Kelly and Stu immediately signed up to be future facilitators in Edmonton. The fact that the course was free meant they could afford to get support, something that they knew other families would value, too. And the course provided caregivers with their own validation: “You don’t have to be perfect. You can fail at it,” says Stu.
When Thomas had called early Saturday morning before their course, they had refused to let him come home. “We loved him, but we were lost,” says Stu. After an arduous weekend of skill building, the two parents finally connected with Thomas on Sunday evening. Their experience at the workshop had convinced them that they could make a go of it, and they invited their son back into their home.
“Before that, we wouldn’t have made it 15 minutes before I challenged him and he blew up.” This time was different. They picked him up and had a peaceful car ride home.
“When he came home and we validated his feelings instead of treating him like a tenant, he soaked up the compassion like a thirsty man in the desert. He became child-like. He wanted to be around us.” And instead of wrestling with him to be respectful of space, and obey house rules, they took a step back and found Thomas slowly adjusted his behavior on his own.