New Seasons: transitioning to secondary.


It has been a couple of years since I have updated this blog. Family life with four children has been crazy busy and one of our daughter’s has been ill with a rare medical condition (Vascular compressions). Life definitely throws some curve balls in our path to challenge and grow us. Thankfully post-surgery, we are seeing improvements in our daughter’s health and she is gradually beginning to build up stamina to attend school again. Four years with a flexi-learning programme at home and endless medical appointments shifted my time and priorities. Ask me about Educational Health Care Plans, the NHS, therapeutic interventions etc and I can share tonnes with you about what we have learnt as a family.


For myself personally, I have started retraining at Warwick University in Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic relationship. I am excited to be starting my first placement in the autumn working with clients who are dealing with complicated grief. My first year of training has focused on the person-centred approach to therapy and I have a keen interest in compassion focused therapy. Overall my degree is integrative so after four years I will become an integrative therapist. Mental health is an area that I am so passionate about and more than ever we need skilled practitioners who can work in this field.


Enough about me, and more about Samuel. After all he is the reason I wrote the story ‘Strong and Mighty Max’. It is hard to believe it has been seven years since the first edition was published. My sole purpose was to prepare a way for him at primary school. I wanted to normalise differences, explain about achondroplasia and teach the values of kindness. Since then thousands of copies of the book have been distributed around the world and I am so thrilled to hear such positive feedback from so many of you.

Today, as I type Samuel is currently attending his transition day at secondary. I have to admit when he was a baby this was probably one of my niggling fears for him. Every parent feels a degree of nerves for their child as they step into new milestones. Samuel is my third child so I am under no illusion that this transition is challenging for lots of children, however for Samuel he has expressed to me so eloquently his fears about this change.

Acknowledging his challenges we have also focused on all of his positives: his charisma, his leadership skills, his ability to make good friendships, and the fact that he knows a number of his peers who are moving onto secondary with him. He was nervous this morning as was I, but there was a real sense that he is going to be OK. He walked in with two friends who were from his first primary school and smiled as he left me. I’ll update you later with how he got on and any tips we can share about transitioning to secondary.