Cool Kids Case Studies 2023

Twins case study:

Mum reported that: “At aged 5 both twins were clever, funny and bright, BUT, bit, kicked, hit and spat at other children as well as their teachers. Meltdowns and school exclusions were ongoing in spite of having 1:1 teaching assistants at school and OT recommended strategies/equipment in place. The first few sessions, she said, ‘I was pretty sure we were going to get kicked out for bad behaviour’. But I’d seen M (Sensory Integration trained OT) calm down A with a shoulder squeeze and getting him to stamp his feet and he was suddenly focused and back in the room (field), and that was like witnessing some witchcraft and I wanted some of that; so, we kept coming twice a week despite much protesting from the boys, then later some doubts from school as the boys “decided” they would improve behaviour at home first, school last”.

Outcomes following completion of COOL KIDs included:

  • One twin voted unanimously onto school council, second twin best in class at log trail
  • Both passed their year 2 STATs and academically where they should be
  • Mum no longer given a daily list of incidents from school
  • Both well liked at school by staff and pupils for their humour and quirky personalities which they can show off now they aren’t having meltdowns all the time
  • Managed a full five hours in the theme park on holiday including getting wet spots on clothes without any melt downs and eating non- MacDonalds chips, did queues and lots of walking with zero tantrums. ……
  • Mum said, “their Dad and I couldn’t believe how smoothly the entire week away went”
  • Mum says “Cool Kids has made a huge difference and I’d definitely recommend it. We still have a way to go but things feel more hopeful and manageable and most importantly a lot less stressful for them and us”
  • The twins have been assessed using the Sensory Integration and Praxis test and are on the waiting list for (Ayres) Sensory Integration Therapy

F’s Case Study:

Born 8 weeks prematurely, F spent 3 weeks in intensive care, struggled to gain weight and always resisted feeding.  During subsequent 5 years his development was delayed by between 6-12 months with most things, including rolling, sitting, crawling, walking and talking. They received some OT, Physio and SALT input from the NHS up until F was aged 4, this helped in terms of early skills; but, there was no recognition of any kind of sensory differences.

Until the age of 3 F was un-naturally very passive, quiet and compliant. Once he turned 3 he suddenly became very aggressive and violent ALL THE TIME with no apparent reason. He hit and kicked everyone indiscriminately, to the extent he would hurt the other children and cause back and neck injuries to adults too; he was always launching himself full force at people and knocking them over. It became difficult to take him to his playgroups or to any other activity. Family had a horrendously difficult 2.5 years behaviour wise. Parents made a decision to Home Educate (HE).

When F was 6, a Clinical Psychologist friend recommended Mum to read “the Out of Sync Child” – a life changing read.  Parents began to implement a daily sensory diet of proprioceptive and deep pressure activity and saw an instant improvement in F’s behaviour, including a vast reduction in his aggression. Mum said, “it became obvious that we needed to find an OT trained in using (Ayres) Sensory Integration Therapy (ASIT)”.

SENSORY PEOPLE agreed to set up a Cool Kids programme up for HE families. Then Covid-19 struck! By August 2020 we were able to commence a” socially distanced” Cool Kids program in a field/ outside.

F and his family attended the COOL KIDs programme 3 times a week for a year. Mum integrated activities from each session into their daily routine. She reports: “Again we saw almost instant results in terms of behaviour. F became calmer and more regulated and significantly less aggressive. Over the course of the next year, we saw steady improvements in ALL areas of F’s activities of daily living including:  

  • “He became better co-ordinated – had the resilience to try things he couldn’t get the hang of initially. He began to be able to carry plates or bowls without spilling the contents and fully dress himself. His handwriting improved vastly 
  • His concentration improved – he began to sit for 5-10 minutes – concentrate on more “formal” type learning activities ( this built up over  time)… he can now sit for an hour or more at a time
  • Initially at Cool Kids he would go to the toilet every 5 minutes – but developed better bladder control in a few months.  Night time continence is still work in progress.
  • Dummy – F’s dummy was a constant source of frustration for the family but it was his number 1 go to for comfort and regulation. After commencing ASIT he was finally able to give it up of his own volition.
  • F’s Social Skills and Communication began improving; he. He became calmer and more regulated, able to articulate himself more clearly, was much less aggressive, started to build enduring friendships; he is now a confident and eloquent communicator, happy to speak to anyone and everyone, including standing up in public to give demonstrations etc. (despite not doing much of it) and he is also a competent and fluid reader.”

Mum says: “I genuinely believe we would be in very different position these days without discovering SENSORY PEOPLE, the Cool Kids programme, and, now, ASIT” (Mum is now a Trustee of the Charity)

F’s writing at assessment August 2020

F’s writing March 2021 after 8 months of CK

We are grateful, to the twins and F’s mum, for taking the time to write up these case studies in order to support other parents who are struggling to understand their own child’s behaviour, and, who are concerned at how, what they see as a programme of exercises (which they think might be seen/ undertaken eg in a school gym”) , will help their child’s gross and fine motor skills, communication/language development, modulation and mental health. In fact, one of the children’s Teaching Assistants said to the CK coach, “we teach these exercises at school” implying there was no point doing them in a CK programme! We have to emphasise, that, when under the supervision of an SI trained therapist, undertaken regularly and using a therapeutic approach, CK can be life changing! The twins and F’s family have seen that the CK programme, based on theories of child development and sensory integration can achieve very positive results for both their children and their families. J and V (the mums) are keen that other parents understand what a positive journey their children have been on, and, the outcomes that have been achieved.