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Parent Stories and Feedback 

What people say    

 

Please note because those who take our courses are in active ongoing long-term relationships with young people we do not use any identifying names or details on our feedback statements in order to preserve privacy.  The feedback will provide a flavour of the process.

Sarah became a step mum to Jessie when Jessie was just 2 yrs old after a very traumatic early years period. They requested a referral for help to local services but waiting lists everywhere were very long.  Life at home was very challenging, Sarah and Jessie's birth father John, took part in some I Matter workshops via the school They then both took part in supported online study Twelve months later, they describe the relationship and their confidence as 'totally transformed'.  They report: 'We  cannot believe the difference'.

Holly and Pete became adoptive parents to two children Kate and Daniel. They were first encouraged to consider I Matter as the behaviour of the youngest child, Dan was extremely challenging and he was at risk of exclusion of school. Questions were being asked about autism.   Twelve months on following a co-ordinated program of home-and-school training and support, Dan is progressing in all aspects of his social development.   There have been successful family holidays and an exciting flowering of successes in relationships

  

Feedback Nuggets

I am starting to feel much less confused about what I need to do.  Before we had good times and difficult times but it was like the weather - I didn't know why. Now I know what I need to do to help us have more of the good times.  I can feel the difference.  Last night we had the best bedtime ever.  It was beautiful.        Adoptive Parent

The course has made me question the way I was parenting my grandchild but without making me feel guilty or to blame it also made it easy for me to understand.           Grandparent                                     

This course has taught me way more than i could have imagined, i love it!    Social services needs to know about this!           Foster Carer

The I Matter model of dealing with the adults before the children is such a useful way to look at things and has turned the dynamics on its head for me. I realised my stress levels are having a huge impact on all of us as a family and learning to change this is starting to make a difference.    Parent

I have liked every single aspect of this course. It has given me much more clarity, confidence and strength to help myself and my child. I can only sing its praises in every way. It has made a huge difference to how I see myself, my situation and my children and has given me the tools to be a better parent/coach for my children. It has also helped in other areas of my life such as work.                   Parent

This course has been so much more than I expected it to be.  I have learned so many things that have changed my understanding of myself and of my child.   I have worked with many services before this but this has really made the difference.  Now I know why I Matter        Parent

The registration questionnaire really got me thinking.  I realised how isolated I had let myself become and that this was not helping me or my child.  I took action the next day and phoned a friend.  I also made another follow-up appointment to speak with my GP.         Parent

For the first time ever my child is going to bed without a fuss and sleeping through, she is sitting to eat meals at the table and playing independently by herself for short periods.    We went to a party and I could not believe the difference.  

 

Longer - Term Impact Feedback

Since taking my I Matter top-up training I feel more confident in myself and more confident in handling the relationships in our family.   I feel like I am able to take the distance required to stand back and understand what is going on in a situation, rather than just be purely emotionally entangled as I was before.  My children are more confident and feel more secure and happier.   My partner has gained new understanding and changed the way he reacts to situations, reacting in a calmer way which keeps us all calmer.                 Parent  

I have been meaning to contact you for a long time to say thank you so much for the I Matter course we did last summer and for all of your advice and help. Relationships with my son have been superb for a long time now. We are loving his company and he seems so much happier in himself. He’s doing really well at school and we’ve simplified drop off and pick up at school so that he’s not waiting around.   We now know that if he is low in either food, sleep or love then we need to act quickly by filling him up with any of these before he gets silly. The I Matter course has allowed me to open my eyes to understand what is going on.   Thank you so much for helping us,           Parent 

Our child who is on the autistic spectrum, had become increasingly out of control, so much so that we had had to call the police on more than one occasion.   I had taken part in a lot of parent training and seen a lot of professionals but nothing had helped me learn what I needed to do in relation to my child's frequent escalations to anger, verbal abuse and insistent demands.  After I had taken part in I Matter training and had a better understanding about what is happening, I learned better how to help contain and manage his rages and intensity.  As I became more confident I have been amazed to see his self-awareness, his sense of humour and his sense of empathy for others developing step by step.  In our family we all now use the language of I Matter.  We still have off days when it all goes to pieces, but we know now how to get back on track.         Parents    

