I'm a parent of a child with autism & development delays.
My older son's school heard about my younger son's success through other parents & wanted to know about MTL.
I'm located in the Blue Mountains and the way I got the school to take on the idea of MTL was to call it a pilot/trail. They gave me 10 students that they felt would benefit & weren't prepared for the results! I did evaluations for each child & asked parents & teachers to do them as well to provide 'Evidence'.
This can be done for a classroom with little fuss.
One mother came to me & cried with happiness from the results of the progress in her son 10yrs old. He could attempt homework, tie his shoe laces, was more relaxed about being at school. Teachers noticed his readiness & ability to sit and listen during class & improvement in his work, writing. Mum said, "Can my son continue on after the 10weeks" because he was scared he would go backwards if he stopped!
The best way to implement the MTL is first thing in the morning, for readiness of the day learning. The space issue can be sorted by moving the class tables out of the way and back into place for the session. With the whole class involved this doesn't take long to do and is in a way incorporating movement as well. We had to do this. The best MTL class photo I have ever seen was in South Africa where they put down flattened cardboard boxes to roll over outside on the dirt. They had no class room!
You might not recall that we were in tough after I had some marvellous success with using just some of your exercise with my grandson Eric, aged 5 years at the time and having trouble with his speech. I used a pseudonym for a testimonial you were able to use but I do not think I told you of the benefit I myself derived from actually assisting Eric to place his arms and legs in the right positions for the exercises- he was unsure of his left and right sides at that time. About this same time, after serious illness and major surgery I found that I had lost the ability to do crossword puzzles – a pastime I have always enjoyed. I had become convinced that age and ill health was to blame for loosing this ability.
Then looking at my stockpile of puzzles and contemplating disposing of them I made one last attempt (I do not take defeat easily you see) to do a puzzle and to my delight found I had regained the ability top complete the puzzle and the revived ability has continued!! The only reason I believe this could have happened was a physical flow – on to me from helping Eric with his exercises. An inept description perhaps but I am sure you understand my meaning. Ability to do the puzzles again also helped me regain confidence I had lost.
I have 3 children. My eldest just breezed through school. My second struggled. At the age of 9, we moved schools and the special ed. teacher opened my world to a new type of thinking. You see, my son didn't crawl, or roll for that matter, and this influenced his ability to learn. He was inadequately integrated. Imagine my guilt and sense of hopelessness as a mother but more importantly my child's lack of confidence as he struggled with school and playing sport. At the same time I read Barbara Pheloung's book Help Your Class To Learn, among other books. We embarked on a program of better nutrition (even though we thought we were eating healthy food), chiropractic and a movement program with the school and at home. To cut a long story short, my son did his HSC last year, applied for a university place and got his first preference. There is success.
I have only been teaching for about 5 years - I had my children and then went to university. Unfortunately universities don't teach you about this area of child development (well I wasn't taught this). As a pre-kinder teacher, we play games which involve rolling, rocking, cross-lateral movements etc. I fully understand the guilt a mother feels when she sees her frustrated child trying to cope with learning at school and life!. Now as a teacher, my aim is to ensure that every child I encounter has the opportunity to reach their potential. I believe the earlier we begin, the quicker pathways are created and gaps filled.
I am a physiotherapist and a Mum of a wonderful son who has been challenged throughout his learning career by dyslexia and also a delightful little six year old daughter with cerebral palsy.
I bought Barbara's book when Peter was very young and have passed it around a lot because we felt it as so helpful.
I help to run a support group at our school for parents of children with learning challenges. I have often refered parents to your website. It is fantastic.
I wanted to let you know, after having purchased your Move to Learn Programme, we are having some significant success – particularly with a number of children’s reading abilities & not to mention self worth & self belief!!
Jillian Ballantyne, Nth Queensland, Australia
Some years ago you helped two of my boys hugely at the beach house in Manly.
Ben is now 23 and Simon 16. Ben is now in his final year of an arts degree at Latrobe University and has been invited to join the Golden Club honours group - top 15% of the under graduates. Big achievement for Ben, it has been a long road. Simon is in his 4th year of high school and is doing well. He has not been on medication for ADD now for about 3 years and is doing well without it.
We are currently living in Ireland and are due to return to Melbourne in September. Our youngest son Liam has been diagnosed with ADHD and probably is the worst affected out of all the boys. Without your intervention I am concerned that this will only be exacerbated. Ireland is not at all progressive in its education in fact I think they are still back in the 60's - children are educated as I was. Scary!
Victoria Goodes, Ireland
I've just read your fascinating article in the e-bility newsletter. It's very helpful and I want to share it with some friends. How I wish I'd known some of these things when our son was younger. He is now almost 15 and my hair is nearly all grey, figuratively speaking, that is the bit left that I haven't torn out in sheer frustration. I have often tried to enter his world and try to feel how he must feel and I'm left feeling helpless and hopeless. This makes me sad.
I had a very real taste of how he feels recently when I tried to learn some new skills on the computer. The efficient teacher patiently explained, "Now you simply do this, this and this." "And then you go here and here and do this." "OK, now you do that for me again." I sat there not even comphrending the first bit and feeling awful. Now I KNOW how it feels not to understand even simple things.
I recently wrote an article for a Home-School magazine that tells a little of living with and attempting to Home-School a child with learning "challenges." I would like to post it to you, most likely you've heard it all before. You have been a help and an encouragement to us as we continue to try to help this special child find his way through life. Perhaps if I share my story it might help some other parent who is struggling to understand and come to terms with living with a child like "Ben." Thanks for continuing to send your helpful and informative newsletters.
