When we self-educated ourselves, slowly but surely, everything began to get better. Not that Tommy’s behaviour would change from day-to-day, but we became to understand that he had a problem and was doing his best to deal with it. We stopped thinking that he was misbehaving, we understood that in stressful situations he was not even able to hear us. We stopped being angry or uncomfortable, and we began to tell people who stared that our son is autistic and that he is doing his best.
It took us almost 4 years to bring our son back to us. Now we have very happy boy who loves to play with his peers, who has a great sense of humour, who is adventurous - and by the way, very clever. The bottom line is is that he is no different to the other near typical children and has a good future in front of himself - a future that he will be able to deal with without our support.
We countless spent days and nights learning about autism and using our common sense we tried to do our best for our son. We tried different diets and used different supplements, but never medical drugs!!!. We used different therapies and interventions, and we changed our entire living environment to be the most comfortable and healthy for our son.
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BEFORE: Our son was non-verbal. First we thought it was taking him longer to talk as he was coming from a bilingual family. When we understood that he was autistic, we switched to using one language - English. Still he kept trying to speak but he only made sounds which sounded like there might be a technical/mechanical problem and we got used to the idea that he might never talk. But that started to change soon after starting the Son Rise Program and changing his diet.
NOW: Our son’s speech is now clear enough that everyone, even strangers, can understand him easily, and he is using lots of long words. He taught himself to read, write and count when he was around four years old. He can express all his needs, feelings, ideas and wishes. He has a great sense of humour and he keeps making up stories and telling us what he did, and will be doing in school. He is an incredibly happy child who has even started to learn second language (Spanish) in school and he loves it.
BEFORE: Our son started to go to the kindergarten for three hours in the mornings since he was two years and six months old. He seemed deaf at that time as he wouldn't react to any request or question. He was not interested in any games or in any of his peers. He would sit quietly alone, or lost in his repetitive behaviour when he was stressed.
NOW: Academically he is now ahead of his peers as he loves reading and counting. But more importantly he has friends who he plays games with and who he tells us about when he's home. He gets invited to birthday parties and he has friends coming to his. Overall he is very happy and he loves school. Loud noises don't stress him anymore and he joins in with all activities including singing and acting.
BEFORE: Our son had sensory issues. He did not like being touched by almost anybody but me - his mother. But even when I picked him up he would never put his arms around me, and he seemed like a rubber doll with his limbs just hanging around him. He would never hold hands while walking and he didn't like to touch or be touched by anyone, which included animals such as cats and dogs.
But at the same time, he would go to total stranger in a street and try to climb on them. He could tell the difference between a stranger and someone we knew. He would never show his feelings and he was blind to the feelings of the other people.
NOW: My son loves his cuddles now. He will only go to family members or people he knows, and he clearly realises the different between familiar people and strangers. He likes to be cuddled and he holds hands all the time while walking. He loves the dog next door and loves to take care of him. He is also very affectionate and sensitive to the feelings of other people.
BEFORE: Our son was lost in his repetitive behaviour most of the time. He would spin himself around a lot and spins all sots of objects. He would never play with toys properly but he would make long lines of his cars, animals, building blocks, books etc. He would play with his hands front of his face, and it looked like a little dance with his fingers. He used to flip through books back and forth, over and over, without noticing the words of pictures in the book. He would run or walk back and forth endlessly and he was not "present". Only 2% of the time would he react if we called his name.
NOW: He is always present. He does not have any repetitive behaviour at all and he plays with all of his toys in they way they were made to be played with. He loves Lego and is able to follow instructions designed for children twice his age. He is able to use his imagination and build things without the instructions and he loves to play board games. He is a polite winner and a good loser. He always asks for our attention and loves to have a companion to play with.
BEFORE: Our son used to be on his iPad all the time. He usually listened to songs about numbers and letters over and over. This is how he taught himself to read, write and do basics maths by the age of 4. But unfortunately he preferred his iPad to human interaction and he wanted to watch Thomas The Tank Engine videos for hours on end, instead of playing with the actual toy trains.
NOW: He hardly wants to use his iPad and he prefers to play, either building his Lego, playing football, jumping on trampoline, playing board games, cycling or swimming, etc. He loves reading books and most importantly he understand the stories.
BEFORE: Our son didn't need much sleep. At the most, he would sleep for two hours at the most in one stretch. I kept the dairy, so I knew that his sleeping was even worse during the moon changes.
NOW: He goes to bed around 8pm most nights and he sleeps non-stop, waking between 6.30 and 7am. He has no major reaction to the moon changes, or at the most, very slight ones.
BEFORE: As soon as he got home he would take all his clothes off and run around naked. He was not able to dress himself. His body was oversensitive so for him to wear anything was uncomfortable and stressful. He would rather suffer from being cold then having to wear clothes to keep him warm. He did not pay any attention to what kind of clothes he was wearing either.
