Jay was five years old when his mother moved their family to California. He had to fit in at a new school and within a new culture. But his disruptive behavior at school seemed more than an adjustment to these changes. He showed unusual immaturity, was socially awkward with his peers, and struggled with following the rules.
His challenges escalated in middle school. He punched and taunted other students, destroyed property, and refused to take responsibility for his actions, but he was also secretive, shy, ate non-food items and was tormented by fears.
Jay entered the Day Treatment Program of Uplift Family Services with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Social Phobia. The program provides an extended school day where he received mental health services and continued his schooling.
There, he learned coping skills to deal with his fears. Behavior problems were addressed with an award system— good behavior earned him points that could be traded in for outings. He received individual and group therapy, which addressed his anxiety, taught social cues and appropriate social interactions. It was here that he uncovered his passion for music. Music became a great motivator and he earned the reward of mainstreaming at school so he could participate in band.
Jay is now mainstreamed in all academic classes at his high school and on the Principal’s Honor Roll with a 4.16 GPA. He still has some emotional challenges, but he has made extraordinary progress. He writes music, plays piano and looks forward to attending university to learn computer programming.