Saturday, June 21, 2008

Douglas graduated!!!

This is a picture that a number of people would have thought to never see, Douglas graduating. At this time last year he had withdrawn so far inside of himself, refusing to do school, refusing to get a job, not a bad kid, just vacant and withdrawn, going nowhere.

He had a great therapist and psychiatrist working with him on the depression but none of us could get him off of square one, he seemed intent on sitting in the basement watching horror videos and paying personal shooter games on his various video platforms. When I had gradually consequenced him from all of those, he just stayed in his room, or went out back and shot arrows at targets for hours. Obviously we were very concerned for his mental health. Then at the state fair he ran into a National Guard booth and found out about this challenge academy that they run. He was intrigued and despite my pacifist reservations I was happy to see him interested in something. He was accepted into their 6 month Challenge Academy in January and graduated yesterday.

We have gotten back a much more mature focused young man. He has goals and thoughts about his future. He no longer seems scared or hesitant about how hard things are going to be, he seems to have an inner confidence that he CAN do it now. He still has to get his GED, which for someone with his incredible learning disabilities will be tough, but he is willing to work at it. Tonight as we were talking he said, "My life is filled with teachers all around me, I just need to learn the lessons". He is amazing these days.

We are very proud of him, but most importantly he is proud of himself.

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