Tucker is a nine year old boy who came to Serendipity Center after spending nearly a year in a day treatment program. His complicated history of behavioral concerns included high levels of anxiety, sensory issues, disrupted sleep, suicidal ideation, threats of self-harm, academic struggles, property destruction, aggression toward staff members, and low self-esteem. Tucker was born to a drug-addicted mother and, after living with multiple sets of relatives, and experiencing domestic violence and physical and emotional abuse, was finally placed into foster care with his older sister at the age of six.
Initially, it was necessary to provide the additional support of a Skills Trainer. Staff directed their efforts on identifying Tucker’s strengths as well as his triggers. A great deal of focus was directed at providing him with a solid structure to his day while starting to establish positive and trusting relationships with staff. Community-based providers provided wraparound services including individual and family therapy, crisis management, and medication management so that he was supported in his home.
Within a year of Tucker enrolling, the support of a Skills Trainer was no longer necessary, and he started making progress in academic areas. He started interacting with his peers in a positive way, and demonstrated an increased ability to manage his frustration and disappointments in a safe way. Towards the end of his second year at Serendipity Center, Tucker’s team began to develop a transition plan for him to return to his neighborhood school. Tucker was ready to take the skills he had learned here and use them in a less restrictive setting. He had realized his goal of going to a “normal school”.
It is still a delight when Tucker comes to visit Serendipity. We have had the privilege of watching him grow into a young man who is attending school and continuing to gain skills that will carry him through the sometimes bumpy roads of adolescence and adulthood.