Diagnosis: Autism, Prognosis: Poor, End Result: Excellent
Yuya gets a fighting chance and he takes it - update on his adventures and accomplishments
Two years ago we checked in on Yuya as he entered High School. Now he is graduating from High School and choosing his career for the future.
When Yuya was a baby he was very quiet and developed at a slow rate. As a toddler, he could walk but he could not talk. When he finally did begin to speak, he only imitated what others said to him.
Yuya was quiet baby; he had no speech that was useful or meaningful.
He played by himself, putting objects in a row, over and over again. He insisted on having things in the same order, and when a change occurred, he began hitting his head against the wall. By three years of age, he was diagnosed as autistic.
In kindergarten, he was far behind the other children his age. He did not answer when asked a question and did not join in games. He continued to spend his time playing by himself, or chasing the other kids and striking them.
Little Yuya had difficulty getting along with other kids at school.
When Yuya was six years old, his parents attended the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child Course. After the course they realized Yuya had convergence problems and that he was hypersensitive to sound. He often covered his ears in crowded places. He was overly sensitive to touch and would change his clothes anytime he came in from the rain, even though he was only a little damp.
Parents noticed that Yuya had difficulty using both eyes together.
He had poor balance and ran awkwardly. He could not stand on one foot or hop like the other kids his age. He was not able to hold a pencil or crayon properly and could not eat with chopsticks. He was hyperactive, had shallow breathing, and had difficulty chewing.
In one year, they saw significant improvements. For the first time he could express himself in full sentences.
For the first time, his parents understood what was wrong with him and what to do about it. Mother and father began a Home Treatment Program as outlined in the course. In one year, they saw significant improvements. Yuya’s balance had improved and he no longer fell while walking or running. He could hop on one foot and ride a bicycle for the first time.
He was much less hyperactive, and he no longer hit himself when he was angry. He was calmer, even in crowds, and more reasonable. He could now read, and he enjoyed reading about his favorite subjects: dinosaurs and cars. He began to understand time and the days of the week. For the first time he could express himself in full sentences.
The Institutes staff designed a new home treatment program to include running and gymnastics. He quickly became a gymnastics star!
Yuya shows off his gymnastics skills.
Food and airborne allergens were a significant and debilitating problem. He sometimes was confined to his room with headaches for weeks at a time. A very careful nutritional program was designed and implemented. In subsequent revisits the staff continued to update and expand his physical, intellectual, and physiological programs. Yuya accomplished these programs with great determination and with his family’s full support and encouragement.
At the time he entered school his reading ability was significantly above his peers.
He started to write at eight years of age, and his writing continued to improve, as did his speech and his maturity. The staff of The Institutes and Yuya’s parents agreed he was ready to start school. He succeeded as a part-time student with his peers and continued his Intensive Treatment Program at home. He then entered school as a full-time student at his age level.
At the time he entered school his reading ability was now significantly above his peers. He could take notes well and was a very fast typist. He successfully passed every test in every class. Physically, he excelled and learned new skills quickly. His behavior was excellent, and he had no social difficulties in any situation. He no longer had debilitating headaches; in fact, he was very healthy.
Yuya makes friends in school.
At home, he continued to advance his study of science, with a special interest in chemistry and engineering. He enjoyed writing research papers independently, and he gave a formal presentation on a scientific topic to his classmates.
Yuya works diligently – and successfully – on his schoolwork.
He was meticulous in his daily life. He planned his time well–both his work schedule and his leisure time–and kept to his schedule completely independently.
One mother commented, “I watched Yuya and thought to myself that he must not have been very hurt to be so well now.”
Yuya is highly responsible and trustworthy. His older sister admires him very much and would like to do as well as he does. He is a fine gymnast and as an enthusiastic Boy Scout. In hiking, his speed and endurance is exceptional. The staff of The Institutes decided that Yuya was ready to graduate from the program. Parents with children on The Institutes Program from all over Japan attended Yuya’s graduation ceremony.
One mother commented that she met Yuya and his parents on the elevator on the way to the ceremony. “I watched him and thought to myself he must not have been very hurt to be so well now. Then, I realized that I had met this boy years earlier at our first visit to The Institutes. He had been there at his first visit. I spent that whole week watching him in the waiting room and wondering what would become of such a hurt boy! Now he was so well I thought he had never been hurt to begin with.”
Yuya and his parents, with staff members Susan Aisen, Yoshiko Kumagai, and Mihoko Hata in front of the “Curtain Fall” Fountain in Tokyo for his graduation photograph.
Yuya enjoyed his time in High School. He was a member of the Boy Scouts and attended World Jamboree in the summer as a senior guide helping foreign scouts. He began using a motorbike for his transportation.
Yuya enjoys the sport of kickboxing.
He took the national examination to obtain a license for electricians and radio technicians for both land and sea, and calculation technology. His parents remember his keen interest in building bridges and creating structures when he was a little boy. His parents have always been behind him, encouraging him in whatever he decides to do.
Although Yuya has had to work hard for a living, today he has a life of accomplishment and pleasure.
High School sensei, Mr. Fukushima congratulates Yuya
When Yuya first entered school after years spent at home getting well he was confronted by three bullies intent on making his daily life miserable. Although he was a gentle, quiet boy and physically not large or imposing he was, in fact, physically excellent. He took on the three boys and sent them packing. Since that time, he makes sure that he is always ready to take on any trouble and handle it.
Today Yuya continues to be an excellent and very conscientious student – does that hoodie say “faultless and immaculate”? If so, it is as good a description of Yuya as any could give.
After Yuya graduated from High School he decided to pursue a career in the military. The candidacy for the membership of Ministry of Defense is open to all Japanese citizens with college degree and equipped with strong determination and self-discipline. He has just begun three months of the Officer Candidate Training Program of the Defense Department. The training program is known to be very rigorous and challenging. After the initial training, Yuya will be stationed in a post for his first assignment as an officer.
Yuya passes his entrance exams and qualifies to join the Nihon Self Defense Forces
First Salute: As his first ceremony concludes Yuya salutes his Mother and Father who loved him, taught him and protected him. Now he will dedicate his life to protecting his country with the same love and dedication that he learned at home from them.
Yuya is enjoying this new life. He says that it is very tough and hard every day but he can do what is needed and it is fulfilling and enjoyable.
Yuya’s advice for other kids: “Even though it may be tough and sometimes hard, if you work hard and you are patient, you can accomplish what you want.”
Looking back on the 18-year journey that Yuya has traveled, it is hard not to be impressed by his determination and persistence. While other little boys enjoyed their childhoods, he was often alone and isolated by his sensory problems, or ill and confined by his allergies. Those times are a distant memory now. Although Yuya has had to work hard to get to this point, today he has a life of accomplishment and pleasure. Wherever he goes and whatever he does, he has the confidence and discipline to get the job done.