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Breaking Through Life

As impactful as therapy sessions can be, their influence is limited in the grand scheme. An hour or two of therapy alone cannot enact sweeping change – as it is only a small fraction of a child’s wider ecosystem. Creating a holistic and supportive system around a child matters so much more than most would initially think. 

The importance of creating meaningful changes to a child’s ecosystem is best highlighted through the journey of a boy who came to us with acute difficulties with emotion regulation and verbal expression, enduring a number of meltdowns throughout his daily routines. It was clear that aspects of his environment were contributing to the challenges the boy was experiencing. 💡

When we first met the boy, he presented more as a passive participant in his life than an active agent acting on the environment around him. He had previously been taught how to act and what to say in certain situations, not allowing him to express himself. Not only did this lead to unnatural speech, but it also contributed to his difficulties with emotion regulation as he was unable to be truly heard without resorting to meltdowns. 

In order for us to make positive changes to the child’s development, we had to prioritise change to his environment. This involved recommending that the child be removed from one environment entirely. Although this sounds drastic, it was clear that it was necessary. There was a significant and positive shift in the boy’s emotional state after this change was made. 

We subsequently collaborated with the rest of his team across home and education settings to address his challenges. A significant amount of time was spent supporting those around the boy with shifting their expectations of him and moving towards giving him greater autonomy and responsibility. We also challenged his parents to reframe their perspective of their child. Rather than seeing him as a child who needs structure and to be taught how to act in life situations, we invited them to see him as an individual capable of communicating, connecting with others and making his own decisions. 

Today, the same child radiates positivity and confidence, initiating social connection and playfully conversing with peers. Gone are the meltdowns when people couldn’t understand what he was trying to say. In their place are developed problem-solving skills, confidence and creativity, allowing him to convey his thoughts more effectively. 

It has been truly gratifying to see him develop emotion regulation and communication skills that have allowed him to meaningfully connect with children, overcome his challenges and achieve new milestones. 

Let’s continue to create nurturing environments where every child can thrive! Together, we can make a difference in their lives. 

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