We follow *Becky’s journey from a shy Team Mates participant, to a confident, diplomatic leader amongst her peers.
9-year-old *Becky suffers from ASD, dyspraxia, and anxiety. She is also a young carer, looking after her paraplegic Mother full time outside of school hours.
Throughout the last few years of primary school, Becky has struggled to develop social skills and as a result does not have a strong friendship base, preferring on most occasions to spend her social time during school hours with teachers or alone. According to her teachers, she is often worried or anxious, can be nervous in new situations, and can lose confidence quite easily.
During the Autumn term, Becky became a participant on our Team Mates programme and was an ever-present member at the sessions.
Throughout the 8-week programme, her progress has been clear to see. Her willingness to sit next to other students, speak with them regarding the tasks set and ask questions during the ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ portion of the sessions increased as the weeks went on. These situations have enabled other students in the class to better understand Becky, creating an easier platform from which they can converse and have fun whilst learning.
Becky’s confidence in herself has grown by a considerable amount since her first Team Mates session. She is now constantly raising her hand to answer questions and even volunteering her input and thoughts towards a given topic. On many occasions, Palace for Life Project Officers have had to say: “I love your enthusiasm Becky but I’m going to have to let someone else say what they think”!
During the sports part of the sessions, Becky has grown hugely in confidence and willingness to participate. She began by refusing to take part, yet now she runs outside announcing what position she’ll be playing! She will even discuss with her teammates where she wants them to run and has been diplomatic when and if any positions should change.
The Assistant Headteacher of Becky’s school said: “Becky stood up in front of the class to do a speech for why she wanted to become a school council rep, which was a huge thing for her. I don’t think she would have done this without the confidence that she has gained from the Team Mates sessions.”
Becky added: “I really like Team Mates, it’s cool and fun and has helped with my confidence.”
Throughout the next term, Becky can now focus on developing relationships with her peers rather than the adults in school. If the previous three months are anything to go by, then we fully expect Becky’s progress to continue and surpass what has already been achieved.
*For the purpose of this case study, Becky’s name has been changed to provide anonymity to her and her family.
To find out more about the Palace for Life Team Mates sessions, click HERE.