Maddy's Story

Maddy* was a happy, confident toddler with a fantastic imagination. She was curious about everything and afraid of nothing. When Maddy’s interest was sparked, she would spend hours exploring and learning more – the neighbourhood cat, aliens, stars, the workings of a mechanical toy… In fact, nothing escaped Maddy’s enthusiasm for new experiences.

Maddy was excited about starting primary school. She looked forward to learning about the world, making friends and sharing some of her knowledge. For weeks before the start of term, Maddy lived in an imaginary world of school, enlisting family and toys to be the children whilst she took on the role of teacher. Her bag was packed ready for this wonderful world of school.

Sadly, school wasn’t the happy place that Maddy imagined.

The Problem for Maddy

Maddy didn’t make friends as she hoped but was isolated and bullied. She was left out of playground games and other bullying quickly followed. It wasn’t long before Maddy dreaded going to school and the tell-tale ‘tummy aches’ began. She just couldn’t face being called a ‘weirdo’ or ‘alien’ any longer.

Maddy started to feel very different from other children, asking her parents why the children wouldn’t play with her and how she could be ‘normal’. She then refused to go to school.

Maddy’s parents watched her mental health deteriorate, yet felt powerless to help her. They, too, felt isolated, desperate and lonely. The stress of watching their toddler who had been a bundle of joy, transformed into a miserable, anxious child was almost unbearable.

With Potential Plus UK’s Help

Maddy’s parents discovered Potential Plus UK and an assessment of high learning potential revealed Maddy’s extremely high ability. By joining our events with other exceptionally bright children, Maddy discovered that ‘normal’ is different for different people and found the friends and sense of belonging that she needed. Maddy’s family became members, and with on-going expert advice and support, offering understanding and guidance when it was needed the most, Maddy rebuilt her self-esteem and developed the self-knowledge she needed to cope with school. Her mental health gradually improved and family life became happier.

Maddy is now a confident, happy young adult with a career as a celebrated, award-winning writer. She has a loyal following of fans of the fantasy genre.


Is your child struggling with feeling different, anxious or being bullied? Maddy’s parents became members of Potential Plus UK. Membership (at Plus or Essentials level) provides free access to our information services, which includes half-hour calls with our Education Advisors (£36 to non-members), and access to information to download in the form of our advice sheets. Find out more about other benefits of membership at: Family Membership


 The following resources (free/paid) may help you further

Advice Pages


Advice Sheets

We have over 100 advice sheets available to help parents or specifically written to be shared with children. Non-members can download our advice sheets for a small fee. Members need to log into the members’ area and visit the family member resources page to download them for free.

Advice Sheets Written for Children

Family Advice Sheets for Parents


Being Me – a free booklet about bullying and children with high learning potential, produced in association with Kidscape

Parent Webinars-on-Demand

Our paid webinars-on-demand contain a short webinar module on how to support your child on a particular topic and downloadable resources. Visit our Parent Webinars Page for more information

  • Parenting a High Potential Learner (series)
  • Choosing the Right School for your High Learning Potential Children

* Maddy’s name has been changed. Read about more genuine young people with high learning potential helped by Potential Plus UK in: Family Stories

Family Stories

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