Just a few months later, Lenny and his family had to be evacuated from their home for several weeks during the 2019/2020 bushfires. Throughout the ordeal, the family couldn’t find their beloved cat, Monty, and Lenny spent the days worrying about Monty’s whereabouts and the safety of their house.
Lenny’s dad Adam, a volunteer for the Rural Fire Service, was, like so many others, away from home for a large portion of this time. This only added to Lenny’s distress as he worried about his dad.
It’s around this time that Lenny’s difficulties at home and school began.
Lenny’s parents and teacher noticed that the slightest trigger would cause him to meltdown or throw a tantrum. On one occasion, Lenny’s parents were called to the school when he physically lashed out at his teacher.
There seemed to be no clear trigger for the outbursts, and eventually they became so bad, Lenny struggled to participate in class and engage with friends. Lenny also became teary at bedtime and suffered from nightmares.
Adam recalls, “We assumed the nightmares and tantrums were temporary after the fires and everything he’d been through. But they didn’t seem to go away, in fact they were just getting worse. We were frustrated, not knowing what to do, not knowing how to help.”
Christine took Lenny to go see the GP, who suggested he would need a referral for a child psychologist, but warned with no services available locally, they would likely be waiting months.