A mother brought her son Ary*, three years old, to SEED’s facilities in a local public health clinic in Erbil, seeking help for her son’s aggressive behavior and describing it as abnormal for his age; he was needy, aggressive, always crying, and hurting others around him with knives. Ary had a lack of focus and often was hyperactive, and his family were unable to take him out. Both the child and the family were monitored in their home. 

His parents felt embarrassed when guests visited, and they became worried that Ary’s situation was affecting their social standing within their community. With a family history of mental health disorders and child development issues, they worried that Ary might have the same genetic issues. A case manager conducted an initial assessment, and then a psychologist was assigned.

SEED psychologists created a treatment plan for the family to apply, and after five sessions Ari’s behavior had improved and he was no longer lashing out. Five sessions were conducted at the clinic between April and May, 2019. The first session explained the role of the case manager and psychologists in supporting their child, Ary, and the techniques for building a trusted relationship with the child. In the second session, a comprehensive assessment was conducted through the mother to understand the history of the child’s behaviors which were also monitored by a SEED psychologist. 

The assessment confirmed the symptoms which Ary’s mother had initially explained, his disruptive behavior. In the third session, the psychologist provided support to the parents on how to set clear expectations and manage behavior effectively when children exhibit challenging behaviors, and how to address these situations with strategies that promote positive behavior as well as good social-emotional development.

The fourth session was conducted with Ary at home to observe his behavior around his parents and siblings. Later, SEED created a treatment plan for his parents to apply at home that included advice on how to approach and talk to Ary and what to do when he becomes aggressive at home. After the last session, SEED followed up with the family to check in on Ary. SEED was informed by his parents that Ary showed improvements at home. He was not aggressive anymore, he has stopped playing with knives and showed a friendlier attitude towards his siblings. 

In addition, after Ary’s parents applied the parenting techniques, he has started to listen to them and became more focused. His mother said that SEED had given them the tools to connect with Ary on a deeper level and encouraged them to look beneath the surface at the root cause of some of the unique challenges they faced.

*Name and minor details have been changed to protect client confidentiality