Our son David has Autism. Until he reached 14 months of age, David was a very sociable little boy who met all the usual developmental milestones, thereafter he slowly retreated into his own world. By the time he was 20 months old we could no longer explain away his increasingly odd behaviour. I called in the Health Visitor who mentioned Autism immediately. I was shocked because I had always believed that autistic children were unhappy children and our son appeared to be very happy just oblivious of those around him.
As David’s formal assessment for Autism could not be scheduled for another 4 months, I took to researching endlessly on the internet to confirm whether I thought Autism was a reasonable diagnosis. Sadly, the evidence was all there. David had lost the few words he had begun to use, lacked eye contact, turned in circles, walked on tiptoes, hand flapped, fidgeted, stared at lights, never pointed – the list went on and on. I then set about seeing if there was anything we could do for David while we awaited his assessment and came across The Sunflower Programme. Here was something we could start immediately. I wasn’t looking for a cure from the programme, I was just looking at ways to make David feel his absolute best so that he had a chance to function at his optimum level.
Mark achieved a great deal given that David had very little understanding of verbal communication. His improvement over the course of the programme was phenomenal. In that time he responded to his name and learnt nearly 100 words that he was able to use frequently. His eye contact improved tremendously, he seeks company and even enjoys cuddles and rough-and-tumble. We enjoy books, singing nursery rhymes and doing puzzles together.
We cannot possibly put all of David’s progress down to The Sunflower Programme. David would likely have made progress to some degree had we not intervened at all and we are lucky to have an enthusiastic team working with David now including a Pediatrician, Speech & Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Educational Psychologist.
David is on a gluten-free diet and, where practical, an organic diet. What I can say however is that after each visit to Mark, David showed a marked improvement in ability and awareness. We are confident that The Sunflower Programme improved David’s wellbeing, the result of which is that we have a happier, healthier child.
Many thanks to Mark.
The Sunflower Trust