Parenting is an art as it is not something inherent, but it has to be learned. Dealing with kids is always challenging especially when we talk about the young ones. Moreover, that’s the time when kids not only demand but require our most attention. Parenting holds power to make or break the future of the kid. Although being a parent is always a hard task, but then there are those “special” children who make it even more difficult than it already is.
Talking about children with special needs, one cannot ignore those with autism as their case is of a trying nature. Their weak communication skills deprive their parents of the single most effective tool of teaching. To add to it, their anti-social behavior is also a deterrent for them becoming a part of the world outside the home like other normal kids. Furthermore, things become even worse when they act out because at that moment controlling them becomes an impossible task.
The intriguing part is that how can you connect with someone who doesn’t seem to understand what you are trying to say. Take a moment to think about the helplessness of those parents who are unable to identify what their children are going through. Who are unable to ask them about it, and are sometimes forced to wonder whether their children actually feel love for them at all. We salute those parents who despite all the anomalies love their kids.
Parents Mark and Annie, the Montague family, from the United Kingdom are one of those parents who took on a remarkable journey to fight for the lives of their children. When they were told that their twins Samuel and Jacob were beyond help and the only option for them to live a somewhat normal life was to institutionalize them, they refused to believe it. In fact, they started to love their children even more after the discovery and promised that they would never give up on them. This is the stuff of which true parenting is made up of.
Samuel and Jacob were only two-and-a-quarter years old when they were diagnosed with Autism. The signs were evident from the very beginning as they didn’t respond to the emotions of their parents; in fact, they showed no emotion or affection towards anything at all. The Montague family hoped that things would get better with time, but they only got worse as they got older. At first, the disorder was only visible in their lack of emotions, but as the twins gained physical strength, their behavior got more disturbing as they broke things out of no reason, would throw their food and they even tried to run away from home. To protect their twins from getting into harm’s way, Annie and Mark built tall fences around their house to keep the twins safe inside.
Although this measure added to the safety of their children it didn’t affect their behavior in any way. Annie and Mark decided to take it a step further as nothing seemed to be working for them. On research, they came across a less known method of experimental treatment called the Son-Rise program. This program was developed by parents who had a child with severer autism. The program is designed to help understand better the people suffering from autism rather than on trying to change their problematic behaviors. Its basic aim is to achieve a better understanding of the problem and recognize the issues that people with autism face in connecting with other people.
Mark and Annie got in touch with a therapist to help them with their kids through the Son-Rise program, and that’s when things started to change for them. They were amazed by the incredible growth shown by their twins once they applied the program for understanding them. With time as the therapist won the trust of Annie and Mark, he too was allowed to have more interaction with the kids. Eventually, as a result of their combined efforts, the kids were able to build up a direct eye contact.
The progress shown by the kids pushed Mark and Annie to apply more and more techniques of the program. The results were nothing short of life-changing as the boys started to show tremendous improvement in their behavior. A relation started to develop which was nothing short of a miracle. They began to connect in new ways, and this led to more interactions, hugs, cuddling, verbal communication, and kisses.
Annie and Mark proved us that nothing in this world is impossible. With love, dedication and focus one can overcome any problem. It also goes on to show that autism is a widely misunderstood disorder, and its lack of knowledge leads to those struggling with it being unfairly dismissed or disregarded. This story comes as a hope to all those parents and children going through the same problem.