Susan, Serendipity Student

Susan was referred to Serendipity Center in her sixth grade year. She had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems, including verbal and physical aggression, oppositional behavior towards adults, and low tolerance to frustration.  On many occasions at her previous school, the police had been called to respond to aggressive and unsafe behaviors.

When Susan entered Serendipity, she seemed easily triggered by the act of limit setting by an adult.  She struggled to tolerate disappointment and minor disappointments often escalated quickly.  It was through forming strong relationships with trusted staff members that she was able to tell her story and find ways to move past traumatic experiences in her past.  Susan began learning skills to deal with daily stress without displaying any aggression and to use communication to express her concerns and needs.

In her eighth grade year, she began to show psychotic symptoms, which made it difficult for her to maintain safety. Her parents struggled to understand the impact that her mental illness was having on her education. However, with the help of Serendipity Center’s multi-disciplinary team, Susan’s family was able to help her stabilize herself with the appropriate mental health and educational supports. The right providers, the right medication, and the routines to maintain these supports gave Susan a new foundation on which to function.  She has since graduated from Serendipity Center and is currently attending a community college. Susan is now 20 years old and is saving money to rent her own apartment for the first time.