Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Horse-Boy

I recently went to see Rupert Isaacson give a demonstration of his "horse-boy method" for children with special needs.  It was a fascinating day and he had a really positive attitude to special needs and autism in particular.  You can check out his foundation here: 

There was also a screening of his film "The Horse-boy" which tells the story of their family's trip to Mongolia to spend time with the horse-people and Shamans who live there in the hope of helping their autistic son. Now, whatever you might think about Shamans and that kind of thing, the child's improvement over the course of the film is undeniable.  The thing that really struck me was the change in his eyes.  It is the same change I've seen in little Einstein's eyes over the last six months.  His eyes are different.  I've already mentioned how people notice that he looks AT them now and not THROUGH them as he did before.  This was evident in the child in the film too.  There is more though.  It's almost as if his eyes have opened.  They are clear and vivid and curious.

One of the other things I didn't mention before is expressions. Like many autistic children, little Einstein's face was often flat and expressionless.  In the last few months I've seen so many expressions on our little man's face.  The first time I noticed them was a moment I won't forget.  We had come in from a walk and he was tired, and upset and didn't know what to do with himself.  I was asking what was wrong and trying to motivate him to do something, and he was annoyed with me.  He was sulking and being awkward.  I was on the brink of feeling frustrated when I suddenly realised he was making lots of different faces - sad, worried, annoyed, angry faces - expressions!!  Thankfully these days, the main expression on his face is pure happiness!  And he is always laughing.

Rupert Isaacson mentioned over the course of the day that a great way to connect with kids is by using toilet humour.  In the film we see the family struggling with their son's incontinence but trying to make it funny by referring to accidents as a "Code Brown!"  Coincidentally, we are going through a toilet humour stage in our house too, but the great thing about it is that all three kids are participating.  They are constantly telling me new "Poo" jokes and little Einstein races his brother to tell me the joke first!  They are sharing the jokes and making up songs, and interacting constantly.  He is even initiating games with his brother and sister.  And if they say no, he says "OK!" and doesn't have a melt-down!!  My favourite sound in the world is the sound of his voice shouting "Come on guys!"

No comments:

Post a Comment