Happy to cry: how Oscar beat the odds
ZSUZSANNA and Gordon Hays have a message of hope for parents of autistic children. The Nedlands couple say a home-based therapy program created in the US has had a remarkable effect on their four-year-old son Oscar.
“Within two weeks of starting the programs he was toilet trained, which was amazing,” Mrs Hay said.
“Within three weeks, he had about 10 words back. And on those 10 words we built a 300-word vocabulary in four months.
“He became a very happy child and not just that, but our family has become a very happy family.
“We still cry every so often, but now we’re looking forward. We’re starting to help others.”
Read the rest of the article in the Sunday Times.
One Family’s Road to Healing
When Nichola Lefroy held her second son Tommy for the first time, two things ran through her mind – one was a very powerful sense of connection, and the second was a premonition that she would outlive him.
“It was very clear,” she says, her normally composed face giving way to the memory.
Nichola, 38, is a trained scientist used to solving problems with hard data and a pragmatic approach rather than a sixth sense. She pursued a career in public health and corporate project management before leaving the workforce to focus on her growing brood of boys – first-born Jack, Tommy and youngest Max – just as Tommy, then a bright, animated, connected toddler, started to struggle with some of his milestones.
Nichola and her husband Sam spent nearly 18 months working with specialists trying to understand and address Tommy’s speech delay and withdrawn behaviour before he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, the mildest form of Autism, at the age of five.
By then, the diagnosis came as a strange sort of relief.
Read the rest of the article in Onya Magazine.