Dear Di Wilcox,
Hi, I would like to just write to you a short note about my thoughts and findings on The Magic Coat Workshop that you recently presented in Albany WA.
Initially when I received information about this series of workshops ( having never heard of you or your program) I was sceptical as to how this program was going to be better than other Anxiety/Worry programs we had previously tried so I did a bit of research on the internet and that left me feeling even more like that this would be no different is wouldn’t really suit my daughter or my family’s needs. I will add here some background as this will help explain why I was even looking at these programs.
Karra is 10yrs (nearly 11) and is diagnosed with ASD (Lvl 3) ADHD, Low Average IQ 80, Learning Delays, Early Puberty, Anxiety and Depression having recently had a severe mental health breakdown she has not been attending school since end of November 2019. She is currently working with a care team of Paediatrician, GP, Psychologist, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Support Workers plus her family to get her well and back on track in life.
When I first looked at The Magic Coat information my first thoughts were it was a bit childish, orientated towards a younger age group and I didn’t see how it would work for my young lady. however, within days of getting information on the workshops I was also given updated information on Karra’s IQ and Academic Abilities. Her IQ was 80 (9th Percentile) and her academic abilities were equivalent to 5/6-year-old. Wow with everything else going on I had to now take on board that actually she was way below her chronological age in her abilities plus this was been also supported with her recent Speech assessment concluding that her speech range was between 4 and 8 years (receptive language low and expressive language high). I had to do some big reviewing of where we were going with her from here. During this I had printed off a couple of things from the Magic Coat and I took another look at it and oh why not what have I got to lose so I went ahead and signed up for the three workshops, Parents Info Night, Anxiety Workshop for Kids and Friendship Workshop for kids.
After the Parents Info I thought that this might be okay but still felt it was aimed at that lower age group still not having got my head around actually that’s were my daughter was functioning. The next day was the Anxiety Workshop with the kids and off we went still with a half heartedness that this would have any benefit.
My daughter enjoyed the session and joined in well with the activities and that night we even skimmed back through the book at bedtime. I still wasn’t sold that this was going to work, but the next day she had her regular Psychology appointment were we had been working through different ways of dealing with Anxiety (without a lot of success) and we took along The Magic Coat book and worksheet from last night to show the psychologist what we had done.
Well it was like a key had been given to my daughter and the door had been opened. She not only willing started to read the book to the psychologist but as we came to the different characters, she was opening up about things that were worrying her (worry ladder activity) and how the different characters from the book could help her. She had taken so much on board from just one short session and was able to relate to it so easily is was overwhelming for me (yes I shed a tear or two of release to see her addressing her worries but smiling too as she provided her own take and strategies with the characters support to deal with them).
That afternoon we attended the Friendship Workshop which she found a bit harder to comprehend and was also very tired from her Psychology session. The Friendship workshop didn’t really work as well as she has no real friends due to her issues and having been away from school so long but the trooper, she is she stuck with it.
Today a month on from these workshops and also now dealing with the COVID 19 crisis where are we. We are doing well her recent Mental Health Scores show she is recovering but in her regular appointments with Speech, OT and Psychology we use The Magic Coat characters and terminology and strategies plus on a daily basis we use them at home too, like Solomon the Surfboard and riding our way through the day. Her favourite character would have to be Meshell at the moment as it allows her to focus on family that she can’t interact with due to the current COVID 19 restrictions.
I guess to sum it up with a very cliché comment DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER as this book doesn’t stop coming up with new ways and new ideas everyday to get a little girl through her big days in a complex world.
Thank you so much for giving us the chance to find you and I hope to continue to use your ideas for a long time to come.