Monday, May 16, 2011

The Journey Continues

When we started on this Journey 4 years ago, we knew it would be a long one.  However, we always knew that somehow we would find the right path that would lead us to our boys being whole again.  I do not know to what degree that is, but I have truly always believed that they would be "typical" little boys and grow up, go to school, get married and have families.  These are very big dreams for someone who was told that there was no treatment for Wyatt (which I knew to be untrue)  and that he would never really improve.  He would either live with us forever, or be institutionalized.  That is such a hopeless, terrible outlook and I am so glad that I knew better than to just give up. 

The boys have both continually improved over the years (slowly, but surely) by us doing the following:
  • Gluten free/Casein Free Diet
  • Removing other toxic foods
  • Behavioral Therapy (Intensive)
  • Private teachers and tutors
  • Many supplements, B 12 injections, etc. 
  • Many Dr. Visits in Salt Lake, Texas and New York.
  • Treatments for their bowel disease (Crohns, etc) Medications, etc. 
  • Switching to the Specific Carbohydrate diet (MUCH more restrictive)
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy
  • Lots of Love and Hard work. 
  • I am sure there is more that I can't think of right now. 
However, after 4 years and large amounts of money, we were still not even close to where we wanted to be.  I was beginning to wonder if I had been wrong all along and that the life I had imagined for my boys and for our family didn't actually exist.  I didn't know how much longer that I could sustain the life that I was living or if my husband could make it much longer either.  We were literally killing ourselves - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I knew that something had to change.  At this point there were only 2 options:  give up, or change directions. 

Since giving up was obviously not an option, and because of many prayers and a lot of faith, the answer was finally given to me.  I never fail to acknowledge the fact that it was when I was at my very lowest, the Lord saved me.  This is not my path, it is his. 

The Answer:  Brain Balance

This answer has put us on a new path with new hope.  A hope and peace that our lives will forever be changed.  A life with a future not only for the boys but for our family as a whole.  There is a day on the horizon where Autism and other neurological conditions will no longer exist in our family.  A day where we can let the boys play outside without fear of Wyatt running away.   A day where we can play games together as a family or even have a meal all together.   A day where that meal can be healthy, but not made completely from scratch.  A day where Wyatt will tell me what his favorite food is, what he wants for his birthday and what he learned at school.  A day where we can take a family vacation where we don't have to take a cooler with our own food and we can actually have fun and not be miserable and stressed out.  A day where we are not both working 20 hours a day just to barely stay afloat.  A day where our kids will all play together and be best buddies.  A day where our boys will go to school, have friends, and even girlfriends.  I KNOW this day is coming.  I KNOW we are finally on the right path to get there -without any doubt in my mind or heart. 

This being said, I also know that the path is not easy or short.  Children with symptoms like Brody's are usually in the program for only 12 weeks.  That is miraculously short!  82 percent of those children with ADHD symptoms will have NO SYMPTOMS after those 12 weeks.  No more hyperactivity, no more lack of focus, no more emotional roller coasters, no more visual processing problems, no more auditory processing problems, no more problems in school, no more social problems.  These are real statistics with real kids who have been through the Brain Balance Program.  Some children need another 12 week session for the symptoms listed above and we suspect Brody is probably one of them.  That is still so short! 

On the other hand, the road for Wyatt is much longer.  He will need at least 6 months where we are at right now and then would need  a minimum of 4 sessions after that.  Because the brain needs time in between sessions, those cannot all be consecutive.  This means that those 4 sessions could take a year and a half or more.  In addition, based on the science of Neuroplasticity, with enough sessions, Wyatt's brain can become completely balanced where he would be left of no symptoms whatsoever. 

Please read this short excerpt from "Disconnected Kids" by Dr. Robert Melillo

Begin Quote

The Brain Can Change


Conventional medical wisdom long held the belief that the human brain cannot change - that it is hardwired at birth just like a computer.  Scientists started to collect evidence in the early 1970s that eventually proved this is not the case.  They found that the brain is actually malleable and has the ability to change both physically and chemically in response to certain types of activity.  They found that it can change its shape, size, number of branches, number of connections, as well as the strength of its connections. 

