John was a four year old boy whose professionals and families were pursuing a diagnosis of high functioning autism. John made no eye contact with his family or peers. Although he had speech, this was only used in a self stimulatory capacity and not with any communicative intent. John made no contact with peers at nursery and followed no instructions. His parents were unsure of whether he noticed when his family and siblings were present. John had worn the same pair of tracksuit bottoms for two years, with his mother taking them off whilst he was sleeping, washing them and putting them back on him during his sleep as his meltdowns without them were so harrowing.
With just two consultations and weekly contact for six weeks, John was wearing new clothes, making eye contact and beginning to request. Within one term John was following all instructions at home and in school and conversing with peers. John’s family had quarterly visits from Louise over the next year and now is fully integrated in school entering year two in September. John has a group of good friends and is indistinguishable from his peers. He didn’t need a diagnosis in the end.
Jack is a six year old boy with a diagnosis of language delay. Jack had no friends, was unable to follow multiple step instructions at home or school and had at least one tantrum each day at home lasting over one hour. Jack asked no questions at school and only made simple requests at home. Jack’s mum contacted NETwork Interventions as school had told her that ‘although he had significant impairments they weren’t as bad as others’ so could not help. Rather than fighting for a new diagnosis or statement, Jack’s mum decided to concentrate on therapy. Two consultations later and one in school consultation, Jack has on average one tantrum a week lasting ten minutes. He is having successful play dates and is now asking and answering advanced WH questions both in and out of school. Jack and his family are still working and making progress with Louise.
Nathan is a six year old boy who had previously been on a traditional ABA programme since he was two years old. Nathan had lots of receptive skills and skills from the tacting (labeling) repertoire, however he still had no functional expressive communication skills and as a result had no friends, cried for an hour before school every day and often engaged in inappropriate attention seeking and escape behaviours. The first thing NETwork Interventions did was to remove all ITT programmes and teach him 100% in the natural environment. Within three months Nathan was requesting within sentences. One year later, Nathan has learned all academic and social skills rendering him indistinguishable from his peers at school. Nathan will repeat year one enabling him to make a new set of friends with no previous associations of his current peers and will not have a teaching aide.
Hannah and Hermione were eleven months old when they first came to us. The twins’ older brother was on an intensive verbal behaviour programme for his autism and cerebral palsy. Hannah and Hermione both did not engage in behaviours which their parents would have been expecting and concerns had been raised by their midwife. Neither girls were making eye contact or babbling and neither seemed to notice the presence of their mother. Despite being told to wait until they were eighteen months old by the family Doctor, Hannah and Hermiones’ parents were keen to address any area they could and not let any gaps increase between them and their typically developing peers. Through the processes of simple conditioning, Hannah and Hermione learned to make eye contact for communicative intent. We then taught them some simple signs. Both girls are now twenty months old, have lots of words, are tottering about and are very social little ones!
Xac came to us at two years old with a diagnosis of autism. He had no language, cried for 75% of his waking hours and followed no instructions. NETwork Interventions recruited a team of therapists to work with his family and addressed both intensive and natural environment teaching. Xac has been with us for eighteen months now and is requesting in four word utterances, answering simple questions and following multiple step instructions. We are now teaching Xac to request attention which is a very fun part of his programming! Xac is enjoying three mornings a week at a local nursery and has two play dates with his typically developing peers each week.
Sascha’s father phoned us with, he felt, nowhere else to turn. Sascha was seven years old and had elective mutism/selective mutism. She would not sleep until 11pm in her father’s bed and was waking at 5am. Sascha had a restrictive diet of eating only orange foods. Sascha’s father was unable to afford face to face consultations, so opted for our long distance programming option which consisted of a video consultation and fortnightly data and video review with monthly phone calls with their consultant. Within three months Sascha was eating anything put in front of her (apart from cauliflower!), was sleeping in her own bed at 8pm and coming in to wake her dad at 7am each morning. Within one month Sascha was requesting at home. Six months on, Sascha is now speaking fully conversationally at home and is requesting at school. Watch this space!
Zicha was eleven years old when he first came to us. Zicha had limited language and engaged in acute self injurious behaviour. Both of Zicha’s parents received counseling through NETwork Interventions to address the stresses in their relationship. Within three months Zicha’s self injurious behaviour was fully eradicated and he was beginning to make known all of his motivations through vocal language. Zicha is now requesting attention and is on a full time in home programme. Zicha will be beginning play dates in September of this year, which we are all very excited about.
