Michael entered Children’s House at the age of 19 months through a referral from the Department of Health and Human Services due to neglect. He remained at Children’s House until entering public school at age five. Michael went through several changes in his living arrangements, due to deteriorating family situations. He had difficulty adjusting to these changes and would demonstrate oppositional and aggressive behavior, anxiety, and depression. He would use obscene language, hit, push and threaten other children and refused to follow directions in the classroom.
Children’s House developed a customized treatment plan for Michael that stabilized his emotions, decreased his opposition and aggressive behavior and encouraged positive feelings about himself and other people. Once Michael was placed in a stable home environment, Children’s House engaged the family in therapy in an effort to build trust and connect with Michael. Michael made steady progress at home and during his days at Children’s House, showing a balanced range of emotions and improved self-control. He engaged in cooperative play with his peers and most of his negative comments were replaced with age-appropriate statements. Before leaving Children’s House and entering public school, Michael and the family made significant progress toward their treatment goals and Michael was able to begin elementary school with a stable foundation.
Without Children’s House, Michael’s future could have been very different. Michael recently graduated from college with a degree in theology and has decided to dedicated himself to helping others in the community as a minister.
Jayme and Bryce’s Story:
Child protective services took Jayme and Bryce away from their biological parents due to life-threatening neglect and placed them in foster care. Custody was eventually awarded to the grandparents. Unfortunately, the grandparents were so afraid that Jayme and Bryce would get hurt and be removed from their custody that they kept the children continuously strapped into their baby carriers, high chairs or baby beds. The children were so young when this was happening that their skull plates had not fully fused together and as a result, the back of their heads were as flat as a tabletop and had grown large in comparison to the rest of their bodies.
Once enrolled at the center, Jayme and Bryce required every form of treatment EOA Children’s House could provide. There were concerns that the children had suffered permanent brain damage because of the malformation of their skulls. The physical therapy Bryce and Jayme received slowly began to improve their gross motor skills and they began to build upper body muscle control. Their speech/language skills also improved as they were provided proper stimulation and speech therapy. The counseling services gave the children self confidence. Jayme began to make up ground educationally and started taking in the new information provided to her. Bryce’s classroom teachers increasingly found him exploring his surroundings, whether it was an insect on the playground, or tools in his classroom’s home living center.
EOA Children’s House also worked with Bryce and Jayme’s grandparents, teaching them parenting skills; providing guidance on appropriate ways for them to keep the children safe and allow them to physically develop. When Bryce and Jayme made further progress in their treatment, EOA Children’s House provided family counseling services at the center. The grandparents gained the ability to provide appropriate care for Jayme and Bryce and felt more confident in their parenting skills. The children remained at EOA Children’s House for 3 years then transitioned into kindergarten.
Bryce and Jayme’s family remained in contact with EOA Children’s House over the years and the children have done very well. They were both on the honor roll throughout their time in public school. A few years ago, Bryce and Jayme were both accepted to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and awarded full academic scholarships. Both graduated this past spring with bachelor’s degrees and are looking for employment. When Bryce and Jayme were placed with EOA Children’s House they had such significant delays it was believed they would never be able to overcome the obstacles which stood in between them and the chance to live healthy, productive lives.
Leslie is a child who witnessed extreme family violence. Her mother abandoned the family and Leslie was forced to watch helplessly when her father tried to commit suicide. Both parents were imprisoned later for crimes they had committed. Leslie was placed with relatives and enrolled at EOA Children’s House when she was 3 and a half years old.
Leslie was very distrustful of adults and wanted nothing to do with the other children at the center. Most of the time she would play by herself with a sad expression on her face. She would smile on occasion, but didn’t show much enthusiasm. When she did come out of her shell. she would lash out with words and fists at her classmates and the staff. Leslie’s customized treatment plan included therapy for severe depression and withdrawal, working to increase her attention span and helping her to learn how to build healthy relationships. EOA Children’s House began to establish a trusting, supporting bond with Leslie by creating a structured, stable, nurturing environment.
Over the next year and a half of intensive treatment, Leslie started having a positive reaction to her surroundings, classmates and staff. She recently graduated from EOA Children’s House and is attending elementary school in Northwest Arkansas. Leslie has learned to truly smile again. She has learned to trust again. She has the potential for a bright future.
When Tim came to EOA Children’s House, he was three years old. He had a working vocabulary of just five words. Most children his age know an average of 300 to 500 words. Tim also faced other serious challenges. He had no developed social skills and reacted in either anger or fear around adults, even his foster parents. The team of therapists and staff at EOA Children’s House immediately began working with Tim to build up his vocabulary and self-esteem and adjust to an environment based on structure, positive reinforcement and compassion.
The process was slow at first, but the comprehensive long-term approach used at EOA Children’s House won over Tim’s trust by showing him that the teachers and therapists working with him every day truly cared about him. He continued to make outstanding progress with his developmental goals, but even more importantly, he overcame his fear of adults and formed strong bonds and friendships with his teachers.
The caring, nurturing environment of EOA Children’s House melted and washed away the layers of anger and fear Tim built around himself and helped him to build up his self-esteem and self-confidence. Tim stayed with Children’s House until he entered kindergarten. When he entered public school, he had no trouble integrating into his new class, possessed the vocabulary of a 5 year old and was already starting to read. But most important of all, he knew he was an special, little boy and that his foster parents and the staff of EOA Children’s House truly cared about his happiness.