Submitted By: Harry Armytage of Listen4Life/Hillside Health Centre
Canberra, Australia
www.listen4life.com

Client:
“J”, an 8 year old boy.

Presenting Problem:

Adopted child with weak auditory processing, attachment disorder, delayed language, weak communication skills and significant anxiety. The boy is very overwhelmed in the classroom, unable to express his feelings, and is underperforming socially and academically.

Therapeutic Goals:

Normalize his sensory processing, and allow him to reach his academic and social potential.

Background: (age, gender, diagnoses, previous therapies, etc.)

“J” is an eight-year-old boy, adopted at 23 months by Australian parents from an orphanage in Thailand. He was abandoned in a public place. Like many of the children adopted overseas, he was under-stimulated and under-loved before adoption. This combined with the trauma of dislocation from his birth mother, his native tongue and his culture are the likely causes of his sensory issues.

His general health history is good with no major illnesses apart from seasonal hay fever – he is a mouth breather.

Perceptive mother realizes that J is highly intelligent but is underperforming academically and socially, and likely to “hit a wall” at school if his sensory issues remain unresolved. While he is now in a very loving Australian family, the mother is concerned that he is completely unable to express his feelings.

“J” presents with attachment disorder, delayed language and communication, and with significant anxiety. He also had weak auditory comprehension, a retained Moro. He is a gifted athlete with outstanding ball and running skills. He has a gentle nature and is warm, personable and very shy.

iLs Program Used: (program name, frequency, length, etc.)

30-session clinic program over three months (1015wEHS/C, 1125wC, 120RwC, 1305wC, Actives, BC2+, Balance 0 -> 1R). This was followed by 6 months of an iLs home program, later extended for a further 12 months.

Other Interventions used: (occupational therapy, speech and language, etc.)

  • Osteopathic treatment
  • Extra Lesson Motor program
  • Posture control insoles to correct hip rotation

Summary of Changes: (tests, observations, feedback, etc.)

J, who is now more expressive and demonstrative, is now willing to share his day at the dinner table. “He is no longer reticent to speak and now he shows his emotions!” His voice is no longer soft and in fact he is quite loud. He is no longer anxious, much more self-assured, has increased self-esteem and is doing well at school. The mother was so happy with the results that she wrote a testimonial: “We have noticed a significant improvement in our son’s communication skills, both in his ability to understand a verbal message and his ability to relay a message. We would highly recommend the program.”

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Conclusions and Recommendations
:

While J has shown remarkable improvements in some areas, he retains some of the sensory disadvantages of an adopted child, which are continuing to undermine his capacity to fully access his intelligence. We find this pattern is fairly typical of overseas-adopted children who require both 30-session clinic programs and follow-up iLs home programs

  • He still finds it hard to speak up if he does not understand something at school;
  • Aspects of his auditory perception can be further improved – AC sensitivity and Pitch discrimination

To sustain further gains, J will continue his auditory work by continuing his iLs program at home and will return for an auditory re-assessment in 12 months.

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