Case of C.G.
A 13-year-old boy in the 8th grade suffers from clinical depression and family strife: he comes from a caring, but very low-income, single-parent home, and has witnessed domestic violence. In addition, he is learning disabled and has been in special education since the 4th grade. As he entered adolescence, his self-esteem worsened and he began courting gangs and using drugs and alcohol in order to cope with the stresses of life. In addition, his father was incarcerated, and this factor was pivotal in his downwardly spiraling behavior, both at school and at home. Halfway through the 7th grade, C.G.'s school district found that, despite his poor grades and slow learning, he no longer qualified for special education services, and attempted to have him mainstreamed. This move proved to be disastrous for him. C.G.'s behavior worsened, as did his grades, and he missed a significant amount of school. Meanwhile, his mother was able to have a prominent diagnostic center in the Bay Area perform educational and psychological assessments for him. Their recommendations called for intensive and comprehensive mental health and educational interventions as quickly as possible. Unable or possibly unwilling to provide the appropriate placement within his middle school, the district recommended that C.G. be home-schooled until a suitable "Emotional Disturbance" classroom could be located. As the fall semester started, C.G. languished at home, receiving an average of one hour per day of education. His mother contacted YELP for assistance.
Through clinic's intervention and our law student's work, C.G. was placed at an intensive therapeutic day school, which is a collaboration involving a private agency and a public school district. There he received individual, group, and family therapy, as well as intensive special education instruction. This is a tremendous victory for a young man whose life was at a critical juncture.