the needs of the child/family. All families go home better
equipped to interact and manage the services that wrap around their
child/family. With a better understanding of the needs of their child and family,
most families believe that their money is then spent more wisely.
PACE Place Customer Satisfaction Results: The 2006 customer satisfaction
results for PACE Place produced a significantly positive result with a Net
Promoter Score of 94%. This score suggests a significantly high level of
customer satisfaction. Clients were asked to rate the value of the PACE Place
professional staff, the value of PACE Place Week, and the care that customers
received within their experience at PACE Place. The client survey results show
that: – 95% of surveyed clients strongly agreed that PACE Place Week exceeded
their expectations, – 97% of surveyed clients strongly agreed that PACE Place
professional staff has the expertise to meet the needs of their child and family, –
90% of surveyed clients strongly agreed that they witnessed significant results
during their stay at PACE Place Week, – 97% of surveyed clients strongly agreed
that the setting at PACE Place far exceeds the traditional clinical setting, and –
90% of surveyed clients strongly agreed that they could continue what they have
learned at PACE Place Week back home.
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5. Where can we get the money to come to PACE Place?
The vast majority of families have paid for PACE Place through their own private
funds. Occasionally, medical insurance has reimbursed a family. On a rare
occasion, a family has received state funding to pay for PACE Place in part or in
full. A few families have received support from their local community through
fund-raisers (e.g., golf tournament fund-raiser, spaghetti dinner fund-raiser,
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6. Can we bring our nanny?
Parents are asked NOT to bring nannies, grandparents, or home therapists. The
PACE Place program is family-centered and parent-driven. The goal of the
Immersion Model is to empower parents to be the primary force in their child’s
development. Then, parents will be able to share their expertise of their own
child with their support systems when they get home. If you have concerns about
this policy, you may discuss possible exceptions with Dr. Calouri prior to your
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7. Will I be able to do what I learn at PACE Place when I get back home?
PACE Place is a unique immersion model of service designed to help increase
your confidence and competence in a home environment. With professional
support from the PACE Place staff, family challenges that are often elusive in
more traditional service models can be addressed. Guiding families within a
home environment and within the community, focusing on “real-life situations,”
allows the PACE Place team to develop strategies that empower parents and
better ensures carry-over into home life.
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8. Is my child too old for PACE Place Immersion?
9. Is my child too young for PACE Place Immersion?
10. I have a very beginning level child. Is PACE Place right for us?
11. I have a very skilled child. Is PACE Place right for us?
PACE Place does not provide a program for your child’s development nor do we
have age limits or skill limits. Our goal is to allow a person’s development to
unfold and expand within the safety of the family. With the span of human
development as our guide and with the goal of attaining a higher quality of life for
the entire family, we have found that the immersion model is powerful for a very
wide range of families. Striving for a higher quality of life for each member of your
family is a desire that every parent shares, regardless of the age or skill set of the
child. Families with children between the age 1 and 29 years have experienced
the immersion experience. While certain phases of development are more
sensitive than others, personal growth and learning continue throughout the
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12. What does a typical day look like at PACE Place?
If your family life typically involves grocery shopping with the kids and trips to the
park, the PACE professional will participate in those activities, guiding you to
make those regular activities more engaging and successful for your family. Or, if
your family typically spends much of your daily life at home, baking, doing chores,
and playing games, your treatment team will join you in those activities and help
you determine unique ways to incorporate your child’s objectives into the things
you already love to do. If, like many families, you are uncertain what to do with
your child, we will help in the creation of activities that can be easily replicated
when you return home. Whatever your needs, the PACE team will support you to
expand on successful activities, explore new activities, and discover new
approaches to activities your family has struggled with in the past.
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13. What will we learn at PACE Place?
Before each family’s visit, we ask them to describe the top five priorities they
would like to think about, discuss, and work on during their week at PACE Place.
Thus, the family drives the week’s target areas with our guidance and
suggestions. We approach each target with the belief that we can make an
improvement in every challenge presented to us by the family within the week;
each family returns with answers on how to live a higher quality of life.
One of the strongest indicators of successful intervention is how competently a
family is able to address a child’s goals and incorporate effective strategies
within their daily lives. PACE Place is a unique immersion model of service
designed to help increase your confidence and competence in a home
environment. With professional support from the PACE Place team, family
challenges that are often elusive in more traditional service models can be
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14. I feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable about being under a microscope
at PACE Place. How have other parents managed this intense experience?
We appreciate how stressful this intense learning environment can be for all
families. Some parents prefer to watch the PACE professionals engage with
their children and learn from observing. Some parents prefer to demonstrate the
strategies they typically use with their children and then ask for feedback from the
PACE staff. Some parents learn best by talking. Some parents learn best
through action. The three PACE professionals treat each family with respect and
honor everyone’s learning style. We guide families with compassion. Dr. Calouri
can provide you with a list of previous PACE Place families for you to contact.
