Dear Axel, I trust that you are well.
First and foremost, Sabre is certainly missing her time with you.
Although hard, she had a blast and she is coming out of her shell every day. Asking more questions for clarity and reading more. Her confidence has grown significantly and the change in her is HUGE.
We wanted to share our story for other parents who might benefit like we benefitted from another parent sharing their story, so here it is:
Sabre has taken us on a journey, from the age of three we realised that her development is somewhat different. She didn't respond to us, she was constantly playing with two toys, her social skills didn't exist as she couldn't have a conversation further than "Hello, how are you? What is your name?" Her safe place was playing with her toys and drawing.
As parents, we were not sure how to deal with Sabre, we weren't sure of her challenge. We took her to:
☑︎ a psychologist,
☑︎ a speech therapist,
☑︎ an occupational therapist,
☑︎ a paediatric neurologist,
☑︎ educational psychologists,
... and of course this cost us a penny and time, and so much discomfort for Sabre -- now that I think about it; being exposed to the Gifted Dyslexic programme; it must have been torture for my little girl as this was not what she needed, she needed something completely different.
My husband listens to a talk radio station on a daily basis and heard a mom speak about her autistic daughter and the Gifted Dyslexic programme and how this programme took this girl from an individual that was illiterate to one that thrived and able to do things that she couldn't do before. He was keen for us to try this programme. We then forgot the name of the programme, we had to call the radio station for his name. We then used our trusted friend Google and found Axel. This is the day that our girl's life changed. Everything from this moment was a moment of clarity, everything started to make sense and it all came together.
A bit more about Sabre... she struggled to make sense of many simple concepts, mathematics went completely over her head. She memorised her all her spelling words and received full marks every week. She just about coped in her class but was intelligent enough to stay afloat and at the age of 8 years old she didn't know how to ride a bicycle. When trying to she would fall, cry and after a while blatantly refuse to ride her bicycle without training wheels. These are a few of many things that Sabre was unable to do until we met with Axel.
At the assessment, we could see how Sabre went from Zero to Hero in terms of her personality. Axel had a way of bringing her to life and it was through interacting, making a connection, ensuring that Sabre has control and always getting her buy in.
We were not sure of what to expect on the first day of the programme and that was it, the results were driven by Sabre based on the goals that she decided on to achieve. She wanted the following: Be able to juggle, play darts, ride a bicycle and be better at math.
On the first day she saw some results in darts and juggling, by the second she was able to throw a bull’s eye in darts by the third day she was able to ride a bicycle after 30 seconds – (she literally got onto the bicycle with Axel’s assistance and started to ride).
And by the 4th day she started with maths and this is when I saw my child being thrilled by her own understanding. I saw the light in her eyes and in her own words “Mom, come see, Axel showed me an easy way to count.” It felt as if heaven’s gates were opening because after so many years of seeing Sabre struggle it was a relief that the penny dropped, and it’s been dropping ever since on a number of levels.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, but it was magical… Axel has got patience like no other, he is caring, kind, and kids connect with his spirit. These kids are special, and he finds them along the way and just has the focus and intellect to bring them to the fore. He is playful when he needs to be but has the skill and professionalism to reign them in, and he ensures that everything “makes sense”.
Sabre would giggle now if she read this, as this is what Axel asked all the time; “does that make sense?” – until they decided to replace “does that make sense?” with “do you understand?”. ...it is all up to the child to have AHA! moments and when it happens it is “blissful”.
For the first time I have observed my daughter closely in a work environment and saw her struggle, and this was not easy just to sit and bear. But for everything I was going through, her experience was one of exploration as I could see how she was finding herself, her voice and her confidence and that was worth more than anything this world or I have to offer her.
Axel, I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for Sabre. My gratitude is bountiful, and any expression will pale in comparison to its enormity. We are blessed to have met you and pray that many other kids will have the opportunity to work with you, so that you can bring out their magic for them – to demonstrate to the world that they are extraordinary beings with great potential, and have abilities beyond our norm.
Thank you for being their magician…
Deborah Francis and Sabre Gray Francis