A Small Step for Mankind...
Our younger son, Bothtawee, was born in Asia and was adopted at 16 months of age. At age three he spoke very few words. As he grew older, he began to show signs of inability to read social cues and problems of interacting with his peers. He started working with a speech pathologist at age three and continued on with a different speech-language pathologist until age 11 with some improvements. Psychologist assessments were done at age 7 and at age 16. The results were always the same: Learning Disability (LD). Our son graduated from High School and tried to pursue a program at college without success. We hired a Learning strategist and Assistive Technology specialist (AT) to help him. After working with our son for a short period of time, this lady suggested that we look into having our son tested for Autism. We had already filled out questionnaires that were specific to autism but every time the results were negative. At that point we found a clinical neuropsychologist / clinical psychologist who upon numerous testing and interviews identified Asperger’s Syndrome which was confirmed by a psychiatrist. It is after this that we found out about Dr. Doidge’s book The Brain’s Way of Healing which led us to The Listening Centre and Paul Madaule’s book When Listening Comes Alive. After reading the books, the program offered at The Listening Centre made a lot of sense as well as being non-invasive.
Our son was then living at home and spending the majority of his time in his room on the Internet. I contacted the Listening Center to make an appointment for an assessment. Once the assessment was done Paul suggested that we engage our son in some activity either through work or volunteering and that eventually he might be able to help our son. This was not an easy task where our son was not feeling the best about himself and life in general. Our son did some volunteering and after a while we contacted The Listening Centre again to start the listening program.
By the time our son was half way through the first part of the program we started noticing some changes in him. He was willing to try different foods and was taking the subway on his own to attend the program. After the second part of the program, he started to do some reading on his own. His older brother also noticed some changes in him regarding his ability to socialize.
After finishing the program our son applied for a job on his own, was called for an interview and was accepted to do the training with the company which eventually hired him. He completed the required training and wrote the exams successfully. Also, he successfully wrote the exam to obtain his Provincial licence necessary for employment. After working for a few months, he expressed the interest to live on his own. We helped him facilitate this endeavour and encourage and support his independence. Noteworthy is the fact that prior to the Listening Centre experience our son had three jobs at different times but was unable to sustain any of them beyond 2-3 weeks.
Our son’s development continues to progress. He knows himself better and expresses how he feels. As Paul mentioned to us, by knowing himself he becomes more aware of others. We have numerous examples of our son being aware of others; he is generous, and conscious of the financial situation for his family as well as for himself. He reads the news on line and when he comes to our house takes part in discussion which shows good logic and common sense. He is far more sociable than he used to be. When we play board games as a family or with friends he is totally engaged. i.e. has no problem forming a team with others. His socializing has expanded outside our family; going to a restaurant with a friend., accepts invitation for a get together with some of his former schoolmates.
The program at The listening Centre has made our son a better “listener” which enabled his development to progress in a way that all the conventional ways could not achieve in 20 years!
Landing on the moon in 1969 Neil Armstrong said: “One small step for man; one giant step for mankind!” Of The Listening Centre we can say: “a small step for mankind but a series of small steps leading to continued progress for our son!