We were lucky enough to grab some spare time with Yvonne in her busy schedule looking after her amazing son Asha, read their incredible story
Getting the diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) was hard, Asha was at a special school at the time but he had not been diagnosed, most professionals told me that he was frustrated that he could not walk or talk at the time. So typical me I did my research and found BIBIC (British Institute of Brain Injured Children). It was a private tailor made programme to encourage Asha to walk and talk, nothing had been offered via the NHS so I went down this route and it was so simple I couldn’t believe it. Asha had never really talked as we never received the right help so at the institute they suggested blowing feathers across the floor, this sounds so easy to do, but for someone who has not used those muscles it was hard.
Asha eventually did and as we progressed from a feather to a ping pong ball I could see Asha embracing language, it was fab. Walking was next, first in water lots of hydrotherapy, from there he needed to be on a horse as the institute advised us it will increase his confidence, correct his spine and give him freedom.
Asha started riding at 6 years old, we lived in London then so it was hard to find anybody who would teach him, we moved to Sussex and there was so many riding schools that accepted disabled children. He has been riding ever since and looks amazing on a horse, so proud to see him all dressed in his riding stuff. The benefits of equine therapy for Asha are he’s calmer, more focused, confident and it definitely helps his ASD as well. Asha is more accepting towards things that stress him out, physically, it is easier for Asha to take steps and easier to do physiotherapy, also his spine is no longer curved.
Asha loves boxing and my god can he box, he also loves ten pin bowling and his workout session with his personal trainer Ollie Goulden, Made2fit.
Asha still has an inoperable mass in his tummy though it has shrunk from the size of a pineapple to the size of a grape. He is described as a ticking time bomb if the mass bursts, it will be game over for Asha, but we don’t think like that.
Since 2015 he has had 15 admissions for sepsis shock, Japanese flu, perforated bowel, blood clots, fissures and bladder tear, but bless him he’s still here and smiling.
Asha is my world and although we have both faced challenges we face them together. Before I woke up from my coma from sepsis shock, 8 months in hospital, I had a dream, flashes of gold and white, 2 doors opening and Asha`s hand reaching out to pull me back. That is the only dream I had in my coma but I think this was a good dream.
My message to other mums is regardless of what medical professionals offer please look beyond this. I was told that Asha wouldn’t be able to do anything, I didn’t want to believe it, there is always a glimmer of hope. Most importantly, start working with your child when they are young, it is a great stepping stone for their future and Asha is a shining example.
We are stronger and fitter and I know how hard it was for me to learn to walk, talk and eat again, imagine what that must have felt like for him. Every step of this journey has and will be embraced together.
If you wish to keep up to date with Yvonne and Asha’s amazing life then here is the link https://www.instagram.com/stron.gerthanuthink/