Timmy With the Yo-Yo
by Nancy Thomas
Timmy is 8 ½ years old in this first photo out on the football field. Notice his clenched jaw and the expression of pain and anger in his eyes.
The second photo, at age 9, he actually looks like he wants to bash someone in the head with the baseball bat! Unfortunately that is often how Timmy felt. He has Tourette’s Syndrome, with multiple physical and vocal tics, as well as RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder. His loving parents had tried almost everything to ease his suffering and make him happy but he was continually violent, defiant and destructive at home. They came to Colorado and stayed in my home where we tailored a tight program for him. He received Attachment Therapy from a skilled professional while his dedicated and loving parents worked very hard at home providing him the opportunities to heal.
All of his privileges were removed. He was permitted to do artwork, read, play with Legos, and jump on a mini-trampoline. He made a goal list of other things he wanted to earn such as ride a bike, play with a yo-yo, go fishing, etc. His task was to be respectful, responsible and fun to be with.
Many weeks later I got a call early one morning from a very excited Timmy. ” Miss Nancy, I earned my yo yo privilege!”, he shared excitedly. He had reached the first step toward success. He had many more to conquer before he would be emotionally healthy. Timmy went on to learn every yo yo trick he could find and even invented some of his own. When he goes to school now instead of being, “Timmy with the weird tics”, he can be “Timmy with the yo yo”.
This final photo shows a much happier, healthier, Timmy at age 10 ½. Traditional therapies had failed him but his mother and father had fought for their child and won with non-traditional interventions. His mother writes, “This is surely no longer an unattached child!” Timmy is a winner.