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Our Autistic Twins Taking Communication Therapy | Living Differently

Both boys have escaped from here
five or six times between them, and we’ve had to have the police
involved, helicopters, police dogs… They were just escape artists. The boys were diagnosed with autism
when they were two and a quarter. It was quite evident there was
something not quite right, erm, with them. You’d come home from work
and there’s no response. Mm-hmm. Mark would just come in,
“Hello, boys,” and they would just ignore him. I got nothing back from them at all. We didn’t feel they loved us,
did we? No, no. And they didn’t have any emotion,
interaction… No expressions. So we just cared for them,
loved them and fed them, and that was our life. You go through lots of emotions. You feel guilt, you know,
that it’s something in your genes. Is it because of your age? You look for all kinds of reasons,
because you feel it’s your fault. They wrecked everything, soiled
everywhere, threw up everywhere… Everything that could be broken
and twisted and snapped was done. They’d just trash the place –
just pull it apart. Everything had to be screwed down. Screwed down and up high. Both boys have escaped
from here probably five or six times between them, and we’ve had to have
the police involved, helicopters, police dogs… And that’s why we needed such
a high fence all round… Yeah. ..because they were just
escape artists. Every professional advised us,
but most of all for them, it’s… To put them into…
Into residential… So, it wasn’t just experts,
it was also friends and family. And we did, we went and had a look
at two residential schools, and you can’t get any lower than
that as a parents – to go and find an alternative place for your children to live. And we talked and talked and talked,
and we both just couldn’t do it. We just could not give them up. HE YELLS INCOHERENTLY Jacob and Samuel,
they’re like any other child. They want to fit in with society.
They want to do everything right. To say to them,
“Come on, boys, do it this way,” they can’t, and it’s almost cruel. Conventional teaching in schools
is that the boys are doing inappropriate behaviour, so we’ve got to show them
appropriate behaviour. So what the Son-Rise Program… What we’re taught is we have to
enter their world, and by entering their world,
we’re going to get their trust, and so we literally
copy what they’re doing. The Son-Rise Program is a relationship-based therapy, so it’s about an understanding that autism is primarily
a socio-relational disorder. Autism is about a person’s
difficulty being able to connect and interact and form
relationships with another person. Our approach is going down to,
sort of, the root cause of what is
going on for that child. It was an absolute eye-opener,
because the people who were teaching it had a direct
involvement with autism. Cos autistic children
are well known, you just… you just can’t get eye contact. The first time
you will never forget, because they’ve never done
it before, and I was at the table, and I was
just joining him, spinning… Spin! ..and suddenly he stopped spinning,
and just looked up, and looked straight into my eyes, and there was a look on his face
as if to say, “You know what I’m doing.
You’re with me.” It was a wonderful experience,
and you never forget it. And then, of course,
you’re now in their world, and over time you, kind of,
slightly change the activity, and without them knowing,
they’re copying you. We’re gradually bringing them
into our world. And things start to happen that
experts said was impossible, and would never happen, but we’ve been
experiencing miracles. So much for looking at me.
That is amazing! Get ready.
Going to do another scratch! Hey! Thank you for looking back.
Nice! I’ve seen them change in quite a profound way,
in terms of their ability to follow instructions, the level of calmness
that they have, their desire to want to try to
communicate… Raaargh! Achoo! I was told the boys
would see you, me, no different than, say, the postman, but now I can see they love
their mum. I can’t deny it. They come up to me. They cuddle, they kiss…
They cuddle, they kiss… They interact. The future for Jacob and Samuel,
since the Son-Rise Program, is limitless. We’ve got two little boys now who
are loving, and they interact, and they’re caring, and they’re part of the family. Every expert said that would never
happen, it’d be impossible, but now we’ve got our boys
and they’re coming back to us.

100 Replies to “Our Autistic Twins Taking Communication Therapy | Living Differently”

  • My cousin is severely autistic and this broke my heart, I remember how difficult it was to live and comunicate with him and how we didn't know weather to cry or get angry… I love him so much, he's just the most loving boy ever and now at 17 he actually answers to questions and follow simple rules. I'm so proud of him and these boys and this family

  • My sister has epilepsy and autism and she's the most positive person I know but she can have a tantrum here and there but it's just like any other kid who has a tantrum. They sound like autism is a bad thing and yes sometimes it is bad but not always.

