Whow!!! I really do have the best job in the world.
Below is a review from a mum who’se son was struggling at school, who didn’t want to go to school, who came out of school crying every day. His emotional wellbeing was being affected so negatively that the resulting behaviour would have resulted in him being ‘left behind’.
I looked for and found Ali because the medical and school system were letting my 8 year old child down. The Child Mental Health Service wouldn’t see him because he didn’t have specific behavioural problems and the schools inclusion worker was very nice but under the pump and 20mins a week wasn’t really effective. As parents we had tried everything we could think of.
He was being bullied, he struggled with playground politics, he wasn’t coping with the mean words being thrown at him, he spent alot of the school day crying and/or getting frustrated, which made the bullying worse, he was getting socially isolated, he was starting to refuse to go to school, his teacher was starting to lose patience and i was feeling like it was all spiraling. I felt like this needed to be resolved now and not wait “until he matures” or “until the bullies get bored”.
From the first day we met Ali my son took to her and the way she spoke and communicated with him. She was open with him and he understood what she did and engaged with her. After one session he was on a high. So happy! Like something had been released. Someone had finally told him HOW to cope with all these feelings he was having. He took his Ollie figure in his pocket to school so when the bad words came he could squeeze the figure and the armour would come up and protect his “heart” and over the next few days he started to work it out. One day saying “there were a few holes in my armour today mum cos some bad words got through but i will make it stronger tomorrow”. And he has built and built up his resilience. He said to me yesterday that a child had been saying mean things and that he had only needed to squeeze Ollie for 5 seconds and he felt ok and didnt cry and the boy left him alone. He was elated.
He hasn’t said he doesn’t want to go to school for ages and seems more confident and happier and the school have noticed a change too. He said he doesn’t want/need to be in social inclusion anymore cos he has Ali now. He doesn’t come out of school in tears looking like the weight of the world is on his shoulders. I am relieved we have found a person and a technique that is so simple but actually genius and it works. It just works! I would recommend anyone spend an hour with Ali and Ollie’s superpowers and guarantee they will come out feeling more resilient, supported and special because they now have superpowers too.
SJ – mum of a now happy 8 year old.
What I do isn’t rocket science. Its very simple but of so powerful as it gives the child, the parents, the family the tools to do it themselves whenever they need to. If we can get to children early enough then what starts as low level anxiety, stress, ‘bob’ , lack of confidence etc it wont develop to the point where a child is excluded or needs to go to one of the overstretched mental health services.
I also don’t call it mental health. I prefer emotional wellbeing.