When Aaron was first referred to us, his mother described him as socially isolated and highly anxious. His psychological report painted a complex picture. Aaron had a diagnoses of ADHD and ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’, as well as previous suicide attempts and self-harm behaviours.
When the program first started, Aaron was helpful and agreeable, but very distant from the group and rarely smiled. As the program went on and became more challenging, Aaron began to feel highly anxious. He said he felt hopeless and overwhelmed, saying “I can’t do this, I need to go home” over and over again.
The support of his peers and the staff helped Aaron go on. He was encouraged and reminded of his decision to do his best in moving through adversity.
In the final two nights of the program, Aaron was laughing and smiling, initiating group tasks and enjoying his time with other participants.
In follow-up meetings, Aaron and his mother commented that he has been less anxious since returning from the program. Aaron’s mother said that she had never seen him so helpful and polite around the house. She reflected that she believes it was due to what he learned on the program, such as how it feels to accomplish tasks like cooking dinner and cleaning up afterwards.
Aaron stated that he feels better able to help around the house and he smiled as he explained that the life skills he has been learning since the Program will help him to move into independent living in the coming year. Aaron is now enthusiastically completing Year 12 at High School.