Hugh, age 6 – Speech & Language Difficulties and Auditory Processing Disorder

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. 

Laura and Sean, December 2018 – Dublin