A Fish Called Hope


Jimmyis a young teenage boy that has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Because of his behavior, Jimmy was no longer able to attend the public school system. So, Jimmy’s mother decided to home-school him.

Jimmy’s parents were divorced, and his dad wanted him to be hospitalized and would not visit with him on his allotted weekends because of Jimmy’s behavioral issues.

Jimmy displayed aggressive anger, and even when coming to his first counseling visits at Sunrise Family Services, he was upset and unable to calm himself. He beat on the Sunrise therapist’s door and tried to run away. His mom was both embarrassed and frustrated and had no idea what to do to help him.

Through the process of therapy at Sunrise, Jimmy has learned to soothe himself when he feels anger. One thing he has learned to do from the therapist is to take a video of his fish aquarium, which he loves, and when he is away from home, play the video to keep him calm. Sunrise Family Services Therapist Misty Comer said, “Now he will work on things to improve his behavior. He is not aggressive anymore and does not try to run away.”

Jimmy’s father has begun visits with him again, and his time with his mother is much improved. What could have led to some very bad outcomes for this family, has been turned into hope and improved relationships – all because of a creative and caring Sunrise team . . . and a fish video. Thanks to Sunrise, Jimmy and his family found hope and healing.

The Sunrise Family Services team understands that results from treatment do not always come quickly or easily. And they may not happen as anticipated. But when positive results do occur, it is always a blessing. Your support of Sunrise allows our family services team to do what they do best: Care for and meet the needs of families who are hurting. Sunrise and Sunrise Family Services are committed to this, for as long as it takes. Just ask Jimmy and his family.

*Name changed to protect the identity of the individual.

Written by David Lyninger, Sunrise Children’s Services Associate Director of Communications

Kait Flora