the autism centre

Parents Area

Case Studies

The Delacato Centre comes into contact with a large number of children, but treats each one as unique, and tailors their therapy programme around their specific problems and needs. In this section we present a more in depth look at parents stories, about their children and how Delacato helped them.

Carina's Story

Imagine being a first-time mother at 39 of a premature baby who became autistic and was written of by everyone - What would you do?

Carina was a beautiful baby up to 12months and then everything changed - she seemed to go deaf and lost all her speech (at least a dozen words) going into her own world. From a little girl who was so bright, responded well to us and played well with toys, we suddenly had a little girl who sat in a corner, playing with string endlessly and screaming if anyone except myself came near her.

We were told categorically by all professionals that our child had severe learning problems and would never be much good, but to accept that she was beautiful. How we cried after that assessment.

Then I got very angry- how dare they say that- I went to the library and read every book I could find about disability-of course there was no diagnosis-there being no facilities in the area, no one was going to say she was autistic-it was left to me to find out. Even our Paediatrician denied it, though the symptoms by then were obvious.

Eventually we found Dr Delacato (a world famous American doctor who had dealt with brain-injured children for countless years) and we travelled to his clinic in Germany for a consultation.

He looked at Carina and she looked at him and he said "Little lady you understand every word you say don't you" and was rewarded with a broad smile. We were totally amazed when this kindly and gentle man then told us we had a bright little girl with sensory difficulties who could be helped if we worked on her.

From then on the work began. Previously I had tried to stimulate her for every waking moment- playing endlessly with toys and taking her out to playgroups every day and she had come on well. Now were to do sensory stimulation, massaging her for tactility, working with torches to remove her squint, and massaging the central nervous system to get things going. We spent 3 months doing this and getting her to crawl-Previously she had only knee walked and she walked on tiptoe.

The change was amazing. Over the months, she became more responsive, more co-ordinated and her squint disappeared (so much for the doctors' wanting to operate on her eye.)

Then came her education - We read words off cards to her and wrote with magnetic letters until she could read and spell and communicate with me. It was great - this little girl of 5 years could suddenly tell me things - her favourite colour was mauve - her favourite food was sausage and chips and ice cream - she loved me - it was a revelation! All of those hours of showing her words and writing sentences had paid off.

We also did Maths with playing cards - we used the diamonds and I made plus and minus, divide and multiply cards and I showed her - putting her hand on each diamond and doing the sums with her - After three months, she was brilliant - I could not believe she could learn so fast and then she knew the numbers, she had connected the small numbers with the shapes and she knew them. She learnt all her tables very quickly and soon became adept at everything - by age 6 she was doing algebra, fractions etc. and I had to stop because I did not know where else to go - she knew as much as I had done at 11.

We did history, geography, nature study and we read books and books and books - she learnt so quickly. Every time we saw the doctor he gave us a new programme and she improved in leaps and bounds in every four-month period.

I then taught her to write, holding her hand and doing letters over and over again until I felt her hand moving mine and I knew she could do it. She still writes with me holding her hand for support although at school she began to write on her own. She then wrote little 3 sentence essays about her house, garden, park, favourite things etc. It was lovely to find out things I did not know.

Her speech is still not through but we are still working on it - she is beginning to walk flat, and when sitting a SATS test with another 8 year old in Maths and English, her teacher informed us that she gained higher marks - quite an achievement for a little girl who was hopeless!

We now have a little girl who is becoming increasingly independent (due to at last being included in school) and we look forward to more improvement and speech in the near future.

Carina is now thirteen years old, passed her SATS Maths level 4 and English level 3 at 11 years old.

Am I glad I did not listen to all those "professionals" who were ready to condemn my child to life of disability, and that I met Dr Delacato.

Julia

Principal Facility: 26 Gwscwm Park, Burry Port, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA16 0DX, UK
Tel: 00 44 (0)1554 83 69 60

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