Monday, May 23, 2011

WHERE DO I BEGIN?!?!

I am going to have to start blogging every single minute to keep up with the new and exciting changes that are going on around here.  Seriously - it is blowing my mind.  I am going to continually keep saying this:

BRAIN BALANCE WORKS!
BRAIN BALANCE WORKS!
BRAIN BALANCE WORKS!

  • It is not me being crazy, (I have witnesses that can attest to all of the changes plus the Brain Balance assessments and data that is taken each session)
  • It is not temporary - it is lifelong.  Life changing!
  • I am not doing other things that these changes could be attributed to.
  • It is actually CHANGING MY BOYS BRAINS!
  • It doesn't just work for "some kids" like other things out there.  It works for ALL kids with an imbalance. (When your child is assessed they will be able to tell you if they are a candidate - which most are unless there is another underlying genetic condition)
  • It is FAST!  So amazingly fast! I can truly say that in 8 weeks WE HAVE SEEN MORE PROGRESS, MORE IMPROVEMENTS, MORE CHANGES, MORE EVERYTHING THAN WE HAVE SEEN IN ALL 4 YEARS COMBINED.  I would never speak negatively about any other programs, treatments, etc (unless they harm a child) and I know they are all  trying everything they can and know to help.  I know we had to go through this process and try everything out there before we finally received the answer to our many prayers.  I know I would not have appreciated this nearly enough had it been handed to me on day one.  I also know that Wyatt would not have been ready for the program had we not gotten him to the point he was at when we started.  That being said, I would LOVE and hope that other families will find BRAIN BALANCE first or early on and save themselves the pain, struggle, heartache, stress, financial burden, marital stress, family stress, etc. that we, and so many other families have experienced. Please, be open minded, do your research and you will see that it is for real.  
  • It is BY far the most amazing thing I have witnessed in my life.  It is a true miracle.  It sounds WAY too good to be true but it is not.  My children are living proof.  
 Okay - I am done with that...at least for now :)

I know I need to get into more detail about how and why the program works and I will!  I just have so many changes to write about I am running out of time!  So much information so little time!  It is already 11:30 and I am just getting started so I am hoping I can express what I want to say quickly and coherently and then get to bed! ***(Update - as I am proofreading this it is 1:30 so it was not as quick as I had hoped.  But in my defense I still had a child awake, had multiple phone calls to make and got to text with my husband on his layover so it wasn't really THAT long...)

So since my last real update which was Thursday night I feel like I have 1000 things to tell.  I hope I haven't forgotten them all.  I am going to try something new:  NUMBERS!  I am sure it will still not help with my post being shorter, but I am going to try.

