TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Today, you wouldn’t know anything was ever wrong. But, when Janet Kelley adopted Lauryn and Jaxson, she found out their birth mother was a heavy drug user while pregnant.
“My daughter was completely anti-social. Didn’t know how to look them in the eye, didn’t know how to talk to people. Nothing. Jackson had some serious behavioral issues. He was hitting people, breaking things. In second grade the police were almost called on him twice. It was absolutely devastating to see your child struggle like that and not know what to do,” said mom, Janet Kelley.
The behavioral issues were at times severe, sometimes too much for Janet to cope with alone. She decided it was time to get help. But making the first call, is not easy.
“It made me feel like if I have to ask for help then I am not a good parent, I am not doing the right thing and that is not acceptable,” said Kelley.
“Some child can have a bad day or a bad week. But if it goes on for a period of time or if you’re very worried about them then you should call. It’s better to know what you’re up against and to intervene early and be able to do something about it then to wait to have a bigger problem and we may not be able to have as quick of an impact or change in the kids as we would have if we’d intervene early,” said Nancy Crago, the Director of Psychosocial Rehab at the Family Service and Guidance Center.
But Janet did make the call to Family Service and Guidance Center. Early Intervention is key.
“What we know now about brain development through recent research is that 95% of the brain is developed when you’re 5 years old. So the period of time that we have to make the biggest impact on someone’s development is in those first few years,” said Crago.
The impact on Lauryn and Jaxson’s life was paramount. After years of therapy programs at Family Service and Guidance Center, both kids are thriving today.
“My son is playing sports now. He’s a fantastic football player. My daughter was tested for the gifted program in school. She’s in gymnastics. She’s amazing. My children are truly amazing, wonderful children and Family Service Guidance Center helped bring that out,” said Kelley.
The Kelley family was recently honored at the company’s Works of Heart auction for their success story.