John was seven when he came to us. He was at a special school and returning from school covered in bruises and unable to tell his mum what was happening. John was still in nappies, slept for only four hours a night and used pecs to communicate his motivation for three items. We immediately taught sign language for an array of motivators and spent three months pairing new activities and items with reinforcement. John can vocally request for all of his motivations and is continually expanding on things he enjoys. John is taught at a mainstream school each morning and at home with volunteers in the afternoons. John is fully potty trained and his favourite food is now chicken casserole. John speaks with an English accent which is so cute, much to his father’s regret!
Rebecca is a nineteen year old woman who spent the majority of her time in isolation. Rebecca’s sole motivations were for television, drawing blood from her parents and brioche. Rebecca’s family and new team, recruited by NETwork Interventions, received intensive face to face training for three days prior to an evaluation pursuant to an in home programme being delivered. Within one month Rebecca had a wide array of motivations and foods, and within three months Rebecca was requesting for all of these vocally. Rebecca’s parents received separate counseling services from NETwork Interventions throughout the first six months of Rebecca’s programme. Rebecca is now working from home for a local delivery company, and is going out on her own to the local shops. Rebecca has made phenomenal progress, is requesting attention and answering simple WH questions. We are just so proud of her and her family.
David is a seventeen year old boy who has cerebral palsy. David had no speech, a limited eating repertoire and spent the majority of his time watching television. David rarely made eye contact. Three months on David had a wide range of foods which he ate, an ever increasing array of motivations and is now requesting using three word utterances nine months on. Go David!
Noah was twenty three when we first met with him and his family. Noah had a motivation for only three items and activities, was entirely prompt dependent for everything he did and had never spoken a word. Within our first two day consultation, Noah began to play independently, make his own drinks, go to the toilet on his own and said his first two spoken words. In addition to this, we taught Noah to write independently so as he could quickly tell his family and therapists his requests. This was two months ago and Noah’s progress is going from strength to strength.
James is from a family of six children, all home educated in New Zealand. When he first came to us he was five years old. James had lots of language but very few social skills. He had an extremely restricted diet and engaged in a high amount of challenging behaviours which were extremely disruptive to his family life. James’s mom rarely took him out as it was such hard work for everybody, and just so emotionally draining for everybody. Through long distance consultations James’s mom implemented some very simple procedures to gain instructional control over James’s behaviour and shape his language. James now has play dates three times a week and is enjoying lots of social groups. He is almost indistinguishable from his peers, which is just what we like to see.
Annie is our beautiful eight year old. She has Rett’s syndrome and we have been working together for over a year now. Annie has ups and downs in her physical progress, and we work closely with her pediatricians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. We adore Annie and her family – they have worked so hard with us. Annie’s parents and grandparents have received behavioural psychology and counseling through NETwork Interventions, as well as ongoing verbal behaviour consultations. We have to continually adapt Annie’s programming to her changing physically abilities, however these go from strength to strength as does her language. Annie was a very intelligent but frustrated little girl when we met, but now has lots of communication skills, a wicked sense of humour, lots of motivations which are fulfilled and the most infectious giggle you’ll ever come across!
Freddie is 5 years old and has Fragile X syndrome. He came to us exhibiting symptoms of autism: language delay; challenging behaviours and lots of struggles with his academic and social skills. Freddie is taught in mainstream nursery for part of the week and at home by his parents and grandma for the other half of the week. He has made phenomenal progress. In one week he was sleeping through the night, within three weeks eating his fruit and veg and within six weeks he was requesting for all his motivators using one word utterances. Six months on, Freddie is a keen korfballer and is requesting using three word utterances and carrier phrases. Freddie has been taught entirely in the natural environment and can request attention. He is just beginning to mand for information (he has got ‘when’ down pat and the others are currently being taught!). His parents have done so well, seeing their consultant once every three months and speaking with her once a fortnight. It’s mainstream reception for Freddie in September!
Lucas is three years old and has downs syndrome. When we first met with his parents, Lucas had already been ‘advised to leave’ his nursery as his behaviour was too problematic and ‘disruptive’ to his class and teachers. Lucas was partial to throwing and biting, and had no language skills. We quickly began teaching Lucas at home using sign language which brought about his vocal speech within just a few weeks. Simple communication skills completely eradicated Lucas’s need to throw and bite. He is now back in a local nursery and attends a local drama and dance group. Lucas has a baby sister now who he is totally enraptured by.
Peter was ten when we first met him. He ran away daily, engaged in almost constant self stimulatory behaviours and had frequent aggressive outbursts towards adults around him. Peter and his family have been with us for nearly two years now. He is at mainstream school with an aide and homeschooled every afternoon and weekend. Peter has frequent play dates, never runs away any longer, loves to cook with his mum and is now asking lots of WH questions. Peter has also found that he loves to ski and surf and attends group lessons with no aides.