Michael, age 4 (update at age 6) – ASD, Social and Sensory Difficulties.
From a very early age Michael was continuously sick with chest and ear infections. By the time he was 2 years old he was prescribed over 11 antibiotics.
At 2.5 he showed a speech delay and coupled with this he was not happy. He was always so upset. I got Michael’s hearing checked but nothing seemed to show up. Until a year and a half later we caught that he had a perforated ear drum which impaired his hearing and was likely very painful.
At this point he was going through the Assessment Of Need, from which after a he was diagnosed with autism (social challenges) and he was advised to go to a special school. This was difficult news for us to process.
After this Michael got grommets inserted and this was our first step to incredible changes for Michael.
After his diagnosis we were totally lost as to what to do next. He was so behind developmentally. He carried around CDs like he would a teddy bear. He was very self absorbed. Everything was about Michael. His anxiety was through the roof and with all of this going on our family was finding things very hard.
One night I sat down and googled ears and developmental delays. CLUAS appeared and I researched this website. The testimonials strongly endorsed what Cluas were doing. I rang Ronan and we started the process.
I entered the office full of fear not knowing what was going on with Michael and hoping Ronan would be able to help us.
We met Ronan in November 2019 and he was able to explain all of Michael’s symptoms to me really quickly and why they were happening. Knowledge is power and I felt an incredible lift understanding how ears can have such a detrimental effect on everything. I had no idea.
Michael’s Cluas program was broken into three stages as described on the website and my worry of Michael not wearing the headphones was soon overturned with a little persuasion.
Ronan advised to get in touch with a dietician and to think about removing gluten and dairy. This was great advice and has made a notable difference also. It was difficult to get him settled on the new diet and it took a bit of planning, but once established, we could tell it was adding to the momentum.
On stage 1 of the headphones there is two hours of play a day and in these times I got to understand Michael and his strengths and what he found hard and the whole process brought us both closer and more connected. It was hard emotionally as he seemed to take a few steps back a lot but it was for the best and Ronan’s availability, support and clarity was invaluable.
Michael went through this process when he was 4. He is just turning 6 now.
He is not in a special school. He is in mainstream junior infants.
Michael’s teacher recently quoted ‘ he is one of the most popular boys in the class’ ‘ yard is his favourite time so he can play chase with his friends’ ‘ Irish is his favourite subject’ and he listens very attentively in class and He is always smiling.
Michael’s challenges are fine motor; he finds handwriting hard and when the class is really noisy with thirty kids he finds it hard to concentrate working alone. This positive feedback has made us a very happy family.
We have come a long way and a huge thank you to Ronan for being Michael’s portal to health and happiness.
Cathal, age 2 – Speech and Language Delay
Cathal was 2 and half when we discovered Cluas. He had very few words ( under 50) and his attention was very limited. We had brought him to speech and language therapists from 20 months old with very little progress.
Cluas has helped transform all our lives.
Our little boy is now thriving. His language is improving everyday but more importantly so is his confidence, concentration and overall happiness.
We found Cluas to be a safe place for all of us. Ronan only offered solutions and guidance and never jumped to conclusions or diagnosis.
He has worked tirelessly to help Cathal in every aspect of his life and we can see the growth and his endless potential everyday,
Cathal is now 3 and started playschool in September. He has settled in very well and his language skills are improving everyday. He now has 2/3 word sentences with 5 word sentences occasionally. His understanding has increased 100%. He has great concentration skills now and he is learning new skill rapidly.
We are very grateful to Ronan and his team for their support and treatment.
Catriona, age 6 – Concentration and Auditory Processing Difficulties
Just a brief update on Catriona’s progress. Heather went to catch up with Catriona’s teacher, to be honest I was very nervous.
Needless to say I was blown away when Heather came home and told me Catriona’s has improved ten fold. Reading , spelling, interaction in class. But most importantly Catriona’s behaviour is back to normal.
So looks like the work you’re doing is giving many children a better chance in life.
That’s a mighty sense of job satisfaction.
Aidan , Heather, Catriona.
P/s talk soon.”
Hugh, age 6 – Speech and Language Delay and APD
Hugh met all his developmental milestones until his second birthday, where we noticed that although he had good singular-word vocabulary, he was not attempting to construct sentences.
He began to demonstrate strong tendencies towards routine and functioned well within very structured timetables. Any deviations from these routines led to tantrums and total refusals to participate. Hugh liked to spend time on ‘screens’ when let and tended to prefer them over interacting with children his own age. We fell into the trap of letting him have screens to control him in public. His ability to share and turn-take was limited.
