Case study 1
A looks younger than his years. Travel training has given him status among his friends and peers. A comes from a family without private vehicle so is no stranger to using public transport, but he was very anxious about getting lost. He is a very reluctant mobile phone user but is acquiring this new communication skill. Suggesting acquiring a more adult method of carrying things to school helps A look more mature.
A was very reluctant to complete his training and nearly pulled out at last stage. However within a couple of weeks of completion it was obvious that he felt a new self respect and had a higher standing with his peers.
Case Study 2
When I first spoke to B he wasn’t sure what travel training was and certainly not sure he wanted to give it a try. School were likewise uncertain if he would cope. “He has no concentration; he’d just end up getting lost.” His parents were also worried. “He’s not been out on his own before.”
However B decided it was something he wanted to have a go at and so his training started. He knew the theory of road safety but he’d never made the decision when to cross before. It took a while, but once mastered he could make his own way to the bus stop. He was very nervous about when to get off and stayed on way past his stop once because he didn’t know what to say to the driver. We talked it over, practised the routine and he got more confident in recognising his stop and making his wishes known.
Now he loves travelling on his own and the organisation and concentration he’s needed to become independent is benefiting other areas of his life.
Case Study 3
When first approached C seemed interested, but was not fully aware of what travel training was. His mother had reservations as she worried that her son may become the target of bullies. C has a minor facial deformity which he was conscious of and made him often reluctant to attend school. His attendance record was poor and although school were supportive of the training they were not sure if he would participate fully.
C was nervous about starting the programme; he lacked confidence and had on occasion got into arguments with other students who called him names. His social outings were limited and when he did go out he always went by taxi.
Once started though he proved to be a capable young person who was observant and quickly mastered road safety and his route to school. The biggest barrier C had to overcome was his lack of self esteem. To begin with he would try and be invisible when travelling. He would cover his face, but this made him more vulnerable as he was drawing attention to himself. It was important for him to believe in himself if he was going to be truly independent and to be able to socialise more.
As the training progressed and targeted this area, so C’s confidence began to increase. His body language altered, he no longer hid his face and he smiled more. Likewise his mum was growing more relaxed in her approach to him going out by himself, which also feed into his self confidence.
C not only learnt to travel with confidence but also learnt that he could deal differently with situations and consequently matured a lot over the course of his training. He was glad that he’d taken on the training and has easily transferred the skills to other routes and areas in his life, so he can get out and socialise.