NOW: He dresses himself with no prompting and he keeps his clothes on all the time. He even chooses what he wants to wear and he has his favourite clothes. When he started in Year 1 in school, he become very proud of his smart uniform!
BEFORE: When our son was deep in his autism, it was very difficult for us to go anywhere. We live on a coast and if we took him to the beach, hoping he would enjoy the sea and play in the sand, but Tommy would run endlessly from one end of the beach to the other. My husband and I would take turns to run with him, but he didn't care whether we were with him or not. On a busy beach, he would not even recognise us. We also realised that for Tommy at that time, a crowd was just two people, although there were hundreds at the beach. Tommy would not go to the sea, and now I believe that it must have been so scary for him to see endless water and even waves which you can't predict. Tommy hated the feeling of sand on his body and his feet and he tried to keep clean. He would go and sit on a towel trying to clean the sand off his feet. Building sand castles was something that was not even possible back then. The whole beach experience must have been so overwhelming and stressful for him, and it was for us too. But like lots of parents we did not understand, we wanted him to have a good time and play like the other children.
NOW: Now our son loves the beach and the sea and looks forward to going. He starts playing with his toy trucks on the sand and building roads, tunnels and sand castles. He jumps over the waves, splash us with the water, and plays with his little surf board. He always stays with us and never runs away anymore. When he sees another child playing around, he shows an interest and approaches them in an appropriate way and they usually end up playing together in the water.
BEFORE: Sometimes I had to take Tommy to the supermarket with me as my husband would be working away and I had no family or babysitter around to help. What should be an easy job, with a child sitting nicely in the trolly would turn into nightmare. Tommy would be shouting, screaming all the time and trying to run away from me.
Again I did not understand how overwhelming this was for him. He was not able to see or hear the supermarket like you or I do. For him it looked like one big blur with lots of colours, people and loud music - total madness.
NOW: Tommy loves to help me with shopping. He puts the coin in to the trolley and drives away. He always wait patiently when I tell him to wait for me, and he reminds me to buy different items - like beer for Daddy and bananas for him. It's actually fun to do the shopping together now!
BEFORE: If we would take Tommy to a restaurant or cafe for lunch, he would not sit still at the table and my husband and I would take turns walking or running after him, and never be able to sit and eat our food at the same time. This made the whole experience something that was not enjoyable at all. We would compare our son with other well behaved children, without understanding that he is dealing with stressful situations and doing his best.
NOW: We can go to any place with Tommy. He sits nicely at the table with us, patiently waiting. He would have a book to read or little Lego to keep him occupied, in case he gets bored. Until now we find it hard to believe that we can actually can sit down and have a normal conversation while our son is behaving so well.
BEFORE: As we do not live in our home countries, every summer I fly with Tommy to the UK to spend some time with my in-laws and then to Prague (Czech Republic) to spend time with my parents.
Every time the flying experience would be very stressful. I now understand how stressful those times were for Tommy, but I didn't back then. Tommy would run away at every opportunity, running all around the airport, and screaming if I tried to pick him up. He would meltdowns as it was all too much for him to handle. He didn't care for watching planes or flying in one. He wasn't present, and he would hide in his own world to be able to manage the stress of the situation, which was overwhelming for him.
NOW: He loves flying! He waits for the taxi to take us to the airport and tells everyone where he is going to fly. He waits patiently in queues, and lets me buy my coffee and sit at the table waiting for our flight. He enjoys watching other people and children and planes taking off. It's now a pleasure and fun to travel with Tommy, and I really believe that many parents now look at me thinking "she's having it easy with such a well-behaved boy". Only if they knew what it used to be like! :-)
Gabriela is the mother of a eight year old boy, and with her husband, went through the initial shock of discovering that their son had autism when he was three.
Having no previous knowledge of autism, they immediately adopted a solution-focused approach and went out of their way to learn everything possible about it, and how it could be beaten. They quickly learned that the support offered by the traditional medical system was not enough for them.
Some approaches have been effective while others have not. In the REASON course, Gabriela shares everything she has learned about what took her son from his own little world, to being a happy and healthy little boy who now shares joy with his family and friends every day.
Gabriela's son woke up to a new dawn and his future looks bright. No autistic child is the same, but if only some of what is contained in the REASON course can help change your child's life for the better, isn't that worth considering?
After years of successfully recovering her son from autism, Gabriela has now published a book called "To Autism Parents With Love", which is available on Amazon.
She has also created this course for Autism parents. In over 70 minutes, the REASON course gives solution-focused and open-minded Autism parents the advice and guidance they want, to help build a better life for their child. It's one of the most realistic, practical and helpful courses available for Autism parents.