Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sam's Difficult Day

Today Sam had a melt down. He broke several windows in our beautiful new school, and he trashed the library. Throughout the agency people were asking: what's upsetting Sam? He hasn't done anything like this for many months. What is hurting him? Sam used to lash out regularly, seriously assaulting people. We were not sure we could keep him and others safe. But he has gradually begun to connect, to talk, to explore his complex self. He hasn't had any behavioral problems for a long time, and he even says hello and asks others how they are doing now. When his therapist and staff asked him about today, he started out by complaining about various adult decisions. But gradually he started to talk about his mom. She has steadfastly stated he can never come home and live with her. But now she is opening the door a little, saying maybe she will consider having him home. Sam said he is scared- scared he will let her down. He said: "I don't want to go there if she doesn't really want me". After some more discussion he said "so tomorrow I will fix the library, and what can I do to earn money to pay for the windows? I will have to apologize to some of the teachers". Staff added that he would have to do something restorative to make amends to the other students he scared, and that he would be on a hold (loss of extra fun privileges) until this work was done. Also, they wanted to keep him near them (no off-grounds trips) while he was struggling with these big issues in his life. He accepted this readily.

This is the Restorative Approach in action.

©2006 The Restorative Approach is a servicemark of the Klingberg Family Centers, Inc.

1 comment:

Shea said...

It is amazing to see and hear the restorative approach working! We are continuing on our journey at MCHS to do restorative work and losing our point/level system. It's encouraging to hear! Ya'll keep up the great work!