The potential of this ability is so far reaching, it has become a science of its own called neuroplasticity - neuro meaning neurons and plastic meaning changeable. 


*Albert Einstein's Learning Disability*


Albert Einstein, the Nobel Prize-winning Father of Relativity, is considered one of the greatest minds of all time, but as a child he was far from brilliant.  In fact, scientists now agree that Einstein had a significant learning disorder that today would be diagnosed as ADHD and/or dyslexia. 

He did not speak until he was around age seven and did poorly academically all the way through college.  When he failed to get into graduate school at the age of twenty, he became a clerk in the Swiss Patent Office.  But he did not give up his cerebral pursuits.  Just six years later he published the first draft of his scientific Theory of Relativity, which won him the Nobel Prize ten years later. 

So, what can turn the mind of a child who can't pass the grade into a veritable, well, Einstein?  The answer is neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to change and grow.  When Einstein's brain was examined after he died in 1955, it appeared basically the same as everyone else's.  It was roughly the same size and shape as most brains and had the average number of brain cells.  One scientist, however, discovered something uniquely different about Einstein's brain:  It possessed an enormous number of connections, or synapses, between brain cells.  while at one time this could have been credited to good genes, we now see that a great deal of Einstein's genius was the result of the unique way he used his brain. 

Einstein was passionate about music and played the piano and violin regularly.  When he was stuck on a mathematical problem, he once explained, he would sit down and play music and envision his problem until the mathematical equation came to him.   Put another way, listening to music (the sense of hearing) stimulated playing an instrument (physical activity), which is a right brain activity, and concentration on the equation (mental activity), which is a left brain activity.  Doing so on a repetitive basis not only strengthened the electrical connections (communication) between the cells in the left and right hemispheres of Einstein's brain, but also caused new connections to grow.  Combined, they increased his brainpower.  He became a genius. 

The same thing can happen to your child.  The Brain Balance Program combines physical exercise and mental exercise with sensory stimulation to get the left and right sides of the brain to reconnect, strengthen, and grow new connections.  When this happens, the behavior problems created by the brain imbalance and the nutritional problems that contributed to the problems start to disappear. 

End Quote

There is a lot more science where this came from.  This is just a way that Dr. Melillo describes it so that parents can understand. 

When I realized that my boys brains could change and KEEP changing overtime, I knew that is what we had felt so long ago.  We had known there would be a way for the boys to be whole and now we had found it.  But how many sessions?  How many years?  That is still unknown.  But knowing that it is in our future gives us hope to continue down this path, however long it may be.  And the path, although it is hard, is SO much simpler than before and the results come so much faster. 

So where does that leave us?  We obviously cannot live across the country for years to come.  It has only been 2 months so far and it is very hard on all of us.  There are no centers near us - so what other options do we have?  A very simple one of course........


WE WILL OPEN OUR OWN CENTER!
 Location:  Utah

This should not surprise any of you by now :)

Not only will Wyatt be able to continue to attend the Brain Balance Center for as long as he needs, but we will now be able to help so many other children and families struggling with what we have struggled with for so long.   I am smiling just thinking about it. 

This program is new, and most people have not heard about it.  However, the research and studies are in the works at Harvard and other research centers and it is only a matter of time before they are published.  At that point this program will be recognized mainstream which will make it even more accessible as well as it being paid for by school districts to help an even larger number of children. 

For me the studies were not needed.  The science was there, the faith was there and the other parents who had seen first hand what this program did for their child was there.  That was more than enough for me and so many other parents. 

Trials are so hard and they teach you so much if you let them.  They are also given to you for a reason.  The most rewarding feeling is to be able to take what you have learned from your trials and use it to help others and I know this was the Lord's plan for us. 

This is only the beginning of our journey and we are so excited and feel so blessed to be able to help other families on their journeys as well. 

Goodnight! 
 

2 comments:

  1. Wow Tammy! That is so awesome!!! If anyone can do it you can. What a blessing it will be to so many people...and can I just say, I have loved reading your blog. I love how you keep it real and post the good things, and the hard things as well. You inspire me to be a better mom. Thanks!

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  2. How wonderful! I am betting the Utah community will respond with enthusiasm to have this type of resource.

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