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​'A Story About Jake' is a simple picture book for parents that shows an example about how to respond to a child who is struggling to learn - to minimise emotional chaos and maintain self-esteem. This resource can also be used by therapists in counselling sessions with parents and children.


“Even in the midst of a complete emotional meltdown, sometimes the only thing a child wants is for his feelings to be acknowledged”. For Jake, his meltdown stems from the difficulties he is experiencing as he tries to tackle his reading homework.  From a global perspective, A Story About Jake highlights the significance of a child’s having calm and understanding support when not coping with the challenges of living in a world where there is an expectation to perform to standardised levels of achievement. While Jake is having difficulty with his reading task, Jake’s story prompts us to consider that whenever someone we love is having difficulty that sends them into meltdown, the first step towards resolution is connection and acknowledgment of feelings.  A great story and a great resource with so many applications."

Dr Judith Boyland, Clinical Counsellor

"A Story About Jake is an easy to read, easy to understand story and resource kit that anyone from parents, counsellors, teachers (and even children) can use to help in the understanding of supporting children experiencing learning difficulties and the tricky emotions that can be an effect of learning difficulties. A Story About Jake is accompanied by resources that prompt conversations, help brainstorm ideas of ways to respond in individual situations, model problem solving and support young people in boosting confidence and reflecting on their personal strengths. I like that A Story About Jake offers an approach that doesn't involve blame for either families or children who experience frustration around learning difficulties. Instead, A Story About Jake opens opportunities for conversations that lead to possibilities, hope and healing in relationships and understandings for families where learning difficulties are present."

Melissa Huestis, Counsellor

"Dear Robbie, I'd like to say your story about Jake reminds me of so many students I've taught in the past. The teaching tips you provided gave me a new perspective and helped me to understand how I can better phrase my words and be supportive towards young people facing the struggles Jake does. Thank you for this wonderful resource!"

Catherine, Teacher, Academic & Parent

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Robbie Spence Counselling

Brisbane, QLD, Australia