Pop in Visit
I just wanted to thank you again for accommodating us the way you did on Wednesday when my family dropped in for a class. We had an amazing time and my middle one has not stopped talking about it. We took up so much of your time but you were all so wonderful and I'm sincerely appreciative.
L. has had a terrible time of late at school being bullied relentlessly, so thank you for giving him such a happy time he won't forget in a hurry. You guys are brilliant and provide such an amazing service to the community.
Northcott Disabilities School Holiday Lessons
I would like to say thank you to your company and all staff involved for providing an enjoyable and successful event for my clients on Wednesday 28th September. I was disappointed not be able to attend myself, to assist with facilitating this event, but was very unwell and had no choice in the matter. My Manager Bron attended in my stead and reported back with a great review of the experience and your wonderful company. I believe some of our clients have utilised a session with you since then and I encourage all my clients to continue engaging in beneficial experiences within the community such as yours.
Long-Term Private - Special Needs
Family Impact Statement – Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing this letter to share the positive influence the Sons of Obiwan have had upon our lives and that of our son, C.
C’s Medical History
C. was born premature at 26 weeks in 2003. As a result, C. had many serious medical complications over the last 12 years that have a massive impact upon all of our lives. These diagnoses include;
- The original diagnosis of Autism in 2005.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Psychotic Disorder
- Visual and Auditory Hallucinations
- Seizure Disorder
- Queried Childhood Onset Schizophrenia
He is a known absconder from school and home, has bouts of extreme violence and has self-harmed most of his life. C. takes multiple medications on a daily basis to help him deal with the large number of symptoms associated with his medical history.
Needless to say, life has been complicated for our whole family. We have spent years sourcing any form of medical or therapeutic treatment that could help improve C.’s quality of life but more often than not, he was placed in the “too hard basket” by the medical system. It was only recently that he was deemed old enough to access the type of help he requires.
In 2014, C. was admitted to a local hospital and adolescent mental health unit for a period of seven weeks due to a sharp increase in violent behaviour and auditory hallucinations. It had reached a point where we could no longer keep C., ourselves or our family safe. The “voices” (auditory hallucinations) were taking control and instructing C. to kill himself and those around him. He would have periods where he would “blackout” whilst the voices were in control and violent behaviour would increase to the point where security guards and multiple staff were needed to restrain him for the safety of himself and others. This happened on several occasions.
With medication changes and a lot of hard work by the doctors at the mental health unit, C. finally plateaued. He was able to return home and what we came to know as normal life caring for someone with severe mental illness began.
In 2015, C.’s mental health began to degrade again rapidly. On top of his normal medications, we found it increasingly necessary to give C. his PRN’s (emergency quick acting medication to alleviate extreme symptoms) again. C was starting to have daily violent outbursts and “blackout” episodes. Things at school were getting dramatically worse as well. We use a scale of 1 – 10 to help C. describe the severity of his auditory hallucinations, with 1 being “quiet” and 10 being the worst possible result. C. was regularly having days where the voices were at a 10. He was struggling to live with this on a day to day basis and we could not find a coping mechanism to help him through the day.
The Sons of Obiwan
When we first heard about Luke and the Sons in July 2015, we were looking at C. attending this to encourage him to find a hobby to try and find some normalcy in his life. Due to his mental conditions he is unable to participate in most sporting activities and special needs sporting groups were not the right option for C. either. After discussions with Luke, we agreed that C. would best benefit from one-on-one lessons, which began in August 2015.
In that time, we have seen him grow in more ways than we ever hoped for or expected. He has been taught a form of meditation using the 9 basic strikes of Lightsaber combat as a way of calming down when his stress levels are high; a form of Star Wars Tai Chi. This has become a coping skill he uses daily within his life. Here are just a few notable changes:
- C. has gone from daily episode of auditory hallucinations to having 1-2 episodes in a 14-day period.
- Violent episodes have ceased to occur. He is using his 9 strike meditation to find his “happy place”, calm himself down and take control of himself and his situation.
- Using auditory skills (i.e. listening to background noise and picking out 5 separate sounds as a way to refocus) to prevent him from becoming overwhelmed in noisy situations.
- He is now able to enter shopping centres with little hesitation, something that was impossible before.
- Educationally, he has gone up 4-5 levels in his school work and is now able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
- C.’s social and communication skills have improved to a point where has formed a genuine close friendship. He can also now enter most social situations and hold an appropriate conversation based on the topic at the time.
- C. is truly engaged in life for the first time in a long time; he is genuinely happy most of the time, outside of standard teenage moods.
- C. is starting high school next year and previous transitions have either failed or have taken long periods of time. Now, C. is running at full steam and is excited about starting at his new school.
These are just a few of the changes that C.’s “Jedi training” have had implemented in our lives. The Sons have given us options and C. a future. Instead of having to face the idea of surrendering C. for his safety and ours we are beginning to contemplate new opportunities. He has grown within himself and is now a happy child.
From a parents’ point of view, we know this isn’t a magic cure-all and isn’t going to work for every child. However, to C. and ourselves, it is a miracle. Instead of having to live with the fact every day that we cannot help our son, we are now able to plan things most people take for granted, like day trips, shopping and we have even begun to plan a holiday.
We cannot thank The Sons of Obiwan enough for all they have given us and not putting C. in the too hard basket.
If you wish to discuss any of this with us, please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below.
S. and D.