The Little Troopers Blog


9 year old Harry*

Harry* is 9 years old and he lives with his Mum, Dad and younger brother. His Dad serves in the British Army and since Harry was born, he has been deployed numerous times, and has only been home for two of Harry’s nine birthdays.

Harry has had a particularly difficult couple of years. His Dad was deployed for six months in both 2018 and 2019. Then, during the pandemic, Harry had to move in with his grandparents for six months because his Mum is a nurse and she was caring for Covid patients and on stand-by to work at the Nightingale hospital. Following this stressful time, Harry’s Dad was then deployed again in both 2021 and 2022.

Since 2018, the family started noticing problems with Harry’s behaviour at home and in school and he began to intentionally soil himself multiple times a day. This was disruptive at school and also stopped the family from wanting to go on days out or book a holiday.

Harry’s school already had lots of support in place for military children, so they understood that Harry’s behaviour was an expression of his feelings about the things he couldn’t control at home. His SENCO worked with the family over several months to try and help Harry, but when his referral to CAMHS was rejected, both his family and school were at a loss as to what to try next.

It was then that the SENCO found out about the Little Troopers Therapy Programme and, with Harry’s family’s permission, referred him to the one-to-one therapy programme.

Within just a few weeks, just before Harry’s Dad was due to deploy again, Harry was allocated a therapist from the Owl Therapy Centre who worked through the military-specific programme over six weeks. The one-hour weekly sessions delved into Harry’s feelings about his Dad being away from home and encouraged him to reflect on his experience of being a military child. Harry and his therapist completed activities in the sessions including drawing, writing and mindfulness and Harry learnt new techniques to help manage his feelings in the future whenever he feels sad and overwhelmed.

While Harry’s Mum did not attend the sessions with him, she was kept updated via regular weekly emails from the therapist. When Harry started to open-up about his feelings at home, Harry’s Mum was able to contact the therapist who offered her additional support and reassurance. Harry was also able to take print-outs of the activities home to work through with his Mum.

Harry’s Mum explains, “The Little Troopers Therapy Programme has made a huge difference. He has opened up a lot more at home. He’s been using the techniques he picked up on the programme and is much better at expressing how he is feeling.

“The biggest change is that since he completed the sessions, five months ago, he has only had four toilet accidents. He’s gone from him soiling himself multiple times a day, to it rarely happening at all. We’ve now been able to book a family holiday to Disney World because we don’t have to worry about his accidents any more. The programme has made such an impact on our lives, we’ll be grateful for a long time.”

*Names have been changed

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