My Story

A Lifetime in Special Needs

My name is Diana F Cameron. I have a BA(Mus) and a Grad Dip (Education) and have spent my life working with individuals with additional needs. I am the sibling of a sister who is blind, mentally challenged and cannot walk. I grew up in a family where I saw, firsthand, how a sibling with additional needs can change the whole family dynamic. It isn’t just the child with the challenges who experiences hardship.

Parents are frustrated, worried and exhausted. Siblings sometimes, necessarily, get pushed to the side while attention is needed elsewhere. Family outings can change depending on the needs of the child with autism and sometimes that is just hard.

I have spent a lifetime in that arena and know all too well the challenges siblings and the family as a whole face.

Mother of a Son with Special Needs

I also have a son that they thought was on the spectrum but ended up having auditory processing disorder.

Many of the symptoms and behaviors are the same. Outbursts, sensory overload (or seeking as if they can never get enough), screaming, violence, fixation on objects or behaviors, off in their own world etc.

In fact, I have never seen a child with autism that does not have auditory processing difficulties. They go hand in hand.

My son is now 28 so back then, there were no resources. The term autism was around but was being used for anything the medical profession couldn’t put a name to and the science of auditory processing, even though it had been around for decades, had not been scientifically proven sufficiently enough for the general market.

I was told I was imagining it. I was told there was nothing wrong but in my gut I just knew my son was struggling.

I was told I was imagining it. I was told there was nothing wrong but my gut instinct told me my son was struggling.

Diana F Cameron

As a baby, he would scream all the time.  He would not feed, he vomited a lot and I was exhausted.

As he got older, he didn’t speak well.  He had angry outbursts all the time (like picking up a hammer when he was two to smash his grandmother).  He still screamed all the time.  I knew this was not him.  He had glimpses of who he was but it was like it was locked behind a door somehow and he just couldn’t let it out.

I was tired, frustrated, cried a lot.  I wanted to help him but had no idea how.  I loved him as my son but had terrible guilt because I didn’t like being around him and some days I just didn’t think I could go on.

Sound familiar?

He went into grade 1 with 3 sight words.  He came out of grade 1 with 2 sight words.  I was told that the grade 2 net would pick up any problems but I knew he was struggling and I wanted to help him.

Musician and Educator

I am a musician and I teach Kindermusik so music had always been part of our lives.  My son had been involved in music and movement since he was a baby but once I started formal Kindermusik classes, I noticed that other children were like him in behaviors as well.

Kids with special needs (of all different kinds) seemed to just find their way into my classes and although I had worked with children with autism previously, teaching them piano, this was my first taste at working with kids on the spectrum from birth.

I noticed they all responded to music.  They loved the routines of the classes.  In fact, for many, I missed them when they weren’t in class.  Parents would tell me this was the ONLY place where they would hear that.

I got to see parent’s exhaustion and I understood it, could empathize with it but wanted to find answers – things that could help, not only my son but other families that I was working with.

Certified Practitioner of TLP

I studied everything I could, became certified in floor programs, sensory programs, retained primitive reflexes.  The floor programs I was doing with my son made a difference, but it took us 45 minutes twice a day with a whole lot of equipment that I had to pull out.  It was exhausting.

Then, I found sound therapy.  I didn’t believe that simply putting headphones on a child for 15 mins twice a day 5 days a week could show great gains than all we were doing.

It took me awhile to decide to become a certified practitioner but when I did we never looked back. Many children with Autism and Asperger’s were being helped and lives were being changed.

I learned the true power of music.  I understood why my son was the way he was and how to help him.  I understood we needed to change the brain and open the doors that were locked inside and we saw more gains in 2 months than we had seen in almost a year of floor work.

Since that time, I have worked with children with autism and families all over the world and seen amazing changes.  As I have educated them as to the why, their frustration was lessened, and we celebrated the changes that were occurring.

Certified in Brain Story

Brain Story is a certification course by Harvard University that looks at brain architecture and how stress, environment and other factors affect growth, development and structure of the brain.

Having knowledge of these areas helps with a holistic approach to helping children with autism.

Uncovering Success Through the Power of Music

Music is powerful. It has the ability, when the right type of music is used correctly, to change the brain and make learning easy.

My son who struggled so much as a child is now married and studying at a University in the US with a GPA of 4.0. He is a Teacher’s Assistant, has won a couple of international competitions in business and has been asked to help write some of the curricula for his degree.

There are no boundaries, and we just don’t know what is possible until we use the power of music.