Family benefits from mental health expanded.
Lachlan was born early and spent 88 days in the NICU. His mother, Jessica and father, Justin spent time with him daily but he was hooked up to monitors and often needed to be kept still. They were not able to hold him or play with him much until he came home from the hospital.
Once home, the family got connected to Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services and an early intervention therapist came to their home. Upon working with Lachlan and his family, their therapist suggested they apply for the ABC (Attachment and Bio-Behavior Catch-up) Program to help Lachlan learn how to connect with his mom and benefit from her loving support.
“I wanted to snuggle with my baby, but he didn’t really want that,” said Jessica. “He was unhappy at bath time and bed time, he was totally focused on his toys and often liked being alone in his own little world. He did not care what was going on around him. It made me sad. I wanted to help my son, to comfort him, but I didn’t know what he needed.”
Licensed Mental Health Specialist Leslie Stevens began working with the family, helping Jessica to interact with Lachlan and help him develop new skills. Leslie worked with mom on interpreting Lachlan’s signals and cues so they could understand and helped his parents understand his needs and connect on a deeper level.
“Bath time used to be a struggle. We would argue about who’s turn it was to give him a bath and put him to bed,” said Jessica. “Once we learned how to make bath and bed time routine work, we were all less stressed and more relaxed.”
By engaging in play the way Rainbows’ taught me, I have been able to make a connection with my son. When I finally felt like we were making a connection and I was able to get him what he was needing, it made me feel really good. Knowing he was getting what he needed to connect was a breakthrough for me. “Rainbows’ taught me to mimic his play. If he was banging on a drum, we would banging on a drum too, and if he stopped, we would stop,” said Jessica. “As a result of this type of interaction, our son began reacting differently to us and we eventually made a new connection.”
Now 2-years-old, Lachlan is making progress on hand- eye coordination and Leslie can see him enjoying time with his mother. He and his dad enjoy bath time, splashing and talking during the routine really helps them bond and grow together giving both parents time to enjoy their son and gain confidence in their parenting.
“Thanks to Rainbows, I am able to interact with my son and give him what he needs to catch up and grow,” said Jessica.
Leslie says, “This family is amazing. They noticed Lachlan needed something different and she was not connecting with her son as she wanted. They took the step to reach out to the ABC program- Early Childhood Mental Health. They embraced the support and interventions and were able to improve their relationships as a family.”