Chris Evans: ‘He’s had his trials and tribulations’ Virgin Radio DJ on son’s struggles

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Late last year, Chris Evans, 54, addressed his eight-year-old son Eli’s struggles, after he was diagnosed with retained reflexes, following problems with reading and writing. The Virgin Radio DJ received a glowing reaction from listeners, with many texting in their own experiences and how his son’s story had touched home for them.

He’s had his trials and tribulations when it comes to learning for various reasons, but some very clever people have helped him

Chris Evans

He even admitted that he and his 11-year-old son Noah, also suffered with the condition, where reflexes we are born with don’t naturally inhibit as we start to develop.

But since getting help from professionals, Chris was delighted to announce that Eli’s progress has come along leaps and bounds since last year, despite the “trials and tribulation”.

While discussing the art of Calligraphy, the former BBC host explained that expression in creative ways has helped his young son “unlock”.

“He’s had his trials and tribulations when it comes to learning for various reasons, but some very clever people have helped him,” Chris told his listeners.


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“They’ve helped him to literally unlock.”

In December, the father-of-five described how he and his wife Natasha Shishmanian, took the youngster to The Key Clinic after researching his learning difficulties.

The therapy centre specialises in unlocking children’s potential, from learning difficulties at school through to behavioural and emotional problems, focusing on a link between all these learning issues and potential issues of communication or spacial awareness.

Chris continued: “The Key Clinic have unlocked some blockages within his mind and within his body – his reading age, I think a year and a half ago, was between three and four and now it’s just above his actual age because these things have been unlocked!” he gushed.

He went on to explain how “proud” Eli is now when he completes a drawing.

“When he writes things down with a little picture now it takes effort, he’s quite pleased with himself but then he’s so proud because he has this work to show.”

He added: “It’s a byproduct of who you are.”

Chris had previously told his fans that the eight-year-old “couldn’t really read and he couldn’t really write” due to the learning difficulties.

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While explaining that we have around 19 retained reflexes that we are born with, if they don’t inhabit when we no longer need them they can cause “massive issues”.

But he and Natasha couldn’t be more grateful for the therapy sessions, praising the “drug-free” movement method.

Chris explained that the clinic uses 10-minute daily exercises that “mature” the nervous system, and described the therapy treatment as “revolutionary”.

“I’ve been thinking of talking about this on the radio for a while,” he said, as he often shares personal stories about his family on-air.


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“In a year of doing this, Eli has gone from not being able to read to four stages above his expected reading level for his age. He can also do joint-up writing.

“He reads books now for fun, his whole personality has changed. He’s become less anxious and it’s all because of this.”

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky airs weekdays on Virgin Radio at 6.30am.

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