Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sweet Rewards

Well, I am not going to lie to you it is really hard to be a mom. (Not a shocker to all of you moms out there)  It is even harder to be a mom of kids with special needs or disabilities.  Its even harder to try to still be a wife, a sister, a friend, a homemaker, a daughter, and a business owner.  But this is not a gripe session.  Life is hard for everyone and we all have trials that we are given and they are all at different times in our lives. 

The last couple of days have been a bit hard for me and I have been COMPLETELY overwhelmed (way more than usual).   It seems as though whenever this happens, I am given "sweet rewards" to remind me of why I do what I do and that it is all worth it.  :)

These things may be little to you, but they are big to me!
  • Brody is awesome. I can't even begin to describe how different he is.  Over the last few days I have noticed even more growth and maturity.  I ask him to do something, he does it right away.  Not only is a good boy for not whining or complaining, but he actually immediately does the task and doesn't get off track.  I can even send him up the stairs to do something and he actually comes back!  He used to go upstairs, get distracted, and I would find him an hour later playing Legos.   
  • I also observed him in school and watched him do an entire math worksheet without moving, wiggling or needing his teacher to cover all the problems on the page besides the one he was working on.. 
  • He LOVES to read and it is so cute to see him reading and reading and reading.  He reads in the car, during meals, in bed and everything in between.  Don't worry - he still does plenty of other things. :)
  • He uses his words.  Rather than just yelling or screaming when a problem arises with his sister, he comes to me and talks to me about it. 
  • This morning something happened that just amazed me.  I was still mostly asleep but I heard Brody and Hazel come into the room and talk to Bo.  Then I heard Brody say "Sorry Papa".  And Bo said "for what?" Brody then said "I stepped on your clothes that were on the floor - I didn't see them there".  Bo told him that was okay and he walked out of the room.  I was SHOCKED!  Before Brain Balance if there was ANYTHING on the floor in Brody's road he just stepped right on it.  A book, a puzzle, clothes, toys, my foot, etc.  Most of the time he didn't even notice it.  It was as if it was just part of the floor.  I don't know how many times I had told him not to step or stand on things that were not the floor.  And now all of the sudden he didn't only notice that he stepped on clothes but he stopped and apologized for it.  This truly is amazing and made my whole day. 

There are probably more things, but that is all I can think of right now.

Oh wait - this one is HUGE!  Today we were outside and the kids were riding bikes and scooters.  Brody was on his Razor scooter and had a little crash.  I was preparing myself for the crying and freaking out over the tiniest little scratch.  But instead, Brody said he had an owie and ran in the house.  He wasn't crying or too upset and Bo and I were discussing something outside, so I didn't follow him in.  When I went in a little bit later I found Brody with a band aid on his leg.  I asked him what happened and he said that there was blood running a bit down his leg from his owie.  I told him I could clean it off and he said he already had washed it off, put antibiotic ointment on it and a band aid!  I could NOT believe that he was so self sufficient and just took care of himself like that! That has NEVER happened before.  What was even more amazing was that he wasn't crying, screaming and freaking out over a a scratch and some blood.  The band aid was actually already bloody and he had blood on his shorts so I know it wasn't just a tiny cut.  However, he handled himself so well and just took care of it. 

  • Wyatt is communicating so much!  The best part is that he is using words or phrases that were NOT previously taught during ABA therapy.  He had learned to say a ton of words, but NEVER used them.  Now he is using them so much AS WELL as talking and using words that we have never heard him say.  He also puts phrases together that were never taught.  That tells me that he is thinking for himself!  He is taking the knowledge in his head and the things he has been taught or has been observing and using them all on his own!
  • Yesterday he came to me and said "piggy back" so he got on my back and we started walking.  He then said "couch, lay down".  I LOVED it!  I love that he can tell me what he wants to do and where he wants to go and that I didn't teach him to do it.  He is learning it on his own. 
  • Today he was in my room and I kept trying to get him to go out.  He kept saying "train" so I told him we would go find his train.  He wouldn't come out and kept looking around the room and under the bed.  I asked Bo if he had seen a train and he said no.  Wyatt then said "white train".  It is so great that he is just putting words together and describing things like that!  So sure enough I kept looking and found a gray and white train under the bed.  That is all he wanted so he grabbed it and was on his way!
  • He also says things like "blue shirt", etc.  :)
  • He is understanding body language/non-verbal communication more.  He sees me move towards him like I am going to chase him and he smiles and turns and runs (even with his cast on!)
  • When asking for bacon he now says things like " one two bacon" or "three bacon".  It is so cute that he is telling us how many he wants!
  • Yesterday, I gave Wyatt a muffin which he calls "toast".  He always wants us to cut it up and won't just take bites of it (yet...)  This time I put it on his plate and tried to get him to take a bite of it and he wouldn't.  I was doing the dishes or something so I just left it there and walked away.  The next thing I knew, Wyatt had gotten a knife out of the drawer and went to sit back down.  Then he proceeded to cut his own muffin!  He used to just say "knife" or "cutting" so that we could cut it (which was also amazing!) But this is even better!  
Isn't he cute?!
  • Overall he just is at a higher cognitive level.  He understands what we say, he follows directions and he communicates back with us.  
Wyatt still has a long way to go, but seeing these kinds of things on a daily basis gives me the strength to continue on this journey for as long as it takes!

And then there is Hazel... What to say about Hazel?  :)  She is growing up so fast and will be 4 in ONE week!  I can't believe that my "baby" is that old.  She is doing so well overall.  However, she has been having a few tantrums here and there.  We have been working on using our words..  We are also working on cleaning up her own toys and things which she does NOT really like.  However, she is getting better.  Today the "toy monster" took some of her things which she will have to earn back. 