  • my brothers 21 (im 15) and he has autism. he communicates and sometimes he doesnt talk. it was always difficult to me up until i was 13 because i learned to understand it more.

  • These types of therapies are a joke. These types of therapies are not functional nor have the scientific data to prove that they work.

  • I am a support worker for children 8 to 19 with autisme and challenging behavior in a residential care home and school people need to be aware that autisme comes in many forms and also some children have other health problems such as plit personality. asperges . I love my job and would not see my life without helping them. as hard as it is for the parents I see the effect it has on the children daily and its amazing to gain trust and respect from the children.

  • Anthony, we used to be told there were 3 main forms of autism, that is, Classic, Aspergers & PDA. Then the experts lumped all 3 together as being 1 within the 'ASD' diagnosis making 'it' even harder to explain than it already was – you can imagine the confusion. Then again, within classic autism, the kids are also very different even before that subsequent, extra layer of confusion arising from the merged singular 'ASD' label. For example, the twins can eat. Our son (diagnosed with classic autism & severe learning difficulties) didn't know how to eat: he shoved food down his throat without realising each time, he was supposed to bite, first. He even quickly licked up his own urine from the wooden floor before I got to it – Hey, it's not food/drink!

  • I have Aspergers and PDA and it's tough to live with, unfortunately society expects everyone to be the same. I wasn't diagnosis until 19 and was thought I was mentally ill or disturbed. This however isn't the same for everyone.

  • There are different severities of autism many people dont realize this. My boyfriend has autism and you can hardly tell. He is nothing like these boys. He just seems like he is socially awkward

  • You basically tamed your children by force because they weren't loving you the way YOU wanted. As an autistic person with communication issues I am telling you its absolutely disgusting and I never felt more dehumanized and closer to a beast.

  • i think that most people know that not all autism is like this. autism varies through people. and I don't think that the parents were trying to CHANGE the boys to be like them. I think that through the program the parents were understanding the boys better and vice versa. All round a positive result. This is about these two boys with autism and their parents. ITS NOT ABOUT EVERYONE WITH AUTISM.

  • Why are you demonising autistic children, there is nothing wrong with these boys and how they live their lives. The whole sad feel of the video and somber music makes me feel ill. There is nothing wrong with spinning, flapping, stimming. Why are you trying to change their behaviours? "Bring them into our world" "quicker than you know it they'll be copying you" uhhh why do they need to? Just because they're not neurotypical doesn't mean they're not good. The parents all woe is me because their children won't give THEM affection which is "challenging for them" the only reason you locked your kids in a glass box and sent them to this toxic therapy is to cater to your own selfish wants. Having a child that looks and behaves "normally" in your eyes. Things like this literally teach autistic children that they are broken and need to be fixed to fit in and be like their neurotypical peers. I am autistic and I am disgusted.

  • "we've got our boys back" I'm sorry but no. They were your boys before and they're still your boys now. Autism is not some devil's curse, we are perfectly normal in our own sense.

  • Ok let me just say as a teenage girl with severe Autism (I'm also gifted which is why I don't initially seem like someone with severe Autism), don't ever do this Son Rise program. I have seen other Autistic people my age who are also severe (but are not gifted) who were at one point in their lives conditioned with this program, and they have it in their heads that they can do whatever the hell they want and someone else will do it with them. When someone else doesn't, they throw a huge fit. This program just conditions them to believe that they can do anything and it will all be okay. That is not how it works in the real world. I have grown up being taught that a lot of the things I do won't go on in the real world. I have been taught to condition myself to stop doing certain inappropriate things. That is what is key. Teaching us that we can change what we do – that we don't have to rely on a therapist to tell us exactly what to do every second of the day. We need to learn that we are in control of our own body and minds, but also we need to learn that sometimes we won't be able to control ourselves. You cannot teach an Autistic child that what they are doing is okay if it is not okay. That way, we will learn that it IS okay. It's like how most parents have to teach their children when they are little that throwing a tantrum will not get them what they want.
    Also – why the hell would you keep them in a room like that? A room with a mirror, two chairs and a table. That gives them nothing to do but bang the windows and walls, to scream. They are bored. They need an activity. Our minds need to be occupied all the time.

