Please allow me to share with you the impact that karate, specifically, the TKC experience, has made on my son’s and on our family’s lives. As you may know, at eighteen months, my son was diagnosed with being in the Autism spectrum. At that time, twelve years ago, I was told by various medical professionals that my son was never going to live independently, never have meaningful relationships, never go to college, never get married. As you can imagine, we were shocked and devastated. In the middle of endless tears and sleepless nights, I read everything about Autism I could get my hands into. The more I discovered through observing my son’s behaviors and reading about it, the worst I felt. Fortunately, I am not the type to accept the unacceptable. Without even thinking about what we had in front of us, my son and I embarked in “the experience of our lives”. I researched and found out about innumerous therapies, some of them with no empirical evidence that it actually worked. I also found a couple of God-sent therapists willing to try whatever I wanted. We tried everything, from sensory integration, behavioral modification, floor plan, pivotal response, speech and language, occupational therapy, art, megadoses of Vit B, you name it. We “played” 24-7. I say 24-7, because I played special music for him while he was sleeping. Today he is 14 years old and completely hooked on classical music, specially Mozart and Gregorian chants, and so am I. Throughout these past twelve years, he has improved exponentially and has gradually “graduated” from various therapies.
After six years of Occupation Therapy (OT) and much improvement, and in my quest to give him a “normal life”, I decided to look for a lifelong sport that would fulfill his needs for sensory integration including proprioceptive input. We tried and realized that team sports was not the way to go. We would find him in the outfield inspecting tinny bugs, appreciating perfectly formed glass leaves, looking to see animal shapes in the clouds, or counting stars in the skies above. After some research, I decided on karate. I had always admired the art and my older son had attended another academy. A mother of another special child told me about TKC. I brought my son in for a first session and was impressed. I found the place so conducive to my desire to give my son a loving and nurturing environment. I was amazed when I saw the instructors actually hugging the kids. Young and adults were so friendly with teach other, being so attentive, listening, smiling, hugging and kissing as if they were long term friends. Now I know that many of them are long time friends, because once we came we also stayed and we feel that we are among friends.
Appeasing my fears, my son was not treated any differently than they treated typical kids. I was glad that they had not noticed that he had special needs. At least I don’t think they did. But if they noticed anything peculiar, they respected his individuality and our privacy. He has been allowed to work at his own pace. My son has worked extremely hard over the years and is now reaping the benefits of this work. He is in a magnet school, still needs help with academics but he is succeeding. Of course, I know that his willingness and all therapies together are responsible for his progress as a whole. However, I am completely convinced that
- In karate he learned to focus and pay attention
- In karate he learned to trust people around him
- In karate he learned the difference between a friend and a stranger
- In karate he learned consistency
- In karate he learned discipline
- In karate he is learning to want to succeed and move forward
- At TKC he feels save and loved.
- I feel that he is safe and loved at TKC.
Now, mom needs help with her kicks and he is showing her how. He tells me “but mom, it has been such along time since I did these, I don’t think I remember how”. Can you hear his pride in his voice?
Mr. Fariborz, your creation has made a huge impact in our lives, I hope you know that. God bless you and your family.
With all my love,