After years of physical and verbal abuse from his father, Ben was removed from his home when he was just seven years old. Long after his bruises had faded, deep emotional scars remained. During several years in a nurturing foster home and treatment facilities, including three years at Edgewood, he improved and learned to talk about what happened to him. However, like most children in residential treatment, Ben missed his family. At age 11, he was excited to learn he would be going to live with his favorite Grandma Gracie.
Once Ben was settled in his new home, his Edgewood counselor encouraged him to enroll in a community basketball program and helped him get a volunteer job at the SPCA. Meanwhile, his grandmother was referred to our Kinship Support Network where she joined a caregiver support group. Ben was incredibly successful at both his volunteer job and on his basketball team. His coach praised his athletic ability and team spirit, and his SPCA supervisor commended him on his patience with the dogs he walked and trained.
Edgewood arranged for Ben to begin seeing a psychiatrist who reduced his medication by 50 percent over a six-month period. Previously, he had been on so much medication that he had to sleep for 15 hours after every basketball game. Ben was then sent to attend his regular local high school, where he made friends and got good grades. His teachers said if they hadn’t seen his case file, they never would have suspected he was a child with emotional problems.
Ben graduated from Edgewood’s programs at age 15. Today he is doing well in high school, plays basketball and football, has friends and a girlfriend, and is taking only a small fraction of the medication he used to take. Ben’s counselor told us, “He just wanted to be a normal kid and get treated like everybody else. And he is a normal kid, and now he does get treated like everybody else. He’s a really good kid. Ben is truly, truly a success story.”