  • Dear GOD please put a warning if you're going to flash colors at me. Damn near had a seizure. Good lord.

  • All of you saying that "curing" or "changing" these kids is wrong, seriously… think of how hard it must be for the parents. The children can't care for themselves, so who else is there to care for them? The parents. Caring for someone has to be a two-way system. The person caring has to be able to cope with caring for the child/adult etc. etc.

  • my autistic brother is allways running away from the house but its only because when he was younger we would walk around the neighborhood and he wants to do that again… but he is still a wonderful boy who shows feelings and emotions and I LOVE HIM.

  • My brothers are also autistic twins and can not speak but I love them and I believe they can read emotions they're very affectionate and non violent

  • Oh, MOONS. Ableism alert!
    It's very nice that they now have a connection with their children.
    But they shouldn't need experts to help them do that.
    There isn't two separate "worlds" that allistics and autistics live in. There's just different perspectives. Neither perspective is inferior to another.
    Autism isn't a death sentence, nor a disease. It does not need to be cured or fixed.
    We're not emotionless. We have feelings the same as allistics. We simply express them in different ways. Presenting us as emotionless, thoughtless robots is so incredibly ableist that it makes me feel SICK.
    Instead of trying to "fix" our neurodivergence, accept it, adapt, and everyone will be happy.

  • Number 1.. putting them in those shed like structures can you blame them for wanting to get out and explore? All those kids need is love, intensive interaction, simple simple language and phonics and acceptance for who they are

  • i have autism but not as bad as these boys. I do have mood swings as I'm a teen but with autism it does make it harder. I have two sisters one who is seven, Imogen. and a nine year old sister called skye. she is disabled and I do have to help at times with different things. I have shouted at Imogen because I have been really annoyed. skye has to go to a school called saint Nicholas. the school is for children or teens who have bad special needs or who are disabled. I am in year nine and in year eight I swared at a teacher.

  • I have mixed feeling about this. I mean, obviously there's been some backlash from the autistic community saying that this is ableism and cure culture, but at the same time it would be great to be able to connect with the allistic people around me and for relationships to be at least a little easier to manage. The boys also look a lot happier and able to express themselves in more conventional ways which helps their relationships with others.

  • This is pretty scary because two of my brothers are autistic one is 17 and one is 13 but they don’t have that bad of autism

  • As a person with autism at school someone said I don’t “look autistic” because they think our face morphs like Down syndrome. And someone else thinks that I don’t have autism because her little brother has it and I don’t act like him. Smh

  • I knew autistic twins growing up, but they were very vocal and easily protested to things they didn't like. You'd often hear them shouting and screaming in the halls. They each kept a stuffed animal with them at all times to help them calm down and focus.

  • My brother has O.C.D , O.D.D and autism (sever asbergurs) in my experience this video was accurate until 1:44 autism isn’t horrible on It’s own . It’s what comes with autism that is life changing

  • How about you ask us what it's like being autistic? How about you ask us what kind of help we'd like? How about you ask us about the ways the rest of society treats us? We aren't sick, we aren't a curse or a burden, we aren't scary. We're just people with brains that work differently to neurotypical people. We don't need to be taught how to act like "normal" people. We need those "normal" people to learn that we're just normal enough, thank you very much. Verbal communication and eye contact isn't the be-all, end-all of human relationships. People need to learn this.

  • This does seem to be quite an ableist focused clip. While I can't imagine how difficult it must be to live with children who you can't communicate with, at the same time I just kept getting the impression they thought of the autism as something broken in their sons that was being fixed. I think it's a fine line to walk between teaching severely autistic people enough to make them independent and able to communicate, and making them conform to what people view as 'normal'. What I don't understand is why there was no indication given in this clip of non-verbal methods of communication being tried, the most obvious example of which would be sign language.

