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Case Study: Callum, age 7 1/2, North Shore, Auckland

Callum was Kindergarten age when his mother, Karina, first noticed he was experiencing difficulty. "We noticed his behavioral problems early on. He seemed to have trouble understanding other kids, he didn't understand what was being said to him. He would become violent as a result; he really struggled to communicate."

Callum also had trouble with co-ordination, so skills like catching and throwing a ball were difficult for him. Reading and writing at school were problematic.

Diagnosing Callum was a long process. "It was clear he had a problem but no-one could put their finger on it", says Karina. "He looked normal - was nomal in lost of ways - and was developing well, and yet he had this trouble with communication and understanding. I did wonder 'what am I going to do?' " Eventually after many specialist visits, developmental dyspraxia was diagnosed. But conventional treatment offered little relief.

Karina heard about the Dore programme from one of her health care providers, who suggested it might help. She went along to a Dore meeting in Auckland and was amazed at what she was hearing; "It was as if they were talking about Callum," she says.

After three months in the programme at the Auckland Dore Achievement Centre, Karina has noticed "major changes" in her son. He has gone up a reading level at school, and his handwriting is smaller. But perhaps the biggest difference is behavioural. "His behaviour socially is amazing. He can go to the playground now and I don't have to worry about how he is with the other kids. Before he could never understand games - he can understand the games now".

The impact on the rest of the family has already been huge. "I know I can put Callum into school holiday programmes now and he'll be fine. I don't have to worry".

Karina says she is amazed at the progress Callum has made after only three months in the programme, and "can't wait to see how else he improves over the rest of the year".

"We are really pleased. Some of the exercises seem so silly and you think, how can that do anything? But they work. We're very happy."

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