Before starting this training, I used to dread every day with my little girl who is 5 years old.  She used to winge and cry all day, every day.  We have taken a number of active steps that have helped her, but I Matter Training is one of the elements that has helped me to be the parent I always wanted to be with her.  The changes in her since last summer are quite dramatic.  For the first time, I look forward to being with her, she is coming to me for cuddles and is blossoming in all aspects of her development.     Parent

We have a child on the autistic spectrum and have learned a lot from this course about just how much our own well-being and confidence affects the well-being of our child.  It also explained exactly why.  This course has given us very clear strategies and practical ideas to turn to so that our parenting is more positive, focussed and creative when challenges arise.   Challenges do still arise, but now we know which direction to travel.  Our child is doing better in school than we had imagined possible.    I am the father of a 10 year old boy with ASD who was diagnosed by CAMHS when he was 9 years old.  The I Matter Project online courses and support helped my wife and I to find a way out of a darkened room.  We knew very little about autism and there is so much about symptoms and very little on practical steps to improve your child and relationship with them.  My son is now better able to cope with the results of his ASD and we are better able to support him.          Parent

This course opened our eyes to a whole different approach to dealing with a complex child like our son.  There have been many lightbulb moments for both of us and we now feel more confident and positive with him (and with our other children) than we have for many years.   His class teacher has definitely noticed the difference and recently commented that the changes in his behaviour in school have made him 'unrecognisable' in relation to what was happening before*.     *Boxhall profile data showed dramatic improvements in this child's emotional security, biddability, ability to attend and work purposefully with others, following parents attendance at 6 week class      Parents 

It has been good to step back and take a look at what is happening in our home and why, and understand the why of behaviour of both my child and myself.   I am so glad I did this course.    Thank you  Adoptive Parent

I will admit that when I started this programme I expected to have heard it all before because I have done so much of my own research...and attended so much training. However the clarity of this programme has struck me as if for the first time, which is fantastic.  Thank you.    Adoptive Mum

From Jan to March this year I completed the I Matter Project Online Foundation A Course for those working with children with complex needs, and found it to be an excellent approach to supporting both my adoptive son and myself which has made a real difference.  The course brings together in a holistic and systematic way areas like brain development, attachment theory, PACE-based parenting, and cognitive behavioural therapy to name but four, and is underpinned by the belief that in order to work effectively with a child with complex needs, you also need to look after yourself.Having been sceptical at the start of doing an on-line course dealing with such challenging issues, I was surprised by how powerful and effective the approach has been.    

In particular I found the following benefits for my son and myself:1)  Helping me to regulate myself better in order to act as a role model for my son.2)  Providing a clear and simple framework for both my son and myself to understand why he finds it hard to regulate himself.3)  Supporting my son to take positive steps to manage his emotions and consequent behaviour.4)  Providing a clear structure for reflection and repair when things get difficult.I would therefore like to recommend that you and/or your colleagues consider undertaking the course yourself."The experience of learning online has been really good and I have been quite surprised by that as I thought I would miss the interaction with other participants more than I have.  I appreciated the on-line consultation and was able to work on the things you suggested with my child.  I also think that being able to 'try out' my learning with my child as the course has gone along has also really helped make the course have an immediate impact in a way that many courses don't.  The time and energy invested by me have been very worthwhile.”                Adoptive Dad, 

“I have been able to use lots of the strategies with my daughter who has complex needs. The course has definitely helped”                Parent 

I Matter is wonderfully life-changing, thought provoking and empowering. Some parts of it I have found reassuring, making me realise that I'm doing a pretty good job and am on the right track; the vast majority of it made realise how much there is to learn and how positive it is for all who choose to truly understand it and choose to live it. It really should be accessible to all, it would help so many people and families. I do find a lot of people don't understand the emotional complexities of children and believe children should be and are resilient. They aren't; this explains scientifically why they aren't and how we can improve our understanding and that of others. This will in turn, help our children to learn the skills to look after their well-being and relationships. Positivity all round               Parent

