Understanding a mother’s health issues

“We had tried for many years to have a child but could not and so decided to adopt an infant. Four years later, my wife became pregnant. The pregnancy was complicated, and David, who had been at the center of our lives, had to deal with my wife’s many absences due to medical treatments and hospitalizations, and then, with his new sibling. He had been potty trained, regressed, had temper tantrums, and couldn’t sleep at night. We enrolled him in Hanna Perkins Preschool, where the child development specialist and his teacher helped us understand him as he shared his thoughts and feelings about the family changes. Soon David regained toilet mastery, resumed healthy sleep at night, and we all learned how to avert those upsetting meltdowns. Hanna Perkins helped us become a family.”

On the autism spectrum

“When Emma was 2 years old, we noticed that she was not making eye contact and wasn’t talking. Our pediatrician suggested she might be on the autism spectrum. We were frustrated with the dearth of options available until we found our way to Hanna Perkins School. The caring professionals there helped us understand Emma and showed us ways to connect with her. Today, our daughter is doing well at her grade level in a local public school and has many friends. We thank you, Hanna Perkins, for helping our family.”

Adopting a toddler from Asia

“We adopted Angela from Asia when she was 3. She was beautiful and we loved her right away but communication between us was a problem. We tried. She tried. We wanted to be the best parents we could be … but we were desperate and needed more help. So we searched the Internet and found Hanna Perkins. My wife and Angela participated in the parent-toddler program. We learned so much about toddlers and through the activities guided by the wonderful staff, my wife and Angela developed a much hoped-for mother-child connection. Thank you, Hanna Perkins.”

Helping a child with occasional outbursts

“I’ve always believed that emotions have a lot to do with learning, so when we heard about Hanna Perkins preschool, we decided that it would be a good place for our Paul. He was a pretty normal kid, but he had occasional outbursts and was sometimes painfully shy. We didn’t think he needed therapy, but wanted to help him so these wouldn’t grow into major problems and interfere with his learning. Those three years at Hanna Perkins not only helped him make a wonderful adjustment to kindergarten, but it helped us be more confident parents, not just with Paul, but also with our other children.”

Wetting the bed

“At 4 years of age, Madison suddenly started wetting her bed every night. I was frustrated and—I hate to admit it—angry about having to do all the extra laundry. But nothing we tried worked. A friend suggested I meet with a Hanna Perkins child development specialist who helped me figure out that the Disney videos Madison saw at the babysitter’s house frightened her and the bedwetting was a way to wake herself up during bad dreams. Understanding that, we talked with her about her feelings, found a more appropriate babysitter, and the bedwetting stopped.”

The aftermath of premature birth

“Our first child weighed one-and-a-half pounds and had a host of health problems. With excellent medical care, Matt healed physically but the trauma associated with the difficult birth took a heavy emotional toll on all of us. As he grew into toddlerhood, Matt developed difficult behaviors that we were at a loss to handle and we knew we needed help. At HPC, we learned that the best way to help Matt was to understand things from his perspective. Once he felt heard, the problems disappeared. We were fortunate to have found Hanna Perkins.”

Temper tantrums

“Steven’s outbursts seemed to come out of the blue and added a layer of tension to our family’s everyday life. The teachers and child development specialist at Hanna Perkins School made all the difference in helping him learn how to express his anger. With their help, I, as a parent, learned how to minimize temper tantrums and help all my children develop ways to cope with stressful situations. I will be forever grateful to Hanna Perkins who supported Steven and our whole family.”

Being the older sibling

“Hanna Perkins helped me grow up. At 12 years old, I was an A student, a long-distance runner and had lots of friends. After my baby brother was born, I felt angry and depressed. My dad was a good parent and loved me, but it was no secret that he had always wished for a son. One day, when I was shopping, I took a pack of mascara and put it in my pocket. The store manager saw me and called my parents who were upset and embarrassed. My mom had a friend who had been helped at Hanna Perkins and she made an appointment for us with a therapist. I was able to talk about my confusing thoughts and feelings about the shoplifting and my baby brother. This helped me see that my parents had enough love for two children and I realized that I was cherished for who I am.”