William’s Story: A Safe Place to Heal*
William started out life just like any other child. He was precocious and did well in school. Home, however, was a different story. William started acting out in ways that surprised his family. “He’s always been very inflexible and quick to anger,” said his mother. “Although the behaviors were challenging, William’s pediatrician assured us he was developing normally…until he hit his little brother over the head with a rolling pin. At that point, we knew we needed help.”
His parents sought the help of specialists, yet his behavior didn’t improve. When William entered second grade his behavior quickly spiraled downhill. He regularly hid under his desk, ran away, and destroyed school property. One day he ran all the way home. Before the end of his third week, he was suspended. Three days later, William was expelled.
The family requested special services and were faced with a months-long waiting list for evaluation.
William’s parents enrolled him in alternative programs, but none were a good fit. As time wore on his behaviors worsened, as did his depression and anxiety. That’s when William and his family found Serendipity Center. For the first time, they found a robust educational program that could be tailored to meet his unique needs.
“The best thing about it was that he was somewhere safe. We were relieved,” said his mom. Serendipity staff were trained to handle William’s outbursts. He tested boundaries yet they handled his behavior expertly. He went through several rounds of medications before finding the right mix. “Throughout his journey, Serendipity kept him safe and learning,” said his mother.
William also created loving, long-term relationships with teachers and staff including his Instructional Assistant, Jane*. He and Jane formed a special bond. “He knew there were people there that cared for him,” remembered his mother.
William’s most memorable Serendipity experience? Creating and designing a giant cardboard model of a city, which he worked on every day. Finally, William was in a school setting where he could begin to take pride in his academic accomplishments again.
“I see Serendipity Center as being a safe place for him as we worked on getting the resources we needed. It’s a great school for kids that need it. It’s really important to have this resource in our community.”
Reflecting back on his time at the school, William’s mom had this to say: “I see Serendipity Center as being a safe place for him as we worked on getting the resources we needed. It’s a great school for kids that need it. It’s really important to have this resource in our community.”
William is now back in public school and each week has gone better than the last. He even looks forward to going! He wants to be a scientist when he grows up. His parents look forward to watching William continue to grow and build on the skills that he learned at Serendipity.
Serendipity Center helps kids like William thrive every day, but tuition from school districts only partially covers our costs. Learn more about Serendipity Center’s ongoing needs and consider supporting kids like William today!
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the student.