Benji’s StoryToday, autism no longer defines Benji but it wasn’t always that way.
Autism After the Masgutova Method®
As parents of a child with autism, we spent many desperate years first wondering if our son, Benji, would ever stop crying, then whether he’d ever learn to speak, and later whether he’d ever be comfortable in his own skin. Today, autism no longer defines Benji but it wasn’t always that way.
I am proud to say that recently I watched in awe as Benji spoke in front of a group of therapists, parents and children at the start of the Masgutova Method intensive therapy Conference, “Hello, I’m ten years old and I started coming to these conferences when I was five because I have Autism Spectrum Disorder...” He spoke clearly, had great eye contact, and peppered his chat with appropriate humor.
Benji had previously received play therapy, OT, PT, speech therapy, ABA, The Listening Program, Relationship Development Intervention, and HANDLE. Everything changed when we attended our first Masgutova Family Conference. Benji resisted the therapy and with the help of my father, we managed to keep Benji on those massage tables so that the therapy could begin to calm his overactive nervous system. Although it was the longest four days of my life, during the drive home it became apparent it was worth it. The child who could previously only express his feelings by crying or cowering in fear said, “Whose stupid idea was it to come to this place? I never want to do that again!”
￼During the next few weeks, the changes were apparent and easily visible. His entire affect relaxed, including his ability to self-regulate and expressing his feelings, becoming curious about the world and fearing it less. Suddenly, he could walk without tripping and hedecided that his “cushions” (orthotics) were uncomfortable and asked that they be removed from his shoes! Within a month the shape of his foot began to change. His curved toes dramatically straightened.
The most dramatic shift was evident one evening about 6 weeks later... “There were a lot of policeman in the Chinese restaurant tonight. I wonder why they were there.” He was quiet for a minute, then continued “the policeman who came to our table called me ‘little buddy.’ That’s because he didn’t know my name.” Suddenly, he could both process and analyze interpersonal relationships.For so long, I feared he’d never be able to do that. After five years, we continue to see changes thanks to Dr. Masgutova and her amazing team.
The Masgutova Methodwas a key, major element in Benji’s struggle against autism.But, as all special needs parents come to learn, there is no one magic, silver bullet that can fix all of the issues. I attribute a combination of daily Masgutova exercises at home and other tools as helping Benji move more easily through the world.
He is sweet, loving, and will sometimes still hold my hand in public places. In the beginning, I expected to be the teacher. Now, I realize that he came into the world to teach me many things...the power of hope, the ability to think outside of the box in order to solve problems, the strength of optimism, and above all, to believe that anything is possible.
Benji’s motherDownload as PDF