Hi Bill -
I told you on the phone about the amazing results of using your EASe disk on our 12-month-old daughter. I also wanted to send you a written message detailing her behaviors before and after we did the program. Our daughter is now 13 months old. She had "autistic-like" behaviors since birth. Briefly, here is her history:
Birth to 5 months:
-Extreme crying up to 9 hours per day, extreme reactions to all sensory inputs, avoidance of eye contact (sometimes).
-The main sensory symptom was extreme startling to environmental sounds - quiet or loud sounds. She would startle with her whole body - arms and legs flying up and face looking panicked.) 5 months to 7 months:
-We saw an autism researcher, sensory integration specialist, and began a home therapy program.
-Extreme, whole-body startling continued.
-Avoidance of eye contact increased.
-If we were talking to her, she would start to look, then her attention would be drawn away by any environmental sound (fridge coming on, house heater coming on, a car driving by outside). She seemed to always attend to the peripheral sounds and block out speech sounds.
-Did not imitate normally -- would reflexively imitate sounds of the fridge and heater (for example, by clicking her tongue) but would not babble back and forth with us.
-Babbled to herself normally at 4 1/2 months, but then slowly (over the months) got more and more silent.
-Avoided social contact. Began to play repetitively (like opening and closing doors, over and over).
-Always extremely physically advanced - walked at 7 1/2 months etc. No "developmental" problems physically, as judged by the traditional milestones (sit, crawl, walk, etc).
7 months to 12 months:
-Improved tremendously through home therapy and sensory therapy.
-Eye contact improved to "perfect", became social, learned to play peek-a-boo, point and use other gestures, vocalized with a grunt, "uh", or "da" to get things. Seemed almost normal, except for speech development.
-Would seem to get to the point of being about to speak, then would lose receptive language and go back to grunting (instead of "uh" or "da"). We would work her (through the therapy) back to the point of almost speaking, but she would never progress to independently saying a word.
-Imitation extremely poor. Would not look at faces/mouths. Was not interested in people talking. Would occasionally imitate clapping hands. Would not even try to imitate sounds, except an occassional "meow" or "quack". The imitations sounded very strange - as if she was deaf - for example, "meow" came out "eo" with her mouth open wide and the sound coming more from her nose. She would not look at us when she did this.
-Would gesture "up" by putting arms at mid-body and sometimes saying "uh", with eye contact (per our training) to the person she wanted to pick her up. Very weak gesture.
-Daily babbling went away. Mostly silent. Would only make noise if we "made" her by getting her to say "uh" so she could have a bite of food, for example.
-Extremely afraid of anything making loud noises. Cried at the vacuum even when it was not on. When we vacuumed, we would have to hold her in one arm, and she would panic and struggle wildly while it was going. (see below).
-Because her main symptom has always been overreaction to sounds (and a friend convinced us to do it), we decided to try the EASe disk.
-Did two half-hour sessions a day, 5 days on, 2 days off, 5 days on (10 days treatment total). Since she was too young for earphones (and didn't like things on her head because of her tactile problems) we played the stereo in the living room at volume "5" (pretty loud, but not eardrum-shattering). We kept her in the living room during the 1/2 hour sessions.
-To be honest, we all got mild headaches from the music, but she loved it! The first day, she lay down in front of the speaker, laughed out loud (very rare for her to laugh), smiled, and danced to the music. Did not appear to be in any pain.
-The second day on the program, I held up a piece of cheese, and said "cheese", for the hundredth time. She usually says "uh" or does not respond. She looked right at me and said "tee". That day, she said "tee" for every piece of cheese we gave her (we stuffed her full)! We were elated!!
-By two days after the program ended, she said all these in one day - mama, dada, up, off, ball, out, down, cheese, wawa, baba. Half of these were independent requests (without us showing her something and saying the word). For example, she was sitting in her high chair eating, and she looked up at me and clearly said "wawa" to request a cup of water.
-She has independently said words we tried to teach her before, but to which she never responded before auditory training. Says them without us saying them first - as if they are popping up in her mind from her past, or she suddenly can "decode" them.
-After the training, suddenly her gestures are very pronounced. Her "up" gesture, for example, is with arms raised high above her head, and a clear "up" verbalization. She is more forceful in all her gestures.
-She now blocks out peripheral sounds. She no longer attends to the heater, fridge, cars in the distance, planes overhead, etc., to the exclusion of all other sounds.
-When people talk, she turns her head to watch/listen. Before, she ignored speech unless someone had an object she wanted.
-When we hold her and talk or sing to her, she stares at our mouths and studies our faces, as if she is hearing us and making the connection between our mouths and sounds for the first time.
-She is suddenly much more affectionate - giving us hugs and kisses without being asked.
-She has laughed several times in a natural way. She rarely laughed before, and seemed "stiff" when she did.
-She is even more coordinated - suddenly walked down several steps "frontwards".
-She is pointing at everything, and looking at us with a questioning "what's that?" glance. She seems delighted when we say the word, as if she's "hearing" it for the first time.
-She is imitating everything we do and say. She will clap, touch her head, stomp, touch her nose, kick her feet, and try to repeat almost anything we say, if we ask her to "say it".
-She is babbling to herself now, perhaps a bit behind her age - at the 10-month level? - isn't jargonning, but is suddenly making many more noises.
-We got out the vacuum. See previous reaction above. This time, she sat calmly on the couch while the carpet underneath her was being vacuumed.
Laughed and smiled the whole time, and kept cocking her head to one side as if listening and thinking "is that what I was afraid of? - it doesn't sound so bad". When we say "vacuum" she smiles, points to the closet where it is kept, and starts verbalizing for us to get it out! Was this all because of the EASe disk? Those of us who see her regularly (mom, dad, nanny) are all SURE that the auditory training changed her.
There were just too many things that improved all at once. We still don't understand all of it (why did she get more affectionate?), but we see it with our own eyes. There is a QUALITATIVE difference in everything she does now. Is she totally "cured"? No, we still see some inappropriate sensory responses (like to vestibular and tactile input), and in a crowd she seems to regress to earlier stages of behavior. But we feel that now she can really "hear" (i.e., process sounds more normally), and she is absorbing everything around her, and responding.
Would we recommend the disk to others? Absolutely! Especially for kids like our daughter, whose primary sensory symptom was extreme overreaction to sounds. Will it always work? Probably not, but we are sure glad we tried it!
Bill - I know this is long - trim as you see fit. Thanks for helping us - you've made a real difference in someone's life. --