Despite Speech and Occupational Theory over 12 months, we saw little progress in his speech & language or social/emotional maturity.
We heard about Cluas from a televised interview and decided to explore further. We found that Pascal and Ronan at Cluas totally understood our concerns and could identify issues we had not seen ourselves.
Cluas made us no promises nor applied pressure for us to engage with their programmes but we spoke to others and decided to give it a go.
We chose to start Hugh on a 15-day programme – with the first 2 days completed in the Cluas Centre and the remaining completed at home. There were a few times early in the programme where we felt Hugh was taking one-step forward and two steps back, but Ronan and Pascal were always on the end of the phone or email to guide us.
Towards the end of Hugh’s 6-month programme and especially in the month that followed we noticed significant change in Hugh. He became more tolerant and understanding when he didn’t get his own way, his ability to turn-take/share was well improved and in general we were no longer operating on Hugh terms.
Hugh’s language and ability to hold meaningful intelligent conversations has totally changed. He can now ‘think ahead’ and asks the inquisitive questions that children often wonder about. Hugh’s teachers are really pleased at his progression since he joined over 12 months ago and academically Hugh is keeping pace with his peers – if not outpacing them in some areas.
There are still times today that Hugh can become over excited and can be a little socially immature – but this is a far-cry from where we started out, unsure if he would be able to attend main school at the same times as his peers. There is nowhere we cannot take Hugh today and we no longer worry about his behaviour over others is own age.
I would love if Hugh did what he was told every time and came in for his meals when called – but I now know that I’m in the space of every other parent with a 6 year old .. which is a nice place to be!
I cannot say if Cluas will work for everyone but only that it changed our lives and transformed our little boy.
Thank you Ronan and Pascal.
Owen, age 3 – Speech and Language Delay
Our son, Owen, had approx 100 words as he approached his 3rd birthday, most of which were very difficult to understand due to poor pronunciation. He would get frustrated when we couldn’t understand him and was prone to tantrums when told no.
Cluas was recommended to us by a friend whose son was also experiencing speech difficulties.
The Cluas office set up is fantastic for children with plenty of toys to allow them explore without feeling under pressure. The assessment with Cluas was very thorough and we were made aware that Owen had a significant speech and language delay, it became apparent that we had been over estimating how much Owen understood as he was relying on gestures and environmental cues. He was unable to answer simple questions such as ‘what’s your name’, ‘what age are you’. As a parent this was a very worrying reality that Owen was so far behind his peers.
We decided to go ahead with the Cluas program and started 2 days after his 3rd birthday. I was skeptical about how Owen would react to the headphones but they didn’t bother him whatsoever and he saw it as play time. The results were almost instant, over the course of phase 1 Owens vocabulary exploded and very quickly he was able to put 2 words together with ease. He was able to answer questions relating to his name, age, sisters name etc Part of phase 1 was targeted at improving Owen’s understanding and we could see he was making great strides in this area too, we were better able to reason with him and saw less tantrums and frustration. It was post phase 1 that we were able to successfully toilet train Owen as his understanding increased.
Phase 2 saw Owen go from strength to strength learning colours, numbers, singing songs and he began putting more and more words together.
Watching Owen during phase 3 was like pieces of a puzzle coming together, suddenly he was using connecter words, verbs, understanding and using concepts like ‘under’, ‘out’, ‘in’, ‘on’ etc.
When we started our Cluas journey it was evident that Owen couldn’t communicate effectively and it felt like we would never be able to catch him up, now Owen doesn’t stop talking! He’s more sociable and confident and can follow instructions without hesitation. He recently started Playschool and settled in straight away, I know he would not have been ready for that transition prior to doing the Cluas program.
Throughout the Cluas program the support and guidance from Ronan has been incredible, his expertise and practical advice have been a constant source of comfort. He has a wonderful manner with children and Owen always ran into the office happy to be there.
It is astonishing to think how far Owen has come in such a short space of time. We feel the program has unlocked Owens potential and would highly recommend Cluas.
Many thanks, Lisa.
Lisa, Owen’s mother – Dublin 15.
Henry, age 2 – Speech and Language Delay
At 2 years of age Henry was practically non-verbal. He spoke only a handful of words. Initially we had put it down to laziness or others speaking for him.
After being referred for Speech and Language Therapy by the Public Health Nurse we decided to have him assessed at Cluas.
Henry was diagnosed with a heightened sensitivity to sound. When explained everything fell into place and made sense to us as to why Henry would run when the hoover, hairdryer was turned on and why he would shy away when singing songs.
