HEMISPHERES OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS
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Testimonials

Claire and her son George (Aged 7) who has Aspersers syndrome

My son George was diagnosed with Atypical Aspersers syndrome in December

2014 at the age of 4, shortly after he started in Reception year at Primary school. At this point in time he was unable to tolerate any noise or large group situations in school and was largely taught outside the classroom in a separate room. He was extremely aggressive towards other children and occasionally staff and I would frequently get calls from the school to come and collect him. At home, he was always extremely calm, other than periodically displaying his anxieties through stammering and tics. I tried a number of interventions over the course of the next couple of years including social skills training, cranial osteopathy and auditory integration training, some of which had more of an impact than others. He was given an EHCP by Hampshire County Council at the end of Year R, so from this point onwards an LSA would work alongside him to help him manage his emotions and prevent his behaviour escalating.

 

I contacted Hemispheres at the end of Year 1, after doing some research into Retained reflex therapy. Katherine did an assessment of George's reflexes and identified he had retained a number of the integrating reflexes and some of the emotional and grasping reflexes too. She created a programme of targeted exercises which were updated each month.

 

Within a couple of months of commencing the programme, positive changes were noticed by George's teachers in school, at the beginning of Year 2.

George was visibly calmer, and able to tolerate sitting alongside other children in large, noisy group situations in assembly and PE. At Christmas last year, for the first year, he was willing and enthusiastic about participating in the nativity and even had a speaking part!

 

By the end of the autumn term he was being taught in the classroom alongside the other children, but with the option of a breakout space if he felt it was needed. This was an enormous breakthrough for us and for the school. At home, we've noticed a number of positive changes too. The stammering has mostly disappeared. He displays much less proprioceptive seeking behaviour. He is kinder towards and more able to tolerate sharing with his brother. His interests are much broader and less rigid. The real breakthrough moment came when in April, he picked up his new bicycle, (an unwanted 6th birthday present), and rode it across the park, for the first time!

 

He always had a small group of friends he played with at school whom we had regular playdates with but now, he's receiving more invitations from other children he's never played with before which demonstrates to me his social skills are improving too. As the SENCO noted in his EHCP, "Behaviour towards his peers (the sudden pushing and punching) has almost gone - and he now seems to have more friends on the playground to run around with."

 

I strongly recommend Katherine and the Hemispheres team to any parent who's on a similar journey to us.  I cannot thank them enough. We are in a completely different place at the end of Year 2 to the one we were in at the end of Year 1. The changes in George's behavior at school have been life changing for him, and for us as a family. Although I'm sure there will be challenges ahead as with any children we are feeling optimistic about George's future.

 Claire Graham & George (Aged 7)

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