Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why New Hope Academy?

Overcoming our trials in this life can be a gut-wrenching and seemingly impossible task.  Challenges that hurt every day and seem to never let up can make us feel isolated and utterly hopeless.

How grateful we are when we finally find the help that allows us to climb out of our dark abyss, the kind of help that lets us see the light again...the kind of help that can and will truly make a difference in our lives for the good.

We finally find HOPE.

I can tell you right now that I have found that help in our daily struggle with Reactive Attachment Disorder.  That help is a beautiful place called, New Hope Academy.

What is New Hope Academy you might ask?

New Hope Academy is a school, but it isn't like any school you have ever seen...in the academic world it is considered an Alternative School.  What is an alternative school you may ask?

An alternative school is an educational setting designed to accommodate educational, behavioral, and/or medical needs of children and adolescents that cannot be adequately addressed in a traditional school environment. (wikipedia)

Why would L, our child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, need an Alternative School?

"Neuroscience tells us that the brains of kids regularly facing significant trauma or toxic stress are wired for survival and likely to erupt at the smallest provocation. 
major study of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) by the Centers for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente found that the higher a young person’s ACEs score, the greater the risk in adulthood of chronic disease, mental illness, and premature death. These children also have a far greater future likelihood of either inflicting or being the victim of violence...Children with high ACEs scores are constantly on edge from unstable home environments that can place their brains and bodies in a state of high alert. At school, even a small reprimand from a teacher or perceived insult from a fellow student can trigger explosions of rage, expletives, and other inappropriate behavior.  

Students struggling with this toxic stress are often ill-suited to learn in a traditional educational environment. “Teachers like to tell students that if they work hard they will succeed—that it is in their control to pay attention, do their homework, and perform well in class. But those assumptions don’t work for children growing up in high-stress environments, such as those living in poverty,” said Jim Sporleder, the former principal of Lincoln, one of the first high schools in the country to embrace so-called “trauma-informed” education practices and the subject of the documentary Paper Tigers." (http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/teaching-traumatized-kids/490214/?platform=hootsuite)

When L was in kindergarten she controlled every aspect of her environment without the teachers seeing it for about four months.  She manipulated her teachers and other students to have her perceived needs met. After about four months her teachers started to see how her behavior was affecting her and her peers.  L was stealing from the classroom, getting other classmates to give her their treats, not finishing or doing schoolwork or homework and refusing to do the most basic tasks; she did not participate appropriately in class, lied about others and things she had taken, triangulated her two teachers against each other, and was not in any way learning what she needed to learn, as her brain was fighting for her life all of the time.  L would come home severely irritated and go into fits of rage often, sometimes for two hours at a time.  Homework with L was pure HELL, and every time I would get frustrated with her, she would just laugh at me. 

I was left in tears and frustration on a regular basis.

A regular school just wasn't cutting it.

So after a lot of prayer and some serious research, we miraculously found New Hope Academy.  New Hope is just that...a New Hope for parents of children with attachment disorders, a place where families and students can heal and gain the kind of life we all dreamed of when we adopted these beautiful children.

Started by Kasey Harmer, a mother of a child with attachment issues, New Hope Academy has been a place of healing and love for many families dealing with the horrific and daily struggle of childhood trauma. You see, New Hope Academy gives each child the individual emotional and scholastic care they need.

Each child at New Hope Academy is able to grow and thrive at their own level.

The amount of peace and the level of help my family has gained from this miraculous place is more than I could have ever hoped for.

I don't have to worry every time my daughter goes to school.

I don't have to worry whether she is hurting others or stealing or manipulating others for her gain; at New Hope I can completely trust that my daughter is safe and receiving the exact help she needs that day.

I can now feel a level of peace each and every day that I have never felt before in parenting L.

Some have asked how I know what goes on at New Hope?  As parents with children at New Hope we are asked to work there as often as we can.  We get to be involved in the care of the children there, we get trained on what to look for and how to work with children who have attachment disorders and other mental or behavioral health issues.  In the end, we are all a part of the New Hope community. As parents we are there to help each other and in turn help each other's children.

It is a community of healing and helping.

New Hope Academy is NOT a place where you go as a last resort...if your child has attachment issues, New Hope should be your first choice so your child can get healthy enough to integrate back into the regular school system and finally thrive with other healthy children.

We have had several families even move to Utah so they too can get the best help for their child.

New Hope is a true place of healing and with the help of LauraLee and Kasey, New Hope Directors, your entire family can begin  the healing process as well.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.  If you don't want to post publicly, go ahead and message me on FB. (https://www.facebook.com/nikimartins)

Lots of love,

Here is a link to their new website: http://www.newhope-academy.com

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