Let me share a little about Pavalan, who loves to quote the Mahabharata (an ancient Indian epic), and who labels every action he does. Pavalan, who loves to draw and do yoga. Pavalan, who has a phenomenal memory and who loves to play with water.
He is also the Pavalan who can rip apart staff members’ clothes when he is angry, who cries like a baby when he hurts himself, who endures days alone in his room at home because his parents have difficulty coping with his behaviors.
When Pavalan joined us three years ago, he was thirteen years old. He was extremely violent, and his parents had reached their limit and came to us for help. He soon became part of us, talking and reciting the Mahabharata. However, we found that he was more violent on Mondays. We realized this was due to being alone in a room all weekend. We are reaching out to his parents, who are both struggling with depression. As they see Pavalan improving a little each day, we pray they see hope and learn new ways to cope with Pavalan’s challenges. Meanwhile, the In His Image Center has become a place of freedom and acceptance for him. He responded beautifully to all the therapies (occupational, speech therapy, special education, yoga, vocational training), and now works hard making jewelry and paper bags, besides doing his studies and learning life skills. He loves to talk and has “discovered” girls. As we work with him, helping him to achieve complete independence, he encourages us with his learning, his humor, and his constant chanting of ‘shalom’ as his way of calming himself. We hope to soon see Pavalan completely independent and contributing to his family, society and nation.