Jamal & Sylvia


When we first met Jamal he was a 9 year old boy with severe behavioral problems. He refused to attend school and was having aggressive outbursts at home multiple times a week. His mother, Sylvia, was very quiet and had difficulty making eye contact and was unable to advocate effectively for her son’s needs at school.

A representative from Jamal’s school has become one of his family’s biggest supports on Jamal’s Care Planning Team, which was convened by the Community Service Agency (CSA). Sylvia has been supported by her mental health counselor who also is a member of the Team. The CSA’s Family Partner has been a big support to Mom and has helped her discover her many strengths and find her own voice. In Home Behavioral Services were put in place and helped both Jamal and Sylvia develop some important behavior support skills that have made a huge impact on curbing his aggressive behavior at home.

Jamal is now 10 years old and has been enrolled in the CSA for over a year. He’s made steady progress on meeting all of the goals that he and his Mom developed with the Care Planning Team, and will be ready to graduate from the CSA within the next couple of months. Jamal now attends school every day and has been improving academically and his last outburst at home was months ago. Sylva is now able to speak up for herself and Jamal, and not only makes phone calls by herself but actively participates in large groups such as the Lynn System of Care Committee! Sylvia has also joined a family support group that meets every Friday night so she has a support network in her own community. Through learning and practicing these and other new skills, Sylvia is becoming confident and empowered and she and Jamal are living a much happier and stable life. What a difference a year makes!