Female, 11 Months Old
Sandy was only one month old when she and her mother were referred to us for help. At 21, Sandy’s mom was a first time mother who had dropped out of school and was struggling with anger issues and hallucinations. Although Sandy’s mother had used cocaine and alcohol early in her pregnancy, she quit completely when she discovered she was pregnant. She had also suffered domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend, Sandy’s father, who left when he found out about the pregnancy.
The VIP clinicians who met with Sandy and her mother saw that her mom was disengaged with Sandy and unable to understand her needs. Sandy and her mom joined our Birth to Five program, which works to strengthen the attachment between caregiver and child and teaching caregivers healthy parenting tools and techniques. Working closely with Sandy and her mother together, a VIP clinician showed her mother how to engage Sandy’s attention and communicate with Sandy so she could learn to understand her needs. Sandy’s mother also learned basic parenting skills that will help her give Sandy the love and attention she needs to grow up physically and emotionally healthy.
We also recognize that a child cannot thrive without the emotional health of the parent, and Sandy’s mother met individually with one of our clinicians. She needed to forgive herself for the guilt she felt over her drug and alcohol use and for staying in an abusive relationship with her ex-boyfriend.
Sandy and her mother have made a lot of progress together, repairing their loving bond by learning to understand each other. Sandy’s mom enjoys taking her for walks in the park, and she’s learned to communicate with Sandy to better meet her needs. Her mom has also enrolled in GED classes and hopes to continue her education to become a hairdresser. Through their time at VIP, Sandy and her mother are on the path to a healthy, loving relationship.