Tag Archives: kung-fu

Think Big

After William’s first gymnastics group session, I walked over to the instructor and asked (trying not to completely lose it emotionally), “So how did he do?”  The instructor began to list off a few skills that needed attention. “His cartwheel needs a little work and we will work on his bridge next week but overall, he did quite well for his first day.”

Sounds pretty good, right?  And yet, those skills were far from my mind when I walked up to the instructor that day.

“No, no” I said… “I mean how did HE do?  How was his behavior?  Did he wait in line ok?  Was he nice to others?  Did he understand your instructions?  Was his stimming a distraction?  Did he slap Billy’s bulbous head?

Deep furrows in his brow appeared and then turned soft again, “Oh, yep he did just fine.”

He had no idea what this day meant for us, for William, for me!!

He had finally broken through to the “other” side… where group activities and after- school sports to typical kids are simply second nature.

For two years I sat in a chair and watched William do private lessons.  It’s the only thing we could do at the time…the only thing HE could handle.  Don’t get me wrong, some days were awesome and with the help of an amazing Kung fu instructor, William learned quite a bit.  <smile>

When he was five, we walked through a heavy black door and entered a room full of parents and other five year olds.  I was told this was a great instructor and that I should give this, Kung fu, a shot.  After class began, within the first five minutes, disaster hit.  William was running around, cutting in line, laughing at inappropriate times, pulling hair, and I think he spit on someone.  As I gathered up my belongings, with Margaret in tow, I approached the inevitable… we were going home… case closed.

It must have been my defeated red eyes.  He must have taken pity on me.  He offered to work with him privately.  This was good news in my “spiraling downhill, give me a full glass of adult beverage kind of day.”  This was something.

For months, we would drive, enter through the heavy door, and be finished within five minutes.  Five minutes was what he could handle.

After a year, the five turned into twenty-five and I was ecstatic.

During those private sessions, a hundred and ten to be exact, I still yearned for a group experience for him.  William was practicing, learning, and sweating all for something more than just skill…. he was preparing for “the group.”

Watching him now from the dirty gymnastics bleachers, I see a boy waiting in line.  I see a boy taking turns with others.  I see a boy attending to his surroundings.

I see a boy happy to be with others.

With work and perseverance, you will be in a better place than you were before.

Think Big…what do you have to lose?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

The benefits of Secondary Therapies & Autism

Yesterday I was fortunate to speak to a college class about communication and networking and business.  I love speaking in front of groups, so it was a lot of fun.  Thanks Professor A’isha Malone and Tarrant County College for letting me go on and on and on…

Of course the topic of autism, “Look At My Eyes” and my son who has autism came up.  I got about as many questions regarding that topic as I did communication and networking and business.

One lady came up to me and started asking about various therapies and treatments for autism.  My wife and I like to call them “secondary therapies.”

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Therapy) is the only scientifically proven therapy (not a cure) to help with children on the spectrum, but there are a number of secondary outlets or therapies that really help children on the spectrum.

There is horse therapy, music therapy, art therapy, various exercises, sports, and probably many that I am not even thinking about.  These are great IN ADDITION to your traditional speech therapy, ABA therapy, occupational therapy and the likes.

I would highly encourage all parents of children with autism to look into a secondary therapy for their child.  They are not going to “cure” your child.  They are an outlet for your child to gain self-confidence, self-control, respect for authority, independence…just a wonderful opportunity to express themselves.

Not all secondary therapies are right for all children.  Just like the children themselves, every one is different.

We started our son (now almost 7 years old) in horse therapy.  We bought him boots and found a place that would teach him and let him ride.  It lasted about 3-6 months and then we stopped.  William liked it but he didn’t LOVE it.  He was pretty indifferent much of the time so we decided to find something else.

We found Kung-Fu.  He LOVES Kung-Fu.  He has a wonderful teacher who has worked with special needs children in the past, is very patient and kind but yet a stern authority figure.

William knows that if he does not pay attention or focus the lesson will be over.  At times the lessons have lasted 5 minutes.  Other times they can go on for 30 minutes.

The progress he has made is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  He has improved on his focus, concentration, ability to pay attention as well as his memorization of techniques and drills, jumping, rolling, kicking.

So I encourage you to find a secondary therapy opportunity that will help your child.  We are thrilled with our secondary therapy and who knows…maybe our son will become the first autistic Bruce Lee…that would be cool.

What secondary therapies do you find helpful?  Feel free to share

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!