Patti Conklin’s work with my son, CM, and our family has been
As two special education teachers, we were confident that we could handle the extreme behaviors and social difficulties that came as part of our ten year old son’s Asperger, ADHD and Bi-Polar diagnoses.
However, even with over 35 years of special education experience between us, private therapists and the best psychologist our son’s extreme behavior meltdowns were tearing our family apart and creating an unsafe environment for our other children. In the five years since his adoption, CM had made progress in so many areas and had overcome so many hurdles. However, there was a constant attempt to engage in a power struggle and negotiate every direction. The behavioral meltdowns (verbal threats, physical aggression, property destruction and violent gestures) were increasing to several times a day and were becoming much more intense. At home, it was like we were walking on eggshells to prevent a “blow up”. For the first time we were truly afraid that our son was going to seriously hurt his siblings or us. Discussions of safe plans, police interventions, risk assessments and hospitalizations were taking place on a frequent basis. It was time to try something unconventional!
We had previously had the opportunity to hear Patti Conklin speak on two separate occasions. Secretly we wondered if her gift and insight could change our son’s violent behavioral path and bring peace to our home. With the support of two dear friends, we took the leap and contacted Patti in regards to our son’s behavioral concerns. She quickly confirmed that she could “see” a disruption in several of his neurological pathways. Patti explained that with an extremely intensive intervention, she was confident that she could neurologically repair his pathways. This would result in a drastic change in how CM responded to his environment. It all sounded too good to be true- BUT it just felt right!! Together we agreed that we couldn’t pass up this amazing opportunity to work with Patti. We owed CM a chance at inner peace and we owed our family a chance to grow together.
Within 48 hours of the start of Patti’s intensive work with CM- we started to see positive changes. When CM started to meltdown he was able to maintain control and follow our prompts to self-calm. The taunting and attempts to physically hurt us stopped. We started observing periods of appropriate positive interactions between CM and his siblings.
Over the next few weeks, CM began interacting more with his peers at school and his family. He wanted to be with other people. The negotiating and incidences of flat out refusing to follow directions decreased. Transitions became smoother and he started asking more thoughtful / appropriate questions. The majority of the time he was able to accept “no” and move on – which was previously highly unusual!
Now almost 6 months later, our norm is much different than before Patti entered our lives. Meltdowns only occur 1-2 times a month and consist of verbal outbursts and unkind words. While our son, like any typical ten year old doesn’t follow our advice or words of wisdom most of the time- he now “hears” when we explain things to him. You can tell he is really starting to make those connections. He is on track to have the best school year yet and is interested in spending time with his peers. He still possesses all the amazing insight and curiosity of the world around him that we love – even when it drives us crazy. CM is more open to trying new things and is more in tune to how he feels. Overall, there is a greater sense of calm and clarity. It’s as if the fog has risen from within his brain.
As a family we’ve been able to concentrate more on the typical everyday tasks of homework, extracurricular activities and family fun. No longer do we worry that each word that comes out of our mouth might trigger a meltdown and disrupt the entire household.
Has CM been cured of all his diagnoses? – I don’t think so. Have our lives been drastically changed for the positive since working with Patti?– YES! Our faith and hope for the future has been restored and we feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Patti Conklin. We will forever be grateful!!