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Great-Grandmother’s Sacrifice Means Better Life for Great-Grandson

As a great-grandmother, ​Lyndia was at a stage in life where most people begin to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor. With adult children, the fulfilling and often-hectic daily responsibilities of parenting seemed to be well behind her.

But life and family issues often have a way of interrupting the best of plans.

All three of Lyndia’s great-grandchildren were living with their grandmother – Lyndia’s daughter – because the children’s mother had alcohol and addiction problems and was no longer in their lives.

And all three siblings had behavioral, emotional and developmental issues that required a lot of care.

It soon became apparent that the task of caring for all three children was too much for Lyndia’s daughter. That’s when Lyndia stepped in, volunteering to take in 5-year-old Bradly.

Lyndia, a former social worker, had recognized Bradly’s behavior problems when he was very young. Now, as his primary caregiver, she was determined to find the help he needed in order to thrive and succeed. But living in a small rural town in Montana, there were few services and none that met his needs.

The only solution was to move. After researching areas that could provide better services and a school for kids with specialized needs, Lyndia uprooted her life in the Big Sky state and moved to Las Vegas.

Once there, a doctor diagnosed Bradly with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and ADHD. Lyndia knew Bradly needed individualized services to address these issues. But it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to find them because her vision was so poor that she was considered legally blind.

Lyndia was not going to let that stop her from helping Bradly. But she just didn't know where to start.

A breakthrough came when staff at Bradly’s school told Lyndia about Boys Town Nevada and the possibility of getting assistance there. Lyndia contacted Boys Town and soon began receiving visits from Tasha Leaver, a Consultant with the site’s In-Home Family Services program.

After assessing the family’s needs, Leaver determined that since Lyndia’s limited vision hampered her independence, especially when she had to get to the store or get Bradly to doctor appointments, the first order of business would be to help the great-grandmother become more comfortable navigating around the community.

“I worked with Lydia on helping her get used to the bus routes from her house and to the closest Wal-Mart where she could buy groceries and Bradly’s medication,” Leaver said. “We spent a long time crossing streets so she could get familiar with the routes and crossing signals. This was a huge step for Lyndia and allowed her to feel more comfortable and independent.”

Leaver also helped Lyndia locate transportation services that could help get Bradly back and forth from medical treatments and therapy services.

Next, Leaver and Lyndia worked to develop a structured home environment and a safe approach for disciplining Bradly.

“He knows she isn’t his mom and there were times when he tried to exert his will on her and do things his way,” Leaver said. “So we worked on establishing authority with Bradly through structure, rules and consequences for behaviors.”

When services ended after a month and a half, the family’s situation had improved immensely.

“The family is doing great,” Leaver said. “Bradly is much more compliant with Lyndia at home and is really improving at school, and with his other issues through therapy.”

Lyndia still has big challenges ahead as she helps Bradly work toward reaching his full potential. But with Boys Town’s help, she is now a much more confident and effective advocate for herself and her great-grandson.

“What I really admire about Lyndia is her determination to get the services Bradly needed,” Leaver said. “She wasn’t and still isn’t satisfied with accepting that this is as good as it gets for him. Lyndia has really sacrificed a lot for her great-grandson so he can be in a better place in the future.”