At first glance, the Montagues looked every bit the perfect family. Mark and Annie loved nothing more than strolling along the sandy beach as their 11-year-old (at the time) twin sons chased the waves. But their home in Southeast England painted a much more complicated picture.
Across from Mark and Annie’s home is a detached ramshackle structure with padlocks on the doors. This strange-looking wooden house contains nothing but a table, a couch, a couple of chairs, and a painting that’s screwed into the wall.
Before you judge them, you must hear their story.
After Annie gave birth to twins Samuel and Jacob in 2006, she and Mark realized something wasn’t right. The boys wouldn’t communicate with them; they showed no expressions or emotions. Mark and Annie felt little-to-no connection to their children.
Doctors diagnosed both Samuel and Jacob with severe autism when twins were 2. The older the boys grew, the more destructive they became. They would also frequently escape, hence the high fence and chicken wire surrounding the property.
Despite Mark and Annie’s exhaustive efforts to find help, professionals said there was no hope for the children. Instead, they were advised to put them in an institution.
But the determined parents refused to give up their sons. That’s when they found the Son-Rise Program… and Mark and Annie say they’ve been “experiencing miracles” ever since.
The “prison-like structure” serves to not only improve the boys’ behavior, but also protect them.