WYATT'S STORY – LOOKED AFTER CHILD WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIOURS

Social context

NB Names altered for anonymity

OUTCOMES and IMPACT

- Wyatt has identified that his confidence has increased since being at TSOC
- Wyatt understands how his own feelings and emotions impact his behaviour
- Wyatt is more able to share his feelings with others
- Wyatt feels more prepared to deal with the change of moving to a new school and is focussing on the positive new challenges this will bring

Looked after children come from a range of different backgrounds and have varied experiences of care. Each child has their own different and specific sets of needs. Their experiences before and during care makes them a particularly vulnerable group of young people. Children may enter care for all sorts of reasons, but many enter because they have been abused or neglected. These experiences can leave children with complex emotional and mental health needs, which can increase their vulnerability to abuse.

QUOTE

Learner reflection:
‘I am happy and proud’ of what I have learned ‘
‘If I had a problem on my mind then I can tell someone more easily now as I am a lot better at this.’

Background to case

Wyatt is a year 6 boy who is in Foster Care. He has been excluded from mainstream school and attends an alternative provision where he struggles to regulate his feelings and can display challenging and sometimes verbally and physically aggressive behaviour to peers and staff. He was referred to TSOC for support with dealing with his difficult feelings and emotions, possibly due to his fears of moving to a new school.

Process at The Seeds of Change

Wyatt presented as articulate and mature and shared that he was excited to start his programme. He appeared aware of his need to deal with his feelings better, sharing that he sometimes felt overwhelmed by his emotions and the prospect of change.

Wyatt found it easier to talk about his feelings whilst completing activities, so we practiced declaring feelings whilst completing practical tasks. He was able to relate the horse’s feelings and behaviours to his own which helped him to explore his own feelings.

Worksheets enabled Wyatt to identify physical symptoms of worry and strategies for coping and to reflect on the challenging behaviour he displayed in school. This supported him to understand how his feelings impact his behaviours and how he could use the feeling of calmness he has when with horses to help him in school.

Qyatt engaged in written work and took pride in reflecting on what he had learnt. He enjoyed having input into session planning and often requested the opportunity to practice or repeat any activity that he found difficult, ‘so he could get better.’

To build self-esteem and confidence, we reflected on his achievement throughout the session, using scaling 1-10 for him to monitor his own improvement. He particularly enjoyed collecting ‘nature treasure’ on a mindfulness walk, giving this activity 10/10.