BEING a teenager isn’t easy, but River Beaumont had more problems than most to deal with.
River, 12, is severely dyslexic and has autistic trace. His condition means he struggles to make eye contact and to concentrate making most tasks including his school work impossible.
Mum Hayley Beaumont said: “He can’t follow things. He’s never been able to maintain eye contact, he finds things different to other children.
“He’s in his own world and just switches off,” she said.
The family first noticed River’s problems was he was two and River did not speak until he was four.
“When he started school he was a little bit different,” said Hayley.
His parents had tried a whole range of activities including trampolining, football and basketball, to find something that not only helped River focus but also boosted his self-esteem and helped him make friends.
His grandad Duncan Smith found the breakthrough. He was walking the dog when he met Billy McGown, who specialises in fitness training with elements of behaviour and emotional therapy.
Five months on the effect has been gradual but life-changing.
“He comes to his own house and gives one-to-one training which is really important but whatever he’s doing in that session, it must be working because his eye contact is better.
Billy works with River for an hour every Tuesday. “He talks to him effectively and treats him like he’s a little man and gives him an overall workout.”
“It’s fantastic that he finally likes something. River talks in a monotone but when we ask him about the classes his voice picks up and he says ‘It was really good’.”
Most parents dread the day their children come home and say they have been in a fight, but for Hayley and husband John, it was a momentous occasion.
“He came home and said ‘I’ve had my first fight’.
“He never understands and I have never seen him retaliate. He normally just takes it all in but for him to understand that someone was being mean and then do something about it, was amazing.”
Even River was shocked by his parents reaction, ‘You two are weird, other parents would think that was bad’ their son told them.
“We thought we’d tried everything. The amount of money we have spent, but there’s hope out there for everyone. If you’ve got kids that are being bullied or are a little bit off centre, and if they want to improve their fitness, don’t give up.”
l To speak to Billy call 01422 251328.