Christopher is 15 years old and has severe autism and is non-verbal. He has dyspraxia and massive motor and body control issues and suffers seizures very regularly. He has OCD and needs lots of reassurances about what is he doing/what is coming up. BUT HE IS ALSO... Bright, loving, very clever, handsome, witty and great company.
He loves his DVDs and CBeebies especially the Tweenies, Fimbles and Balamory (and still some Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine!) Chris loves singing nursery rhymes and is learning to play some of these and other songs on his keyboard. He goes horse-riding twice a week and is getting really proficient on his HUGE horse! He adores swimming and goes to the local baths with his dad each week.
He participates in several groups including Special Olympics and K-Kats Saturday Club. In June 2014 he took part in the Great Midlands Fun Run and completed the whole eight and a half mile course with his dad with thousands of spectators and fellow fun-runners. He writes wonderful poems and is really interested in politics and history.
He has told us many times using RPM that he wants to help others like him to find their voices. Chris did attend a special needs nursery and school but although he enjoyed going there little progress was made. Mum undertook training in and decided to use the 'Son-Rise' approach to work on interactive and social skills - initially part-time home/part-time school, then as good progress was being made, a full-time home based programme from the age of 7. The Son-Rise beliefs and philosophy still underpin his education but we really had no idea just how intelligent Chris was until we found RPM. Using RPM Chris wrote this about himself and his disability:
I AM A BOY CALLED CHRISTOPHER. I AM AUTISTIC AND NON VERBAL. IT IS A DIFFICULT LIFE AND CAN BE A BATTLE. BEING AUTISTIC MEANS THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO NORMAL THINGS. AUTISM EACH DAY BRINGS DIFFERENT CHALLENGES BUT I HAVE MANY FRIENDS TO HELP ME EVERY STEP I TAKE. AUTISM IS A CONDITION THAT MAKES THINGS DIFFICULT TO DO BECAUSE MY MIND AND MY BODY DON’T ALWAYS COOPERATE. THE DIFFICULT THING IS THAT MY AUTISM APPEARS TO MAKE ME LOOK CONFUSED A LOT OF THE TIME BUT ACTUALLY IT IS THE AUTISM CONFUSING MY BODY. THIS CAN BE SO HARD IF AT THE TIME PEOPLE DON’T KNOW I AM INTELLIGENT. TAKING THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND ME WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT I AM INTELLIGENT AND ABLE TO DO MANY THINGS. AT THE MOMENT THINGS ARE REALLY (HARD) DIFFICULT ( BUT) HOWEVER I AM DOING REALLY WELL AND I AM TRYING AND DOING MY BEST – A BIT AT A TIME.
There are many more public clips of Chris using RPM available to view on youtube