Play Partners met with Rebecca and her mother at the family home. The initial referral had come through the intensive family support worker at their local children’s centre.  Rebecca’s challenging behaviour was observed at school.  Rebecca was showing some very challenging behaviour throughout class and at times harming the teacher and fellow pupils. This was in edition to the complications Rebecca had with the muscles in her legs.  Due to Rebecca’s challenging behaviour school had limited her attendance to 3 mornings a week. This at the time of this case study has now increased to 5 and some afternoons depending on her behaviour.

Rebecca’s family have no transport and limited funds for Rebecca to access short breaks. We managed to find a dance group. This Mum had identified as an activity that Rebecca would enjoy. The dance group was a bus journey away and Mum was happy to take Rebecca.  T supported Rebecca into a creative dance group at Yorkshiredance studios on Saturday mornings. I had spoken to staff at the studios and the dance teacher about Rebecca ’s needs and Mum’s concerns and it was agreed that the class would be ideal for Rebecca.

We had arranged to meet Mum at the studios; initially Mum was hesitant to leave Rebecca but with a bit of encouragement T took Rebecca along with the other pupils in the class and we went to watch the session.  Rebecca soon got involved with the dancing and slotted into the group like she had been going along for weeks. The dance teacher was thrilled to see a pupil get involved so quickly and with such enthusiasm. Rebecca did not need constant support throughout the session, at times a little encouragement in the group work.

After the session T discussed the session with Mum, a sense of relief seemed to come over her, she was stunned that Rebecca had been able to be with a group of other children and dance teachers in an environment without any problems.  Rebecca continued to attend the classes with our support and without issues, after 5 weeks I began to spend more time out of the studio and watched from the window whilst Rebecca enjoyed dancing and building positive relationships with other children and staff.  Play Partners have pulled out of supporting Rebecca at the dance class as it was felt she no longer needed that level of support there; this was agreed with Mum, Rebecca and the dance staff.

 Play Partners have also supported Rebecca over the school holidays at a playscheme that she thoroughly enjoyed and was able to go for full days with support, this has provided time for Mum to spend time with her new baby and time out for herself and also a time for Rebecca to be with other children, play, have fun and learn new skills.  Rebecca had left some of the sessions telling her Mum how tired she was, Mum had said that she rarely was tired and how much she looked forward to going the next day.

 Although Play Partners has stopped supporting Rebecca at the dance group we have sign posted Mum to other activities and support networks such as SNAPS and encouraged her to go to activities at her local children centre. We continue to support her during the holidays and are in regular contact with the family should any more support be needed.

*This child’s name has been changed in order to maintain anonymity.