As a child, Ryan was bound by anger and wore a frown from day to day. With support from his TLG Early Intervention coach his frown became a smile, and 5 years on – the smile remains.
“My behaviour was terrible and I was just so rude. I’d get in trouble for shouting at teachers and constantly misbehaving. I don’t know why I did it but I think I just wanted attention in the classroom. I’d play the part of the class clown as if to say, “look at me everyone!”
They’d send me out all the time. We had this room at my school called the Rethink Room where I’d have to go over and over again to sit on my own. I just remember it making me so frustrated. In fact, I’d say I was just quite an angry child.
When I got told that Steve was going to come in and started coaching with me I was quite excited. In all honesty, to begin with I was mostly just excited because it meant I got to leave class to make paper aeroplanes!
But then I noticed myself starting to change with Steve.
In our coaching sessions we would talk and he helped me to cope with my anger. He helped me to focus and to get my head down at school. He showed me that instead of lashing out at teachers and students, I could stop and take a breather. I started to understand how important it is to listen to teachers.
Steve made me feel better about myself and about school. I was just really proud of myself and the progress I’d made. When I saw the difference that it was making I was so happy. I went from being enemies with my year six teacher to becoming best friends.
It really helped me to mature. When I arrived at secondary school I decided that I didn’t want to misbehave anymore. I told myself that there’s just no need to act like an idiot anymore. I felt like it was time to take things seriously.
I don’t think I'd have been thinking that if I hadn’t met Steve. I’d probably still be mucking around in school and I definitely wouldn’t be doing as well as I am now. I’m doing GCSEs now and school is going well. I’m worried about exams because there’s a lot of pressure to achieve but I'm determined to do well. When I was in primary school I didn’t care about school but now I’ve got a focus and I know what I want to achieve. Next year I'm hoping to study vehicle mechanics so I want to finish school really well.
Getting to know Steve was really great because he was one of the leaders at the church youth group and I used to go along. I went along for about 5 years and only left recently as my family was moving up north. For me, it was a valuable time. Instead of being at home doing nothing, I was hanging out with kids that knew what they were doing, kids with motivation. And the leaders, they were very good people to me. You could sit down with them, talk about how you were doing and they’d really listen. I’d say it was such a good place for me to go and to just not worry about anything else.
It’s almost five years since my coaching with Steve ended and I’m so grateful for the support he gave. He really helped me to become a better person and that makes me so happy.”