The other day she disappeared upstairs for awhile.  When she came downstairs it was obvious what she had been doing..

Eyes, lips hair combed and necklace and I didn't teach her any of it.  We are in trouble... :)
So much to tell you but so little time!  This is the latest I have been up probably since I moved home.  I have been so much more tired here and I can't figure out why.  I used to stay up until 3 am and get up at 6 or 7 and just keep on going.  But now I go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 6 and I am dragging all day.  What is going on?  My mother in law says I am just catching up on the last 5 years of sleep that I missed out on :) 

Goodnight!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

COULD YOUR CHILD BENEFIT FROM BRAIN BALANCE?

 Does your child exhibit signs of a Right Brain Delay?

Please read this and pass it along.  Even if you think your child is perfect :) There may be something that you have missed.  I did for awhile and many other parents do.  When a child is more severe and non-verbal it is easy to see there is a problem.  But when they appear to be a typical child, often times we miss the fact that there may actually be something going on that we didn't realize.  I was actually SO relieved when I realized WHY Brody acted the way he did.  I had always known he was smart, but why did he still dart in front of cars or avoid homework like the plague?  Why couldn't he ride a bike?  Why did he have emotional outbursts as if he were 3 years old?  It changed the way I viewed and dealt with everything when it came to him. 

Note:  The majority of children suffering from a Functional Disconnection are right brain delayed.  Right brain delays are typically characterized as:  ADD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger's, OCD, non verbal learning disorder, and Pervasive developmental disorder.  There are still many children with left brain delays and I will try to go over those symptoms in another post.  However, because the majority of children, including my own, suffer from right brain delays, that is what this post will be focused on.

At Brain Balance, they don't use labels.  The typical labels out there like Autism, ADHD, etc. are just lists of symptoms.  These symptoms are better described as a right hemispheric delay.  In fact, there are many, many children out there that don't come near to meeting the typical criteria for Autism,  Aspergers or ADHD.  These labels create a situation where so many kids fall through the cracks just because they may not have all the symptoms of one of these disorders.  In fact, these children may have many of the symptoms and have significant issues or deficits in some areas but are not getting the help they need.  Sometimes this is because parents don't even realize what is going on and why their child is acting the way they are, why they are struggling in school or socially, etc.  On the other hand, if a parent does see that their child needs help, if they don't have an official diagnosis, they are not able to get services through the school or state. 

The very best thing to do is to get Disconnected Kids and read it!  Go through the checklists and see if things sound familiar when it comes to your child.  *The information and symptoms below came directly from the book.*

After reading this and/or the book if you are concerned about your child and even think they might benefit from the Brain Balance Program, take them to the nearest center and have them assessed.  It is totally worth the small price you pay for the VERY comprehensive assessment.  You will then sit down with the Center Director and they will explain to you exactly where your child is at developmentally, cognitively, etc.  They will tell you their strengths and their weaknesses and exactly what they can do to PERMANENTLY address those problems.  If any investment is worth it, this one is.  Especially where it can help you address problems before they get worse and/or may find problems that you didn't know existed yet - i.e. visual processing, auditory processing, sensory issues, etc.  For example:  Brody was a good reader, but he HATED to read.  He never read for fun.  However, he tested at a 7th grade reading level BEFORE entering Brain Balance.  They found that he had visual processing issues and other problems with eye muscles and with his eyes working together which made reading VERY laborious and not fun at all.  Now, he will NOT stop reading.  He reads during meals, in the car and in bed.  At summer school his teacher told me that he will ask "how many more math problems do I need to do before I can read".  I LOVE it!  It is so amazing to see him completely turn around like that. 

Okay, so here is the list of symptoms/red flags, warning signs or whatever you want to call them.   If you notice that your child has even some of these issues, it is worth looking into it.  The longer problems are left untreated the harder they are to correct.  Also, the heartache, stress, financial strain, etc. that goes along with trying to correct these issues in ways - that only make a dent - in treating the symptoms could be shortened or avoided.  I am so extremely grateful that there is a real solution to these problems and that it is safe, permanent and SO fast.  Even though some children with more severe imbalances could need multiple sessions, it is still SO much faster than the years and years or maybe lifetime of therapies that they would need and still never achieve these results.  Why? Because no other program actually CHANGES and "rewires" the brain.  

I tried to put these in categories, but it is a bit scattered.  There are also some things that are repeated...  I decided it was better to get it posted for you to read rather than worry about how organized it was :)

Final note:  This list applies to children of ALL ages.  In fact, I find things on this list that apply to me :)  Also, your child does not (and WILL not) have to have ALL of these symptoms.  You will read it and see many that don't apply to your child.  But, if you notice they do have some of them, or a lot of them, there is cause for concern.

Here we go!


the brain is not developing properly some symptoms are:
  • Inappropriate laughing and giggling
  • lack of fear, especially in the face of danger
  • risk taking
  • an aversion to being cuddled or held
  • sustained unusual or repetitive play
  • avoiding eye contact
  • a preference to play alone
  • difficulty in expressing needs
  • making wild gestures
  • insistence on everything being the same
  • difficulty interacting with others
  • difficulty setting goals and prioritizing
  • difficulty controlling emotions
  • difficulty learning, remembering and paying attention
  • poor motor control
  • inability to monitor own actions
POOR BODY AWARENESS
  • They have a poor sense of gravity and are not very good with balance. 
  • They are clumsy and walk into things
PROPRIOCEPTION
  • They can be physically awkward
  • walk oddly,
  • be unusually clumsy. 
  • lean to one side or 
  • be unable to ride a bike. 
POOR GROSS AND FIND MOTOR SKILLS
  • Bad posture
  • Awkward gait 
  • Uncoordinated and have no sense of timing or rhythm 
  • May have crawled or walked late or crawled strange like scooting.  
  • They may have skipped crawling altogether and start walking earlier than usual. 
  • Clumsiness and odd posture
  • Poor coordination
  • Not athletically inclined and has no interests in popular childhood participation sports
  • Poor gross motor skills such as difficulty learning to ride a bike and/or runs and walks oddly
  • Repetitive stereotyped motor mannerisms
  • Fidgets excessively
  • Poor eye contact
  • Walks or walked on toes
  • They have a hard time manipulating their hands, fingers, toes and feet.  Often displayed later as poor handwriting
* Some kids have motor problems very subtle like a head or body tilt in one direction, a foot that turns in and legs that appear knock-kneed are other signs of improper postural muscle growth.

