Thanks to Learning Breakthrough our Autistic son has been able to show emotion in ways we never thought possible. He expresses love, I am regularly covered in kisses and he tells me every day “mummy – I love you so so much”. We always have a good chat at bed-time and recently when I kissed him and told him I loved him he said “mummy – you made my heart grow”. A rather profound statement for any 5 year old but for a child who barely spoke a year before it felt like nothing short of a miracle.
It has been a hard road from when I first started to notice my son wasn’t reaching his milestones when he was about 2.5. His speech and understanding of language weren’t progressing, he was a very strong willed child, emotionally volatile, preferred his own company, had poor balance and spatial awareness, refused most foods and began to hand flap and twist when excited – all red flags for ASD.
As time went on his autistic traits became more pronounced and I felt like I was losing my son. He found it difficult to engage in conversation and to make eye contact. He paid very little attention to his little sister and wouldn’t let anyone do anything for him except me. He refused to go anywhere, his anxiety was taking over all our lives – he wouldn’t go to the park, to visit family, to soft play areas or birthday parties ….. all things a 3 year old should enjoy. Not to mention the things a 3 year old doesn’t enjoy – paediatrician ap-pointments, assessments, occupational therapy, speech therapy …. it was a nightmare for both of us.
I have always loved and accepted my son for who he is but what I’ve refused to accept is that I can’t do anything to help him. I began researching anything and everything that could help my beautiful boy. A friend told me about an advert she heard on the radio about the Learning Breakthrough Program. I decided to go along to an information evening where I listened to Susan describe her journey and the science behind the LBP. I left that night full of hope and certain that I had found the answer to helping my son.
Susan came to visit us in our home in March 2013 where he would feel comfortable and relaxed – he had just turned 4. We discussed the exercises that he would be capable of doing given his age and I started with a few minutes once a day building up to ten minutes a day. He wasn’t able to catch so I started with blowing bubbles and getting him to pop them whilst balancing on the board. Gradually he learned to catch and has be-come an expert at the pendulum ball and bouncy balls. We can’t do all of the exercises yet but he’s only just turned 5.
I can tell you it is hard work and is not for the faint hearted but neither are the challenges of raising a child with autism – the daily battles of teeth brushing, dressing, going to school, dinnertime …. what’s one more thing to add to the day when it could potentially make all those other struggles disappear?!
Within weeks of starting the program he began to become an adventurous little boy – my son learned to ride a bike, something I thought I might never see! Rather than cry in the car outside the park he asked to go and climbed everything he could without fear. He started school in September and has settled in so well and coped with the curriculum without difficulty. His teacher told me recently that he’s a very popular member of the class and he comes home every day with stories of everything he’s done and who he’s played with. Going to parties fills him with excitement and I watch him join in with his friends and it fills me with pride – these are the things that other parents might take for granted, as I’m sure I would have too had my precious son not taught me what really matters in life.
I cannot remember the last time he had a serious meltdown, he still gets upset and frus-trated but he expresses his feelings now rather than letting them get the better of him. He has a lovely relationship with his sister now and he has become very close to his dad whereas before he didn’t really let anyone get too close except me. He was recently dis-charged from community speech therapy because his assessment scores had improved so much, his speech therapist also commented that she didn’t see the same anxiety prob-lems and unwillingness to cooperate.
I couldn’t have done this without Susan’s encouragement and support. Her office sign reads ‘Unlock your potential’ and that is exactly what has happened to our child – he is no longer ‘locked in’. She truly wants the very best for every family that she works with. I am so grateful that Susan and the LBP came into our lives. Previously the future filled me with overwhelming fear, I still worry – as every mother does, but not to the extent that I used to. I’m happy knowing I’m doing my best for my son and I’m watching him grow in-to a wonderful little man.
We’re one year on and I’m aware that we still have a long road ahead as he still has some problems but I watch my son now enjoying his life – laughing, singing and dancing and I think to myself that anything’s possible …..
For more information or to book a free evaluation please contact the office on 028 90 364000 or email susan@Lssni.co.uk.