8 Year Old Boy Case Study
Amy designed a one month (8 sessions) case study on an 8 year old boy.
*All information below is from the mother. All names have been changed. Amy met with Max twice a week for 4 weeks.*
Before Energy Healing
Max is 8 years old. He has struggled with socially and emotionally all his life.
Max has been in occupational and speech therapies since he was 3. He had worked with two social coaches, and he had always had very caring and supportive teachers and administrative teams. He is currently seeing an occupational therapist and a speech pathologist once a week. He is learning yoga and meditation at school and at home. At school he has access to a peace corner where he can relax, a tablet with meditative music and apps, and can request sensory massages any time. His class has 10 students, and there are 18 children enrolled in the entire school.
Max isn't making the progress I had hoped for in his therapies. Although he reports being happy at school, he is having difficulty with impulse control and often touches girls inappropriately. His gross motor skills are lacking and he can’t ride a bike. His social skills are underdeveloped and he tends to misread social cues. His anxiety, which I remember beginning acutely during an illness at 14 months, is getting worse as time goes on.
During normal conversations I often brace myself for his responses because at some point he inevitably gets triggered and starts yelling. I stopped asking about his day or anything that might trigger his anxiety.
He has always been a good sleeper and routinely sleeps 12 hours a night. He sometimes sobs himself to sleep, refusing comfort, for several nights in a row. He sometimes screams the word ‘no’ in his sleep.
Birthday parties, events, even walking into restaurants can be anxiety provoking for him sometimes. He cries, screams, and hits in an attempt to control and change the situation. Often it takes a lot of coaxing and a slow introduction for him to warm up to new situations. Sometimes we would just have to leave.
His communication skills are underdeveloped. He is unable to say good morning or engage in polite introductions. His greetings with me always involved crashing and grunting. He can’t talk on the phone, although he can Skype reasonably well. He will forgo playing with the neighbor boy because he is too anxious to ask him to play.
He can speak reasonably well for his age, and can convey his thoughts most of the time. Complex thoughts are harder to articulate. He struggles to write stories or answer questions in his own words. Short written answers pose no problem and he has good rereading comprehension skills.
Sometimes he makes sounds and gestures to indicate what he wants, especially when he is nervous or overwhelmed. Sometimes he is very shy and anxious around other children, and other times he can start playing with another kids with no issue.
Transitions can difficult for him. Decision making can be impossible. He gets so overwhelmed with the choices that he melts down. I find myself not offering options for this reason.
He can be rather inflexible in his thinking. We has worked a lot discussing black and white thinking, and how there are so many other possibilities that lie within the gray area. This has helped, but he is still fairly rigid in his thought process.
He is rough with animals in a loving way. He plays so excitedly that he wrestles too hard or jerks his dog around.
He is not a picky eater. He has a well developed palate, but he is turned off by certain food combinations. He will eat raw garlic and onions, but mashed potatoes are gross. Spaghetti is fine, lasagna is weird. Bread, lettuce, and chicken are good, but sandwiches are disgusting.
Overall, Max is happy, funny, and kind, but his anxiety is an overarching theme in his life. It comes out as anger and frustration. He yells frequently and seems on the brink of being overwhelmed a lot of the time. He can be finicky and difficult to please. Sometime he plays very mildly, other times he can be impulsive and overstep boundaries. He often doesn’t know when to stop and will escalate a situation until it ruptures and someone cries. His outbursts can be unpredictable, with many good hours or days between meltdowns. This has definitely affected our social lives and general emotional wellbeing. Unless a person knows Max well, he can be hard to relate to.
After Energy Healing
After 8 session (1 Month) with Amy Max is generally more well adjusted and at ease. His traditional therapies are becoming more fruitful, and his interest in yoga and meditation have increased. He is generally more self aware and also aware of his impact on others. He still feels his anxiety, but he is able to recognize it and usually can work through it without crying or yelling.
At school Max has reported good days. His teachers notice an overall improvement in self regulation, although he still has his moments. He now reports liking art and music classes, and he has gotten more comfortable writing. He wrote several poems and read them in front of the entire school. He did show some anxiety before Field Day, but was able to participate in all of the activities without incident.
He has hosted several play dates and a sleep over. His anxiety was there at times, but he was able to control it. He has been invited to 2 upcoming birthday parties and so far hasn’t asked 100 anxiety driven questions about what it will be like and who will be there. He ran up to the neighbor’s door several times recently.
