Amer, a child on the Autistic spectrum - Treated at Leicester Children's Bowen Clinic
Amer first came to LCBC in March 2008. He was eight years old, shy and apprehensive. Of main concern to his parents was lack of eye contact, immature speech and language, with little interaction or communication skills.
Left arm and leg were held more stiffly than right and appeared to be tender. Left sided impairment was sufficient to warrant medical testing to exclude the possibility of a stroke; however results did not show any abnormality. Muscular co-ordination was also poor, walking lacked balance and ease of movement
Initially Amer was quite tender on the left side, did not tolerate touching of his head and needed plenty of time between moves or he would make a moaning sound.
Treatment was largely of Bowen pages 1, 2, and 3 and of fascia as taught by Howard Plummer. Asthma moves were used a great deal, due to frequent coughs and colds. Presently, he is tolerating head touching and accepting TMJ well.
He attended regularly and treatment began to have effect. Gradually he became less anxious and made more eye contact. Physically, the stiff tenderness of the left side was completely resolved in 6 months Language developed from moans to verbal sounds. The odd word appeared and his mother would prompt him to say hello and look at the person he was talking too. We all encouraged this basic social interaction. Pronunciation developed from being quite slurred and now is clear and easy to understand. Vocabulary gradually increased and Amer began to string two to three words together.
At the moment he is answering without prompting and volunteering what he is interested in. Self expression is becoming evident. He will say if he is in pain or if he does not like something. Physically, he is growing taller and leaner. Co-ordination is improving; he can now walk backwards upstairs without wobbling (done under supervision of mother). Changes have been gradual and subtle over 4 years, 6 monthly assessments have been useful to see progress more clearly.
Birth was normal, but from the age of three there was concern about delayed development. Amer was 6 when a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder was made.
Amer is obsessed with cars, he also enjoys his food.
Schooling started part time at a mainstream Junior School with a support worker. This was supplemented at home with two tutors giving ABA (applied behaviour approach) and the listening programme. His parents were anxious as to how Amer would cope with Middle School in autumn 2010.
Amer now attends a Mainstream middle school full time with the help of a support worker. Teachers are pleased with his progress in language and social skills. He is talking and interacting very well with family and teachers but still tends to ignore his fellow pupils. Presently he is showing interest in reading and how words are spelled.
Speech and Occupational therapy
Due to local government cuts, speech therapy hours were reduced so Amers parents are now paying for private speech and occupational therapy. Nicky the O.T. highlighted the need for vestibular stimulation, as part of sensory needs to encourage brain development. Amer enjoys use of a specialist swing that swings and rotates. Nicky feels he would benefit from more of this stimulation.
Supportive interventions other than Bowen Clinic
2006 Speech therapy
2007 Son–rise programme
2008 Parents Teaching Day to learn basic Bowen moves, for mother to augment treatment in clinic.
2010 Private speech and Occupational therapy
P.S. I have spoken with Nicky to explain the benefits of Bowen and discussed how we could work together to maximise Amer’s progress i.e. TMJ.
Sam is 7 years old and is moderately to severely autistic. His mother Sue had a long labour and Sam was born using a suction cap. He developed normally and was advanced up to the age of 1. When he was 14 months old he began to regress. Sue thinks it was due to the MMR vaccine within a week of which he was not responding to his name. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 21/2. He had language up to 14months old and then he lost it all. He now only says odd words and only then when he wants to. Sam is very loving towards his mum, always hugging and kissing her and also with other people who he gets to know well. He can be a little bit frightened of other children – perhaps because they are a little bit unpredictable.
He uses the HANDLE scheme - Holistic Approach to Neuro Developmental Learning Efficiency. Also SONRISE – 1 to 1 therapy Sam does in a playroom at home. Sam has about 25 hours of this programme a week. He is full time on these programs and does not attend school. He also follows a diet which is Gluten and Casein free - only eats fresh, organic food, no sugars. This has helped him to be calmer and not as anxious – he used to scream a lot. This has almost stopped now. Sam does not like you to touch his head or face.
Sessions with Sam have been every week. By the third or fourth session Sam would quite happily run up my stairs to go into my therapy room.
