“I am the mother of an 8 year old boy who is just finishing up the 3rd grade. I started worrying about him when he entered Kindergarten. He had trouble socially, always feeling like the other kids didn’t like him, or feeling slighted if his friends chose to play something other than what he was playing. I thought school would be easy for him because we saw how bright and curious he was about the world but he struggled academically and hated going every day.
First grade started out fine, but as the year progressed the teacher expressed concern about his ability to keep up. He had trouble following directions and if he didn’t understand an assignment he would make up his own. She thought he was very bright and creative but he couldn’t stay on task. His anxiety level seemed to rise and he complained about hating school more and more every day. I would have to help him with his homework every night. He seemed to understand the material or concepts but it was next to impossible for him to get it down on paper. His teacher saw he had trouble socially and recommended that we have him see the guidance counselor. I also started getting calls from the Principal that he was getting into scuffles on the playground. Most of the instances were miscommunications with his friends but he was also the target of bullies. We signed him up for Cub Scouts, baseball and soccer hoping that these things would give him confidence and help build friendships. He seemed to enjoy the activities but he kept to himself, he was physically uncoordinated on the playing field and had trouble following the coach’s instructions so he was lost when they did drills. He never seemed to be having fun like the rest of the kids.
No one seemed to be able to put their finger on exactly what was going on with him which not only made all of this frustrating, but increased our difficulty helping him. He seemed to be getting by with extra help from his teachers, meeting with the guidance counselor and me holding his hand but I could see so much more in my son. I wanted him to be able to live life without feeling anxious, or taking medications, I wanted him to enjoy school and learn and grow to his full potential, I wanted to see him laugh and enjoy healthy relationships with people. I just wanted to see him to break through whatever was obviously holding him back.
I decided I’d had enough when I got a call from his third grade teacher. His struggles were more pronounced now that he was expected to be more independent. I started looking for answers by taking him to a local children’s hospital for a Neuro Psych evaluation. They told me that they thought he could have Tourette Syndrome. The best they could do for him, if that were the case, was to medicate him and send him to counseling for his anxiety. This wasn’t a future I wanted for my son.
Then I learned about Active Healing. I immediately called Sargent Goodchild for an evaluation. Sargent explained how his program would address my son’s issues. He was generous with his time and explained how my son’s issues could be traced back to not having completed certain developmental milestones. The anxiety, the lack of physical coordination, the feeling that he didn’t belong socially and the processing difficulties were are due to a lack of integrity in his lower brain and could be matured through a program of proper developmental movement. He also said we would see permanent results; my son wouldn’t have to be on medication or spend years in counseling. I quickly jumped on board because this is just the sort of intervention for which I had been looking.
We have been working with Sargent for less than 5 months now and my son’s teacher and I have seen HUGE changes in my son. His teacher told me that the third grade is a year of huge emotional growth in kids but she has seen more growth in Hunter than is typical. He came into her class as the most immature student, she described him as a baby, and he is now her most mature student. His peers look up to him and they all want him on their team when they work in groups. She says that he laughs more in class and is more social. He’s able to break down problems and solve them on his own. I haven’t gotten one call from the principal about playground problems. He doesn’t take things so personally so he’s able to disagree with his peers and walk away instead of getting into a fight about it.
His baseball coach wanted to know what we did to him this year. He’s physically more coordinated, he can rifle a baseball, run faster to the bases. He can follow the drills now. He’s interacting more with his teammates. Now, he can practice his skills and improve his game.
I don’t see any anxiety in my son now. He seems comfortable in his own skin. I see him able to talk to adults much more easily, his friendships with his peers are closer, he laughs more, jokes more, he doesn’t ask for my help as often yet, he asked me to join him on a field trip for the first time. He’s learned to tie his shoes, he does his homework on his own, his grades have improved and I have not heard him complain about school or his peers in months. With the help of Sargent Goodchild’s program at Active Healing my son isn’t being held back any more.
“Both Sue and I have seen huge progress in Ben’s growth since we started the program in February. He has become very verbal and can now express himself and his feelings more clearly. He no longer seems to just script his conversations, but shares his thoughts. His eye contact and attention span have significantly increased, and his muscle coordination and fine motor skills are all coming along. We feel it is nothing short of a miracle.
At the beginning of the school year, Ben entered kindergarten. We had an IEP meeting with his team High Plains Elementary in Andover, and they were quite concerned about his skill levels, placing some scores as low as in the 2-3 year range. They even suggested medication for ADD. I am thrilled to tell you that at his follow up IEP meeting last week, they could not talk enough about his progress to the point that his primary teacher actually became slightly emotional with pride in his accomplishments. Sue and I have no doubt that this success is directly attributed to your program, guidance and direction. You were the missing piece.
It has been a lot of work and discipline to follow the routine you set up, but with results like this, worth every bit of it. Our biggest frustration is that no one ever suggested this therapy earlier, but we are thankful we found it and you now. The professionals were ready to just put him on medication.
As you know, we still have a long way to go with our Ben, and we are both very glad you will be there to help us. Our immediate goal is to have him score within the average percentile or better in his class when he takes his 3rd grade MCAS. I am sure he will get there.”
“Just a quick note to let you know how pleased both Jennifer and I are with our program. As you know when we first visited you Emily was able to roll to her right side only and could not crawl (on her stomach) at all. She is now able to roll both ways consistently and has started to crawl. We enjoyed coming to your beautiful location…I have been a medical professional for 10 years and have seldom seen emphasis placed in the proper area with regards to infant development. The information you provided us with and the simple exercises you gave us were something that even our pediatrician had not addressed. We look forward to working with you throughout Emily’s development.”
“I am so glad we found you and that you gave us this invaluable program. Dad has done more in the last few months than during the entire first year after his injury.”