In the Russian orphanage where Logan and his older brother lived until ages three and four, conditions were not ideal. Michaela and John were not able to have children of their own, but they felt a connection and brought both boys home to the States. Logan began to show signs of trauma early on, but they committed themselves to helping him live a normal life. Four Oaks has been an integral part of Logan’s success.
In the beginning, Logan’s parents thought he was showing symptoms of ADHD, but his behaviors escalated. He struggled early on with anger outbursts, and a lack of attention early in his life made it difficult for him to accept nurturing from his parents. Developmental delays interfered with his emotional growth and ability to connect with other children. He also had trouble trusting his teachers, and he was often controlling in such situations in an attempt to feel safe.
Logan’s behaviors eventually made it impossible for Michaela and John to safely parent him, and he was placed in three different long-term out-of-home placements between ages 9 and 12. Logan successfully completed the last of those, the Four Oaks Mason City Residential Treatment Program, last year.
“They were absolutely amazing for him,” says Michaela of his counselors in Mason City. The program provided the consistent, caring relationships with adults that Logan needed to feel safe and begin to trust adults and let them help him. During this placement, Bob Sheehan worked with Logan using Trauma Informed Care. They finally started seeing a difference in Logan’s behaviors.
Michaela and John always knew that they would need to secure services and continued support for Logan. They worked hard to create a supportive team that includes a BHIS provider, therapist, case management and a respite family. Micahela says of their therapist, Cindy Schloss, “we would not be where we are today without Cindy. She is our saving grace.”
Today, 13-year-old Logan attends Woodward Day School, where he recently achieved Level 2 and is helping other students work on their problems. He continues to work in therapy in Des Moines to develop coping skills to manage his emotions and physical responses. He is more aware of when he is escalating so he can respond more quickly. And he is able to discuss issues with his family without becoming defensive.
Logan is proud of his accomplishments, and his family is grateful to Four Oaks staff for helping their son find success.