From the outside, Chloe is a beautiful, outgoing 16-year-old who loves animals, art and being the center of attention. Those closest to her know the Chloe who has difficulty learning, making friends, sitting still, controlling her mood and understanding boundaries. On top of all of that, she experiences routine, epileptic seizures.
Her mother Lisa, who always dreamed of having a baby girl and being her best friend (just like she and her mother were) did everything she could to give Chloe the best life. From ballet classes and private school to holistic, organic therapies and world renowned specialists, she had exhausted every possible medical solution.
After Chloe was expelled from her special needs private school, Lisa shares, “I was desperate, angry and frustrated. I thought I was going to have to send her away to a residential program.” As a last resort, she came to the David Lawrence Centers armed with a binder of Chloe’s complex medical history and little hope.
Chloe and her family were referred to the Children’s Community Action Team (CAT) and immediately began benefiting from the holistic, multi-disciplinary intensive community-based services that included access to a highly trained child and adolescent psychiatrist, therapist, mentors, nurses and case managers. Lisa said, “We had someone looking at Chloe from every angle and we could call on them day or night.”
Throughout the next year, despite setbacks that included multiple medication changes, continued problems with her epilepsy, transitioning to a new school and a crisis unit stay, the family experienced profound healing. The entire family including her nanny and grandmother participated in the treatment process and Chloe has blossomed before their eyes. Lisa adds, “We have all grown and our family is thriving.”
Chloe shares, “The help I got from David Lawrence Centers has made a big difference in my life. They helped me set goals, taught my mom and I better skills to manage my emotions and found me the right medication that helps control my anger.”
One coping skill in particular that Chloe greatly benefited from was the specialized, group art therapy program. This holistic therapy not helped her explore her feelings through the creative process, but it also taught her to handle conflicts, resolve problems and relieve stress. Art has brought Chloe and Lisa closer together as well, and now they enjoy working on projects together at home.
The family’s feelings of desperation have been replaced with compassion, patience, understanding, hope and optimism and Chloe has been transformed in the process.
Today Lisa is equipped with the skills she needs to manage what comes. She believes in Chloe and truly enjoys her time with her. She adds, “The support we received from David Lawrence Centers has been truly unparalleled. The team was there with us every step of the way teaching us how to deal with Chloe, to see her for who she was and to really listen to her.”
With all of this holistic healing in place, Chloe can now focus on being a teenager, making friends and enjoying life. She has aspirations of tapping into her outgoing and creative side and wants to become an actress. She has enjoyed acting camp and is planning to try out for a play. Bravo Chloe!