From a diagnosis of ASD to discovering a passion for Karate, join us on the inspiring journey of how Lakyn overcame challenges and found success through self-control, coordination, and confidence.
Where do I start with Lakyn? Lakyn is now 10 years old, almost 11 (at the time of this post). He has grown up so fast, but it is not all butterflies and rainbows with my little man.
You may be asking yourself, why am I posting about my son on a recipe website? Well, that is simple, we are about family and family cooking, so it only seems fitting that we allow you to get to know our family on a more personal level.
A little back story about Lakyn.
We knew something was different with Lakyn when he was around ¾ years old. He was having extremely long tantrums, refusing to sleep in his bed and would sleep on the floor, and it would take till sometimes around 1 am for him to finally fall asleep.
It was a long road full of Pediatistion appointments and waiting lists. Finally, a referral to a psychologist from Discovering Strength put us on the path of getting him tested for ASD.
My little man was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) when he was 5 years old and then ADHD when he was 8/9 years old, which became apparent during 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns.
Lakyn became aggressive and violent at a young age, and it was a constant battle with him to try and keep him calm. When we brought these concerns to Lakyn's psychologist, she worked with him consistently with strategies, an understanding of emotional regulation, and ways to more constructively release the anger (red beast, as it was called during sessions).
This brings us to the next stage in Lakyn's life. His love of Karate!
Lakyn's psychologist suggested a karate program for children with special needs run by one of the other registered psychologists, who was also responsible for opening Discovering Strength.
This class was not only about Karate and what Karate was all about but also about teaching the kids about self-control, controlling their actions, and social skill building.
My husband (Shannon) and I thought the group was a good idea, but we hesitated to put Lakyn in it. We thought, why teach a kid karate who was already violent? But after a while, we gave it a shot.
From day one, Lakyn fell in love with Karate, and of course, because of his ASD, he loved being able to collect the different belts. And was always wrapped when he received a star student award.
Through his karate classes with Denise (the psychologist running the program and a Black Belt in Karate), and the other two psychologists, Rabia and Skye, who assisted during the classes, Lakyn learned to control himself.
Now don't get me wrong, this was not an overnight achievement, and there was a time when Shannon and I were like, this is doing nothing to help him. But over time, months and years, Lakyn has shown massive growth in his aggression and violent outbursts.
Denise approached me within a couple of years of Lakyn being a part of the special needs Karate class. She told me that Lakyn was ready for mainstream classes and felt his potential would be held back if he continued in her classes.
Well, I was super excited to hear that. So with a discussion between Denise, myself and the Sensei of the Dojo, Lakyn would start the next term in his first mainstream class.
We are so proud of our little man and how far he has come that we can't help but share his achievements with you all.
Now not only has Karate helped Lakyn keep control of his actions, but it has also helped him with coordination and self-confidence and created a social outlet where he learns how to interact with others.
He has just received his orange and white belt and is working towards his full orange (at the time of this post); he has his sights set on getting his black belt and one day competing.
This is not the end of Lakyn's chapter; I will share his achievements on our social pages, his involvement with Just So Yum and how much he loves testing new recipes, especially ones his Dad creates.
Some of Lakyn's favourite recipes are:
- Ultimate Weber Q Roast Pork with Crackling
- Easy Cheesy Meatballs with Spaghetti
- Nanna’s Slow Cooker Lamb Shank and Vegetable Soup
- Parma-style Beef and Italian Sausage Meatloaf
Oh, and not to mention the few other interests that we have discovered that Lakyn likes since starting Just So Yum. But that's another story!
Thanks for reading, Happy Cooking xx