CHILDREN

Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Syndrome? is a developmental disorder which affects children’s communication skills, ability to interact socially and can also result in rigid patterns of thinking and behaviour.

Adam has Aspergers Syndrome

Adam has difficulty making and keeping friends. He struggles to understand the subtle cues, nuances and elements of non verbal communication that make up social interaction with his schoolmates or friends. He has trouble understanding his emotions and the emotions of others. He does not appreciate t...

Adam has difficulty making and keeping friends. He struggles to understand the subtle cues, nuances and elements of non verbal communication that make up social interaction with his schoolmates or friends. He has trouble understanding his emotions and the emotions of others. He does not appreciate turn taking, nor does he register when somebody else is no longer interested in what he is saying. Adam will talk endlessly about his all absorbing interest in trains, even when the conversation has moved on to other topics.

At school when there are lots of different things happening, he flaps his arms. He does this in an attempt to deal with all the excitement or sensory information that he has to cope with. His schoolmates do not understand why he does this and think that it is a bit strange, which only leads to further social isolation.

Adam is also a little clumsy and uncoordinated; this is due to a deficit in the functioning of a system in his inner ear, his vestibular system. This means that he is often the last one to be picked for a team, and when he is picked, he can’t play football as well as he would like.

After completing a Cluas programme, Adam’s parents notice that lots of new things are happening. He is more clued into what is going on around him. After misbehaving he said to his mother “you’re angry at me, aren’t you?”, this was the first time that Adam showed that he had an understanding of how another person was feeling.

While he sometimes still finds social interactions difficult and overwhelming, his social skills far exceed what they were prior to him completing his Cluas program. He is still fascinated by trains, however when his parents or brothers tell him that they have had enough of trains for the moment, Adam is able drop the subject.

The supermarket was always a very stimulating place for Adam, the sights, sounds and all the different things to buy. His flapping was often at its worst while doing the shopping with his family. On a recent trip to the supermarket his parents were very surprised that there was almost no flapping and that he was able to help. On the way home in the car he told a joke, which for the first time was genuinely funny and had his whole family in tears of laughter.

The Cluas Program also resulted in a much-improved vestibular system; his balance and co-ordination are also greatly improved. Adam and his classmates have found out that he is quite the goalkeeper and he is happily picked for a team at yard time.

The result of the Cluas program for Adam, is that his social awkwardness has dissipated. He now finds it easier to be around others and others find it less stressful being around him. He has a much greater understanding of not only his own emotions and feelings but also those of others. He has friends calling to the door; his schoolwork is getting better and better, especially maths, which was an area that had always posed a little difficulty. He has developed new interests, though trains will always have a special place.

Adam’s self confidence is no longer a worry for his parents; he is happy and all areas of his life are blossoming.

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TESTIMONIAL

Robert – aged 10 – from Cork...Jan '14

“… Since the Cluas program, my son has changed in his ability to communicate, listen and interact with his peers and adults. This has greatly reduced his stress levels … “ Robert, while he showed signs or symptoms of being on the autistic spectrum, had a diagnosis of Auditory Processing di...

“… Since the Cluas program, my son has changed in his ability to communicate, listen and interact with his peers and adults. This has greatly reduced his stress levels … “

Robert, while he showed signs or symptoms of being on the autistic spectrum, had a diagnosis of Auditory Processing difficulties. Robert and his parents came to Cluas in Cork in early July 2013 for an Assessment and the following week he started a Cluas @ Home program.

The first stage of 15 days was completed by early August. The family arranged their day so that two hours each day – during his summer holidays – was set aside for Robert’s program. In September and October the next two stages of 8 days each were completed. The program was completed by late October and a review was arranged for a few months later in January. Following this review with Cluas in January 2014, Robert’s mother told us how the program had helped him:

Since the Cluas program, my son has changed in his ability to communicate, listen and interact with his peers and adults. This has greatly reduced his stress levels – which was the main reason for doing the Cluas program.

His time in school has gone from a stressful one with “melt downs”, toiletry issues, lack of friends and “zoning out” to one where he now has friends, can interact in class and has lost the stress that showed before. He doesn’t walk on his toes as much, he willingly approaches visiting adults to talk. He has stopped bed wetting totally which use to occur during term time, another example of his stresses at school. He even goes on play-dates now!

The most difficult time of the program was the start as we had to try and incorporate the two hours into our busy day and to find things to do that were of interest. Once we got into a routine, it was easier.

Cathy and John, January 2014

 

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