Although skeptical of how it would work, we decided to proceed with the program and have not looked back since. We could see an instant improvement in Henry. His progression has been fantastic and it’s been great seeing his personality open up as a result.
At times the program has been testing with Henry being pushed to his limits but every minute has been worth it when we see him grow with not only vocabulary but in his confidence also.
Family and friends have been amazed at the progress Henry has achieved in such a short space of time.
Ronan and Pascal have been fantastic and we thank them for all the support they have provided.
We would 100% recommend Cluas.
Audrey – Henry’s mother. D24.
Peadar, age 5 – Sensory Processing Disorder
“Peadar was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder at 3 years old. He would get distressed in noisy environments, becoming hyper or even noisier himself and he always talked at the top of his voice in supermarkets, cafés, playgrounds etc. I was concerned about how he would cope in school, both in the classroom and noisy yard.
Cluas was recommended to me and he did their assessment at 4 ½ years old. It showed his hypersensitivity to noise and his inability to filter background sounds effectively. The moment Peadar started the therapy, he showed improvements in balance, ability to focus on play without seeking feedback from me, reduced sensitivity to touching textures he didn’t like (e.g. certain foods and water), and was more patient with his noisy little brother. Some days, the music overstimulated him but I was able to contact Cluas at any time and they always responded immediately with advice and solutions that best helped Peadar to cope and continue. This individual attention was replicated in the response to the continuing assessments, where Peadar’s specific needs were reflected in the tailoring and tweaking of the programme to help him progress.
Over the course of the Cluas programme, friends and relatives have commented on how much more socially engaged Peadar is, holding two-way conversations and reacting calmer and more naturally with other children in noisy places. The big test came on the first day of school with nearly 400 kids and their parents filling the concrete walled yard with incredible noise. Peadar never covered his ears, never cried, and didn’t shout! He spotted his friends and went over to play with them, showing no signs of distress from the noise. Amazing. He now comes home from school full of chat about what he learnt, so I know he is filtering sound and listening to his teacher.
Peadar required a number of extra therapy stages before showing a lasting effect but they have been worth it. After the final stage, he even stopped talking at the top of his voice! Without the Cluas staff’s personal concern and experience, I don’t think he would have progressed as far as he has. Peadar may never filter sound as effectively as the average person but he can now tolerate, cope and live with it in a way that has improved his and our family’s quality of life – thanks to the Cluas staff and their listening programme.”
Laura, Peadar’s Mother – Dublin.
Owen, age 12 – Dyspraxia, Sensory Integration
“Owen is a 12 year old boy with gross motor dyspraxia and sensory integration dysfunction. Before the programme he had difficulty sleeping, concentrating for long periods and bi lateral coordination. Following the Cluas programme he is sleeping better and achieving more of his potential at school. He is generally calmer and happier. I would strongly recommend this programme.”
Patricia, Owen’s mother – Dublin.
Cluas review – Brendan age 6. School difficulties and Sensory Processing
Once Brendan started school it became apparent that all was not right. He was lost in his school work and had no confidence. He was a very cross little boy. He was diagnosed with a SPD and the Cluas program was recommended to us by the OT.
We were willing to try anything to help Brendan.
He is now finished the program and we are thrilled with the results. Our happy little boy is back. His school work has hugely improved, everyone who knows him has commented on the positive changed in him.
He craves knowledge and loves to show you what he knows. His tantrums are gone or at least are normal for a six year old.
It certainly was a challenge for Brendan going through the program but we kept pit positive for him and bribed him as needed to get it done!
He himself can see the changes. He now loves school and his teacher is delighted with him and with how much he has improved.
Thank you Pascal and Ronan for running this wonderful program.
Claire (Brendan’s mother).
Russel age 14 from Dublin
“We took our 14 year son, who is dyslexic, to Cluas in August 2016.
During the previous 6 months we had a number of discussions with his school in which it was brought to our attention that our son had serious problems concentrating in class. Additionally, we were told that he was disrupting the class because he was also distracting some of his fellow pupils.
We were looking for a solution and discovered Cluas on the internet. At first we were a bit sceptical but as we did additional research and read more about the approach we became more comfortable with the program and decided to give it a try.
Once our son got used to wearing the headphones for 2 hours at a time the program went very smoothly.
The results have been very positive. At our most recent meetings with his teachers 50% of them, without our prompting, commented on our son’s improved concentration and ability to listen in class. The others, when asked, gave us similar feedback. We asked all of his teachers if he was still distracting the other pupils – we got an emphatic ‘no’ to the question. In fact we got no negative feedback from any of his teachers.
Many thanks to Pascal and Ronan.”
Robert (Russel’s Dad)