Mark and Anne Montague seem like the perfect family, often walking on the beach with their 11-year-old sons. But when you go to their home in southeast England, you might be surprised by a strange building on their property.
The strange wooden house detached from their main home has padlocks on their door. Inside there is nothing but a table, a sofa, some chairs and a painting bolted to the wall. This is where their twins stay.
It seems cruel and odd, but the building is actually their salvation. Their twins, Samuel and Jacob, were diagnosed at age 2 with severe autism, after years of inexpressiveness and lack of connection with their parents. As they grew older, they became more destructive — biting furniture, lashing out and smearing excrement on the wallls — and often tried escaping their home.
Mark and Anne struggled to keep their family intact, but many said their kids had no hope and advised institutionalization. They even called Mark and Anne selfish for not putting their twins in an institution.
But the parents didn’t want to give up their children. They persisted in their research and discovered a program, called Son-Rise, that taught families a specific type of play therapy. The couple flew out to the U.S., tried out the techniques they learned — such as playing with their children in their behaviors instead of stopping them — and were amazed to hit some milestones.
“I was cynical but when we came back, I decided to try joining Samuel,” Mark told The Sun. “I joined him spinning. And straight away, he looked me right in the eye — something we were told would never happen. That was a breakthrough moment and it meant everything to me.”
To carry out the program further, Mark then built the small building for their playrooms. The rooms fit into the special parameters of the program, and the kids play in it with their parents during the day.
In the two years since building the compound, Mark and Anne have seen progress, and one of the twins has even been downgraded from severely autistic to moderate.
“We want others to know that although all you will ever hear is doom and gloom, there is hope and things can get better and this seems to be working for us,” Mark told The Sun.
Watch the family below to see their amazing story…