Cian has just completed his fourth term at Sydney Story Factory and, as always, is excited to receive the end of term publication containing his work.
You can tell Cian is excited because he has one of those sunlight-through-the-clouds smiles, and he's grinning widely and bouncing about at the beginning of the final workshop.
He wasn't always excited about Story Factory - the first workshops were "scary, because I didn't know anyone. But when I got started on making a story it was fun".
This term saw Cian slide into the role of workshop veteran, showing newer students the ropes and volunteering first to share his story with the audience of students, tutors, and parents at the end of term presentation.
Prior to attending Sydney Story Factory, Cian's teachers were worried and frustrated. They had a student with lots of potential who couldn't focus in the classroom, especially where writing and comprehension were concerned.
Cian had been assessed by education psychologists and was found to have a high IQ, but with consistent working memory difficulties, leading him to be categorised as gifted with a learning disability. The teaching staff knew that he had a high level of potential, but he couldn't seem to meet it.
Since coming to Sydney Story Factory, Cian's teachers and parents have noticed a considerable difference.
Improvements include his comfort at working with other people, his confidence in sharing his work and reading in front of the class, and the ability to be a good audience member when it's his peers' turn to talk.
His Mum describes Cian as "a kind, thoughtful boy who thinks about things a lot. When his younger brother struggled at cross country Cian ran alongside him to cheer him on. Kids are aware when they're not meeting expectations, and part of children mucking up in class can be them struggling with this. His confidence has led to better behaviour in the classroom."
"It's exciting to see him grow as a reader, and to talk about books with him at home," says his mum. He also writes lots of stories now, and includes his friends and family. “Though if he's annoyed at you you might disappear down a portal."
Read Cian's latest story, written in our Secret Society workshop, HERE.