For Brandon, communicating how he was feeling was harder than for other children. We asked his coach Christine how coaching through TLG has helped him to speak out.
"When I started coaching Brandon in year 4, I couldn’t understand a word he said. He’d been to a speech therapist once or twice but his mum had said it wasn’t any use. It had a knock-on impact on his confidence and he was very quiet and shy when I first met him. He wouldn’t come out of himself.
Before, I used to ask Brandon questions in our time together and all he’d do was nod his head. He didn’t really open up at all.
What’s more, he struggled with his reading and writing and he fell very behind. Secondary school was weighing on his mind because he knew his literacy levels were low. Brandon really wanted to improve his reading and writing before going there. He was desperate to learn.
I said, “I won’t make you but if you want to read a little bit together then we can do that”. So we read a couple of pages together each week just to help him. We’re still building his words up but he’s enjoying the opportunity to have a go.
We mostly play games together. I bring a few activities and I let him choose. Because of that, he’s talking more. In fact, he never stops talking! But I think it’s that one-to-one ‘me’ time that’s made all the difference for him.
The shyness has gone and now we have lots of conversations. When I go and collect Brandon from his classroom his face just lights up completely because he’s so excited!
Before, Brandon would struggle to form friendships because he struggled to communicate with other children and he was getting picked on a little bit. But now he’s so much more confident and he’s forming some great friendships.
He’s a happier boy now. He’ll always tell me if something’s gone wrong. He’ll always tell me what it is and we can chat about it.
He’s an absolute joy and I’ve enjoyed it so much.”
Christine is a volunteer coach from Stoke-on-Trent. She and a team of 10 coaches from her church are transforming lives in their community through TLG Early Intervention. You could make a difference too! Click here to see what impact you can make.