At home Max is able to follow 2 step instructions about bedtime and meal routines. He seems less fixated on screen time, and makes fewer and less desperate requests to watch TV. He has started eating new foods like blueberries and lasagna. We are planning a vacation for the summer and he hasn’t freaked out about it yet. Max is generally more gentle with his dog. He is also more willing to take his dog for a walk on his own.
He tells jokes and makes up silly songs, things he never did before. He happily sits and finishes homework assignments. He draws and colors, and seems more comfortable in his creativity. He takes note of beautiful things, and never fails to remark on the cuteness of every animal he sees.
He tends to be more vocal in expressing his needs and wants. He can self correct and modify his behavior with more accuracy. When he does get derailed, he can recover more quickly. He still has his moments and sometimes asks to be grounded if he makes a small error, or will say that he doesn’t deserve something because he misbehaved. This is always when he is overly tired.
Overall, I have seen big improvements in Max’s general attitude and resilience. He just seems to be a happier child. He still has anxiety, but he seems to have a better understanding of it now. In general, his behavior patterns and triggers are more predictable than before, and he can almost always be reasoned with when he gets derailed. His occupational and speech therapists are able to work with him more productively, and his school work is improving because he is more focused. He is less clingy and more independent, both physically and emotionally. He has a newfound emotional awareness, both of himself and others, and is open to expanding that awareness. We are so happy with this new direction. I did not expect energy healing to have as profound an impact as it has on our lives. We certainly plan to continue energy focused work as part of our daily routine.
Below are Max's Mom's notes from each session.
Being Okay and Feeling Safe Around Others
-plan was to work on overwhelming feeling when around other people
-lots of facial twitches and contortions
-lots of tongue motions, in and out
-he slapped his face several times
-Amy noticed an issue with the left pink finger- heart?
-left the session speaking more loudly and powerfully
-requests for Chinese food
-announced that he was going to finally try shrimp (he didn’t try it in the end)
-school reported a great day
-generally more cooperative at home
-more sensitive to emotional upset/distress in others
-more affected by negativity
-clearly responds with “good” when asked how he’s doing
-less intense physical touch (crashing, head butting, etc.)
Being Okay and Safe Around Others continued
-plan to work on projections that his feelings will get hurt
-facial twitches, tongue out, and face slapping, but somewhat less than first session
-Amy noted that he dislikes the Olders’ classroom at school
-Amy noted that I should tap on negative feelings around Max’s facial contortions
-he touches girls inappropriately at school because he likes the backs of their heads
-I yawned about 10 times in the car after the session
-Max again asked for Chinese food
-tied his shoe on his own for the first time with no prompting
-asked for cooking lessons when I make dinner
-more verbal- noting the weather and the emotions of others
-leaving school, “I don’t want to leave, I love school.”
-communication generally improved
-still contrary with me, arguing for the sake of arguing
-lots of little out breaths on the table (releasing emotion)
-Amy noticed issue with left knee, blocking energy flow
-issue with mid-back, behind his heart
-lots of farting on the table
-less resistant to everyday requests (getting dressed, mealtimes, etc.)
-more observations- flowers, clouds, etc.
-less anxious in general, and more resilient after bouts of anxiety
-lots of questions about World War III- has it happened, when will it happen, what will it be like, where would we go if it happens in the US?
-more communicative and more verbal: “May I have some water?” vs. “Water!”
-enjoyed 2 days of good family fun
-no major leaps from last session, but certainly from the first session
Issues With Mom
-less visibly affected during session
-more amped up and silly
-played with yellow balloon
-hitting and slapping his face
-Amy noted grief between 2-3 years old that was held in upper chest area (cousin moved, dad moved out, stopped nursing) cleared it and he may start speaking more truths and being more self aware
-Amy noted umbilical cord issue- checking and rechecking that mom is there, validation and attention seeking
-more interested in breasts than usual- pretending to nurse and opening his mouth when he sees boobs
-more snuggly and accepting more hugs from step dad
Distance Session- Feeling in Control, Less Checking In
-played with Legos outside with step dad during the session
-3rd chakra is control and checking in
-events surrounding “dad” around 5 years old, left, leaving, insecure feelings
-4th chakra is heart
-past life issue with me and pregnancy/birth safety
-frantic birth set up life for Max
-in trying to “work on” Max (therapies) we are dis-empowering him
-fully accept him and he will begin controlling himself
-mother and child are very interconnected- empower myself and empower him
-more sensitive to Step-dad and his feelings
-more sensitive to me being upset or irritated
-more tender with Step-dad, Step-dad more paternal and loving
-Max being defensive of Step-dad to me
-good weekend with family
2nd Chakra, Sexuality and Safety
-connection is the driving force for modifying behavior
-watched Milo and Otis during session
-slapping his face a lot during session
-2nd chakra affects 1st
-energy is flowing better but still slowly through legs
-released a lot of fight or flight energy from 1st and 2nd chakras
-energy blocks between two sides of the brain- emotions
-generally start seeing bigger changes after the 5th session
-will be more settled in his own body
-perhaps improvement in coordination
-need to work on EFT at home
-school should notice more changes than home, questionnaire sent to school
-anxious at Lucky’s about buying taffy- bit me on the arm, lots of crying, too afraid to buy taffy
-more anxious and tearful than usual
-mentioning new things makes him panic- suggesting playdates make him cry, asking how school went, offering a snack, etc.
