For privacy reasons, we have changed the names of those involved in this Success Story. Thank you for respecting their needs.
"Adam," a four-year-old male, enrolled into the Incredible Years Therapeutic Preschool during United Way of South Mississippi’s 2015-2016 grant cycle. Adam's mom had recently left an abusive relationship and disclosed to Preschool Teacher that Adam had begun mimicking his father's abusive behaviors at home. When Adam started in the preschool, he was loud and abrasive towards his peers and Preschool Teacher and, despite a compulsion to wash his hands every few minutes, he also had very bad hygiene practices that made other kids not want to be around him.
Adam was desperate for attention from others and would use a number of different strategies to achieve it. Anything Adam wanted to say, he shouted, and he would repeat each phrase until the intended audience acknowledged him. He also had trouble accepting appropriate personal boundaries - trying to kiss, hug, or otherwise touch other children when they did not want to be touched.
Since enrolling in the Incredible Years Therapeutic Preschool, Preschool Teacher has worked diligently with Adam, helping him come to understand personal boundaries, specifically in the areas of inappropriate touching and personal hygiene. By pairing good touch/bad touch education with teaching on appropriate hygiene practices, Adam has made huge strides which have resulted in his building several good friendships with other children in our preschool. In fact, he has become our morning greeter, because he is one of the first to arrive and always celebrates his friends as they enter the building.
Preschool Teacher and Children's Counselor use the Incredible Years therapeutic groups to help Adam identify his own emotions and recognize what those same emotions look like in others. Adam has begun labeling his feelings as they occur, which helps us work together to find a way to calm difficult emotions. He will often sit with Preschool Teacher and do deep breathing exercises when he is upset at other children. Adam rarely has tantrums now, and when he does, he is able to calm down much more quickly than he did when he first began the Incredible Years program.
The biggest area that Adam has improved in is the reduction of his violent behaviors at home. After completing many weeks of Hands Are Not for Hurting training in the preschool, Adam is the first one to tell us and his classmates that hands and words are for helping, not hurting. His mother reports that he no longer tries to hit her or call her ugly names. Several of his family members attended our preschool graduation, and they all spoke at length about how much he has changed and grown since he began at preschool.
Adam will return to the Incredible Years Therapeutic Preschool this fall, and he will continue working to achieve kindergarten readiness and modeling appropriate classroom behavior. Preschool Teacher and all Center staff are excited to see his continued growth!
A cake for all of last year's Incredible Years graduates - we always make time to celebrate all of our successess and a great school year!