Keon bounced between six different schools before finishing first grade. Behind in development and showing mild symptoms of autism, he faced repeated suspensions at every school for attacking staff and destroying classrooms. His mother Grace says his behaviors made him a danger to others and himself.
“The next step would have been permanent hospitalization, or a placement where he would no longer be at home,” said Grace.
Grace’s mother introduced her to St. Joseph’s Villa. Her mother ran a day care for 20 years, and took care of many kids who attended Villa programs. Grace contacted the Villa seeking after-school treatment for Keon where he could build social and coping skills.
Today Keon is thriving in Villa’s Therapeutic Day Treatment program, where he has attended for five years. “I’ve seen a significant change in him,” said Grace. “It’s not always fight or flight anymore. He really bonded with Mr. Joseph, who is like a mentor to him. He taught Keon responsibility.”
Grace is confident in Keon’s future and believes he will go far in life. She is hopeful that Keon will go to college one day and continue to grow as a good person.
“It’s stressful not knowing what to do,” she said, “but I found out there is support out there with St. Joseph’s Villa. I thank God I came here. I’m so grateful to the community for all the support they provide throughout the year!