Amanda had spent a year trying different ways to help her four-year-old foster daughter, Sarah, when Amanda was referred to A Child’s Haven (ACH). She came into the intake with high hopes that ACH could set her little girl on a better path. After Sarah turned two, she developed a stubborn streak, throwing up to ten tantrums a day when she didn’t get her way. Sarah was also seeing a sleep specialist to address her unhealthy attachment to her foster mother. At bedtime, Sarah would cry so hard she often threw up which led to neither of them getting enough sleep.
During intake, the ACH Child and Family Therapist asked Amanda what she knew about Sarah’s parents. Amanda didn’t have all of the details, but she knew that Sarah had been exposed to drugs in the womb. She also knew that Sarah’s birth mother was a heavy drinker and experimented with other drugs.
After intake, Sarah started in ACH’s Caterpillars room with seven other children and two Clinical Treatment Providers. The low ratio of children to adults assured Sarah received the special attention she needed to start healing. After only two months of treatment, Sarah was better at controlling her anger and had more positive interactions with her peers.
Sarah began to show more compassion for her peers around Six months into treatment. One day, she accidentally knocked down a friend on the playground. When her friend began crying, Sarah asked if she was ok and comforted her with a hug. ACH staff noted this huge breakthrough for Sarah and praised her for checking on her friend and taking responsibility for her actions. This may seem insignificant, but for Sarah and Amanda, this kind of progress ensured she was prepared to start Kindergarten on schedule.
Sarah was discharged from ACH three years ago. She’s enjoying second grade and is excelling!
*For the privacy of our families, names and some details have been changed.