“It has definitely helped in relationships with my husband, daughter, sister and mother – green route not red route, how to create the gap, to know when to stop and have a break and to know my husband can become emotionally flooded”        Parent

I didn't know I had a choice about whether I got angry or not.  Now I understand about my own brain, I realise I can choose. I want to get stronger and be someone that my own children can look up to.    Young parent

“I have asked myself the question many times, what is different? Why is this approach working when so many other approaches haven’t? The only   answer I can articulate is that we have been empowered as parents to challenge our child's diagnosis/prognosis and we now believe that we can make a difference”      Parent

 

Feedback on a Foundation B Course Having completed the earlier I Matter courses we took part in the online I Matter group, ‘Watching Affectionately’ for 4 weeks.  . Before we started we wrote a profile, completed the skills tracker and then each day we logged in to the site and recorded our interactions.The purpose was to improve the connection between us as parents and our complex child by stepping back, watching and really focussing on the relationship. By logging in each day, it gave us the discipline of concentrating on our interactions with him. The framework gave us as parents the opportunity to meet together at the end of each day and review. It was useful to be part of a group and learn from the way other parents were dealing with challenges. There was a sense that we weren’t alone: other people were working through very similar issues. The curiosity about our co-group members pulled us in to see how they were getting on. We messaged each other with supportive comments.

The process gave us the impetus to focus on 1-1 interactions with our complex child and we each spent more time with him. Doing it for 4 weeks allowed this to become an established pattern. Because we were focussing on them, the intensity of our interactions were enhanced.  At the end of the 4 weeks, we filled in the skills tracker again to see the developments.   The biggest improvements we saw were in warmth of connection: really giving him the message that we are on his side. He smiled more, had more sparkly eyes, joked more and accepted time together. This is from a 14 year old boy who had avoided family contact and tended to mostly talk aggressively to us as his parents and to his siblings. We managed to carve out 1-1 time with just him, in a busy family schedule with 3 children.   We also felt more confident as parents: setting boundaries in a calm and gentle way and focussing on staying green route.  We really valued being part of this group. It feels like it has strengthened the foundations for a stronger attachment and better relationship with our son who has Aspergers. Thank you!      Parents 

Wow - what a day!   Started with both children getting themselves both ready including their ablutions this morning.  Amazing, never been done before and they were brilliant. treble thumbs up.    Both had a positive day at school.   Then off to the school disco.... I was so impressed and so proud.                    Adopted parent  

I can't believe what a difference it has made to myself and my child by putting ideas in to practice. We made it through the summer holidays with relatively little conflict so it proves that the ideas work!   Thankyou!              Step Parent

2 people on 2 different occasions today told me what lovely children I had! A lady in Aldi said what a good idea it was to get the kids to find things and involve them as they saw other parents so stressed out taking kids shopping.  Another lady said she wished there were more parents like me because I was not screaming and shouting at them but they were listening to me. Definitely been a confidence booster!     Parents

We are all now recovering from 2 1/2 weeks of illness.  My child slept in this morning and yesterday until 7am. It's unheard of. She sounded very proud of herself when she told me that she hadn't woken me up too early. She held my hand walking around the garden centre and sat calmly at the coffee shop while we had a drink. She did really well. She had a bath no fuss and went to bed after a quick run around the living room. But did so without a problem.   Amazing!!                                            Parent 

I have done a lot of reading and training, and this course has brought it all together for me - I am finally starting to feel more confident in my parenting    

 

HOW DOES I MATTER TRAINING IMPACT EXACTLY?

It's quite simple really - we offer resources and encourage people to take time to think and learn about what is happening around them..

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OUTCOMES AMD IMPACT (COMING SOON)

We carefully gather evidence of the impact of I Matter Training using a variety of formats and will be presenting more here very shortly.

Get Started: Learn why healthy adult-child relationships and healthy communities matter for mental health, positive behaviour and healthy child development at home and in school. Then.. Take Stock and Go for Results.

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