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Jaeqwaun weathers the storm, now focused on the future

May 25, 2012

Jaeqwaun and his mother, Shae, center, with family counselor Janiva.

Jaeqwaun had a lot happen to him at once.

Close family members passed away. He was abused at his school and then he was taken out of his mother’s home for a short time.

It was maybe too much to handle for anyone, let alone a 13-year-old. Jaeqwaun began to act out while at school. It was serious. He was even referred twice for partial-day hospitalization for school disruptions. School problems occurred daily. When he moved back home with his mother, Shae, the troubles continued.

“He was referred to us for his aggressive and other negative behaviors at school,” said Janiva Willis, Youth Villages North Carolina family intervention specialist. “It was constant, daily disruptions at school.”

During her first visit to the home, Janiva first noticed the relationship between Jaeqwaun and his mother – it was good, but there weren’t any boundaries. Shae had difficulty following through with consequences for Jaeqwaun’s poor choices, which escalated the behavior.

“In the home, there wasn’t any consistency,” Shae said. “I didn’t follow through with rewards for good behaviors or consequences for bad ones.”

Janiva said Shae’s issues may have been because of guilt over what Jaeqwaun had endured. They were more like friends than a mother and a son. Janiva first worked with the family to increase structure and routine in the home and define for Jaeqwaun exactly what was expected of him at home and at school. Shae worked with Jaeqwaun’s teachers to set up behavior plans at school.

“We did a lot of coaching and role playing and Shae did a great job as an advocate for Jaeqwaun at school,” Janiva said. “She bought in from day one and we were all on the same page to help Jaeqwaun get better.”

Jaeqwaun learned coping skills to better handle his frustration at school.

“I learned breathing techniques, using personal time out and how to communicate appropriately with my teachers,” Jaeqwaun said. “If I’m frustrated or don’t want to do something, I find a way to ask for help.”

Janiva met with the family three times a week. Some sessions focused on Jaeqwaun’s issues, while others were about Shae and the home life. But both mother and son met with Janiva, who said they were committed to the program.

“The change was immediate,” Janiva said. “We started rolling out expectations and they worked together on the rewards – you saw an immediate change in how they interacted and how Jaeqwaun behaved.”

Janiva said Jaeqwaun and his mother are looking forward to their new future as a family.

“You could just tell Janiva really cared,” Shae said. “She cared to see a difference with the family, and we want to keep working on our new skills and help sustain the changes we’ve made in the home.”

Jaeqwaun is improving at school. Extended family completes a support network for mother and son, and all are enthusiastic about Jaeqwaun’s future.

“Before I was off task and stayed negative,” Jaeqwaun said. “Now, things are fun and I’m getting along well with my mother and doing better at school.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jimmie Trice-Baylor permalink
    June 28, 2012 12:20 pm

    Thanks so very much for sharing this success story. This family’s story resembles the story of so many of our families, but not all end with such success. What you do is truly appreciated!!!!!!!

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