Sam was 20 years old when he first entered the doors of Restore Children and Family Services (CFS). He was quiet, reserved and observant. No one would think that this young man had gone through many difficult and painful experiences in his life.
At the age of 2, Sam was diagnosed by a child neurologist with developmental delay. In addition, he was also diagnosed with seizure and mood disorders, intellectual disabilities, and cerebral palsy. His medical diagnosis was compounded by adverse life events. From an early age, he was constantly exposed to violence and inappropriate sexual activities in his family. When his parents separated, he suffered neglect resulting in attachment issues.
Despite these tragic life events, Sam grew up to be polite, sweet, thoughtful, affectionate, and friendly. He enjoys swimming, dancing, and singing. According to his mother, he never had tantrums or anger outbursts until a group of bullies from school took advantage of his mental and physical disabilities. They repeatedly assaulted and abused him sexually for about a year. The first incident, like a switch, triggered the suppressed trauma of abuse from his past. Sam became hypersexualized and significantly struggled controlling his thoughts about his sexual desires. He became aggressive, angry, and violent even towards his own family.
Out of desperation, his family sought help from Restore Children and Family Services. At Restore, Sam and his family’s needs were thoroughly assessed. Restore clinicians referred him to expert professionals who assessed and evaluated his developmental and medical needs. Restore staff worked intensively in addressing Sam’s trauma-related behaviors through family therapy, coaching, crisis and rehab services, and weekly family bible studies. Restore introduced Sam and his family to a local church to address their expressed need for more spiritual growth and support.
Sam learned about the effects of trauma. He also learned skills such as respect, setting boundaries, and the practice of healthy and safe interactions. Sam can now safely relate with others well, including people from his age group. He is also part of the youth ministry at his local church where he is able to meet and establish healthy relationships with other believers. Although there are still occasional triggers, he is able to control them by applying healthier coping skills that he learned as a client at Restore.
By attending the family therapy sessions, his parents are now able to identify his needs and provide continuous support. The family is actively involved in their church where they faithfully practice their new-found faith in Christ. Sam successfully graduated from Restore on December 31, 2021, and through the support of the church, he is participating in on-the-job training as a restaurant service crew. Praise God for the transformation in Sam’s heart and his life! Only God is able to do that.