The story of Pablo, the ‘little one’

30 April 2019

An 8-year-old boy joined ASAS. He refused contact and hid angrily under the table. Let’s call this boy Pablo. That means “little one” and one thing was immediately clear: Pablo had been kept small for far too long.

The child psychologist started working with Pablo and discovered that there were often police raids at his home. His stepfather and his mother were involved in drug dealing. With every police raid, Pablo hid under the table. Or in a cupboard.

He was anxious and did not have self-confidence. His mother always said he wouldn’t learn anything. What do you do as an 8-year-old? Pablo turned his fear and uncertainty into anger and aggressiveness.

The child psychologist knew that it would be a long process to help Pablo. But with patience, good material (new games and booklets) and a positive focus, she managed to channel Pablo’s anger. He learned to read and write. And he especially learned what “safety” is. He didn’t have to hide anymore. In the meantime, he also worked on his social skills. All ASAS employees supported him and knew exactly how to deal with him.

Pablo’s self-confidence grew and grew. He felt increasingly seen and loved. Now, almost a year later, he can fully participate in a group. And even though he sometimes falls back in fear, anger and uncertainty: he knows how to overcome those difficult moments.

Pablo has grown up.