Max

Picture a 5th grade classroom, state capitals on the wall, full of 10 year old children chatting with their friends, getting ready for recess. Max is not there. Max has not been in school for over six months.

This is more than half a school year missed. Because of his inability to control his behavior and stay safe he has been forced to stay home missing vital study time and isolated from friends. He has been acting out aggressively at school and home—mom and dad feel desperate and are deeply concerned about how to help Max before the new baby comes.

Over the past several years, Max has been experiencing behavioral and mental health crises. He has had multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. His Mom and Dad were at a loss for how to help him. They had tried everything! Having exhausted all the resources and services that were available to them in their county, they realized that nothing was going to provide the support that they needed as a family—until they were referred to Tennyson Center’s Community-Based Services program (CBS).

The CBS team offered to come into their home and provide care for 6 hours a week. This is at least 2 visits per week—far above anything else that had ever been provided before. CBS came to visit for the first time and as they sat down on the couch the family breathed an audible sigh of relief. Finally they saw light at the end of the tunnel. Max was excited about in-home therapy and was relaxed and eager to learn skills that would help him to regulate his mind and body. He immediately responded to therapy and was thrilled to have his parents involved and learning new skills right alongside him. Max felt so proud and empowered by his list of coping skills, that he had a small copy printed and laminated so that he could carry them with him wherever he went. They reminded him to stop and think, bounce a ball, count his blessings, and remember his power comes from within. Max’s CBS clinician spent time with him at school to ensure that he felt comfortable and able to handle the school environment.

After working with the CBS team for two months, Max is now back in his neighborhood school and is able to control his behaviors and join his classmates in learning and is able to run around at recess and be a kid. Max has also welcomed a new baby brother, and has shown that not only can he be safe with the baby but that he can be a role model and loving big brother. For the first time in a long time Max feels proud of himself and his family, and the work they did together. This family is working together and flourishing.