POOR SOCIAL SKILLS

Very common and a significant problem.  Most of these kids are very friendly and motivated to have social relationships but they don’t know how to go about it and do it all wrong.

Normal development of social skills is dependent on the normal development of the area of the brain that controls nonverbal communication.  That is the ability to read body language and understand people’s emotions and intentions by observing their facial expression, tone of voice, etc.  This is not a skill that can be taught, it develops naturally.

ABNORMAL EMOTIONAL REACTIONS
  • Spontaneously cries and/or laughs and has sudden outbursts of anger or fear
  • Worries a lot and has several phobias
  • Holds on to past “hurts”
  • Has sudden emotional outbursts that appear over reactive and inappropriate to the situation
  • Experiences panic and/or anxiety attacks
  • Sometimes displays dark or violent thoughts
  • Face lacks expressions; doesn’t exhibit much body language
  • Too uptight; can’t seem to loosen up
  • Lacks empathy and feeling for others
  • Lacks emotional reciprocity
  • Often seems fearless and is a risk taker
SENSORY PROCESSING SYMPTOMS
  • Fussy eaters due to an under sensitive (or oversensitive) sense of taste and smell.  
  • Some children cover their ears because they cant stand a noise that sounds normal to everyone else.  
  • Some don’t like to be hugged. 
  • Poor spacial orientation, bumps into things often
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Confusion when asked to point to different body parts
  • Poor sense of balance
  • High threshold for pain - doesn’t cry when gets cut
  • Likes to spin, go on rides, swing, etc. anything with motion
  • Touches things compulsively
  • A girl uninterested in makeup or jewelry
  • Does not like the feel of clothing on arms and legs, pulls off clothes
  • Doesn’t like being touched and doesn’t like to touch things
  • Incessantly smells everything
  • Prefers bland foods
  • Does not notice strong smells, such as burning wood, popcorn, or cookies
  • Avoids food because of the way it looks
  • Hates having to eat and is not even interested in sweets
  • Extremely picky eater
COMMON ACADEMIC PROBLEMS
  • Poor oral and written expression
  • Poor reading and written comprehension
  • Poor writing skills
  • Inability to organize
  • Lack of focus
  • Reading and spelling problems
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty understanding cause and effect
  • Poor sequencing ability
  • Confusion when presented with multiple bits of information
  • Poor social skills
  • Cognitive symptoms
BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A RIGHT BRAIN DELAY
  • Logical thinker
  • Often misses the gist of a story
  • Always the last to get a joke
  • Gets stuck in set behavior; can’t let it go
  • Lacks social tact and or is antisocial and or/socially isolated
  • Poor time management; is always late
  • Disorganized
  • Has a problem paying attention
  • Is hyperactive and/or impulsive
  • Has obsessive thoughts or behaviors
  • Argues all the time and is generally uncooperative
  • Exhibits signs of an eating disorder
  • Failed to thrive as an infant
  • Mimics sounds or words repeatedly without really understanding the meaning
  • Appears bored, aloof, and abrupt
  • Considered strange by other children
  • Inability to form friendships
  • Has difficulty sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people
  • Inappropriately giddy or silly
  • Acts inappropriately in social situations
  • Talks incessantly and asks the same question repetitively
  • Has no or little joint attention, such as the need to point to an object to get our attention
  • Didn’t look at self in mirror as a toddler
ACADEMIC PROBLEMS OF A RIGHT BRAIN DELAY
  • Poor math reasoning (word problems, geometry, algebra)
  • Poor reading comprehension and pragmatic skills
  • Misses the big pictures
  • Very analytical
  • Likes slapstick or obvious physical humor
  • Is very good at finding mistakes (spelling)
  • Takes everything literally
  • Doesn’t always reach a conclusion when speaking
  • Started speaking early
  • Has tested for a high IQ or is above normal in verbal ability and below average in performance abilities
  • Was an early word reader
  • Is interested in unusual topics
  • Learns in a rote (memorizing) manner
  • Learns extraordinary amounts of specific facts about a subject
  • Is impatient
  • Speaks in a monotone; has little voice inflection
  • Is a poor nonverbal communicator
  • Doesn’t like loud noises like fireworks
  • Speaks out loud regarding what he or she is thinking
  • Talks “in your face” - is a space invader
  • Good reader but does not enjoy reading
  • Analytical; led by logic
  • Follows rules without questioning them
  • Good at keeping track of time
  • Easily memorizes spelling and mathematical formulas
  • Enjoys observing rather than participating
  • Would rather read an instruction manual before trying something new
  • Math was often the first academic subject that became a problem
IMMUNE CHARACTERISTICS OF A RIGHT BRAIN DELAY
  • Has lots of allergies
  • Rarely gets colds and infections
  • Has or had eczema or asthma
  • Skin has little white bumps, especially on the back of the arms
  • Displays erratic behavior - good one day, bad the next
  • Craves certain foods, especially dairy and wheat products
AUTONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF A RIGHT BRAIN DELAY
  • Problems with bowels such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Has rapid heart rate and /or high blood pressure for age
  • Appears bloated, especially after meals, and often complains of stomach pains
  • Has body odor
  • Sweats a lot
  • Hands are always moist and clammy
I think that is it!

