Here's a delightful picture of them both, taken a few years ago
Monday, 27 July 2009
The wonderful Karen Russell and Chris Baystead, between them, have raised nearly £8,000 for Advance! A big thank you to them!
If you use Everyclick as your search engine, every search you do raises money for Advance.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
The subject of Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other problems related to brain damage of one kind or another get much more media attention when a celebrity, or the son or daughter of a celebrity, is affected by any of them.
Here is a round up of living celebrities we found, affected by such problems. If you know of any more, let us know and if you know any personally, please tell them that we can help. The Scotson Technique (TST) is extremely effective in alleviating such conditions.
- Gary Numan, musician, who has Asperger syndrome.
- Stephen Wiltshire, architectural artist, who is an autistic savant.
- Jenny McCarthy, model and actress and spokesperson for www.talkaboutcuringautism.org. Her son, Evan, is autistic.
- Jordan, model and television personality. Her son, Harvey, is autistic.
- Phil Neville, professional footballer. His daughter, Isabella, has cerebral palsy.
- Eva Longoria, American actress and founder of www.evasheroes.org. Her sister, Elizabeth, is developmentally disabled.
- Colin Farrell, Hollywood actor. His son, James, has Angelman Syndrome.
- Stephen Hawking, physicist, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- Keith Duffy of Boyzone. His daughter, Mia, has autism.
- Josh Blue, comedian, who has cerebral palsy. Here he is doing his act:
It's not easy to explain to children exactly what Autism is, but here's an explanation by the website KidsHealth.org:
What Does Autism Mean?
Autism (say: aw-tih-zum) causes kids to experience the world differently from the way most other kids do. It's hard for kids with autism to talk with other people and express themselves using words. Kids who have autism usually keep to themselves and many can't communicate without special help.
They also may react to what's going on around them in unusual ways. Normal sounds may really bother someone with autism — so much so that the person covers his or her ears. Being touched, even in a gentle way, may feel uncomfortable.
Kids with autism often can't make connections that other kids make easily. For example, when someone smiles, you know the smiling person is happy or being friendly. But a kid with autism may have trouble connecting that smile with the person's happy feelings.
A kid who has autism also has trouble linking words to their meanings. Imagine trying to understand what your mom is saying if you didn't know what her words really mean. It is doubly frustrating then if a kid can't come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts.
Autism causes kids to act in unusual ways. They might flap their hands, say certain words over and over, have temper tantrums, or play only with one particular toy. Most kids with autism don't like changes in routines. They like to stay on a schedule that is always the same. They also may insist that their toys or other objects be arranged a certain way and get upset if these items are moved or disturbed.
If someone has autism, his or her brain has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world. Every day, your brain interprets the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations that you experience. If your brain couldn't help you understand these things, you would have trouble functioning, talking, going to school, and doing other everyday stuff. Kids can be mildly affected by autism, so that they only have a little trouble in life, or they can be very affected, so that they need a lot of help.
What Causes Autism?
Autism affects about 1 in every 150 kids, but no one knows what causes it. Some scientists think that some kids might be more likely to get autism because it or similar disorders run in their families. Knowing the exact cause of autism is hard because the human brain is very complicated.
The brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons (say: nur-ahns). Each neuron may have hundreds or thousands of connections that carry messages to other nerve cells in the brain and body. The connections and the chemical messengers they send (called neurotransmitters) let the neurons that help you see, feel, move, remember, and work together as they should.
For some reason, some of the cells and connections in the brain of a kid with autism — especially those that affect communication, emotions, and senses — don't develop properly or get damaged. Scientists are still trying to understand how and why this happens.
Monday, 13 July 2009
William’s Story by his Mum
William was born very prematurely at just 25 weeks by emergency caesarean. He was in hospital for four months, and made it home just in time for Christmas in 2002.
We were told to expect delays in his development, as he had been so premature. He sat up at one, then soon started to crawl, but when he was not walking or talking by the time he was two, we were a little concerned. We were referred for physiotherapy and speech therapy, and that was that.
When he was just over three, we were told that he had ataxic cerebral palsy, resulting in poor coordination. I can vividly remember the day we were told. We were gathering reports to apply for a statement for school and a medical report dropped on the mat with the diagnosis. I called him to discuss it and he said us that there was nothing that could be done as the damage had occurred at birth. He said that we should not expect him to progress at the same rate the other children at school, as even though he was obviously clever, his physical disability would hold him back.
We were absolutely devastated, but then started to feel angry and refused to believe that nothing could be done. We were doing regular physiotherapy, but I really wanted to find a way of getting to the source of the problem rather than simply treating the symptoms.
I went online and did some research and that’s when I found Advance. I have to be honest, it did seem too good to be true when I first read about it – a therapy that involves no drugs that works on every child! I had to look into it, so I took William down to meet Linda. I also spoke to some other parents who were already doing the therapy. I felt a real sense of relief that I was finally doing something positive to help William.
When we started the therapy, William was nearly four and just starting to walk, but was very unsteady. He could manage no more than a few rushed steps between furniture. His speech was totally unintelligible to anyone but me. He was always terribly constipated and he was in nappies. His hand movements were clumsy and he would struggle to use both hands at the same time.
After starting the therapy he quickly came out of nappies and the constipation improved. He started to get steadier on his feet and his speech became clearer. The last 3 years have been a very positive journey with steady improvements all the way. William is now in Year 1 at a mainstream school and is doing extremely well. He is more than keeping up with his classmates in all areas of the curriculum, especially his reading which is outstanding. To everyone's amazement, he is now writing quite neatly too – something he was not expected to achieve.
He does everything the other kids do – including PE which he loves. He is even playing football some lunchtimes and is getting really good at tackling for the ball!
I come across alot of cynics about the therapy, and there is no way of knowing how William would have progressed without it. He is a very determined little boy and some of his progress is indeed down to his perseverance. However, when I look at how he has physically changed over the last 3 years, that could not have happened without The Scotson Technique.
Advance has also been a huge support to me as Linda not only understands the condition far better than any doctor I have come across, but also knows what it’s like to be a Mum of a disabled child. When I look at my happy little boy who is now achieving amazing things and really enjoying life, I really do thank God that we found Advance. I really do not believe we would be where we are now without it.