  1. My husband came into town on Friday night.  At that time I realized that he had not seen the kids for an entire MONTH!  I had seen him two other times so it just didn't even hit me.  Anyways, he sat in the back of the van on the way home from the airport so he could talk to the kids.  When we got home he looked at me and said he was "totally blown away" by the changes he saw in Brody.  He said he seemed like a completely different child.  (Of course still the same cute, smart, sweet child) but a different child.  He also saw a ton of changes in Wyatt which we will talk about below...  
  2. I LOVED that he noticed this because as I told you - it is SO hard to describe Brody's changes  in writing to all of you.  I do the best I can, but it is just hard without seeing it.  Having Bo not see him for a month and then come back was PERFECT.  I see all the changes day to day, but I know that because I know the "new Brody",   it is easy to forget the way he was.  I don't know if that makes sense, but I know other mothers who have been through BB have felt this way.   Until Bo and I start talking about "remember when Brody used to do this?" or "remember how he used to react in this situation?" does everything really hit me again.  
  3. What did Bo notice?  If he wasn't on a plane right now I would make him write this.  But I know he noticed the maturity, his much lower hyper activity (if any), his communication, his reaction to situations, his sitting still through an entire meal (probably has never happened in his life) and more of the intangible stuff I keep telling you about!  
  4. I also noticed that when Papa has gone home all of the other times, Brody has cried, gotten REALLY upset (especially the first time - it was out of control), etc.  However this time I explained to him that Papa would be back soon and he was sad but just accepted it.  Amazing. 
  5. Now more Brody changes that I have seen:  Definitely trying other new foods - Kiwi, strawberries, etc.  He used to not like strawberries, but he now loves them and requests them!  He didn't love the kiwi.  He also used to like shrimp awhile back, but then stopped for some reason and wouldn't touch it -broccoli too.  However, this week he has eaten both again and likes them both!
  6. He is following instructions WAY better.  I have started testing him more just to see what happens.  I used to ask him to do something and I had to ask 50 times.  Seriously.  I know all kids need a little reminding when they have chores, etc, but this was different.  This was telling an 8 year old to put his pajamas on and he was SO distracted by anything that he could not complete one simple task without help.  Really.  It was the same in school.  He had to have his teacher (who taught him in my home) only give him one problem at a time and sit right by him or he couldn't do it.  Notice I said couldn't and not wouldn't.  These kids literally CANNOT control what is going on with them. 
  7. Yesterday I asked him to get some of the water bottles from the case of waters and load them into the fridge.  He IMMEDIATELY dropped what he was doing (wow) and said "ok".  (wow - no complaining) He then proceeded to lift the entire, almost full, case of water (you know the big ones from Costco?) and carry it to the fridge.  He loaded all but 5 bottles in and then told me the rest wouldn't fit.  I asked him to stack them over by the pantry and then put the empty case by the garage.  When I came back he had stacked the water (which I DID NOT expect) but then had forgotten to put the case by the garage.  I said "Brody, what else were you supposed to do?" and he said "oh ya" and went and put it away.  YAHOOO!  This is huge!  I have noticed this other times as well.  
  8. When I ask him to come to dinner, he does.  
  9. When I ask him to brush his teeth he does.  
  10. When I ask him to get his pajamas on, he does.
  11. When I ask him to help his sister buckle her seatbelt, he does.  
  12. When I aks him to check on his brother he does.  
  13. All of these he does right away without complaining and without me having to raise my voice, or tell him 50 times. 
  14. Brody now can wash himself in the shower.  We have tried this a lot, but for a reason I didn't know at the time,  he just couldn't do it.  Well now he can.  I still give him the soap so he doesn't get too much, but he washes his hair, rinses it, washes his body, rinses it, etc.  Today he also turned off the water himself and got a towel himself!!  These may sound like little small strange things for an 8 year old not to know how to do, but that is part of the imbalance.  His left brain is very strong and his right is very weak.  I am going to do a whole post about this but just to explain:  Basically developmentally Brody was only 3-5 years old.  Most 3-5 year old kids can't wash themselves without help.  They can't perform many chores alone and especially without complaining.  They have a hard time with transitions.  They have a hard time with sharing.  
  15. When Bo was here we kept noticing the way Hazel was acting and realized that it was the same way Brody used to act.  They always played well together and were best buddies, but I never truly realized that they were on the same level in so many ways.  Brody always has LOVED to play with kids younger than him without any problem and now I understand why.  
  16. Now For Wyatt!  He is changing so rapidly I can hardly keep up!
