Transforming Debbie’s Aggressive Behavior
- May 26, 2016
- Posted by: swebadmin
- Category: Community Corner
Nine-year-old “Debbie” came to the Roy Maas Youth Alternatives (RMYA) Meadowland Campus because she was very aggressive with her siblings and foster parents. She had been hospitalized many times for her behaviors.
When she was placed at Meadowland in November 2012 and was also very aggressive with staff and other residents (biting, kicking, scratching and hitting.)
At first she would have incidents every day, sometimes multiple times a day. She had similar behaviors at school and also compulsively stole things. Eventually, Debbie was expelled from the regular public school, for assaulting other students and her principal and had to attend an alternative school. While there, she assaulted another student and had her time there extended.
Although Debbie’s actions were very challenging, she also had a very likeable personality. She was funny and charismatic. She was always the first to offer to give tours to visitors to Roy Mass and wanted to be around the volunteers who came to Meadowland. Debbie became very close to a few of the staff, helping them out with things and drawing pictures for them. The staff bonded with Debbie and would not give up on getting her behaviors under control.
Gradually, with therapeutic care, Debbie stopped being aggressive to others and earned her way back into a regular public school, doing well there as well.
One of Debbie’s previous foster parents adopted some of Debbie’s siblings and, learning she was at Meadowland and doing better, reconnected and started visiting Debbie at Meadowland. The visits turned into off-campus passes for Debbie and then placement with this family as a foster child in December of 2014 and adoption in 2015.
Roy Maas Youth Alternatives works to restore hope, one child at a time, by creating brighter futures for children in crisis and promoting individual success and healthy relationships in a safe, healing environment, giving children and families the tools to end the cycle of abuse. RMYA values include: Protection, Simplicity, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Responsibility.