HearSay Garden Party

Sunday 30th June 2019
at The Grange, Marden

More info . . .

Find us on Facebook



Simon and Alice

Simon and AliceWhen Simon (aged 12) and Alice (aged 10), both of whom have multiple learning difficulties, first came to HCT for counselling, Simon was very close to being excluded from school as he did not seem able to control his bad behaviour.  Simon’s main issue was ADHD for which he had tried medication but had to stop taking it because it made him depressed.

Alice had also been diagnosed with ADHD along with a learning disability that was delaying her intellectual educational development.  She also seemed slightly paranoid and initially did not want her mother to talk to our counsellor without being there herself as she did not want to be talked about behind her back.

Sally, the children’s mother, was a single parent trying to do the best she could for her two children.  As she was abandoned by her own mother and brought up by her father she experienced some difficulties particularly in bringing up her daughter.

It became apparent that Simon’s school had not received paperwork regarding him from his previous school so our counsellor encouraged his mother to talk to the teachers at the school about his condition.  Following her intervention it quickly became apparent that Simon’s worst behaviour involved one particular bullying boy.  The two boys were separated and Simon began to settle down.  He developed a particular friendship with another boy who also had ADHD and he was also given a mentor by the school.  He has been able to improve his behaviour considerably, is no longer in danger of exclusion and even won a cooking prize at school.  When OFSTED came to inspect the school, Simon was chosen to speak to the inspectors about how he found his life at school.

Alice gradually learnt to trust our counsellor which enabled her to attend sessions on her own and to allow her mother to attend on her own.  The counsellor worked with both mother and daughter to help them establish appropriate physical boundaries as Alice had a habit of crowding her mother.  Alice has now been statemented and her mother decided it would be best for her to attend a highly recommended school for children with learning disabilities.  Alice has settled in very well and is making a significant contribution to school life which included being asked to read at a special school assembly.

The family as a whole is now much more settled and communication between them all greatly improved.


RobertRobert (aged 10) had a complex background.  His natural father had been deported back to Nigeria when he was one year old. His mother then began a relationship with a man who physically abused Robert. This situation was reported to social services and the man eventually went to prison. At this point Robert was placed in the care of his grandmother.   Robert’s mother eventually re-married and they had a second child, Tony.  However, because of Robert’s past bad experience with father figures, it was difficult for Robert to settle down with his stepfather and he felt considerable jealousy towards his half-brother who seemed to get all the attention from both parents. There had been a recent incident where Robert’s stepfather hit him, although this occurred after 3 hours of provocation. Robert then picked up a knife in a threatening manner in retaliation.

Our counsellor met with Robert, his mother and stepfather on six occasions, and with Robert’s mother and stepfather alone on three occasions.  The family sessions did not include Robert’s half-brother, Tony, which enabled the family to concentrate on their relationship with Robert.  He gradually developed a more respectful and responsible way of behaving towards his mother and stepfather and our counsellor encouraged bonding specifically between Robert and his stepfather around common interests and games.

Counselling sessions with Robert’s mother and stepfather focused to some extent on their concern about the involvement of Social Services in their life as well as the undermining of the mother’s confidence because her own mother had needed to be involved in Robert’s care. 

Meetings to review Robert’s progress, which included social workers, school staff and mother and stepfather, also included our counsellor.  Robert’s behaviour improved greatly as he learned that he could verbalise his needs and would be listened to, and Social Services indicated that they would soon close the case. 

Our counsellor’s work with the whole family helped them to become more of a cohesive family unit and Robert became far less aggressive and able to communicate his needs and concerns effectively.  Robert also discovered that he was very good at street dancing and this special talent really helped his self esteem to grow.