At three years old, Brandon* was referred to the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut (CGC) by his preschool teacher because he was hitting other children and acting aggressively. After being expelled from preschool, his mother Tanya* tried to manage Brandon’s behaviors so a new school would accept him. Being a working mother with two young children to support, she lived paycheck-to-paycheck. Tanya felt hopeless and alone.
Through a developmental assessment, a CGC clinician learned that Brandon’s delayed language development was caused by a traumatic experience. He was physically and emotionally abused by a family member. Brandon, who was toilet-trained, was now afraid to use the bathroom. He became scared of the dark. Tanya had witnessed Brandon’s abuse but had not gained an understanding of the long-term impact this abuse could have on her child.
Brandon was enrolled in CGC’s Child First program. The Child First team, comprised of a clinician and a care coordinator, provided weekly in-home child-parent psychotherapy for Brandon and his mother. The team held individual sessions with Tanya so she could talk about her own abuse. They helped ease the pain that a mother experiences knowing her child had been harmed. Tanya learned to manage her feelings and build resilience. The Child First team helped her develop the skills to make better parenting choices. Tanya now knows how to comfort and assure Brandon that he will be protected from harm.
The care coordinator helped Tanya enroll Brandon in speech therapy and a new preschool. The clinician worked with Brandon’s new preschool teacher to understand and manage his behaviors.
After nine months with CGC’s Child First program, Brandon is thriving. He is doing great in school, his language continues to improve, he is no longer afraid of the dark, and he now uses the bathroom. Tanya is more confident in her parenting skills and addressing even the most difficult topics with her child.
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* identifying information has been changed