- Age: 13
- Problem areas: Self-esteem, concentration, writing, numeracy, balance, co-ordination
- Completed Dore: May 2008
From a very early age, Charlotte had problems concentrating in class. She couldn’t sit still and would often get up and walk around while the teacher was trying to talk. She struggled to understand what was being said and this led to real frustration and a lack of confidence in her own abilities!
“Charlotte’s writing was very untidy,” says her dad, David. “She had enormous problems with maths and literacy and found it very difficult to retain information. This affected her self-esteem and she would often get angry and frustrated at not being able to keep up with the rest of her class. She was also very clumsy – always falling over and covered in bruises. The only way she could walk downstairs was to lead with her right foot and then stop – which often meant a queue of frustrated people people behind her when she was in a public place!”
A professional assessment when Charlotte was 9 led to her being diagnosed with dyspraxia and attention problems. However, the family was given little or no advice about support and decided to look for other options themselves.
Quite by chance, after a worrying and upsetting parents’ evening in year 5, when most of Charlotte’s work was unfinished and one piece had not even been started, her mum, Lorraine, came across the Dore website. Reading about the difficulties that other children had overcome, Charlotte seemed to tick most of the boxes with regard to the problems she was having both at home and at school.
The Dore assessment acknowledged that Charlotte did have dyspraxia and attention problems. She was put onto a tailored programme of exercises and within a few months her parents noticed that her confidence and self-esteem had improved.
Within the first year, Charlotte could walk up and down stairs normally – but the real icing on the cake for her parents was when she returned home one day to announce that she’d auditioned for, and won, one of the lead roles in the school nativity play! She was an absolute star!
David and Lorraine, hadn’t told anyone at school that their daughter was on the Dore programme – so they were delighted when a class helper who had worked with Charlotte in year 2 commented on how she had blossomed!
In year 6, shortly after she started the programme, Charlotte began attending a Saturday morning music school and in the same year, won a school award for music. Once a child who had real difficulties mixing with other children, she joined in with her school friends dancing and singing on stage at the year 6 leavers’ party!
David says that Charlotte’s sense of humour has also changed. “She used to take everything literally. You couldn’t have a joke with her because she didn’t understand irony. Now she is an absolute pleasure to be with!”
Charlotte is now it secondary school and parents’ evening is a pleasure rather than a chore. Her teachers have nothing but praise for her and the hard work that she puts in at school. At times, David and Lorraine have been quite astounded by the praise the teachers give Charlotte as it is so different from the comments she would get when she was younger. “It’s like they’re talking about a different child”.
None of her teachers believe it when they hear about the difficulties she used to have. These days, she enjoys school life to the full and has just chosen her GCSE options. She has recently moved up to the top group in science, exceeding her academic targets.
“She’s an absolute pleasure to be with!”
David, Charlotte’s dad.