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  Autistic boy speaks after football therapy
Updated 19 February 2002, 13.14
Middlesbrough logo

A boy with autism who couldn't speak has learnt to talk after being helped by a football physiotherapist.

Autism is a disability which means the person finds it hard to communicate with others, and in serious cases, they can't talk or relate to other people at all.

Middlesbrough physiotherapist Bob Ward
Seven year-old Thomas Bryan had never been able to speak or write because his autism was so bad.

But then his parents took him to Middlesbrough's physiotherapist Bob Ward, who specialises in head massage.

'Whole new world'

He massages people's heads to help damaged nerves in the brain, and this technique has changed Thomas' life. And he is helping Thomas for free.

Thomas can now speak, spell words properly and is using a computer - all for the first time.

Thomas' dad, Francis, said it had opened up a "whole new world for him".

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