  17. When Bo was here on Friday night we took Wyatt in to go to bed.  He laid down and I wanted Bo to see how well he was saying his prayers not realizing I was in for a surprise too!  He folded his arms and said "Heavenly Father, bless food, (then something I couldn't understand) then I told him to say bless sleep good and he did.  Then, usually I have to just finish the prayer and he copies me but this time I just said "in the name of" and then he jumped in and said "Jesus Christ, Amen"  IT WAS AWESOME!  He knew what he was supposed to say and said it without us telling him.  Just wait, it gets better.....
  18. Overall he is talking more spontaneiously and it is SO cute and amazing.  He also repeats what we say now so If I say "Go to car" he will repeat it back.  That is pretty normal for a child learning to talk.  I remember when Brody and Hazel just used to repeat everything I said.
  19. When we drive places now, he knows which way he wants to go and now points and says "This way".  I LOVE hearing his little voice from the back of the car (so quiet - not like Brody or Hazel...)
  20. He is learning new words quickly (without help or us teaching him) and his articulation is improving quickly as well! 
  21. He is answering questions sometimes!  I will say do you want to go home? and he says "no".  Or I will ask him what he wants to eat and he will tell me.  
  22. He understands and follows directions SO well.  If I tell him he can't have any applesauce until he eats his hamburger, he goes and sits right down and eats his hamburger and then asks for applesauce.  If I tell him to go potty, put his pants on, sit down for dinner, go to the car, etc. he does it!  It is AMAZING!  And no - I will not stop using that word :) 
  23. He is WAY more calm.
  24. He his WAY less "stimmy".  Meaning he does WAY less self stimulatory behaviors like spinning, hand flapping, verbal stims, etc.  
  25. He is WAY less of a runner now.  This has been one of our biggest problems.  Wyatt would take off out a door, run down the road and never come back (if we didn't catch him!)  He would take off at a park, in a store, etc. and he is FAST.  He has gotten a little better over the years, but still does it all the time and it is SO scary.  I read about so many kids on the spectrum running off or wandering off and it is heartbreaking.  Some are found and some are not :(  Too many are found in swimming pools or rivers - the thought has always just sickened me.  Today he did take off once at the park but he looked back at me like 20 times to make sure I saw him and that I was going to chase him.  More of a game than a "fight or flight" mode that was just making him run.  When we walk out to the car I no longer have to physically hold on to him.  I can let him walk out the garage and he just climbs in the car and doesn't try to take off down the road like he did a few weeks ago.  When we walked into the sensory gym the other day we just got out of the car and he walked up the ramp and into the place on his own.  I am SURE he loves the freedom and I LOVE that he can be more independent and I don't have to physically hold on or restrain him at all times.  This is HUGE!  He also hasn't tried to run out of the house at all in the last few weeks.  Not once.  
  26. When his phone used to run out of batteries (when I say used to, I mean last week) he would scream, throw it (sometimes hitting the ceiling) and have a huge fit.  We tried to tell him to just hand it to us or  say "charge", etc.  But it hadn't worked - until now.  The last few times it has happened he has either just walked in and tried to put it on the charger or handed it to us calmly.  Miraculous.  (See - I know different words, amazing just always works and it is just easier to use it over and over rather than trying to be creative...)
  27. At the park he kept saying "I'm gonna getchu" and having me chase him all over.  
  28. In the last week he has now tried/eaten the following new foods: ONE WEEK!
  29. Homemade applesauce
  30. Chili
  31. Split pea soup
  32. Apple
  33. Grapes
  34. Pineapple
  35. Kiwi
  36. Strawberry
  37. Raspberry
  38. Steak
  39. Shredded Beef
  40. Shrimp
  41. Green bean
  42. Broccoli
  43. He has been loving Freeze dried Pears and asks for them non-stop and now they are gone! (HUGE CAN!)
  44. I gave him the freeze dried apples (that we tried for 2 years to give him in ABA, etc. and he had even thrown up on more than one of his therapists trying them) and he ate those great!
  45. Today he tried a bite of a mushroom! 
  46. Today he tried a bite of an apple!
  47. In FOUR YEARS I could not get him to touch ANYTHING new.  I was able to switch him from round waffles to square, but that was about the extent of the change.  For FOUR years he has only eaten the following items:  Waffles, chicken nuggets, pumpkin muffins (that was actually a big change, even though it is essentially same taste/texture as waffles), turkey burgers, homemade crackers.  That really was pretty much all he ate.  (During the GFCF time he was allowed to have things like Fritos, Lays chips and french fries which of course he ate and were terrible for him) But otherwise NO other food was allowed near him even with hours of Behavioral therapy, heavy reinforcement, etc.  THIS IS A MIRACLE!  HUGE!   I had gotten to the point in my life (before Brain Balance) that I started thinking that this would never happen and that he would eat the same 4 foods for the rest of his life.  I truly did not think it was possible to get him to eat anything different.  THANK YOU BRAIN BALANCE!
  48. Next - he has been interacting and connecting with others but especially his family so much lately.  You saw how he took us all in the room to play duck duck goose which was precious.   So then today....