By the third session Sue reported that Sam had “been brilliant”. He was speaking 3-4 words and a lot clearer. He generally seems happier and is sleeping well. He is tolerating Sue touching his head more. She is not able to comb or cut his hair and has to do this whilst he is asleep. Sam now waves goodbye to people – he has never done this before – Sue is “chuffed to bits”. He now gets straight onto my massage couch. He goes to a paediatrician at the hospital but only once every 6 months but Sam is then generally very anxious and will not let them do anything.
At the 5th session Sue reported going for a family meal and Sam was “the best he’s ever been”. He is usually really anxious, running out of the building but they were out for nearly 3 hours and he behaved really well. This was the first session when I was able to do some moves on Sam, these being circles on the sacrum with the pads of my fingers as taught by Howard Plummer.
By the 8th visit his mum reports Sam putting sentences together. His diet has improved – in the past 2 weeks he has started eating vegetables – he never has before. He has also started eating fruit since having Bowen. He is letting Sue comb her fingers through his hair when awake. He also let a friend do this and when she stopped he took her hand and put it back. He is allowing his mum to do circles on his back and he is enjoying this. Sue says his understanding of things seems a lot better.
Our sessions so far have mainly consisted of me treating Sue (pages 1-3 with fascia on the sacrum, shoulders and face) usually with Sam on the couch by her side. Sam can be quite boisterous at the beginning of the session but calmer towards the end. During the treatment I sometimes play a Relax Kids CD which I find helps. At the ninth visit I sensed I had made a much deeper connection with Sam after I had finished working with him.
This is early days with Sam but I find the journey exciting and interesting.
Therapist – Marie Hurst
Ethan is 7 years old and was diagnosed as autistic at about 3 1/2 to 4 years old. He has been attending Bowen sessions for about 8 months now and we have noticed a vast improvement in Ethan's overall behaviour, such as more eye contact, more aware of what is going on around him and a lot calmer within himself.
He started the sessions very nervously, jumping on and off the bed; he could only do a few moves at a time. We took him at 9am so he was the first to arrive (he doesn't like too many people in one room). Gradually he became more aware of what was expected of him. Now, 18 months down the line, he runs up the stairs, gets undressed and jumps straight onto the table and awaits treatment. He copes with a few more moves before he gets up and stretches his legs and then gets back onto the table for a few more.
Outside of Bowen, Ethan participates in trampolining, music group, dance sessions and in all of these Ethan has improved beyond belief - especially his behaviour and eye contact. When going shopping (which he detests), he behaves and stays close by.
Ethan had to have blood taken for cholesterol levels at school. His mum went along to hold him down but he got straight onto the bed and pulled a blanket over himself, and the doctor took the blood without any problem. The same goes for when he brushes his teeth and cuts his nails. He is far more tolerant now than he has ever been.
We believe this has to do with the treatment he is receiving from Mr Howard Plummer, Helen and Irenka.
I have been working on Tom for over 3 years. I had quite a shock when I looked up my notes to find it had been that long. Tom had meningitis when he was 19 months old and was unconscious for 24 hours. This changed him completely and two years later he was diagnosed as autistic.
I met him in October 2006. He could not speak and would not allow anyone to touch him. His mother said he had not slept for 4½ years.
I used his mother as a surrogate and then I gave his brother a treatment. Then
to my surprise he climbed up onto my couch. His mother returned two weeks
later to say “It works, he slept!!” Persistence pays. Tom loves his Bowen now;
he comes in and throws himself on my couch. He is now talking, not fluently but definitely talking and is beginning to read (2009).
To quote his mother, Ann, “He is no longer in his own little world”. He can
also count and proudly recite the alphabet.
When his brother commented that Tom was “chilled, as he had been for his Bowen”, the parents unreservedly give permission for this information to be used.
I find that all the children who have Bowen become more relaxed and sleep better. It is enormously gratifying to see what the magic of Bowen can do, so our thanks to Tom Bowen and to Howard Plummer who has inspired so many of us to work on children.
In accordance with the BTPA Codes of Practice, therapists treating children under 16 years of age are required to have the child's parent or guardian present at all times.