The sound of my cell phone ringing in the middle of my workday instantly sends my stomach into turmoil. Sure enough, it’s the school. The secretary, with whom I’m on a first name basis, informs me I need to pick up my 5th grade son as he is suspended for hitting. Once again, he has overreacted to some horrendous injustice (someone cut in line, a kid really was “out” in the kickball game, 2 + 3 was 6 yesterday but today they are saying it’s 5).
Sam is my huge-hearted, deeply spiritual, animal-loving, athletic, cuddly son. He’s been in my heart and home since he was 5 days old. A preemie, born crack-addicted with an inability to self-soothe. Over the past 12 years we have been kicked out of churches, restaurants, neighborhoods, and schools. He began the medication regime at the age of 3. Clonidine, Ritalin, Abilify, Celexa – to name a few. He began the therapy regime at age 4 after he got kicked out of preschool – behavior modification, talk therapy, art therapy, and prayer therapy.
In the spring of 2013 he was 50 pounds overweight, aggressive and impulsive, and throwing multiple fits a day at home and at school. He felt dumb, inept, and out-of-control. He HATED feeling these things but felt powerless to change them and I felt powerless to help.
Two weeks of Trauma Therapy using the ITT model changed our lives forever. I know it sounds unbelievable, if I wasn’t living it, I wouldn’t believe it myself. After treatment, the therapist explained that I had a window of opportunity to impact his life. All the behaviors stemming from various traumas (in-utero drug exposure, adoption, medical procedures) were “resolved.” I needed to adjust my parenting to reflect the fact that he was not inherently unable to behave due to trauma and neurological issues relating from his birth circumstances. The transformation was extremely quick and drastic changes occurred daily.
Six months later I have a totally different child. He has dropped 35 pounds and is successful in school for the first time ever. He no longer throws fits or is aggressive. He is a quick thinker and VERY funny. He has goals for his life and hope for his future. I consider all his behaviors “normal” at this point. Our home has gone from chaotic to peaceful. I no longer cringe when the phone rings in the middle of the day.