We moved to Geneva when our sons were 4, 2, and 1. The first year living internationally with three very young children was difficult, but we embraced all the beauty and outdoor activities Switzerland and the adjacent countries have to offer.
As our boys matured, we realized our youngest son was having difficulties in several areas of development including speech and language, social skills, transitions, as well as several sensory integration issues with noise, light, touch, etc. He was struggling at school, finding it difficult to be around other children, not wanting or able to participate, not able to understand social cues, etc. It was heartbreaking when his difficulties were being treated as behaviour issues vs. development issues. We, as his parents, had a gut feeling it was something deeper and physiological but it was impossible to defend him without understanding what was going on inside him. This is where the difficult times began. We found it almost impossible to locate physicians specializing in learning delays, developmental delays, neurological delays, etc. It was as if we were speaking a foreign language to physicians when we brought up autism, sensory integration, etc. The specialists/professionals with childhood/neurological development backgrounds are out there but they are few and far between and, as an expat, it was almost impossible to find them on your own. This is where ASK comes into the picture… One of the boys’ teachers suggested I contact ASK and get connected. It was THIS connection that provided us a path to the specialists, assessments, information, therapies, social skill and homework groups/camps, other parents in the same situation, and most importantly an amazing amount of support and encouragement!
ASK continues to support us to this day. We have continued utilize the assessments, seminars, social skills, information distribution, etc. Our middle son was later diagnosed with Dyslexia by the educational psychologist recommended by ASK. Thomas quickly joined Oak Hill and within weeks we saw him transform. His self esteem and confidence grew and then we saw a rapid increase in his reading, writing and math skills. It was amazing to watch his levels for these three areas move up the charts! Although the boys do still struggle with their learning differences and the reality is they probably always will to some degree, their lives have taken a completely different path then if we hadn’t been introduced to Joy and to ASK. We are so incredibly appreciative of this organization and know we are incredibly fortunate to have them in our lives. Thank you Joy and thank you ASK volunteers and supporters! This is a one of a kind organization and a life changer for so many families in Switzerland.
The Brace Family