They would be happy to describe their experience with the three professionals at
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15. How can I make the most out of my PACE Place experience?
You will be asked to describe your family’s top five priorities for your week at
PACE Place. Please complete this paperwork carefully, clearly considering the
areas you would like to address. At the end of each day, parents should reflect
on which experiences in the day were the most helpful. Then, with each new day
you should clearly guide the professionals toward what is the most effective
learning style for you.
To fully benefit from the PACE Place experience, families must be prepared to
challenge every limitation they believe about their child and their family. Together
we can explore new ways for your family members to learn about themselves and
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16. Can you schedule a playdate for my child so that we can work on peer
This is perhaps the most difficult area to work on at PACE Place. It would be
nearly impossible to find an appropriate match for a child during their week at
PACE Place. Even if a great peer match was available, at best it has a “blind
date” feel to it. That is, the two children have never met before and can’t be
expected to forge a friendship in their short time together. We have addressed
difficulties with peer interaction in largely two ways at PACE Place.
First, it is often helpful to plan outings to child-friendly environments such as the
Children’s Museum or OMSI. In these environments, we can practice turn-taking,
sharing, learning from observation, waiting, and a variety of other peer related
Second, very often the child’s areas of difficulty while playing with peers are the
same areas of difficulty the child demonstrates while playing with adults. For
example, a child may have a tendency to be bossy, inflexible, disengaged, or
poorly regulated. These difficulties may arise during play with peers and play
with adults. Thus, while at PACE Place the child will have many opportunities to
work through these areas of difficulty with the adults (the parents and the
clinicians). The child will first make progress in these areas of difficulty with the
adults. Then, the strategies that proved to be helpful during adult play can be
transferred to peer play once home.
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17. What methodology do you use at PACE Place?
PACE Place does not teach a program. PACE Place teaches a life-style. We
focus on strategies that best fit the child and family, rather than any particular
treatment model. As many have experienced, our approach is focused on
guiding competence within the family. We focus on exploration, which leads to
the discovery of effective strategies specific to the parenting styles within each
family. This insures greater success of carry over and developmental
progression. We draw on the most progressive information in the field and break
it down to practical day-to-day application that parents can readily recognize and
apply to change their family’s future for the better.
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18. My spouse cannot take off a full week from work. Can my spouse come
for only part of the week? Can I come without my spouse?
We strongly urge both parents to come for the entire week. Parental unity is
important to your child’s progress and to your ability to support each other. Unlike
more traditional service delivery models, PACE Place provides a family with the
rare opportunity for both parents to listen to the same information, at the same
time. This gives both parents the opportunity to ask questions, share their own
perspectives, and filter the discussions through their understanding of their
unique relationship with their child. This is a very powerful difference between
PACE Place and other services. With traditional hourly therapy sessions, one
parent usually attends therapy appointments and conferences while the other
parent cares for the child or goes to work. Thus, one parent typically carries the
burden of having new information that must be disseminated to the other parent.
Conversely, one parent can often feel disconnected from the child and uncertain
what his/her role can be. PACE Place is the great equalizer, allowing each parent
to contribute, learn, and develop a level of understanding based on a uniquely
It is not recommended that one parent attend for only part of the week. Imagine
trying to decide if you should watch the first half of a movie or the last half of a
movie. Neither would make sense. The same is true of PACE Place. If a parent
only attends the beginning of the week, he/she will not have the opportunity to see
strategies and ideas manipulated to success. If a parent only attends the end of
the week, she/he will not have the opportunity to see why the strategies and ideas
were generated; the exploring process will have been missed.
The schedule at PACE Place is full, with five hours each day spent with one of the
PACE professionals. However, the PACE professionals are typically done by
2:30 pm each afternoon, leaving the family with time on their own in the afternoon
and evening. This time can be well spent by families, practicing some of the new
strategies discovered. Family members are allowed time to relax and reflect on
the day. Parents often describe the rare opportunity to talk with each other,
support each other, and explore together. However, we fully respect that one or
both parents may need to use some of this time to touch base with work.
Additionally, not every moment with the PACE Place professionals need include
both parents. Especially toward the end of the week, parents often try to replicate
“real life” with one parent unavailable, leaving one parent with the child/children.
Thus, it is possible for a working parent to spend some of the day and evening
hours attending to work responsibilities.
If possible, we encourage parents to step away from work entirely and focus
exclusively on the family. However, if that is not realistic, we understand that
some parents may need to address some work responsibilities. If one parent
simply cannot get away from work, we would be happy to accommodate a family
with only one parent in attendance.
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