North-east mum’s joy as Connor begins to find voice

nine-year-old connor, who has autism, and devoted mum amy Muir
nine-year-old connor, who has autism, and devoted mum amy Muir

A north-east mum’s dream of helping her son find his voice is coming true.

Amy Muir’s son Connor, nine, was diagnosed with autism when he was just four years old.

Most parents would take everyday chat with their children for granted – but due to his condition the Stonehaven youngster was unable to communicate with his family.

The Mill o’ Forest Primary School pupil also used a picture and card system as he only knew a limited amount of words.

Amy, 34, and Connor’s dad Andy, 44, had been trying to raise £3,000 to go towards applied behaviour analysis (ABA) which they said could help him learn to talk.

Amy, who runs the Stappit Fu eatery on Montrose Road, Inverbervie, has thanked all those who helped after they managed to raise £8,000.

She said her son was now able to better communicate with the family and at school and they had been amazed at his progress.

Connor attended an ABA course in Wales in October and has daily tutoring in Stonehaven to help him learn to talk. Amy had said she would fight for Connor to show the world what he was capable of.

She said: “I definitely feel that we are now helping Connor to find his voice.

“Since going to Sky Therapies in Wales in October, it has been amazing to see the difference in him.

“The first day in at ABA it was looking at what he was capable of. What they were able to determine over the days was that he had the ability to talk, he just didn’t know how to do it.

“They were saying actions like ‘touch your head’ and he would just look at them blankly. On the second day they would do the action and he would copy them and say it. By the third day they were able to say the command, not do the action and he would do it.

“Even in the last couple of weeks,he has managed to learn all the colours which he hadn’t before.

“I now find myself asking him what colour things are and he is telling me.”

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To raise the money the family put on a number of fundraising events and Amy took on the Loch Ness marathon in September.

The funds were used to pay for the ABA therapy consultation in Wales and for the ABA therapists to see the youngster on a daily basis in Stonehaven.

Connor’s siblings, Maddie, eight, and four-year-old Ritchie have been a huge help to him according to Amy.

However, he is still considered a flight risk by the family.

Amy said: “We had an incident in November where Connor had managed to run out of the house and he was actually found next to the train station in Stonehaven.

“We have been sharing all our updates via our Facebook page Connor’s Voice, including when he went out.

“We wanted people to see what the family can go through and what their money went on.

“It has been amazing to see the support we have had from people, even in different parts of the country helping us raise the money.”

Amy added that the family did feel bad for not working towards ABA sooner.

During therapy, Amy said she spent most of the time with tears in her eyes and a lump in her throat as he spoke more during the sessions than he had in his whole life.

She said: “We feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It feels like Connor can now have a positive future.”