It is SO important that we are all aware of these symptoms for our own children, and for our friends and family.  The numbers of these disorders are rising at an incredibly terrible rate and those are only the ones that are diagnosed.  There are many, many children out there struggling and many parents who are trying to find answers.  For those of you looking, Brain Balance IS the answer.  I promise.

Goodnight!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Still Improving!

Well, well if it isn't Paige again!!! I know you have all missed me:) Well I am back..... I am just going to quickly update y'all on the kids!

The kids are doing so well and they are continuing to progress (even though we aren't actually attending a "real" session of BB) We are doing as much as we can at home and it is working amazingly! The kids have started summer school and are doing great. They all love getting out of the house and interacting with other kids. Wyatt especially loves it he wakes up every morning saying SCHOOL!

The school is great and just what they need.... mostly right brain learning...Yahoo! They all do very well and are adapting to the school environment. They can't wait for the school year to start!

*Note* Today we got home from school and Wyatt ran in the door and Tammy said "Wyatt" he replied with an "oh hi!!" Then she said did you have fun at school? Wyatt said NO! Little punk.....we all know he had to have fun if he was with me all day;) It's amazing that he is initiating the communication! I can't wait till he can talk crap back to me:)(I am sure he will have a lot to say! )  Now that we found BB it will be a lot sooner then later!

Here are a couple pictures of them at school.....(I don't have any of Brody cause he is in the older class!)  Enjoy!






 
 


 Night(:

Must See!

I have a great post in the works, but it is not done yet -(It is quite time consuming...) 

But in the meantime, I realized that I hadn't posted Dr. Melillo's latest interviews.  These are great!  They are short, but VERY informational and all based on great science and recent studies. 

Please take the time to watch them and then share them with anyone you think could use the information - which is everyone!   We should all be educating ourselves and exercising our own brains too.  :)

Again, Dr. Melillo is the amazing man who founded the Brain Balance Centers and is also the author of "Disconnected Kids" and Reconnected Kids" which are both amazing books!  I truly think that EVERY parent should read them regardless if they feel their child has any issues at all.  It is so informative and can even help parents with things to help prevent a brain imbalance (or a worse imbalance) in their child. 

Goodnight!








Saturday, July 23, 2011

We Are Going Green!

*Note:  Life is SO crazy and I will continue to post on this blog, but if you don't see one for a day or two, don't give up on me! :)

We have already taken a lot of steps to "Go Green" over the years, but here are a few recent ones just to make the blog fun :)

We have replaced these.....

Plastic (even BPA free) has other toxins that can leach into your food...
 With these....

Glass containers - Costco has great sets for a great price!
 And these.......

Not only are these not biodegradable, they also are still made of plastic!

With these.....

A good friend of mine is making these washable, reusable snack bags!  They have a Velcro closure and a great liner that is not made from plastic!  I will Put more information up later of how to order from her.  Her prices are great and way less than Etsy and other sites.  Also, some bags out there still use plastic liners... Email me or make a comment if you would like some info on how to contact her to make an order!
We also replaced this....

Our backyard has been dirt for almost 3 years!   My amazing husband was trying to surprise us with having at least part of the backyard landscaped when we got home.  We came home early and ruined his surprise :)


With this!

Our beautiful green grass!! Now the kids have somewhere to run and play complete with a bike path around it!  Thanks Papa!  Now only if it wasn't 110 degrees outside... :)

We also replaced this....  (not Wyatt!! - the cast!)


 With this new GREEN one..... :(


Yes, that is correct.  Wyatt got a new cast.  That was actually what I had really hoped to avoid and didn't think would happen.   So why did it?  Well let me tell you.  Wyatt had worn a hole in the bottom of his cast from dragging it around the first 2 weeks, but we had taped that up and it had been fine.  But then he overflowed the toilet during his new fun game of "unroll the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet and try to flush it".   Most of the time I had caught it before it actually overflowed, but this time I found him standing in a pool of water...  After that the cast smelled worse and you could tell the structure was compromised so I had to take him in.  

I was hoping and really thought they would just tell me that it had been 4 1/2 weeks and that they could just take it off now and be done, but that was not so.  They said that either way it had to come off because of the water so they brought in their big saw and started cutting.  Wyatt actually did really well considering... They said that removing a cast is traumatic for ANY child because of the loud saw, the pressure it puts on your leg and the fact that you are watching a saw and hoping it doesn't cut you!  Wyatt was very scared and was crying pretty bad.  Paige and I both had to hold him so he wouldn't move so we don't really have any video of the sawing part, but here are a few videos of him getting the cast off.  Still so sad!



 

 



Trying to split open the VERY thick and hard cast.  The Dr. said it was HUGE when he saw it. 

The first moments without his cast on...

You can kind of see how red his leg is.  There were also a few little bleeding sores and so much dead skin.  We washed it as good as we could in the sink but it was still not looking great.  It was very interesting because he only had his cast off for a total of about 10 minutes, but he didn't even try to stand up, move, run around or anything.  When I picked him up to take him in for his X-ray, he grabbed onto his leg the way he used to before he got his cast as if to support it.  It seemed as though he still thought that it was broken or going to hurt him? 

Here is a picture of the X-ray.  As you can see, there is still a break in the bone... He said that it was healing up, but hadn't all the way.  He said that if I could ensure that Wyatt wouldn't run or jump, we could leave the cast off and just be careful.  Ha!  Obviously, the cast went back on!  He said that just jumping could re-break the leg and we were NOT going to risk that!