  49. He walked in the kitchen and came up to me and said "Mama?" "Mama?" Like he was TALKING TO ME!  Again, he can say the WORD mama and lately has been saying "mama" to get out of his room in the morning but this really was the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE that my little 6 year old boy called me Mama.  It was so amazing.  He then took me by the hand and led me into his room.  (He used to just lead people places, but now he was using their name first!)  He had me sit down and then said "Hazel?"  I told him to go get her and he did.  But he didn't just grab her hand and drag her in like he used to, he first said "Hazel" and then held her hand and led her in.  He then did this with Brody, calling him by name and Papa, calling him by name.  Again, in ABA he had learned what all of our names were and could say them but has NEVER actually used them to talk to us, communicate with us, etc.  This is HUGE!  
  50. He had us all sitting down on the floor and started playing duck duck goose.  It was SO cute.  Everyone got a turn. 
  51. Then we started singing songs.  We sang Head Shoulders Knees and Toes which he does so cute.  
  52. Then we started Itsy Bitsy spider.  I told everyone not to sing and just do the actions to see if he would sing and he did!  He sang the ENTIRE song (even though some words were hard to make out, we obviously knew what they were) by himself!  It was so wonderful!  Cute!  Darling!  
  53. When we went out of the room he started again and one by one called us by name and brought us back in the room.  SO CUTE!  I love to see how Brody and Hazel laugh, smile and get such a kick out of their brother finally playing with them.  
  54. When we got back in, he sat us all down and gave us all train names (which is SO cute because that is what Brody used to do)  He sat right in front of me and looked me in the eyes and said "Emily" and then kissed me.  Then he sat in front of Hazel and said "Thomas" and kissed her.  Then he sat in front of Brody and said "Percy" and kissed him.  Then he sat in front of Bo and said "James" and kissed him.  He did this multiple times over the next hour and it was the funnest thing ever.  
  55. I can honestly say that today was the FIRST time that our family has actually all played together.  We have tried to play before, but Wyatt was always still just doing his own thing - never really engaging with us.  Even when he used to get us to play Simon says, you could tell it was just him repeating words from a movie and not actually playing and connecting with us.  This was real and perfect.
  56. Now for the prayers! 
  57. Today for lunch Wyatt said the prayer.  I had to take away his "game" so that he would say it. He was not very happy.  He said "Heavenly Father, Bless food, Bless Game, etc. and then ended it on his own!  I LOVED that he had blessed his game!  That is what ALL kids do! They bless their Legos, their trampoline, whatever it may be and now Wyatt did it too! 
  58. Tonight when I put him in bed (going out of order a bit..) He wanted to take his plate with the rest of his dinner on it.  I sat it by his bed and then told him to say prayers.  He folded his arms and said started the prayer as usual and then said "Bless Food, bless eating"  and then ended the correct way.  We have obviously never said "bless eating" so I just thought it was amazing that he was thinking of his own things to say in the prayer - he is NOT just memorizing or repeating what we say.  
  59. So now for my favorite prayer.  :) For dinner tonight he was already sitting down eating his applesauce and playing his phone.  For now it is great reinforcement to get him to try/eat foods and then we will just have to fade it.  Anyways, the other kids had sat down now and it was time to eat.  I said "Wyatt, lets say Prayer".  Then the most amazing thing happened.  He immediately pushed pause on the show that was playing on the phone and then pushed the phone away.  He then folded his arms right away.  I couldn't believe it.  He had heard me, understood me, and followed the directions without throwing a fit that the phone had to be paused.  He then said the prayer as usual.  It is funny that I can say "as usual like he has done it all his life when really it has only been for a few days.  My little sweet Wyatt now says prayers.  Another miracle. 
  60. And now for my favorite.  Okay, they are ALL my favorite - really, they are all so special to me but this one really got me today.  We took Papa to the airport....
  61. We dropped him at the curb and he got in the back of the van to say goodbye to all the kids.  They all hugged him and kissed him.  I gave him a hug kiss and he walked away.  As I started to pull away I had to turn back to make sure I could go.  As I did I noticed that Wyatt still had his eyes on Papa.  He watched him walk all the way into the airport.  At that moment he said "Papa, Papa" in the cutest voice I have ever heard and then he started to cry.  Just a little whine and a few tears, but he was genuinely sad.  I was amazed.  He was calling for his Papa.  He not only NOTICED that he left but he was sad and called his name.  He had connected with his Papa this weekend in a way that he never has.  I told him that Papa would be back next weekend and that Papa loved him and I drove away. 
  62. As we drove home,  there were 3 more times, totally out of nowhere that Wyatt said "Papa, Papa" and had a sad face.  One time he said "Papa, Plane".  He knew his Papa had left on a plane and he missed him.  He had real feelings and real emotions.  Another amazing miracle.  
Okay, well that is all I can think of for tonight although I am sure there is more - in fact I just thought of one but it will have to wait.  62 things in 3 days really isn't too bad :)  I must sleep so I am on my toes tomorrow and don't miss ANYTHING!  

