We adopted Jonathan from Taiwan when he was five years old. He had been diagnosed with autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Jon is now eight, going into third grade, and has been on ADHD medication for a year and a half. Without medication, he is uncoordinated, unaware of others socially and physically, and rarely makes eye contact. Even getting on socks and shoes in the morning is a challenge because verbal directions last about 3 seconds before he “forgets” them.
We heard about the Oakland RiteCare Childhood Language Center by word of mouth. Nan Busse began therapy with Jon at the beginning of May 2015, for three times a week after school. The program, called Interactive Metronome (IM), re-grooves the brain, literally making connections that he didn’t get when he was a baby. Jon’s clapping and/or stepping response to a computer-generated sound is timed to a thousandth of a second. The program gives feedback in a game-like format so he can self-correct to improve his score. We quickly noticed basic improvements: Jon could now clap on the beat to music (both parents are musicians), his attention span increased, and he was more coordinated.
The most astonishing results came at the end of the school year when, at Nan’s suggestion, Jon did the IM therapy while NOT on ADHD medication. The day after this mode of therapy, our morning routine was exceptionally easy. It took only one request for him to put his socks and shoes on. I picked him up from summer camp and he greeted me, acknowledging my suggestion that he get a drink of water, and politely thanking me for opening the car door for him (“Thank you, Mother Dear”)!
This is only the beginning, and something we can continue throughout the summer when Jon doesn’t need medication every day to stay in school and stay focused. We have begun a second therapy, The Listening Program, and we’ll be working with Dr. Pam to learn about FastForword. We’re making progress, sometimes in ways that can’t be quantified. We just know it’s helping all of us as a family, and helping Jonathan be his unique self in this big, beautiful world.
Lydia, mom of Jonathan