Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf.
Three years ago I came across you in a state of acute desperation.
My 11 year old eldest daughter had been diagnosed with aspergers, and our life was in chaos. She was decidedly unhappy and angry and we all tip-toed around her sensitivities and tantrums. She would squeeze her head to stop unwelcome thoughts, throw things and destroy her possessions in her anger, and I lived in trepidation of my phone ringing – it was very often the school calling to say she had had another meltdown. One time she STOOD on the bed in the sick bay for 45 minutes refusing to come down! Stress was high in all the family!
I had googled everything, and felt very discouraged by what I read. It seemed like her chances of a ‘normal’ life were doomed. One night in silent desperation I googled one last time, hoping against hope for something new I hadn’t read, that would give me some hope for the future. I found you ???? and our world started to change from then.
I watched some of the free videos – the sensory funnel was a key one. I became a member and got the ‘behind the behaviour’ DVD, and then registered for a course to understand Defence Mode. These three videos changed our lives as lightbulbs went on in my mind. Here were people that understood! There was logic to this! There was hope! I started to understand things from her point of view…
It didn’t change overnight, but our lives now, three years later cannot be compared to back then. My now 14 year old daughter is happy and calm! She has good kind friends! She is getting good grades! There are no more tantrums! She goes out on camps and other social events with friends! In the last 18 months the school has only called me once about her behaviour, and even then she had managed herself well under the circumstances.
Last year at the school presentation night they gave out three character awards as well as the academic, to the 90 odd kids in her grade – and yes she got one for ‘Effort and Perseverance through a Growth in Character’. And in her report card last year her Home Group teacher talked about the contribution she made to the class through her gentleness and kindness, and how much of a joy she was to have in the class.
What was the key thing for us? Understanding Defence Mode and what was Behind the Behaviour. From there we moved on to giving her a safe place. Loving her. Letting her be herself. Not sweating the small stuff. Being kind to myself. Having healthy boundaries. And it must be said, our school has been a great support, their ethos is truly to ensure every child can be their best, whatever that is.
However, not all is rosy. She still has challenges. But we both have insight now. We work together on her challenges, lovingly and gently. And she is obviously happy, which naturally makes my heart sing! She is proud to be an Aspie, because of all the special talents that gives her, and acknowledges the weaknesses she needs to work on (like we all have).
Even more good news - she is now helping my other (NT) daughter who is entering puberty and throwing some hormone-driven tantrums of her own…my older Aspie daughter helps her sister calm down and communicate from the perspective of one who is no longer angry but remembers how it felt.
I will be forever grateful to Aspergers Experts – the first ones to give me some hope, and the only ones to give me some understanding of what my daughter was going through, and some actual tools! I can’t over-state how much of a positive difference you have brought to the lives of my daughter and all who know and love her.
I wish you continued success in all that you do, and am so pleased to see your organization going from strength to strength.