I just looked and since I started my blog only 8 weeks ago there has been over 6000 page hits from over 15 different countries.  Wow - that is amazing. :) I set this blog up to journal and document every step of our journey, but also to help other families looking for answers or researching the The Brain Balance Program.  I hope that I have helped even a handful of you.  Now I know that my family reads my blog, but not 6000 times :)  So to the rest of you I just want to say this: Thanks for reading!!  :)  But also - if you have questions, comments,  want more information or there is anything that I can do to help, please let me know.  Leave a comment and tell me what kinds of things you would like to hear about on the blog, etc.  You can either leave a comment here or send me an email at brainbalancemom@gmail.com.  I am crazy busy as you can tell,  but I ALWAYS have time to help another child or family in any way I can.  So many of you have helped me in my life and I am eternally grateful. 

Goodnight!

5 comments:

  1. Awesome news Tammy! You brought me to tears, thanks a lot! I miss your family and I'm so excited to hear that things are going so well. Tell the kids hi and keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Tammy. I am Heidi's friend out here in Florida. Thank you for doing this blog! I have enjoyed reading it and it has given me so much hope. I found myself crying tonight reading your post, but they were happy tears! Maybe one day my Davis will be able to call me "Mama".
    -Kara

    ReplyDelete
  3. I recently started the BB program for my 6 year old daughter. We moved away from home to do this(also have a 3 year old son). Thank you for doing this blog. I love to see the success of other children through this amazing program.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome! Reading about all the progress your boys are making makes my heart so happy for you and your sweet family. You are definitely right - it IS amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can't thank you enough for going on the Power of Mom's conference to help all of us struggling moms, know about Brain Balance and the hope that is there for our children to get the help they need. I'm so excited for the futures of my three precious children now that I know so many of the struggles we have had will come to an end. I'm positive this program will be able to help us with all the information you provided during the interview. I want you to know that you are the best mom! I can't believe all you were dealing with and doing to help your little ones! You are so articulate and smart! Everything you told us was right on point and spoken so quickly (not too quickly) that I learned soooo much! Thank you for all your sacrifice and hard work to help get the word out about Dr. Melillo and his groundbreaking research and methods.
    You are truly beautiful inside and out and you have some very blessed and lucky and beautiful kids!

    ReplyDelete