Lisa spent her early life in foster homes after being removed from her mother’s custody. At age six, she was adopted into a loving family with other adopted children. By age nine, her adoptive parents were advised Lisa would never read, lead a normal life, or recover from her early childhood trauma, but her parents persevered. Lisa saw many doctors, spent time in psychiatric hospitals, and at age eleven; was institutionalized, where she would spend seven years. Four point restraints, straightjackets and/or padded rooms were frequently employed. Her family remained in touch with her by phone, but were advised not to visit. Shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Lisa moved to a CSI-supported group home.
Lisa trusted no one, and approved restraints were a daily occurrence. Lisa was not accustomed to being in the community and most often refused to leave her home. An alternative, home-based school program was developed around her needs. Although there were many restraints in the home, staff remained devoted to Lisa succeeding. For almost two years, with no staff changes, staff helped Lisa to work through her fears and gain trust. Restraints were reduced, she ventured into the community, re-established telephone contact with her family, and began supervised visits to her family.
Today, Lisa is a 26 year old, attractive young woman who is well known in her community, frequenting Wal*Mart, Dollar Store, and Blockbuster Video. She has become a Patriots football fan, attending several games. She has vacationed in Orlando, FL (Universal Studios), Myrtle Beach SC, Ocean City, MD and Cape Cod, MA. She is an avid photographer and has many photo albums of her adventures. Most importantly to her, Lisa has her family back in her life – she visits for family birthdays, holidays, and weekends. Visits are unsupervised.
Lisa graduated from High School and, despite, early life predictions to the contrary, is an accomplished reader. In 2006 she passed a college level continuing education veterinary technical course. Lisa loves animals. She has a pampered guinea pig “Princess”; regularly walks three dogs, and volunteers at the Little Guild of St. Francis, a home that shelters abandoned/abused cats and dogs. Most recently, she has joined a small group of dog owners, known as “Barks and Rec,” who are advocating to the city government’s Parks and Recreation Department for the creation of a dog park. The city government and advocacy group cooperated in Spring 2008 to organize a Pet Expo, free to the public, which offered pet products, pet adoption services, and other features for townfolk.
Lisa’s three newest goals are:
- to renew her effort to obtain paid employment
- to learn further computer skills, and
- to move out of her group home into her own home with staff support