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  • Writer's picturePadraig Danaher

This is Paula and she has just returned to school after 3 years of absence.

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Paula is now returning to school after being absent from formal education for over 3 years. When Paula met Padraig, she had no goals, had not left her room in over a year and a half, let alone her house.

The family had one goal and that was for this young person to connect with someone. That was it! Not return to school, do the leaving cert, have a full social life. It was just to connect with someone. That is where the family started, and this is where we finished. Paula is back at school, engaged in group activities, other therapeutic supports, exercising and living the life he wants to live.

The focus was on connection, creating safety within the relationship, meeting her where she was at “meeting her in her chaos.” It is here where we can create connection, when we see her, actually see her. The focus was understanding what Paula needed from this service through strong collaboration with her family.

These sessions were led by Paula at her home where she felt safe. They started slow to meet her needs at her pace. It was serval weeks before sessions moved to her garden before then attempting a drive-thru coffee, and then later a local café. Paula began to feel safe again with the outside world and began to find joy.

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