John is a ten year old boy who catches the bus every morning to the local primary school where he is enrolled in Year 4. He enjoys STEM activities, art and Maths in class, and loves playing handball during break times. He also plays in the local soccer competition every Saturday morning, participates in swimming squad every Monday afternoon and does gymnastics two afternoons each week. He has also been diagnosed with Autism since he was five.
During this time, John and his family have been on quite a journey across two day care centres and three schools. John struggled with the stimulation surrounding him in these settings and frequently became very aggressive – hitting, biting, scratching and kicking teachers and other students. His parents came to fear the sound of their phones ringing and became regulars at meetings convened in order to address John’s behaviours. Mid way through John’s Year 1, his parents withdrew him from his school, where his placement had become untenable.
Since his diagnosis, John’s parents had used Government funding to access a paediatrician, Aspect Outreach services, speech therapy and behavioural therapy, all of which had very limited impact. Indeed, John’s aggressive behaviour escalated at home to the point where his parents had to resort to medication due the extreme nature of John’s physical aggression. Thankfully, John’s parents were able to enrol him in a nearby Aspect Special education class. The amazing teachers at this school did a wonderful job in managing John’s behaviour – the aggressive incidents became less frequent and John’s learning began to improve. John’s parents were able to ease him off his medication. However, the concerning behaviours were “stiil there” – John, his teachers and his parents were simply learning to manage them more effectively.
In 2017, using NDIS funding, John began working with the staff at Braincare. He was tested for specific deficiencies in his brain’s functioning and then began an evidence based treatment revolving around psychology and neurotherapy which was able to target identified areas of concern in his brain’s functioning. John’s treatment has been ongoing since that time, and has produced dramatic and life changing results for john and his family. John is much more in control of his emotions, is able to reflect on challenging circumstances where things have gone wrong and has not demonstrated a “red zone meltdown” for over two years. While John still struggles to form friendships, he is achieving success at school and in the community, and his parents overall consider his behaviour to be no better or worse than any other ten year old boy’s behaviour.
John will always benefit from support, but this support will be far less intrusive than what it might have been. John’s parents have no doubt that the amazing work being done by Braincare has been a key player in John’s story.