  • Seeing people helping them in a nice way is so nice to see usually when I see people dealing with autistic people I see them get mad or yell at them which upsets me because their not doing anything wrong and if they are doing something wrong they probably don't know/understand why it's wrong

  • As a speech-language therapist who works with children with autism on communication.. I have never heard of this but I am intrigued

  • In this materialistic world parents forget how to truly play and connect with one another. Toys and gadgets should never replace human touch and eye contact.

  • They need a higher fence
    Those boy could escape and drown

    Is well know autistic kids feel attraction to water

    I admire these parents hard work but I think ABA and Son Rise could help them more

  • me and my twin brother are autistic, but we have a few differences we don't look exactly the same, we are different gender and I have high functioning autism and my brother has low

  • Autistic people perceive the world differently so we just need to understand that so WE can live normally with them.

  • The son rise program is great. These boys had severe autism. People are saying accept none verbals. I get it. But These boys had never talked to their parents. Obviously these parents were sad. And these boys were uncomfortable. So to every person who saying they have autism they aren’t making them neurotipicles there making them comfortable

  • I read "Son Rise" as a young teen and this is the first I have heard of the therapy being used since. This family is lovely.

  • This was so lovely to watch! To think of all the love and help out there in the world like therapy and the program they're in, they're being helped by strangers and my heart melts. Autism interests me a lot since it's so misunderstood, help for autism is not a cure for a disease but more a way for people with autism and neurotypical people to find some way to communicate. They seem like such a lovely family.

  • Why would they keep them in that shed?! I understand that it’s difficult to learn to help a child with autism but that is just cruel. Autism isn’t some disease that needs to be cured, the brain is just different. I’m glad that you are helping them learnt to communicate, but seriously?!

  • So Their Twins, Their Identical And Both Have Autisim. I Feel Happy For Them But At The Same Time Sad. I Hope That They Live A Beautiful Life

  • I have autism but the low end, I just have problems with social skills and I have sensory overload’s which means I can’t go do clubs, discos or anything 🙁

  • Let me be honest. I don't have this kind of autism. I'm great at communicating to people that I knew, it's just I wanted to stop making friends when I went to my new secondary school. I was antisocial but I will still talk to my friends. It's just that I wish i went to secondary school with my friends. That's all.

  • when men marry should give attention to women's relatives. If women's relatives have a disesase your child will be sick

  • these parents are so stupid lol… if your children are autistic, educate yourself on autism. dont throw them into some program promising you a change on something that isnt even bad.

  • I think this is very promising. People need to stop autistic people going completely into their own worlds but they also need to stop forcing autistic people into the 'normal' world. This is a good midpoint. You are reaching into their world and pulling them out a bit as a form of communication

  • I have a child that is autistic and high-functioning I have also worked with a child who was non-verbal autistic and I think that what I haven't learnt is that autism is just them been on another operationing system to ours it's not a bad thing it's just they see the world a different way. The boy I looked after was smily happy with a great sense of humour. I think the childrens behaviour was a reflection on how they felt with them in the first place which isn't the child's fault. No verbal doesn't mean they don't understand what you are saying to them.

  • While this may come across as rude, (I dont mean it that way, my best friend growing up has severe autism) i wish people would stop treating all us people with autism and minor autism like they have severe autism. if someone you know has minor autism or aspergers, the best thing you can do, is act normal like you do in normal society, and understand that we dont understand social cues.

  • I was autistic when I was little. Everyone liked me and took care of me (like my teachers in school). And I thought that everyone would be treated like that.
    I'm 14 years old now and I think I have cured my self. After all the care that people giving me I think I am one of the few people that have recovered from this sickness. My autism went from extreme to low. And I started doing things like most people do.
    I watched this video and I was very sad. These kids have no control over themselves. They can recover.. 😪 Anyone reading this.. Remember, even if you have a disease or sickness.. your not alone. .people can help. Thank you ❤

    (Ps my grammar bad and I American 🤣)

  • 3:23 was not the correct way to treat a person with autism, because as someone with autism myself, I've realised that there's more to it than my behaviour on the outside, because it's about what is on the inside, how it effects us mentally and how that effects us physically.

  • 3:18 I am a scientist, so I place a high value on the scientific methods. But even I have to say sometimes science lags behind real world applications (especially in engineering) many decades or event centuries.

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