Therapy & Supportive Services Stories

Therapy & Supportive Services Stories

Below are some real stories of real people who have been impacted through our therapy and supportive services. Click on their names to read how we are helping make a difference in their lives.

Hi, my name is Petronila, and this is my story:

I have been in the United States for several years but I still remember what my father told me as a little girl growing up in Mexico: your education is what you put into it. My father’s words guide me every day.

I love to get involved in the school through the KSSN Program offered by D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s. I have helped to organize Family Fun Night, gone on field trips and decorated the school for Cinco De Mayo. But the most important thing I have done is to visit other families in the neighborhood along with the KSSN Coordinator, Katie Etheridge. We go door-to-door and meet with them if their kids are not attending school regularly. I urge them to make sure their children get to school. I ask them one simple question: Do you want your child to attend college?

I know I do. My oldest daughter is in the 7th grade at Harrison Park School. She does very well and has decided to become a doctor. I would love to see her attend the University of Michigan.
I love this school and I am grateful that Katie has invited me to help out. It has given me a chance to make a difference and put into practice the wisdom of my father.

Melissa & Jason's Story
Jason was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him unable to control his behavior. Four months ago, he was a nine-year-old whose violent tantrums were frightening to his sisters and his mom, Melissa. Today, he’s a happier boy with a more confident and happier mom.

His transformation is the result of the work of the staffers of the Family Support Services program (FSS) supervised by Dynetta Clark. FSS assists families of children with physical or developmental disabilities.

“Melissa was a dedicated mother at her wits end,” says Clark, a social worker with the agency for seven years. “The beauty of the FSS program is that parents direct our work. They invite us into their homes.” We watched Jason interact with his family and listened to Melissa’s concerns. We offered our observations. In this case, we encouraged Melissa to pick her battles with Jason—like not always insisting that he wear shoes outside—which could trigger a tantrum.

Together, they created a daily routine for Jason—school time, snack time, play time, dinner time, bedtime.That made him feel less anxious and has brought relative peace to the household.
“Our job is to help Melissa establish the boundaries she wants. Sure, we can give advice, but Jason is her son,” says Clark. “We never lose sight of that.”

Clark loves her job and enjoys watching the progress of her children. “Jason is no angel, but in four months his tantrums are shorter and less violent. He and Melissa look forward to our visits. These are small victories, I know, but in our work, baby steps are big steps.”