a&u’s Suzie Skipper chats to Laura Kasbar, mum of seven, who has invented a groundbreaking new web-based programme that helps autistic children learn to speak.
Laura says she didn’t realise her twins, Max and Ana, were autistic until they were just over three years old when autism was not as widely recognised as it is now; they are now 17 years old. The Gemiini System, as it has became known, is the learning programme originally created by Laura out of sheer necessity. “I thought to myself, if my children don’t look at me, how can they see my mouth? So, I had my husband video my mouth while holding various objects and that was the magic formula to teach language for my twins,” reveals Laura. In two days her son was speaking select words and by 8 years old he had completely caught up with his peers and he was accepted to college at 16.
Laura began posting online that she could teach people to help their children to speak. “There are many reasons why Gemiini’s Discrete Video Modelling is so effective but I think one of the most fascinating is that it tricks the viewer’s brain into thinking that the viewer himself is doing the talking. So, it sort of works from the inside out. Once a person’s brain thinks that he is talking then the sound eventually starts to come out of his mouth.”
Gemiini therapy can be started quite literally the minute a parent suspects that their child has a speech delay. “We are even seeing some very young children, less than 3 years old, go into kindergarten completely a-symptomatic after having used Gemiini for 2 years.” Laura says that while the programme can be used as a stand-alone therapy, if there is no access to live therapy, it is even more powerful when incorporated into an intensive therapy regime.