-crying is loud, expressive, painful, and unguarded
-hypersensitive to my tone and energy- says, “don’t yell at me.” when I don’t feel that I’m yelling at all
-still very silly and fun
-making up silly songs and singing around the house
-a bit more confident when he’s confident, when he’s anxious he’s not confident at all
EFT and Anxiety
-tapping session. Amy talking (reading Max's energy and information) and Max tapping along and responding to questions
-Max doesn't like being in public
-he feels people looking at him
-he hides behind his hair or threads to avoid people
-he acts silly in response to unwanted attention
-he physically hides in stores
-doesn’t like to talk because he’s scared of saying something wrong
-his friends think he’s terrible
-sometimes he acts terrible because his friends expect it
-wants people to like him but doesn’t know how to make it happen
-feels alone in the backseat of the car
-he wants to be with mom all the time
-he knows mom loves him
-thinks mom doesn’t like him
-mom needs to check her anxiety about his behavior in public spaces
-Max should tap at night before bed
-should take lavender and epsom salt baths
-second hand stores can be uncomfortable for highly sensitive people
-tapping is working- reduced anxiety about play dates, bossiness with friends, difficulty falling asleep, contrary attitude towards dinnertime
-Max is open to tapping, but has trouble tapping and talking
-did say some things during tapping
-Max is more in tune with his surroundings
-has easier recoveries
-he is easier to correct
-I am more mindful not to judge and to encourage with my energy
-still wild, but more sweet and considerate at the same time
-hugs more gently
-is okay with my delayed responses in the car
-says he loves stores and shopping
-more sweet and chatty
-“Want to go for a walk with me?” “Let’s sit on this bench and mediate for a while.” “I’m feeling relaxed, but I just want to walk around too.” “You look beautiful today.”
EFT and Safety
-Amy talking (reading Max's energy and information) and Max tapping and answering questions
-Max feels unsafe around some friends in Guatemala
-these friends say things he doesn’t like or that scare him
-his tummy hurts and he gets nervous when he’s angry at mom
-worried when he’s mean to mom
-he doesn’t want to disappoint his mom
-he doesn’t want to hit and is sad when he does
-he hits his friends when he’s nervous
-he gets angry at Step-dad because he’s not “dad”
-Step-dad doesn’t give attention and it makes him angry
-Step-dad takes mom’s attention
-he’s the opposite of Step-dad
-he’s similar to Step-dad
-he likes water with Step-dad- pools, beach, shower, splash
-worried that he likes Step-dad, it’s okay to like Step-dad
-likes to bake with mom but doesn’t do it anymore
-gets upset and runs under the couch crying
-“You lied to me, mom! Why did you lie to me?”
-Amy clears past life deep ocean trauma
-green is his favorite color
-green makes him feel safe
-imagine green moving through his body from his head
-doesn’t like a Reginna’s energy (lots of uncleared energy)
-mom can help with moving the green energy through Max
-identifies his emotions- “I feel nervous about my play date.”
-catches himself- “I don’t need to go…. Actually, I need to go, but I’m nervous.”
-honors himself- “I have to turn the light on because I’m afraid of the dark."
-participated in school musical without any issue
-read poetry for 2 minutes solo in front of entire school and parents!!
-more diplomatic in dealing with parents and friends- negotiates and reasons instead of yelling
-not as clingy
-greets me without hitting or crashing, usually
-still nervous in public spaces but responds more positively to reminders
-when reminded, shakes off energy after leaving a store or crowded space
-still struggles with routines (bedtime, mealtime) but seems less desperate in his pleas and contrariness
-less crying in general
-recovers from upset more easily and completely
Has Amy done any other studies?
Learn about Amy's Pilot Study on Autism.