Case Studies

Milly

Milly was nine when I met her. Her parents were extremely worried about her behaviour as it wasn't age appropriate and she hugely underachieved at school. After spending time with Milly's parents, all became clear. Milly was born two months prematurely so she what she needed was time.

A session with Milly was two hours which gave her 'pondering' time. For instance she told me that she knew how to do a wordsearch so we agreed I would sit beside her in silence while she worked. After a while she asked me if you could use words that went backwards so I realised that generally, Milly had the gist of how things worked and what she had to do but not the detail.

What she also lacked was an understanding of how to ask for help when she needed it. She was afraid of looking silly and being laughed at so 'muddled along' as best she could. We worked with the emotional literacy floor sheet to learn how to ask for help and worked together on rules. Social rules, rules for doing a jigsaw, for writing stories and for any other situation we could think of.

On one occasion we were working on negative numbers and there was a picture of a polar bear on the page. Milly said "if you wanted to take its fur you'd have to give it an injection, wouldn't you?" I didn't answer fully, just "mm..". Milly understood that I needed her to think some more. It wasn't long before she said, "you'd have to kill it wouldn't you?" She was becoming such a good thinker and had learnt that she could take as long as she needed to problem solve.

When my work with her finished Milly was thriving and enjoying life as a normal nine year old. She had simply needed time to become Milly.