Kyle was a mystery.
The young teen had stopped communicating. He wasn’t learning. He didn’t want to board the bus or go to school. When he fell four grade levels behind in reading, he became the poster child for “at risk” teen.
But why? Kyle’s single mom was determined to pray and fight for her son, but his unexplainable unruly behavior, belligerence and truancy were more than she could handle alone. So she turned to Bethel for help.
Unraveling the Mystery
Anytime a teen acts out, there are underlying issues. For Kyle, these turned out to be a combination of ADHD and a spectrum disorder, which made it impossible for him to function in the large, noisy classrooms of his public school and made him a target for bullies.
Overwhelmed and unable to cope, he withdrew into himself and chose truancy to avoid it all.
Out of His Shell
“When Kyle first came here, he spoke no words at all,” said his teacher, Jennifer Major. She realized that Kyle is an auditory learner and that he does much better in a very small and quiet classroom.
Kyle’s teachers also saw that he has artistic talent, which they could use to connect him to learning. What might look like doodling and inattention to others was actually useful to help him focus.
“For example, I have him draw the vocabulary words to learn them and that sticks with him,” Jennifer explained.
BCA teacher Jennifer Major helps Kyle stay focused on a lesson.
Because Kyle lives on Bethel’s campus, his House Parents were able to help him as well, bringing in a reading interventionist to the cottage. Before their eyes, Kyle began to come out of his shell.
“These shifts were huge in his education,” added his social worker, Danielle Miller, MSW, who coordinates Kyle’s educational, therapeutic and emotional care, and makes sure his mom, House Parents, teachers and principal all stay connected and informed of his progress.
Kyle gets some encouraging words and guidance from Danielle Miller, MSW.
How Much Change is Possible?
BCA uses trauma-informed care, relational intervention and Christ-centered spiritual guidance to help kids catch up on academics while they overcome trauma and its related emotional and behavioral issues. A lot of love, patience and kindness are a natural part of the process.
Kyle’s results show the effectiveness of this approach.
Today, Kyle’s ADHD has been stabilized, he has minimal behavior issues and he has moved out of the “at-risk” category.† Standardized assessments show he is now in the 99th percentile for growth in reading and the 83rd percentile for growth in language arts.††
He also recognized God’s hand on his life and newfound success and made a profession of faith in Jesus.
“I’m glad I came to Bethel,” Kyle said. “I can do things I didn’t think I could do. I can open up and talk to people. When I go home, my mom and I have good weekends.”
“With the help of God”
Best of all, he has fulfilled his mother’s prophetic words when she chose to admit him to Bethel: “With the help of God, and the guidance of your organization, we, meaning me and you, can save my son before he strays too far from the path,” she wrote on his application.
She and Kyle agree that he will visit with her at home on weekends but stay at Bethel during the school week, because he thrives here.
There is one thing we know for sure: Only God can truly mend children and restore families. At Bethel, we are blessed to be a part of His plan for restoring young lives. Thank you for making it possible.
† According to the standardized BASC-3 measurement tool
†† NWEA MAP Growth Assessment
Note: To protect the privacy and future digital footprint of our children and families, Bethel uses alias names in their stories.