Whilst I did not consciously choose to work with children, I seem to attract a lot of them, which is a joy because they are so responsive and quickly regain their sparkle!
The improvements in the language skills of children I work with are exciting. Well, actually, they are amazing! Initially I noticed that language skills improve in both adults and children as a by product of working on whatever other issues I am helping with. For example I have had adult clients report complete or partial resolution of dyslexia as a by product of helping them with mental health challenges such as depression. Others say it is as if their brain is more connected now and they are able to think and express themselves more clearly.
In children, I receive similar reports from their parents. The mother of one young boy whom I helped when he was hospitalised for pneumonia, reported this around 4 days after the session to resolve the pneumonia –
“XXX is making very smart comments and is noticing things he did not notice before. He is using words he never used before in his vocabulary. He seems like he broke out of a bubble into reality.”
Another commented after I helped clear her daughter’s asthma:
“The other change is at nursery, she chatters and is happy with the other children. Her class teacher Mrs XXX has noticed the difference and asked me what we have started to do differently at home!”
Before, the (two) sessions for the asthma, her daughter was not engaging with her classmates and most of the time remained taciturn, even though she seemed otherwise content in her own company.
This sort of improvement has become such a common “side effect” of the work I do that I have begun to monitor it more actively. The improvements working with children labelled as autistic are particularly interesting and exciting.
I say “labelled”, because when I work with anyone, the conventional medical label has little meaning to me; I address the issue at a level beyond such categorisation, so as to not be limited by any assumptions implicit in the categorisation.
Communication is, of course, about the non verbal as well as the verbal. One common immediate response I am witnessing in autistic children is a rapid calming of physical behaviours, including stimming. Even this last week, I had such an example: after the first (one hour) session with an autistic child aged 6, he has become more still and settled. His mother reports that he has been sitting quietly engaged in various activities; usually he is constantly moving and stimming by tugging vigorously at whatever happens to be near him.
I noticed myself when I happened to see him 4 days after that session that he had stopped tugging and pulling at objects around him. That was in stark contrast to when I saw him two days before the session, when he seemed unable to be still and constantly pulled at whatever was near him. Now, he quietly entertained himself whilst his mother and I spoke. I also noticed that when I spoke with him, he noticed I was addressing him by turning is face to me. He did not make eye contact, but a week earlier he had completely ignored my attempts to engage with him. Such a huge shift after just one session! I am optimistic that as I work with this bright little boy, we will have breakthroughs with his verbal communication (up to now he has refused to speak even though he clearly understands what is being said to him).
I will post more fully on outcomes with autism and what often shows up in such sessions. In the meantime, last words from a parent whose son was diagnosed with ADD and who seemed unable to sit still and pay attention in class at school. Whilst his parents tried various modalities, including careful control of his diet and exercise, I was a last resort for which they admitted they held little hope, before they would have to use medication!
After the first session he was noticeably calmer, and this comment is from his mother around 9 weeks after that session, by which time he had had 3 sessions over 6 weeks and there was evidence of much improved performance at school:
“It is like some connection in him was loose and you fixed it. I almost dare not believe it, it is such a huge relief. I never thought I would be so glad to say my son is normal. He listens when I am speaking now.”
The turnaround in children is usually fast and clearing the root cause of an issue means the results last, rather than just act as a band aid to symptoms. Best of all, it means they are not carrying these patterns forward as they develop. How many of us as adults wish we had been able to release our own patterns at a young age rather than spending a lifetime compounding them!