Read the stories of just a few of the children with whom we’ve recently worked.
Seven-year-old Keelon had been diagnosed with ADHD treated medically, and was receiving extra help in his public school, but was unable to manage his behavior according to his parents.. He frightened other children with his unruliness and began to suffer from low self-esteem. After enrolling at the Lucy Daniels School in second grade, his teachers and onsite therapist taught him strategies to manage his distractibility and impulsivity without medication. After two years at LDS, he had become confident, competent and a sought-after friend.
When Janice joined the kindergarten class at the Lucy Daniels School, she had been diagnosed with a form of anxiety that rendered her unable to speak since the age of two. The anxiety was increased by her parents’ separation and ongoing tense relationship. Janice’s teachers and therapists at LDs were able to help her understand her anxiety and overcome it, while her parents were helped to forge a less-tense relationship and work cooperatively to help their daughter. By the time she returned to her prior school several years later, Janice was no longer an “invisible” child but an appropriately assertive student and class leader.
Larry was a sweet 7-year old boy with a long history of behavior and impulse problems at home and in the classroom. Without warning, he would throw a temper tantrum or lash out at others when faced with the slightest frustration. In addition, frequent calls from teachers about the many furious outbursts had shaken his parents’ confidence. After an comprehensive evaluation, it was determined Larry had a combination of learning disabilities and emotional vulnerabilities affecting his ability to organize his internal world. Play-based psychotherapy was begun, and along with supporting special education at school, Larry eventually became less reactive and able to slow things down for himself when faced with disappointments or obstacles. He grew in his ability to feel more in control, and his parents learned to understand the various ways Larry attempted to adapt in the face of overwhelming feelings. In addition, Larry’s parents were also able to use their understanding to intervene earlier, prevent some upsets, and respond better when upsets did occur. Larry eventually became able to manage his emotional life in a much healthier way, he and his parents’ relationship became more pleasurable and, most meaningfully, he looked forward to the future with optimism.
Wanda’s parents asked the Farley-Manning Family Guidance Service for help with their daughter, who had been diagnosed with severe psychological problems, including a delay in her ability to recognize the difference between real and pretend, to better organize aspects of her thinking, and to control her emotional responses. Although neither parent suffered from mental illness, there were various psychotic conditions in relatives on both sides of the family. Wanda enrolled in the preschool and attended the Lucy Daniels School through fifth grade. LDS therapists eventually diagnosed her with early onset bipolar, and through a combination of teaching, therapy, parental support and medication, Wanda was able to better understand her emotional limitations as well as deal with what would be a lifelong emotional challenge, while her parents learned to be her best advocate in the school and in the wider community.
Adam, at 4, was having a difficult time adjusting to his new home and parents after being adopted from the foster care program at the age of 2. He had explosive tantrums and immature emotional coping abilities, leading his parents, who are Medicaid-eligible, to contact SecurePath. After he and his family interacted with a SecurePath therapist for several years, his parents developed more appropriate and realistic expectations of their child, and Adam, with the help of play therapy, in-home therapy and help at school, was able to develop the language and social skills necessary to express his feelings more appropriately. That meant fewer tantrums and more relaxing time together as a family.