Anne Hills, Queensland, Australia
Many years ago (about 10 now) I gave birth to a little boy. He was my second child. He was always sick, he nearly died, he couldn't hear properly because of the constant ear infections, it was a terrible birth and by the time he hit school, he was really struggling.
I am a Kindermusik and Simply Music Educator and have always believed in searching for answers. Doctors gave me no help and so I started my journey of reading everything I could get my hands on. I eventually came across your book Help Your Class to Learn. I found it amazing.
All in all, Cameron is now years ahead in his reading and maths skills. He has done music since he was a child and continues to do it. Thank you. Without your book I would never have found what I needed to.
I teach a lot of children with difficulties. I guess going through what I have for 10 years, people are drawn to you. I have been doing some research because I have been asked to present at the next Kindermusik National Conference in January on children with special needs and I came across the ABT site.
I started reading and it looked really interesting to me. Then I went looking for qualified people and found you again.
Thank you once again and I just wanted you to know what a tremendous difference you have made in the life of not only my little boy, but me.
Diana Acheson, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
I have been receiving the Missile and look forward to receiving them every month. They have been very helpful in that it gives me hope for my son. I was once told by a Learning Support person - when Brayden was in Grade 2 - that with a little bit of help Brayden might at least be able to read the paper - in other words he wasn't going to amount to much and if he can read the paper I should be happy with that. I cried for my son that day and I am determined to prove to people like that, that he WILL do well in his life.
Missile has been very encouraging and we need all the support we can in helping our children.
Neula Sands, Woree, Queensland, Australia
I am so excited about your work and know it is going to benefit many. Tony continues to go from strength to strength.
Today I was for no particular reason remembering the little boy who had to be dragged off to the school bus each morning and how he returned at the end of each day feeling very much worse for wear. He suffered dreadfully from car sickness and the half hour bus trip was a daily dose of misery.
After attending the Manly Beach House my husband built Tony a swing and he would go to it every afternoon and go higher and faster do more and still more circles in the air on it. It was amazing to watch as it was a swing to beat all swings, with really long ropes and plenty of scope for going round and round, as he was advised to do. Of course the aim was to stimulate his vestibula and get his balance mechanism working and that certainly happened as the car sickness is no longer a problem and he went on to become a dirt bike rider able to do heart stopping jumps and compete to the level of NSW trophies.
He found reading so hard back then and now devours each copy of Dirt Bike Magazine as soon as it arrives. Working in a motor bike repair shop he had to order parts, write accounts, deal with the public, all things that seemed impossible to one small shy boy with a "problem pen", that just wouldn't do what he wanted it to do.
I love the Missile. Thinking of you and sending my love and support.
I thought that you could enjoy some of "the fruits of your labours" by seeing under Bachelor of Theology, Jamie Houghton! Rev. Foord said to George & I that James has a good mind, the way he thinks & asks questions. The N.T. Greek, he reads & writes, the books he loves to read, I'm amazed. God is so good. I thank the lord you came into his life, & spared him much correction at school.
God bless you Barbara.
Jean Houghton, Australia
30th November 2014
When our son Lauchlan was around 2 years old we started to notice that he struggled with a number of things, His coordination, concentration, body awareness, social skills, communication, following instructions, easily distracted, loud, always on the go, just to name a few. And we had no idea what to do or where to start, However what I did know was that he is a good boy with a heart of gold and who genuinely cared and meant well.
So then our journey began……. Looking for a needle in a hay stack……..
We started seeing GP’s, child health nurse, paediatrician, ENT, audiologist, OT, physio, chiro, bowen, speech, ngala, naturopath, behavioural optometrist, behavioural therapy, parenting courses, 3 sets of grommets, adenoids, tonsils all under the age of 4. The general responses were “he’s a boy” “he will balance out” “he’s just immature for his age” and finally have you tried medication. Which none of those responses I was happy with, I knew there was more to it.
A year ago we were given a suggestion to contact Winsome who does the move to learn program up at skamp, to no surprise we did. Winsome welcomed me into her lovely home and there we discussed Lauchlan. We discussed the move to learn program and also watched a dvd, she even had me on the floor doing exercises, I giggled nervously thinking wow this is so my child she’s talking about. And it was at that point when I had that “agh” moment (my needle), the hallelujah moment, the FINALLY moment. I’m not crazy someone that actually got what I was saying and fully understood me and my child.
Since starting the program and all the extra advice from Winsome, Lauchlan has made some great progress and improvement in all areas.
He can now count to well over 100 and recognise the numbers (started at only counting to 10) starting to add and subtract, He can sing and recognise the alphabet and sound out the letters, (started with knowing ABC) knows some site words, wants to try and read books, Ball skills massive improvement, confidence and coordination on play equipment, can swing across and upside on monkey bars, does shirt buttons up, puts shoes on right feet, social skills are a lot better, a lot calmer (yay for me) teachers feedback is good (now) he can hop and skip. Ear infections are non-existent. All that and we haven’t finished the program yet, we know that we still have work to do but reflecting on how far he has come, we are more than happy to. That happy and inspired by Winsome and all she has done for us that I am currently trying to learn as much as I can to one day not just help my children but others alike, and hopefully it’s out there enough so that parents don’t have to go through such a long winded process like us, I couldn’t recommend this program more.
Thank you so much Winsome and the move to learn program it has been truly life changing………
Nat Egan, Western Australia