Fitting in can be hard. Fitting in when you’re trying to work out who you are can be even harder. That’s why an Early Intervention coach made all the difference for Joshua.
During primary school, Joshua struggled to find friends. He lived his life inwardly, finding it difficult to interact and empathise with other children. He would struggle in a classroom set up. The necessity to work with other pupils caused him real difficulty and the pressure that that built up on him meant that he was excluding himself from friendships and he didn’t enjoy school.
Not just that, but Joshua’s personal battle with his feelings held his enjoyment of school hostage. “He was very sensitive,” describes his mum Lucy. “He got upset with the littlest things and if he got a wrong answer it’d play on his mind near enough all night and even the next day.”
And then Joshua met Daryl.
Daryl, a local pastor and an Early Intervention coach, began meeting with Joshua for an hour a week in school. Their time together allowed Joshua to have somebody to talk to, to chat through the times when he’d made a mistake, to learn that he can actually achieve the things he thought he’d never be able to. But most of all, Daryl helped Joshua learn how to form friendships. “He’s a lot more positive about life,” says Daryl, “He smiles, which is something he really didn’t do a lot of before. We do a lunch club here and recently he came into the lunch club with a group of lads. It was very clear that they were friends.”
Joshua has just one word to describe how having Daryl has changed his life: “Happy”.