This family was self-referred as one of the children began to show signs of ‘withdrawal’ and ‘distress’ following the breakdown of his parent’s relationship. A mentor was assigned to the child - Sion (a 6 year old boy) to work with him on a weekly basis, in order to help him process his feelings about the ‘loss’. During the course of our involvement, Sion was diagnosed with dyspraxia. A family support worker was assigned to mum to give support and guidance in understanding how Sion’s experience of loss might also be contributing to his learning difficulties, and how many of the behaviours he was displaying (e.g. anger, regressive behaviours, sleeplessness) were connected to the normal grief process.
Work with mum focused on introducing her to activities, which she and Sion could enjoy together in order to build an emotional connection between them. Over time, as mum began to understand how children copy and mirror behaviour, she began to reflect on and develop her ability to express emotions in a healthy way, in order to help Sion understand his own emotions. Mum commented at the end of the 6 month intervention that she felt Sion “had his Peter Pan life back”, noting a massive improvement in his self confidence and self-esteem, also concluding that she had underestimated the impact of the relationship breakdown and separation from his father had on Sion, and had not understood that he might be finding it so difficult that he had wanted to harm himself.
Debbie, Family Support Worker, Securing Futures project