Please Keep Going! It works…
This is Gabby Logan’s experience of STEP
One March 29th 2014 our son, who was then 8 years old, was assessed for STEP and on July 13th 2015, just two weeks short of his tenth birthday, he was signed off.
It was a long 15 months and at times, I will admit, I wanted to throw the towel in.
Which is the reason I felt compelled to write this blog.
I don’t know who you are or why you are reading this, but if you are reading this because you have a child who is currently going through STEP and you want some reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel, then it is you I have in my mind.
Most of us start this journey for our children because we want to make things a bit easier for them. Whether it’s reading and writing, organisational skills, social skills or physical skills, we are hoping that they will find life a bit smoother and that as a result their self-esteem might improve, and with that comes endless possibilities.
A bit of background on our boy. Our son wasn’t dyslexic, he was a bit dyspraxic and very disorganised. His writing and spelling was poor and he was not a great reader. That is to say, he could read well but missed key words and therefore never got the meaning of a passage. He was sociable but couldn’t always judge when he was being annoying or going over the top, and he had the tendency to fly off the handle about little tasks if he felt overloaded.
He couldn’t go upstairs to get some socks and actually come down with them, he’d forget why he was there. He was loving and kind but felt he was rubbish at most things and this caused him to fly off the handle or get angry with himself. He never had as many friends as he would have liked. His Dad is very dyslexic so I knew from quite an early age that our son had tendencies similar to his father, and I was determined he wouldn’t have the same experience at school. I loved school and I wanted my children to have the best days of their lives and not be filled with pain recounting school as my husband does.
We are three weeks into term now, it’s the first term for 18 months where he has not being doing the STEP exercises. I am a bit nervous about writing this because I don’t want to jinx things. But I feel like I have a different boy in the house. He is more organised with his school-work, remembers his homework and does it without a fight. He is happier after school and jollier before it. Last year it took 6 months for him to get a party invitation - this year he has been to three already in three weeks. He is scoring tries in every match and even captained the A team at rugby. He is doing LAMDA exams and auditioning for plays. I said to him to the other day “are you happy you did STEP”.
“Oh yes” he said. “How do you feel?” I asked. “I just feel better like I can try harder, I feel happier.”If I had asked that question last March he would have shouted at me and told me it wasn’t working and I was inclined to agree back then. I’d see an improvement and then a few days later felt we had dropped back.
It was a rollercoaster ride. Every child is different of course, and you can’t compare one person’s reaction to another but I wasn’t sure after 8 months that we were heading the right way. My husband did a similar programme as a 30 year old.
“Stick with it!” he urged.
I had to be enthusiastic for him, if he had seen me become disenchanted then he would have quit. So we battled on and by now we also had my daughter on STEP so we were doing two children twice a day. It was hard and it was at times a big pain. Holidays and weekends were always interrupted, we took the equipment to Mauritius, Wales, Switzerland, South Africa and beyond.
Reuben is not in love with writing and he might not be a genius academically, but he is loving learning and being part of the school community. He can still be tricky if he doesn’t want to do something but I think that’s pretty normal for prepubescent boys! He is a great kid and he is starting to believe that too. That, for me is priceless.
I know it’s hard when the morning rush is on, or the evening activities bleed into dinner time and homework hasn’t been done, but it really has been worth it.
I hope this account of our experiences helps you to dig deep and keep going when it gets tough. I really don’t think you will regret it.
STEP is an online personalised physical exercises programme which is particularly effective for children with general focus and concentration issues and learning differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.
For more information, please head to STEPtoday.com and do ask us anything! STEP activates the ability to learn.