“What do I do?” Kevin’s* mother asked.
By the time Kevin was 12, his parents were at their wits’ end. Although school had never been something he looked forward to, his negative behaviors were escalating. “I was between a rock and a hard place,” his mother told us. “If I didn’t send him to school, we would be reported to social services, but getting him on the school bus in the morning involved terrible screaming matches and neighbors called the police. I didn’t understand why this was happening.”
Then Kevin began running away from school, and his parents knew something had to change. Thankfully, they found FamilyForward. Through a psychological evaluation, it was discovered that Kevin was struggling with high anxiety and a fear of crowds. Attending a busy school full of students was forcing Kevin into a constant state of high stress, and he did not know how to cope with the situation.
Moving Kevin to a smaller program within the school district ended the screaming matches and attempts to run away. Developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in conjunction with numerous meetings, Kevin’s parents and FamilyForward clinicians partnered to help his teachers understand the child’s unique needs.
It has been almost two years now, and mom smiles as Kevin excitedly shares how he became an advocate in his school district for kids who have different needs, just like him. His insight and experiences are helping form the district’s plans for their next school – one that is more inclusive and adaptive to kids who experience difficulties in more traditional settings. There are challenges ahead, but Kevin and his parents now have new skills and know-how to meet them.
All children have the potential to be leaders, not defined solely by their past. We serve our clients and community with compassion, acceptance, and respect. Learn more about FamilyForward’s therapeutic and educational services at familyforwardmo.org/how-we-help.
FamilyForward has received support from St. Louis County Children's Service Fund since 2010, which enables us to serve more than 8,500 children, their families, and community members annually. Our partnership with CSF positions FamilyForward to utilize innovative tools and practices to formulate better insights and achieve better outcomes for children and families.
*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality and photo is stock.