12-year old Stan was extremely nervous about oncoming tests, partly because of his dyslexia diagnosis, partly because he found it impossible to work: like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, Stan would freeze at the prospect of work and find other things to do to distract himself from any academic demands.
He was artistic and enjoyed drawing.
His relationships with his parents and teachers were deteriorating fast. Reports accused him of being ‘lazy’, ‘immature’ and ‘unmotivated’. Stan was beginning to believe it himself, and fantasized about dropping out of school.
Stan needed to vent his pent-up frustrations with his problems at school. Being listened to without interruption gave him confidence, and made him willing to try a few techniques to help him break down his mass of outstanding work into small, manageable parts. He enjoyed mindmapping because it allowed him to draw. He developed a sense of achievement in meeting his goals.
It took a while for Stan’s new attitude to be noticed at school, as a bad reputation is not easy to shake off, but as Stan was receiving support outside school he was able to keep progressing until his reports started to improve.
He performed well in his tests, and after four months was motivated and confident enough to stop sessions.