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June 2, 2010

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June 2, 2010

I am the parent of two children with Mental Health challenges. My oldest son is now an adult and my youngest son is a high school student. Our journey began when our oldest son was four years old. I began to notice that something was different. He didn't react to situations that same as other children his age. He had anger outburst and seemed to never sleep, he was impulsive and "had no fear". We tried enrolling him in pre-school thinking he needed peer interaction. (After all, I was an elementary school teacher at the time and should know what to do.) Pre-school was an up hill battle with the school calling me on a daily basis to pick him up early due to his behaviors. By the time he entered Kindergarten he had been removed from the school bus and was out of school more that he was in due to his disruptive behaviors. The doctor put him a Ritalin and diagnosed him with ADHD. That helped for a while. In the 3rd grade we again had a bumpy school year. This time we sent to a Phychologist and were giving an official diagnosis of ADHD and sent on our way. More medications...more disruptive behaviors...more chaos is our lives. During the 4th grade we were giving a referal to CMH and did the intake process. For the first time we had help!!! A therapist came out to the house once a week and after a few months we noticed a marked improvement! Then came middle school...and another bumpy ride. At this time my family and I made a difficult decission and I became a stay at home Mom. I was getting called from the school daily to pick him up early due to his disruptive behaviors, anger outburst and refusal to cooperate. Once again we were involved with CMH and had a therapist at the house on a weekly basis. During this time the therapist mentioned ACMH and new pilot program, IMPACT. ACMH had a job posting for Family Advocates and the therapist felt I could help families going through the same the journey. After much discussion, my family and I thought the time was right and maybe, just maybe our journey could help others. Five years later I am still employed with ACMH and my children have benefited so much along the way also. My son will be graduating from high school this month...something many teachers told us along the way would never happen. My youngest son is very involved in ACMH. He belongs to the youth group and attends many youth events thoughout the year. He has gained a knowledge of how to share his story and help others in their journey. I don't know where we would be today without the help we have recieved. ACMH is a wonderful place to be...and wonderful experience on an awesome journey. ACMH has given my family the courage to keep trying and keep going.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

ACMH has changed my life. I went from elementary education to working with children and families struggling with mental health challenges. I am able to make a difference in the lives of others through my own journey.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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