I tried to explain to Wyatt that we had to put his cast back on.  I know he understood me.  He started getting teary and his lip quivered a bit.  He was sad and scared.  When the doctor asked him if he wanted red or green, Wyatt said "car".  That was his way of saying, "I want neither, can we please leave now?!"

He was a very good boy as they put his cast back on.  He whined and whimpered, but sat still so they could do it.  The doctor said he could go ahead and walk on it now (which he was already doing!) but they put the cast on kind of strange and the poor guy is stuck in a "tip toe" position!  He is trying to walk all over like that and it is hard for him and looks so uncomfortable!  If taking the cast off wasn't so traumatic, I would go get a new one put on him.  But since he only has to wear this one for 2 weeks (we hope!) then we will just have to live with it the way it is.

Poor Little boy!
This little boy has been through just about everything in his life.  It seems like if something is going to happen, it happens to him.   However, he has always been so brave and does very well even considering his circumstances.  I truly wish I knew what was going on in his head during all of these trials he has had. 

He always has such a good attitude though.  We got home with his new cast and he adjusted to it quickly learning how to walk and run even with the strange shape of the cast.  He has also been playing games with everyone!  He initiates play with Hazel to tickle him, and with Brody to build pillow forts and then they destroy them.  He also comes running in the room and says "Mama - Potty!" and runs to the bathroom.  I follow him as he laughs all the way.  He sits on the potty and says "bye bye" and so I leave.  Then he comes and gets me again and wants me to chase him back there and he laughs so hard.  It is so cute to see him initiating play with all of us and calling us by name.  He is communicating SO well and telling us what he wants and it is amazing.  He is continually improving and  I know this is just the beginning.  This sweet little boy will someday be whatever he wants to be - something amazing - I am sure of it.
Happy Saturday!
Tammy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big News!

MY BABY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!!!

I have 4 wonderful beautiful sisters and I love them all dearly.  My youngest sister Amanda is getting married in September and I am so happy for her!  Contrary to what people sometimes think she is NOT My daughter and I am NOT old enough to have a 19 year old!  :)

Amanda came to live with us last August for about 6 months and it was so grand.  She moved here to be Wyatt's behavioral therapist and she was amazing with him.  She taught him so much and I know he taught her so much too :)  They were the cutest little buddies and he misses her a lot.  She was a wonderful and special part of our family and household for those 6 months and we would have kept her forever if we could!  However, a handsome fella by the name of Booker snatched her up and now they are in the middle of planning a wedding! 

We hope that someday Amanda will be back working for us - but this time at our Brain Balance Center where I know she would be amazing and help so many children!

Booker and Amanda

We are so happy for these two love birds and can't wait to see them live Happily Ever After. 

The End :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Survived School!

Oh wait - I guess you were probably wanting to know more about how the kids did and not how I did :)

I will admit that it was a LONG day for me.  I haven't spent a day in school in a long time - I don't know how kids do it.  I guess it is probably because I have about 10,000 other things to be doing and I am usually moving at a pace that is about 100 times what we did today.  Kids have it easy :)

The kids were VERY excited to go to school and we actually made it (mostly) on time.  We were only about 2 minutes late considering the task it was to get out of here in the morning.  When we got there we found out that Wyatt and Hazel were the only two kids in their class.  Hmmm - not what I was expecting.  I knew it would be small, but really wanted them to have other kids to socialize with.  Thankfully, the second half of the day they were combined with the older kids so they had a lot of fun with that. 

Overall - the kids did great.  Let me give you the rundown:

Brody:  I wish SO bad I could have been in the room watching him - I really wanted to see how he did going back to school after close to 3 years.  The teacher said he did great but I didn't get any more details than that yet.  My favorite part:  For the first time in my life I wasn't worried about him.  I wasn't freaking out the whole time wondering if he was doing his work, running around or being a bit crazy...  It was the first time I have taken him to any type of class, school or lesson without my usual "informational disclaimer" to the teacher.  I always had to explain a few things so the teacher knew why he acted the way he did and that he really was a very good smart boy, just didn't always act that way because of his "disorder".   I dropped him off and introduced him as simply "Brody" - no label and no explanation.  I can't tell you how amazing it felt.  That feeling alone was worth all the years of work and all the money spent.  Although, I truly believe we never would have gotten here without Brain Balance - no matter how many other things we tried.  Our son (although he still has some things we need to work on) was a "typical", bright, little boy going to school.   I will be forever grateful for the chance my Heavenly Father gave me to raise such a sweet spirits and for his leading me to Brain Balance.   Now my sweet child(ren) can be who they were really meant to be and can reach their true potential. 
This is the only picture I got of Brody at school- great shot huh?  ;)  I do like that it shows that he was socializing and working together with another little boy.  They were building with an electric play set.


Wyatt:  My sweet Wyatt.  I know that someday I will be able to say about him what I said about Brody, but not yet.  He really did SO well for his first time in school and SO, SO much better than he would have been before Brain Balance.  However, he still has a long way to go.  In my mind (and heart) I know how smart and special he is and I know what he will become someday that sometimes I think I set my expectations too high.  That being said, he really did great.  Here are the highs and lows:

The Highs:
  • He was overall very compliant and did what we asked him to do. 
  • He picked up on the routine pretty quickly.
  • When asked to clean up, he did it and even sang the "clean up" song!
  • He learned quickly where the snack table was.  When he was hungry he sat at it and said "I want toast and bacon please".
  • He painted, colored, built with blocks, etc. 
  • They sat at the picnic tables outside for lunch and Wyatt sat nicely the whole time!  Yahoo!
  • When we had lunch, they had the kids use a sponge to wipe off their own spot on the table.  Wyatt thought this was so fun and cleaned up his own spot!
  • He ran out of the classroom, but only ONE time.  He just ran to the bathroom and then laughed like it was a game... The old Wyatt would have escaped 30 times in that time period - not kidding.  Maybe more?
  • My very favorite was the painting.  He put the paint shirt on and was very excited.  They gave him a paint palette with 6 colors in it.  I thought he would paint a house right away, but I was wrong.  He dipped his brush in paint and then put it in the water.... Yes, the water.  He LOVED watching the water turn colors from the paint.  He kept doing it over and over with different colors.  I had to start making him paint something first and THEN dip his brush in the water and he didn't like me at first.  Eventually he just went along with it.  When the water was dirty he gave me the cup and said "wash" and so I went and dumped it out and got him clean water.  After his water got dirty again he just got right up and went over to the sink.  He climbed up on the step stool and dumped the dirty water in the sink.  He tried to turn on the water but didn't know how.  I went and showed him how to turn it on and off.  The rest of the day he walked over, dumped his water, got new water, turned off the faucet and went back to painting.  I just LOVED that he was doing it all on his own and was so self sufficient.  He painted a cute clown:

The Lows:
  • The second half of the day he was more wild.  He kept running around the classroom doing his high pitched squealing that he does.  One of the girls asked me why he was so out of control....
  • A girl was building a tower and he went up and knocked it over.  She was not very happy but the teacher helped her rebuild it.  
  • Some other kids were building a house with some cool blocks and he went over and randomly knocked it over....
  • He kept wanting to do repetitive things.  Paint over and over, (the water at least), build a tower with blocks over and over, etc. 
  • When we went outside to the playground they have a giant play structure that the 3-6 year old kids are not allowed on at all.  That did NOT go over well.  He was screaming and falling on the ground and did not understand why I would take him to a playground and not let him climb on it...
  • He ran out of the classroom once - I know I listed this in both places...  I was happy it was only once, but wished it wouldn't have been any at all. Can't I have everything I want? :)
Hazel:
  • Hazel was so cute and did very well.  The first half of the day there were no other kids for her to play with but she still had a great time.  
  • She had some one-on-one time with the teacher and that was great!
  • She wanted to paint like her brother.  Unfortunately she started imitating him and painting the water...  
  • The second half of the day there were other kids to play with and she had a blast!
  • She also loved cleaning up her spot after lunch. 
  • She just seemed so grown up - and she didn't seem to think that 9-2:30 was long at all...

I am SO glad that the kids loved their school.  Brody and Hazel didn't want to go home yet and were exited that we got to come back the next day.  Wyatt loved it too!  How do I know that?  Because we stopped back by the school to drop a friend at her car and Wyatt freaked out!  He started smiling and laughing and saying "school, school!"  He took his seat belt off and tried to get out of the car!  It tried to explain to him that we were coming back tomorrow, but he was NOT very happy when we drove away. 

This morning I had to wake up ALL THREE KIDS to go to school!  They only had 15 minutes to eat and get dressed and out the door.  When I went to wake Brody he said "I'm still nigh nigh".  It was cute.  When I got Haze she wasn't getting up until I told her she could put on a pretty dress and go to school.  When I tried to get Wyatt he was sound asleep.  I tried to wake him and he was stirring a bit.  I then said "Wyatt, get up so we can go to school".  He immediately opened his eyes and smiled and started kicking the blankets off!  He reached for me to pick him up and I carried him down the stairs.  He was so happy and excited and when we said it was time to get to the car that he literally ran down the hallway and got in the car.   (Yes, he is running in his cast...)

(Tomorrow I am going to try to convince Paige to update you on how the second day of school was.  She went with them today and said they did great.  Wyatt was even working on some math and reading I think?  There was also another little boy there today for them to play with!)

I am SO happy that my kids loved school.  I am especially happy that Wyatt loved school.  He had fun, he felt safe and comfortable there and he wanted to go back.  That tells me that we made the right decision sending them to this amazing school.  There is still a lot of work to be done developing his education plan and getting him used to the schedule there.  It is going to be a team effort with me, the teacher, the school director and Wyatt's aide (whom we still need to hire...)  We need to figure everything out so that we are all working together to make sure that Wyatt adjusts and is successful and able to learn in school.   I KNOW that we can do it and that Wyatt will do great in school.  I also know that having him in this school will bless the teachers and other students.   They will learn a lot and learn how Wyatt works and love him just like everyone else that has worked with him in the past.  He has a way of making people get very attached to him :) 


Goodnight!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to School!

Tomorrow is the big day!  The kids start summer school (just a two week block) but they are so excited! I am not sure Wyatt knows what he is getting into since he has never been to school :)  But he is used to long days and hard work after his behavioral therapy years so this should be cake :)  I am actually the one that is scared because I haven't been to school in years and I am going with them!

I am very excited to see how the kids do at school and to see how they do in this amazing learning environment! 

Our school is in the next state so we have a time change which means we have to leave by 7:00 a.m!  Showers, dressed, lunches packed and gone by 7:00 a.m.! This means I had better get to bed right? 

I can't wait to update you on our school day!

Goodnight!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Update Continued!

Where were we?  Oh yes, more photos and updates! 

On Thursday Bo was getting ready to go to work.  The kids did NOT want him to go.  They never do, but this particular day Brody and Hazel were having a cow.  Brody said he was going to work with Papa and Hazel said she was too.  Bo usually has appointments so I didn't think this was even an option.  To the kids' surprise, (and mine) Papa said that he didn't have appointments and they could come to work with him!  (Of course not the whole day.... I went to pick them up a half hour later).
This would not have even been an option before Brain Balance because the running, yelling and hyper activity was not really suited for a law firm :)

The kids were SO excited and I told them they had to hurry and get ready because Papa was leaving.  The next thing I know, Brody is mostly dressed - but not in regular clothes.  He was wearing a white button up, tie, pants and a vest!  He had gotten his "suit" on to go to work!  He also carried his brief case - i.e. Lego case with him.  Hazel picked out a cute outfit and packed up her toys as well and they were off!  Bo said they did really well and played quietly and didn't run all over the place.  I think there was a bit of fighting (which is why we will send them separately from now on..) but overall they were great!   Check out how cute they all are! 

