Joel's Story

Stories of Hope

Joel's Story

May 16, 2014
Cars in Traffic

Jenny and her family were driving around town running errands like any other day until her 5-year-old son suddenly jumped out of their moving car and into traffic. As she ran to stop her son from hurting himself, she was overwhelmed by confusion, fear, anger and even shame.

Her attempts to calm her son down were useless and she felt that calling 911 for emergency services was her only option. This shocking and terrifying moment made Jenny finally realize that “Joel” needed intensive mental health treatment. When the ambulance arrived at Clarity Child Guidance Center, Jenny was utterly heartbroken as the severity of Joel’s mental health problems became obvious.

“I felt very ashamed and I believed I had failed him as a parent,” says Jenny. “But, the staff at Clarity Child Guidance Center reassured me that things would be okay. I was relieved when they told me I wasn’t alone and explained that many parents had children suffering from emotional and behavioral problems.”

Jenny had thought Joel’s violent tantrums were a normal part of growing up until his screaming fits became a daily occurrence. Finally, someone suggested that Jenny seek professional help for her son. After regular counseling sessions proved unsuccessful, Jenny did not know what else to do.

Her feelings of helplessness gave way to understanding after Joel was admitted to Clarity Child Guidance Center’s inpatient treatment program. He was diagnosed with psychosis, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and selective mutism. With the guidance of Joel’s treatment team, Jenny has learned how to adjust the family’s daily routine to help her son better manage his symptoms.

“I honestly believe that we would still be struggling on a daily basis with our son if we had not received the help we did at Clarity Child Guidance Center. I am very thankful that there is a place like this to help children and adolescents with their struggles,” says Jenny.

Joel’s behavior has improved dramatically since receiving individual and family psychotherapy as well as medication management at Clarity Child Guidance Center. His family now has greater freedom to go on public outings without worrying about how Joel will react. He has even gone back to a regular second grade classroom.

Jenny sees a bright future ahead for Joel. She is committed to enjoying his good days, adjusting to his needs as he grows, and advocating for him to be treated with the dignity and respect he deserves. But most of all, she wants him to know that his mom loves him for who he is.

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