Making an Impact Across the Globe
“We felt uplifted, motivated and equipped with all the tips and insights that we needed to continue on our path”
We had already established our playroom program for Tom and led a team of volunteers for two years when Gerd came to visit us in our home in May 2019. Tom has made significant progress in all areas of life since we first started the program and we are deeply grateful to our team that supports us in our efforts. The playroom program and all that comes with it changed our family’s life for the better.
We invited Gerd because we felt that after two years and lots of visible progress we needed to find new ways of how to interact with our son on his current level. Our big question was: “How can we challenge Tom according to his abilities?”. Gerd came and stayed with us for two days. Our whole team was invited to join and ask questions. For all of us it was a true revelation when he shared his wisdom and showed us what we can achieve with the right attitude. We were able to draw from his deep understanding of the matter and benefit from his vast experience. As a family and as a team for our autistic son, we felt uplifted, motivated and equipped with all the tips and insights that we needed to continue on our path. “This boy is ready for more!” is what Gerd said to us. We agree and we are willing to put everything we learned into action.
Tom started school shortly after Gerd’s visit. It was a milestone in his life that we as parents had dreaded for a long time. With Gerd’s help however, we were able to accompany Tom with confidence during his first weeks at school and he has been doing really well. We can hardly thank Gerd enough for his support. It was and continues to be valuable for us in so many aspects of our life. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you, Gerd!
– Bernd & Carolin, Germany / October 2019
“My Son is Doing Fabulously Well”
Hi Gerd, Andy here (Bobby’s Dad). I just spent a fair amount of time looking at your incredible new website and reminiscing to myself about the wonderful work and spirit you brought to our home in California. So BIG congratulations on launching your new business. I’m sure you’ll be a huge success since you have THE GIFT. Good luck making people happy!
Incidentally, Bobby (now called Bob) is, in no small part due to you, doing fabulously well. He lives independently in his own apartment, drives his own car, has a good paying administrative/accounting job with an insurance company, and most importantly is happy as a clam. He’s a poster child (actually at 31 years, a poster adult) for the work you do. I am so grateful.
– Andy, CA, USA / May 2019
“Thank You, Gerd!”
Brandon was a beautiful baby boy but very unsettled from birth. Brandon cried all the time, day and night, and never slept over two hours. Brandon always woke crying, he was inconsolable and distraught and we had to go out on the trampoline and bounce him until he stopped crying. Brandon was hospitalized many times due to being unsettled because of crying. He burst blood vessels on his face and neck because of the crying. We were at our wits end and so exhausted but what was worse was that we couldn’t console our baby. This continued for over a year.
Then we were referred to the children’s center as Brandon had difficultly eating anything solid. He was then 18 months and the SLT and OT got involved and proceeded to do therapy sessions with Brandon and I. Brandon just couldn’t engage with people, he would move away and wanted to leave the room. There was no pointing, no talking and no communication. And me, I was like a zombie and didn’t know what to think, I was just surviving.
After these sessions the SLT and the OT sat us down and said: ‘we are looking at autism and learning difficulties’, but a diagnosis wouldn’t be given until a few months later.
Before the official diagnosis was given, I started a home-based program and a few months later the diagnosis was given (he was two and a half years old). The diagnosis was ASD, learning difficulties, developmental delay, and sensory challenges. I had prepared myself for what the diagnosis meant but I thought that I would try everything that I could to help my son. I knew I had to and I couldn’t give up. I tried to stay away from negativity which was challenging but I looked at my son and thought: ‘For you, I want to do this for you. This is my purpose’.
In 2009 we met Gerd Winkler, and wow what a difference he made to our program. I felt stronger and more able for challenges, and there were many. We had many ups and downs, and backwards and forwards. To me, as a mother, Gerd was invaluable. He helped with my emotions and most importantly my attitude. Gerd helped us through many severe illnesses (like pneumonia), and other challenges like bullying and self-esteem. He successfully encouraged Brandon in many ways to overcome these challenges. Brandon’s life could have been very different. We still have challenges and will do everything possible to help him, but because of Gerd’s guidance over the years Brandon is now in high-school, enjoying friends. Thank God for Gerd!
Proud mother of Brandon
“Autism… Brandon’s perspective…”
“I’m glad that I don’t have autism anymore. It makes me feel like I am fitting in, it makes me feel normal. It makes me feel good.”
“Parents Who Have Been Through It”
I had the tremendous pleasure working with Joana P. & Miguel A. and their son Joao over the last 7 years. I sat down with them and ask them to share some of their experiences running a full time home-based program.
With a lot of gratitude in my heart, here is what they wanted to share with families all over the world. Thank you, Joana & Miguel, for your open hearts, your incredible dedication, your endless energy and your persistent belief in your program and in your son. You are two of my heroes.
Hi Gerd, Izzy started school this week! This is a huge milestone for her. It would not have been possible without the team of volunteers and your guidance in the last 6 years.
Thank you for keeping us on track, always reminding us how far we’ve come, and helping us to overcome unhelpful beliefs which do not serve us.
I have benefited tremendously from all the dialogues we have, and from observing you interact with Izzy. You are a great teacher and friend!
– Samantha C.
“Call Me Crazy”
What an amazing outreach with Gerd Winkler!
