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Intensive Interaction – my story by Sara, Tom's mum When we started Intensive Interaction with my son Tom (then aged about 7½) I honestly thought that I would only do it for a very short while. I thought it might help to make Tom a bit more reachable and then I could get back to doing a 'real' therapy. (We had been following an incredibly complex relationship programme with hundreds of individual objectives and a long period of parent training). By sharp contrast, Intensive Interaction is gloriously simple, very easy to do and relatively unstructured. BUT over the past year and a bit, I am continually shocked and delighted by the amount of learning and other wonderful things that happen through this beautiful, natural, free-flowing therapy. It just keeps on giving and day by day I watch my son transform into a more sociable, self-aware, confident, playful, loving, flexible, communicative and, above all, happier little boy. Background Tom regressed from around 15 months onwards and disappeared into a land called 'Autism'. It felt like he hadbeen kidnapped or had vacated his own body and left uswith an empty shell to feed and clothe, etc. Our house was silent and we were overwhelmed by his distance. We were devastated and utterly heart-broken and this was all compounded by bad experiences with the people being paid by the state to help us. I was desperate to get my baby back and I would have stopped at nothing to do so. I looked around for suitable therapies....

Before regression

How I chose therapies that didn't suit my son It seems obvious to me now but, to choose the best therapy for your child, it is essential to really understand After regression your child's problems and whether the therapy will address those particular issues. This is where I went wrong. I didn't listen to my maternal instinct screaming at me. I yearned for a warm, loving relationship with a communicative, sociable and playful little boy. I wanted to watch him develop through wonderful moments with me and others, through play, love, delight – all the things typical mums take for granted. I wish I had looked for a therapy to give me those things. I mistakenly thought autism meant this kind of natural development or learning was impossible. So I paid attention to the labels and problems identified in my child by others. My child 'was non-verbal', 'stimmed', 'didn't make eye contact', 'didn't request things properly', 'didn't know how to match pictures and objects', etc etc. With the latter problems in mind I started my son on a full-time behavioural programme (Applied Behavioural Analysis, then Verbal Behaviour, later Relationship Development Intervention). Treating Autism  is  run  by  parents  of  children  with  Autism  entirely  on  a  voluntary  basis.   Registered  Charity  No.  1113628.  Company  Limited  by  Guarantee  Registered  in  England  No.  5594787   Address:  Treating  Autism  |  International  House  |  221  Bow  Road  |  Bow  |  London  E3  2SJ   www.treatingautism.co.uk  

Intensive interaction by Sara M-J  

A Parent's story on Intensive Interaction

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