A letter from the mother of a young girl I have been seeing.

Thank you so much for everything you have done for L. Your gentle and intuitive manner made L feel comfortable right from the start and your implementation of the INPP principles has genuinely changed L's life.

Before she started the programme, L was experiencing severe anxiety, which manifested in anger and negativity. She struggled to make eye contact, had little confidence, found concentrating difficult and was being bullied at school. She was extremely sensitive to sound, but was inappropriately loud herself. She needed a great deal of sensory input and found sitting and standing still very difficult. At school, she tended to exclude herself from learning and social interaction. She would sit by herself and read, and would not listen to a word the teacher was saying. In break time she spent a lot of time kicking up mud on the edge of the playground.

She found extra-curricular activities to be very challenging, as she was unable to concentrate and struggled to coordinate her movements. Dancing and gymnastics were beyond her, learning to swim took years and she had nearly given up playing a musical instrument. She was generally dis-engaged. Her anxiety, anger and vulnerability affected the whole family dynamic in a very negative way, impacting on all our relationships and especially her sister.

From the very first exercise that you suggested for L, her whole demeanour started changing. Her anxiety seemed to drop away from her, and she started becoming much gentler and more self-aware in her interaction with others. As the year has gone on, her anger has disappeared, leaving a well-adjusted, fair and decent child in its wake. No longer are we struggling with "melt downs" and "shouting matches" before and after school. She has a lovely group of friends and seems to be well liked by pupils and teachers alike. She is able to concentrate and is doing well academically. She is more confident and resilient, so that even when she gets things wrong, she is able to try again. In the past she would have just switched off and given up.

She wants to join in with everything now, where previously she would have purposely isolated and excluded herself. She joined in with a dance programme last term and when it came to the show, she was able to stand on stage and confidently follow all the moves. She is now excelling at the clarinet, playing a solo at the school show and was recently made an assistant patrol leader at cubs. Her natural abilities, intelligence and kindness are now able to come to the fore, because she is no longer fighting with herself and the world around her.

Prior to the start of the programme we had self referred to Speech and Language as we believed that she may be autistic and were concerned about her inability to interact with her peers. By the time the appointments and observations came round (approximately half way through the programme), L had improved so significantly, that the therapists found nothing of concern and felt that she was actually very mature in her understanding and use of both verbal and non-verbal cues.

This year has been a pivotal turning point for L. Where previously I was concerned that she was heading for a lifetime of mental illness and exclusion from society, I am now confident that she can engage with life in a positive way.

I cannot fully express how grateful I am.

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121 Giles street, Leith, Edinburgh

Deanbank, Quothquan, Biggar, ML12 6NA

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Call Pauline on 07516614731 01899 438 152 or email pauline@helpinghandcenter.co.uk

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