Call me crazy, but I thought that after inviting our teacher to review our home-based program, I would end up with the difficult task of needing to pull my act together to get my part-time program to go full-time…yes, I’m guilty…I was the one who put most pressure on myself and my program.
It’s amazing how Gerd took a good look at everything we do with Nathan and simplified it even further…yet I know that out of this simplicity, big changes will happen!
I am excited to move into 2018, with an even easier program!
– Chris P.
I used to think that out of all the people in the world, I believed in my daughter the most… until our teacher Gerd Winkler came over for Amor’s outreach.
I was teary eyed seeing how much he believed in her.
“Believe in your child so much more than her belief in herself… she will start believing in herself.”
Thank you Gerd! In just those 2 days of outreach, it feels like Amor’s potentials just exploded!
At the end of Amor and Nathan’s outreach, I love that Amor does not hesitate to show Gerd how much she has appreciates him and asked for her hug.
– Chris P.
“Get Zach Back”
Can’t believe it’s been a year since our last program session with Gerd Winkler!! It’s always such a deeply rewarding, incredibly enriching and amazingly loving experience!!! Gerd, you are a marvelous teacher who inspires even as you educate, motivates and excites even as you challenge!
It’s often easy to forget how far we’ve come when you’re constantly in the middle of the journey, but these sessions are a wonderful way of taking stock and intentionally remembering and being grateful.
Today, I express my deepest gratitude and love to my co-laborer, partner-in-crime, and love of my life, Paul Chan. Thank you, Hon, for being the steady pilot as we explore these unchartered territories; for being so unflappable when things get hairy; for always being there, day in and day out; for having the vision to steer us ever forward; for exhibiting the most incredible patience, love and acceptance that allows us to stay the course; for the unshakeable confidence and faith in the One whose promises we are standing upon; and for the humor and flexibility that make this challenging adventure fun!
I am also incredibly grateful to our fabulous team of volunteers, “old” and new. To Denise and Jon (still Jonise to us!!), for willingly taking the leap into this unknown and reaping the fruit along the way with us, and for loving our family so much! To Loh Zhen, Khaliesah and Cherlyn who have been such a huuuuuge part of this journey, for loving Zach so unconditionally, for willingly stripping yourselves of all things sane and embracing all things crazy (and cute) to show him our world has wonderful people who are worth getting to know! For Gina and Juvi who are there in the trenches every single day (and night), cheering, singing, dancing and loving Zach into our world! I am also grateful to the new volunteers (Arlene and Sean) who have barely even started and yet are full-on for Zach!
Most of all, I am infinitely grateful to Zach who warmly and lovingly welcomes us into his world every day, and more and more boldly and courageously takes steps, leaps and bounds into our unpredictable world.
– Paul C.
“Thank you tonnes, dear Gerd, for the love, warmth and joy you carry in your heart always!”
– Luxshmi B.
Gerd is a remarkable teacher and a true inspiration. He is incredibly perceptive, focused, powerful, and genuine. When he is with us, either in person or in an online session, he devotes his entire being into helping us help our child.
Gerd’s compassion, wisdom, energy, and clear, precise practical advice has made an incredible difference in our lives.
Of the many gifts we have received from Gerd, perhaps the greatest has been learning the importance of reflecting on and changing ourselves and our attitudes before seeking any change from Lenny.
When Lenny was diagnosed just before he turned 3, he hardly made any eye contact, did not respond to us, and would cry for hours. We were completely at a loss as to what to do. After Gerd came to our home to help us set up our program—and we applied his advice regarding attitude—we began to see remarkable changes.
After three years of running a home-based program with regular support from Gerd, now Lenny always makes a lot of eye contact, he expresses his needs and wants in sentences, and he has become a master negotiator! He is also starting to explore the world of feelings, emotions, and imaginative play. Three years ago, we could not even have imagined the kinds of communications we have with him today.
We are so fortunate to have Gerd in our lives. Thank you, Gerd!
– Ben & Tomoko D.
“I Just Had to Email You”
Hello Gerd!!! I hope you’re doing fantastic! I just had to email you.
You came a few years ago to our home in Cleveland, Ohio to work with our son who has autism, Netanel.
We have come such a long way since you came and the memories of how much you helped us will always have a special place in our hearts.
Netanel now is doing great! He is toilet trained, goes to an amazing private therapy school, is in the playroom with awesome volunteers daily AND the best for last, we started a program called RPM. Rapid Prompt Method. We started in June and it’s a communication program where I do lessons with Netanel and he uses a letterboard to spell. At the initial introduction to our homebased program I remember how everyone kept on telling us to believe in our child, they are in there, well…. I have seen for myself how brilliant my son is. He loves science! We do experiments together and lessons every night on the coolest subjects. I have used our homebased program method as the foundation of my life and in this new program. I cry tears of joy every time we communicate, and it all stems from having learned how to work with our son at home, in the most loving supportive way.
I’m emailing you because I asked Netanel, do you remember when we first started your program when you were so small. We had a man come visit us to teach us and play with you? Do you remember his name? He had the biggest smile on his face and spelled G-E-R-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our kids ARE in there and he is so appreciative for you and so are we!!!
He sends regards!!!
Lots of love and admiration,