My little workers!

Notice Brody's hair above- it was getting very long.  We decided it was time for a cut.  I took him in on Friday and he was WAY better than he used to be.  He still moved away when she tried to cut around his ears, but his sensory problems that cause issues when he is getting a haircut are quickly disappearing.

After the haircut he asked if she could wash his hair.  The have never done that and I don't know why he asked, but she agreed and took him over to the sink.  Before she even started he said "it is like a shower for your head!"  He loved it :)

Loving his head shower!

He is not smiling in this pic, but still looks so handsome with his new haircut! (He had food in his mouth when I took it so that is why he is not smiling!)
Our earlier adventures on Friday included our friend Sydney having an allergic reaction to our muffins!  She didn't even eat one, but was handing pieces to Wyatt and ended up itching all over her body.  We are SO glad she didn't eat one because she is terribly allergic to walnuts and pecans.  Yes, the EXACT nuts we use to make the flour to make the muffins!  Poor Sydney!  She took some benadryl and felt fine pretty soon after. :)

In addition, Wyatt decided to do a little decorating around the house...... 

We have had a painter here doing a few things and he had ran an errand and left a small bucket of black paint with a paintbrush in it.  When he left the kids weren't here, but when they got home, it only took Wyatt about 10 seconds to find the paint!  I actually didn't notice at first, but I went in the family room to look at the samples the painter had done on the wall.  I immediately noticed this:

My first thought was "I wonder why the painter would paint a giant A on the wall?
 Then I stopped and thought - "oh no... Wyatt!"  I turned around and a friend pointed out the lovely question mark (or number 2?) that Wyatt had so nicely painted on the back of my tapestry sofa!

 Then,  I saw Wyatt across the room, paintbrush in hand, paint on his hands and arms.  As I went to grab the brush before any more damage was done I saw my tapestry ottoman....
This photo is actually upside down and I was too tired to fix it.  However, as you can see, this appears to be the starting of one of Wyatt's famous and infamous houses....

We got out of the house for a bit to get away from the chaos and caught Hazel and one of her many boyfriends (Sorry Branson, Braden & Max, you are not her one and only....) holding hands.  I thought this picture was darling. :)
That is all I have for tonight and I am very excited to go to bed!  I have been SO exhausted since I moved home.  I used to stay up way later, but I was NEVER this tired.  I am thinking the time change of 3 hours plus the fact that I am up with the kids 3-4 times per night is causing this problem?  I still think the kids are having a hard time too because they don't want to sleep in their own rooms or beds still and they are quite delirious come bedtime.  Tonight Wyatt fell asleep in the hallway in front of my bedroom, Brody fell asleep on the couch, and Hazel cried herself to sleep on my kitchen floor.  She was hungry and wanted watermelon so I got it for her and sat it by her on the floor but she wanted to eat it in her room.  I told her she had to eat it in the kitchen and she wasn't happy with me.  It only took about 1 minute of screaming and she was out. 

As for me, I am going to go to sleep in my very own bed :)

Goodnight!
P.S.  For those of you that are worried, so far we have gotten most of the paint out of the furniture :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Last Three Days

I can't believe it has been three days since I posted!  I haven't missed a day since March 14th!  I had made a goal not to miss any and I am still keeping that goal, but sometimes other things take priority...

Let me update you on what has been going on around here...

  • We have been working hard on Brain Balance with the boys - trying hard to get in everything we can. 
  • Wyatt has less than 2 weeks left with his cast!! (That is assuming that everything is good when they x-ray it.)  He has been walking all over on it and moving pretty fast. Everyone in the house says "Wyatt!  Sit down!" and sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't...
  • Brody has definitely changed for the good. I was worried because of the old behaviors that had creeped up on us, but they have mostly gone away.  I think they are all overly stimulated with their house, toys, etc. but overall he is doing great.  The other day I ran out at 6:30 am and before I left I just mentioned to Brody that he needed a shower today.  I came home 20 minutes later and he had gone upstairs, showered himself, washed himself, gotten dressed - the works!  I couldn't believe it!  He is really a self starter now and is doing so much better at following directions and following through. 
  • We have been spending a lot of time organizing the house and trying to get it into ship shape before school starts.  We need to go through and get rid of so much stuff!  I have a hard time getting rid of things - it is a problem.  I don't want to get rid of it if I might need it again at a later date, so I hold on to WAY too much.  I am working on that...
  •  All three of them will be attending a Montessori school this fall and I am so excited!  I am so grateful that I looked into these schools (Thanks Amanda!) because they are amazing!  The teaching method makes SO much more sense than the typical teaching method and the best part is - IT HELPS TO STIMULATE THE RIGHT BRAIN!  The last thing I wanted to do was spend so much time, effort and money getting my children in balance and then undo it by spending them to a school for 7 hours a day that stimulated the left brain almost entirely.  When I went for my 2 hour tour of the school last month I had to hold back the tears almost the whole time.  This school is  EXACTLY what our kids needed and will be SO good for them!  None of them have really ever been to school before - they have all been at home so this will be a whole new experience for all of us.  The good thing is, they are SO excited!  In fact, they are going to a two week summer school session at their new school starting Monday and they can't wait!
  • We are SO close to signing our lease on our center.  The space is perfect and I am so excited - just working out the last few details.  Once we sign we can start construction!
  • I have already come in contact with MANY people who are interested in bringing their children to the center.  There is such a need out there for this program and it is SO sad.  It is so heartbreaking to listen to all of these parents that have been struggling and searching for help and answers.  However, it is so rewarding to be able to offer something that CAN AND WILL help their child and change their lives forever. :)
  • While I am sitting here Wyatt just randomly counted all the way to 28.... :)
  • Also, he is trying to play with his trains in the living room which is stepped down 2 steps from the kitchen.  Hazel is down there bugging him and stealing his trains.  He used to scream, cry or try to hit her away, but this time he just keeps saying "climb stairs"  which is his way of telling her to GO AWAY!  :)  I love that he is communicating so much more!
  • Hazel got her hair cut!  Why is this so exciting and why do I need to even tell you about it?  Kids get their hair cut all the time right?  Well not Hazel!  She will be 4 years old in three weeks and has NEVER had a hair cut.  Not a trim - nothing.  It is so long and pretty and I never saw a need, however it is hard to comb and gets tangled easily and it was just time to trim it.  We took off about 3 inches and then cut come shorter layers on the top so it wasn't all so heavy.  The night before we went Hazel asked "Is it going to hurt?"  It was so darling!  The little girl really didn't know what it was like to get her hair cut!  Here are some pictures from our salon adventure.  She was very happy to have special time with mom and said she  "loves haircuts" now. :)
She loved getting her hair washed!

