Karl, violent fantasy games to full-time schooling

Karl, aged 8, came to Dandelion Time as a very traumatised boy with worrying behaviour, unable to be calm or to concentrate. He was constantly running, moving and using fantasised violent play which involved acting out a variety of characters. Often he would not answer to his own name, but only to that of the character he had become. He found sharing meals around a big family group table very difficult as he felt threatened by being with more than one or two people.

Dandelion therapeutic staff were gradually able to help Karl to take part in calm creative activities. Woodwork, felt-work and cooking allowed Karl to become immersed in enjoyable projects which required a need for slow and careful work, and gradually he became able to concentrate and feel less anxious, for increasing periods of time.

He gradually responded to the help he was given and began to feel safe enough to relax and calm down, enjoying time with his Mum and beginning to interact with staff. The change has been noticeable to his Mum and school; he now uses pretend play without resorting to violence, and doesn’t constantly run so much. He is less anxious and is now able to sometimes be still, listening to conversation or joining in.

Attending Dandelion helped Karl to grow his social skills, developing and demonstrating a sense of humour, enjoying play of different types, and interacting well with other children, and even a few adults. He began to make friendships with other children, and his school have told Dandelion that there has been a noticeable and positive difference in his behaviour and he has been calmer. After receiving support from Dandelion, he was able to overcome some of his emotional difficulties which enabled him to stay at school for lunch (for the first time), and start to follow an increased timetable of full instead of half days.


This is a composite case that is indicative of our work, names and images have been changed.

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