At age nine, “Taylor” had already experienced a lot of trauma, enduring both physical and sexual abuse as a very young child before he was removed from his home to live with a relative caregiver. Despite her best efforts, she was unable to care for him due to his difficult behaviors that included violent outbursts as well as fire-setting.
The first step after he was admitted to Ryther’s Sub-Acute Inpatient Program was a psychiatric evaluation with Ryther’s Child Psychiatrist, Dr. Linda Ford. Taylor’s diagnoses included ADHD, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Over time, Dr. Ford developed the optimal medication management plan and stabilized his mood and behavior so he could succeed in the therapeutic process of healing. Besides individual therapy, he also had a canine companion, participated in Little Bit therapeutic horseback riding, and attended Survivor’s Group, a group for children who have been sexually abused. He was able to explore the abuse of his past, express grief and resolve some key issues. Taylor’s caregiver was actively engaged in family therapy at Ryther and developed the skills to provide the structure Taylor needed to succeed in her home.
When Taylor left, his Ryther case manager remarked, “His future is really bright. Ryther staff watched him grow into a boy who is socializing, planning, looking forward to things, and was able to say good-bye. He left a whole different child. There isn’t a staff member here who wasn’t affected by his success.” Today, Ryther is treating 36 children like Taylor in the Sub-Acute Care Program. To learn how you can support our work to help heal children from trauma, mental illness, abuse and neglect, visit the www.ryther.org Give Help pages.