Friday, January 27, 2012

A Few Bumps in the Road

The past few weeks have been a bit rocky for Ryan, since returning from Winter Break. Ryan’s behavior was excellent through the end of December but he suddenly started acting out again when he returned this month. We always expect a slight change in student behavior after a long break, but Ryan’s behavior seemed a bit extreme. After speaking with his family, we learned that his mother returned, out of the blue, after abandoning the family four years earlier. Ryan currently lives with his father and grandmother, and after not seeing his mother in a number of years, the event was very upsetting.

It’s extremely frustrating to watch a student make so much progress in our program and then experience a major setback because of something out of our hands. Yet this is what we do—prepare students by giving them skills to cope with what’s going on outside of school so they can focus and learn in school. Ryan’s been working with us for several years now, but at the end of last year we really began to notice progress. In the first half of this school year, he grew in leaps and bounds, but to have such a traumatic incident occur right in the middle his difficult.

In addition to Ryan’s group participation, we’ve focused more on individual counseling to help understand how he feels about the situation and how we can help. Of course, it would be easier to cope with such a challenge if Ryan was more evolved in his emotional skills, but we continue to do the best we can.