Connie MacDonald works for the State Department at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It’s a dream job, and she loved living abroad with her two sons.
But earlier this year, MacDonald said, her 8-year-old son started to become aggressive. At first the family thought it was ADHD. Her son was indeed eventually diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — as well as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, which makes it difficult for her son to control his emotions, particularly anger.
“He was hurting me. He was threatening to kill his brother. One of the last straws was they had four people at school holding him down for almost an hour trying to calm him down,” she said.
The American International School of Jeddah told her that her son couldn’t come back. His behavior was so severe that MacDonald started to look for residential treatment back in the U.S.
She found Intermountain Residential in Montana. Children in the Intermountain program learn to build healthy relationships through intense behavioral therapy over the course of up to 18 months.
Intermountain Residential is one of the only facilities in the U.S. that serves young children with emotional dysregulation, like her son.