James began receiving services with Children’s Full Service Partnership (CFSP) due to aggressive behaviors that had been escalating out of control for some time. In school, James was hitting his peers almost daily in addition to hitting, kicking and biting staff at least once a week. At home, he would become very upset when limits were set and would escalate quickly to using aggression to express his anger and frustration. James also had a history of auditory hallucinations at least once a week. He would hear his name being called in these hallucinations. All of these issues led to multiple suspensions from school and three psychiatric hospitalizations in a span of six months. Needless to say, when James’ mother first came into CFSP program, she was overwhelmed and terribly frustrated at James’ escalating behaviors.
James began participating in weekly individual therapy sessions where he built a strong bond with his therapist. The therapist found that utilizing the nearby community park and basketball courts were useful in engaging him and encouraging him to share openly. This became a weekly ritual. In time, James began to trust his therapist more easily. That made it possible for him to work toward the goals of reducing aggression as well as learning new, heathier ways to communicate his range of feelings.
James continued to make significant progress towards overall treatment goals through the use of another Center program – Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS). James and his family were able to achieve their home-based behavioral goals and successfully graduate from the TBS program during the course of his CFSP treatment. Once home-based goals were achieved, James, his family and the treatment team were able to turn their attention to helping him improve his overall school functioning.
James’ mother was active in collaborating with CFSP Staff to help identify an appropriate non-public school that would meet his needs. It was during this phase that James’ progress began to take off. His mother, with the support of the team’s parent partner (the parent of a child receiving services at the Center who has received training in peer support and advocating for a child’s needs), decided to enroll him at a nearby school where James was very responsive to behavioral programs and support staff. His symptoms and behaviors in school reduced dramatically, and he graduated from the CFSP treatment program showing signs of being a model student!
In addition, James’ family also made tremendous progress in learning how to access community resources and services. His mother collaborated with both the CFSP Case Manager and James’ therapist. The family was able to help him access appropriate after-school services for his social and recreational needs. For his mother, she utilized the parent partner’s support to be linked to her own therapy services. She was excited about meeting her own personal goal of obtaining employment after a lengthy period of not working. The unmet needs of her family were now being met and James’ many symptoms and behaviors both at home and at school were now diminished.
Once James found healthier ways to communicate and manage his symptoms and behaviors, it became clear that he is a smart, fun-loving, sociable, and athletic child who enjoys the company of peers. James and his family displayed an extraordinary commitment to participating in treatment. They are feeling incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication to treatment throughout the past year. So are we!