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Fraser Helps Eagan Family With Son's Acute Anxiety Disorder

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The number of families seeking help for children with autism continues to grow.

Here in Minnesota, the services offered by Fraser have become a valuable resource. Not only do therapists focus on children with autism, they work with kids who have mental health needs.

An Eagan family shared their journey with Fraser as they sought help for a son diagnosed with acute anxiety disorder. Ben Harrison remembers a time when his son Jack was younger, and consumed with worry.

"He would come home and if we did anything unexpected, he would get really upset, almost like a temper tantrum," he said.

Jack was born prematurely, at 30 weeks. There were no signs of serious problems until he was about 7 years old.

"You were probably in second or third grade and you were not able to go to sleep at night. You said you were worried what would happened to your stuffed animals after you went to college," Ben said.

Jack's acute anxiety eventually led the family to Fraser's Eagan Clinic. Therapists taught him and his parents strategies to manage his emotions and actions.

"It has made life return to normal. Just a lot of understanding. There was a lot of guilt after these arguments... peak angry, so we don't have to go through any of that anymore. So that's really, really nice," he said, adding that life at home is much more peaceful now.

"And our quality of life, of being able to do what we used to do before, is great," he said.

At 11 years old, Jack is now a graduate. No more therapy sessions required.

We asked Jack about his progress.

"I feel a lot happier," Jack said.

WCCO is raising money to help Fraser expand its services during a tug of war across the Mississippi River, called "Pulling Together."

The big event takes place on Sept. 8 at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul.

You can make a donation to help Fraser and support our team by going to our Pulling Together page.

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