“See you next summer!” was what Leo’s family said before they went back to Indonesia.
In January 2019, Leo’s mother found KickStart after a search for “occupational therapists”. She said that what impressed her was how professional our website was, and the wide selection of therapy methods that we offer. She felt confident that Ms. Wu would provide the best therapy plan for Leo. “The thought of Leo improving and actually begin speaking is definitely worth the flight from Indonesia! If KickStart is open during the Lunar New Year holiday, I want to take Leo there!” his mother told us over the phone.
Leo is a child with autism, with symptoms such as lack of eye contact, low verbal communication, body language impediment, and poor auditory performance. Aside from these, he also experiences severe sensory defensiveness, gravitational insecurity and tactile defensiveness.
After the consultation, Leo began his therapy sessions which took place three times per week. During the course of the sessions, I planned many activities that would stimulate his vestibular sense. Slowly, we worked toward activities that Leo enjoyed. At first, Leo was scared. He resisted and ran from “the swing”. However, in two months, Leo learned to accept and play on the swing. Due to the stimulations he received, he was actually able to look his mom in the eyes and say to her, “Swing!” Leo’s mom was overwhelmed with joy! Aside from the activities in the sessions, I also showed Leo’s mother three different massages to do at home in order to help with Leo’s conditions.
“See you next summer! Please help us schedule him in for therapy when summer comes!” was what Leo’s family said before they went back to Indonesia. She didn’t leave empty-handed as we gave her different methods and tips to help Leo during the time away from therapy.
When summer came, we immediately received from Leo’s mother their schedule for treatment. They hoped to arrange sessions five times a week, or even better, every day! “I had built in Indonesia a play area like KickStart’s classrooms, with similar equipment and tools. However, without the therapist’s guide, the result was not even comparable. I really hope that Leo will continue to show improvement like he did the last time we were at KickStart, which was why I have decided that we will move to Taiwan for a while. I’ve even found him a suitable kindergarten already!” Leo’s mother told us with excitement and hope.
This time, Leo’s therapy lasted for three months. Within these three months, Leo made significant progress. He learned to express his needs and wants, and his interests. His comprehension improved, he could follow instructions, he began to make eye contact and even began to interact with the therapist by adjusting her mask!
After the 3-month individual sessions, Leo made enough progress to be promoted to our group sessions. We look forward to seeing Leo make even more improvements under the help and guidance of his peers. KickStart and Leo’s family will work together for a better future for Leo!
Photo credit: shutterstock.com