Shortly before entering the FAST Forward program, Jackson’s school contacted his mother with concerns about his habitual lying and theft, and general defiance from the youth. As he began to associate with older kids who were also involved in harmful activities, Jackson’s behavior was beginning to result in poor academic performance and a harsh drop in his grades, so the school arranged to meet with Kathy to devise a behavioral intervention plan for her son.
At first, Kathy was dismissive, and had seemingly already given up hope that Jackson’s behavior could be remedied. Unable to handle the situation alone after failing in-school behavioral therapy, school staff recognized that Jackson’s mother also needed help. At this point the school referred the family to CFNH for specialized support and guidance.
At the initial meeting Jackson, Kathy, and their FAST Forward care coordinator got to know one another, and their coordinator helped them pinpoint their needs, both short and long term. Kathy was unsure and overwhelmed but was overall willing to collaborate with the care team during these meetings. Jackson was incredibly defiant at first, often unwilling to contribute and regularly had defiant outbursts that were counterproductive to their overall goals.
About a month into the FAST Forward program, with the help of a peer support specialist, we were able to identify some of Jackson’s hobbies, which included music – singing in particular – and art in general. Then, in collaboration with his schoolteachers and counselors, we were able to connect Jackson with clubs and groups within his school that encouraged him to explore these interests. By encouraging Jackson to channel his energy into a positive outlet with engaging hobbies and empowering him to be more confident in his choices through therapy, Kathy quickly saw her son’s habitual lying and theft stop. Jackson had a newfound sense of confidence and passion for music and art, that he no longer sought control or entertainment through defiant or dishonest behavior.
Within six months of the FAST Forward program, Jackson’s grades improved, and his general attitude and behavior was more respectful and caring. Kathy learned new ways to communicate with her son that encouraged honesty, and respect both ways. Jackson is now much more considerate of his mother, and understands his responsibility to cooperate when it comes to navigating more challenging times in their family. Jackson continues to be engaged and excited about his art group and music lessons, and is motivated to consistently do well in school so that he can continue to practice these passions.
About Connected Families NH
Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and contracted by the Bureau for Children’s Behavioral Health within New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services, Connected Families NH is a collaborative family-led program designed to improve the emotional health of children and young adults. We recognize the importance of emotional health and provide free, flexible services and support through our statewide and regional programs. Reach out or submit a referral to learn more about how Connected Families NH can help you. Connected Families NH is under the governance of Cheshire County. Connected Families NH is not an emergency service. If you or someone you care about is having a mental health or substance use crisis, you can call and speak to trained care staff at the NH Rapid Response Access Point at 833-710-6477 or 988 or NH988.com.