By the time our son Luke was two years old we were aware he was developing very differently from other children, but we still did not have a clear clinical diagnosis to help us understand our little boy. Although Luke could see, he could not give eye contact; he did not seem to recognize his surroundings or other people normally. His communication was poor and he could not speak or understand speech or carry out the simplest of requests. He didn’t seem to move normally and he flapped his arms or hands in the air when excited. His balance and posture seemed poor, he didn’t seem to know how to play with other children or to play by himself and he was made unhappy by loud noises or another child crying nearby. We were very anxious because we loved our son but there appeared to be no “cure” for his condition or hope of improvement.
“We discovered Advance and the Scotson Technique”
When Luke was nearly three years old we discovered Advance and the Scotson Technique, we took Luke for an assessment by Linda Scotson. She explained how Luke’s behaviour suggested damage to areas of the brain that affected both his information processing and the co-ordination of his breathing with other activities. She also pointed to studies showing that cerebral stress both before or after birth could cause a re-routing of blood supply away from the developing respiratory organs in an attempt to help save the brain. These factors she said could cause Luke’s breathing to be immature which would also have had a further negative effect on his physical and mental development; it would also cause a disruption to Luke’s acid alkali balance adversely affecting his digestion by disrupting levels of good gut bacteria and increasing toxicity in the tissues. Moreover, it would also be detrimental to the quality of Luke’s breathing during dream sleep when much early neurobiological growth normally takes place. Thus, what prevented Luke from developing more normally was his disorganized breathing and by improving his breathing, his behaviour would also improve.
During our first visit to Advance we were taught Luke’s respiratory exercises which were light gentle, pulsing pressure movements over his chest and diaphragm and later, on the joints of his arms and legs. As Luke was very active and could scarcely sit down we had to snatch odd moments when he was calm or tired or even after he had gone to sleep at night to manage the exercises, nevertheless they worked.
” … his posture and his walking improved…”
Less than three months after beginning this therapy we could look back and see that Luke had made real progress, he had much better eye contact and began tracking objects constantly, watching cats, dogs, bubbles and airplanes as if he had never seen them before. He suddenly became aware of television, his posture and his walking improved and he began to walk up and down the stairs.
As time went by he became steadily more purposeful and began to take our arms or hands to show us what he wanted, he seemed to be growing more alert, even his consultant commented that Luke was making progress. Luke was now very interested in books and sat on my lap to watch TV, his speech and language therapists were impressed with his new ability to make choices, when we were on holiday he went to a play centre and to our joy, he got on well with the other children and staff.
We have been going to Advance and working with the exercises Linda developed for us for more than three years now. Our son has become a child who responds to language. He is able to focus on activities and is more connected with the world around him. He has been able to begin at a mainstream school, his teachers are pleased with his progress and he interacts well with the other children in his class. The professionals that work with Luke say that they have seen massive improvements.
We believe that the therapy should be available on the National Health Service to everyone.