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Student2student helped unlock Zeke’s creativity

From an early age, Zeke made his parents laugh and had a unique way of seeing the world. Yet simple things, like mealtimes, were emotional minefields. At school, his outbursts affected his learning. After seeking help, the family found out that Zeke had autism.

“He doesn't learn the way an average kid would, because of his attention span. Zeke was on quite a low reading level initially. He had a lot of trouble with the bigger words and he would just skip them,” said Corrina.

Even reading with family, Zeke would break down. When Corrina became pregnant with twins, it put the family under even greater financial and emotional stress.

Thanks to supporters like you, Zeke was able to take part in our 18-week reading program student2student. It is where a younger student with reading difficulties reads over the phone to an older student buddy.

Zeke

Zeke wouldn't yell and scream and have a tantrum in front of his buddy. I was really proud of him, of how he would find ways to cope and continue.

“If I didn’t know a word my buddy would let me know I was wrong about that one, and he would help me. It was really fun and I learnt lots of things!” said Zeke.

Research shows that having children focus on the process that leads to learning, such as hard work or trying new strategies and seeking input from others when they are stuck, can foster a growth mindset.1

“The biggest difference I would say I’ve noticed with Zeke since he’s finished student2student, is his confidence and his actual love for reading, it’s just opened his mind up completely.”

Student2student boosted Zeke’s confidence so much that it unlocked an amazing talent for writing.

“He has a great imagination and he's really outgoing. So being able to write these cool stories – his mates think they're great,” said Corrina.

If Zeke didn’t have the support from the student2student program, I think he would have probably given up. The program opened up that door for him and I am just so thankful.

1. Dweck C (2015, September 22) ‘Carol Dweck revisits the ‘growth mindset’’, Education Week, Vol. 35, No. 5.

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