Rosalee and Sarah’s Story
I always knew my youngest Sarah was different. By the time she was about 3 years old, I noticed that she found it difficult to keep still. She wanted to do everything standing up. On the rare occasion that she did sit down, she would fidget furiously and be back on her feet within a few minutes.
Everything from day-time naps (barely 20 minutes), to food was an issue. To say she was a picky eater was an understatement.
My first thought was Sarah was suffering from some type of hyperactivity disorder. A referral to a Consultant Paediatrician resulted in a prompt referral to parenting classes. This was very discouraging and so I decided to just get on with it alone.
10 years later, Sarah still has issues with sleep and food plus a whole catalogue of other behaviours ranging from sensory problems to anxiety that seem to be getting more intense as she gets older.
Lorna and Ben’s Story
Prior to beginning therapy at Catchpoint, life had become pretty tough for my little family. There is just me and Ben, now 11. I adopted Ben when he was 6, and 2 years in, it became clear that he was finding life very difficult. His early experiences taught him that adults couldn’t be trusted and as his love for me grew, so did his mistrust and need to be in control. His behaviour was showing me exactly how difficult he was finding things. I mostly had to deal with anger and aggression.
Luckily these behaviours were only seen at home, but it meant that it became increasingly hard to parent Ben and feel any connection to him. I felt very lost and alone and I knew that Ben would be picking up on my feelings too, which only made the situation worse.
After the first angry outburst, Ben went into school the next day and said to the TA ‘I hurt my Mum last night, I don’t want to do it again, I want to stop’. We both knew we needed help and both of us wanted to feel better.
The minute I walked into Catchpoint for that first meeting, full of hope waiting to see if they could help, I knew I was in the right place.
It’s hard to describe the relief that I felt. I was finally being listened to and understood and somebody wanted to help us and were confident they could.
The early days of therapy were strange. Neither of us were in a good place, and the activities we were doing felt odd, partly because I didn’t understand why we were doing them, and because I couldn’t see what difference they were going to make.
Gradually I learned to relax in the sessions and just go with it and slowly could begin to see an improvement, in particular the angry outbursts became less frequent and less intense.
I took away lots of strategies from these sessions and adapted how I would talk to Ben. Using the familiar words, phrases and activities that fill our sessions and bringing them into our home, we began to enjoy our time together again and our bond has grown stronger and deeper over time.
Quite simply, Catchpoint has played a huge part in saving my little family. And going forward, they are still so important as we manage some big changes in the future that Ben will find hard. Knowing that we continue to have the support of Catchpoint to explore these feelings and find ways of managing them is such a relief for us both.