After a year and a half of trying different ways to help her foster son Jacob, Ava was referred to A Child’s Haven (ACH) when he was three years old, and she came into the intake with high hopes that ACH could help her little boy. Since Jacob was 18 months old, he developed a stubborn streak, throwing up to six tantrums a day when he didn’t get his way. Jacob had also begun seeing a sleep specialist due to his unhealthy attachment with his foster mother. At bedtime, Jacob would cry so hard that he often throw up which resulted in neither of them getting enough sleep.
During intake, the ACH Child and Family Therapist asked about what Ava knew about Jacob’s experience with his birth mother. Ava didn’t have all of the details, but she knew that Jacob had tested positive for marijuana once. She also knew that Jacob’s birth mother was a heavy drinker and a marijuana user herself, but did not know for sure if Jacob had been exposed to either drug while in his mother’s womb.
After intake, Jacob start group therapy with other two and three-year old children in ACH’s Buttercups room. The high ratio of children to adults assured Jacob received the special attention needed to help him start healing. After only two months of treatment, Jacob was better at controlling his anger and positive peer interactions. After six months of group therapy and individual play therapy sessions, Jacob began to show more compassion for his peers. One day, he accidentally ran over another child’s finger with a toy car. When she began crying, Jacob asked if she was ok and gave her a hug. ACH staff noted that this was a big breakthrough for Jacob and praised him for checking on his friend and taking responsibility for his actions.
These examples may seem insignificant, but for Jacob and his Ava, this kind of progress ensures he will be ready to start Pre-K on schedule. Reshape more futures like Jacob’s by donating to ACH today.
*For the privacy of our families, names and some details have been changed.