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Stories of Excellence

Client’s Experiences Help Him, Family Grow and Celebrate

Theodore (Teddy) Temple, Jr. has faced obstacles for years to having what one might consider a “normal” life. Teddy was born hearing impaired, developmentally delayed, and with poor muscle tone. He was diagnosed with a 78% loss of hearing at the age of five and fitted with hearing aids in both ears.  Because he thought of himself as “different”, socially and emotionally, Teddy withdrew. He became what he describes himself as “that shy kid”.

Teddy’s mother, Georgia Temple, a Sweetser employee, became a champion for his success. From the onset of his diagnosis, Georgia reached out to establish a strong network of community partnerships to provide Teddy with the support he needed. Teddy engaged in services with the Maine Education Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, case management, school based services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and special education. In addition, Georgia signed Teddy and herself up to join the Cub Scout program, to give Teddy a social outlet with his peers.  With the network of providers around him, Teddy began to respond, physically, emotionally, and socially.

At the age of ten, life changed for Teddy as he was faced with Georgia’s divorce from his father. Teddy really struggled with his feelings and his ability to fit in. Teddy’s response to this traumatic change in his life,  was “I am a “failure”. The divorce proved to also be a major challenge for Georgia as well. In an effort to help Teddy find the strength to deal with this challenge, Georgia sought out services of Cindy Kivler, LCSW. Georgia also called the Sweetser EAP line to connect with a social worker for herself.  By now, Teddy had reached the end of the Cub Scout program and was faced with the choice of joining the Boy Scouts. Because he was reluctant to participate in the physical aspects of Boy Scouts, Georgia joined with him as a leader with the promise to be with him as he experienced the challenges he would face. Georgia’s motto was “if I can do it, you can do it”.  “I had no idea how to do the skills, a Boy Scout needed. However, I was determined to learn and to do whatever it took to help my son to grow.”

With counseling to help Teddy learn to express his feelings and with the experience and skills of Boy Scouting, over time, Teddy began to grow. Through hiking and camp outs with the Boy Scouts, Teddy was able to face challenges head on and conquer them. With each rank advancement, merit badge, and opportunity to lead, Teddy became more confident and more determined. “Joining Boy Scouts proved to be one of the best decisions we made”.

Over the course of five years, to Georgia’s delight, she watched Teddy go from “I can’t” to “I can” to “I will” and now “I have”.  On December 12, 2013, Teddy at the age of 16, successfully passed his Board of Review to become an Eagle Scout.  They can now share in the celebration that Teddy has recently received the rank of Eagle Scout. This is the highest award in Boy Scouting and is given for excellence in skills development, leadership, personal growth and community service.  Another requirement to be able to achieve the rank of Eagle is to coordinate a service project to benefit his community. For his Eagle Scout service project, Teddy replaced the "Welcome to Bowdoin" sign on Route 125, between Lisbon and Bowdoin, that commemorated Bowdoin's Bicentennial in 1988. The project required a year of planning by Teddy and the project took over 140 service hours to complete.

Teddy now views himself as confident. He has set goals for himself to get his driver’s license, to stay on the honor roll at his high school and to become a Boy Scout camp counselor. Teddy wants to pay it forward, to “help the younger Scouts.” 

Georgia’s willingness to share Teddy’s story was influenced by her desire to thank the providers who supported Teddy during his journey. As an employee of Sweetser for over 26 years, “My motivation is Sweetser’s mission to: “provide quality treatment, support and hope to children, adults and families through a network of mental health, behavioral health, and educational services”. You never know when your own life will throw you a curve and having the resources to help you overcome the challenges is reassuring. I want providers to know that they are a part of someone’s success story. They make a difference and they do help people find promising futures.” 

Congratulations Teddy & Georgia!

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I want to thank you for everything that you did for our child while he was with you. You all did a great job. You all offered him and us great support and advice. He will carry this advice with him for the rest of his life. You all should be proud of yourselves for helping out kids when they...

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