Look how long it is - it is even longer when it is not curled up!

It is a little hard to see and still curling, but you this shows how long her hair was!  It actually goes down to her bum when it is wet...

Cutting layers- can you believe how long?  It is crazy!  I wish my hair was that long!

Drying and diffusing!

Loving her new hair!

The final product!  I just think she looks so beautiful!  She saw the feathers and wanted one and of course it had to be pink! 
  • Wyatt pulled his little "this way" trick again and took us all the way to Paige's mom's house!  It was so cute!  He had been there a few days before and wanted to go back!  He went in and kept saying something we couldn't get at first - he was saying something and then "airplane" so we gave him every airplane toy we could find.  Finally we found the right one and it was "super why airplane!"  We stayed and played for a bit.  We went in the backyard and there was a little motorized 4 wheeler.  Paige put him on and he started driving all over the backyard.  It was SO cute.  It reminded me of the elderly folk that drive around in their motorized scooter things :)  
He doesn't look very happy but he was!
  •  Brody is so funny.  He does and says the funniest things!  The other day I asked him if he had his one sock on.  He said no.  I told him I was going to glue it to his foot.  He said "so it will be on there forever?" And I said - "yes, forever!" (being dramatic of course) and he said "But then I would get too much right brain input!".  He is so smart :)
  • A friend of his was eating a cracker the other day and Brody told him it was going to hurt his brain...  We had a talk about not telling other people things like that our family has a different situation than others... :)
  • Someone was coming over to the house and I told Brody when she got here that he could go talk to her until I was ready.  He said "sure".  I told her he could talk to her about Brain Balance and he said "Ya - I know a lot more about it than you".  What a stinker!

Photos won't download and I have more to tell so this post will be continued tomorrow!

Goodnight

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Brain Balance Graduation!

I totally forgot to post about Brain Balance Graduation!  Both boys still need more sessions, but since they had finished one 12 week session, they got to graduate!  It is nothing fancy, but the kids LOVED it!  All of the staff claps for them as they walk (or in Wyatt's case, scoot!) down the hallway to the end where they receive their framed certificate with their stars around it. They get their picture taken with their certificate and with Amanda who is the Center Director. 

The boys were so  happy and especially Brody is so proud of his stars and certificate.  We are going to hang them in their rooms!

Here are Brody's graduation pictures and video!

Brody admiring his stars!

Brody and Amanda

Wyatt's turn!  His video is SO cute because he hadn't had his cast for 2 days and I had assumed I would have to carry him down the hallway.  But instead he just started scooting down by himself right after Brody was done.  As you can see in the video, he absolutely LOVED everyone clapping for him and he got SO excited. 




Wyatt scooting down the hall for graduation!

Wyatt and Amanda

Off to work!
Tam

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress Report Time - Wyatt's Turn!

First of all, let me say that Wyatt is amazing.  He has adjusted SO well to his cast - I really can't believe it.  It will be three weeks tomorrow that he has had it on and it has gone relatively fast.  However, the little stinker is walking all over on it!  He doesn't put all his weight on it, but he is limping around.  I keep getting on him to sit down, crawl or use his walker, but unless I literally follow him around the whole day, it is impossible to keep him off of it.  I hope and pray that everything looks ok when they x-ray it....

It is funny because I had imagined him maybe scooting around the main floor of the house and sticking by me in the kitchen area.  I figured I would be carrying him up and down the stairs to his room or the play room and thought he would be sleeping in our room so we could hear if he needed help or if he needed to go to the bathroom.  Wow - I was sure wrong!  This little kid just climbs up and down the stairs by himself!  He either crawls up or scoots on his bum.  He has been sleeping in his own bed and since we have arrived home has not wet the bed once!!!  This little boy is all over the house by himself and yesterday even opened the back door and got outside!  Oh no!

The first few days we were here Wyatt would say "potty" when he needed to go and we would have to take him in, pull his pants off, lift him onto the toilet, etc.  Well two days ago Wyatt was upstairs alone and I heard water and got nervous.  I went to check on him and found him on the counter in hazel's bathroom!  I can't believe he got up there with a broken leg!  He didn't have any pants on... I looked and saw that even though he had a cast on, he had gotten on the toilet by himself and went poo poo!  He had used the whole roll of toilet paper.. but he had even wiped himself and was now on the counter trying to wash his hands!  what a good boy!  Since then he has been using the toilet by himself every time.  He hasn't told me potty once.  He just knows what to do and does it.  The cast isn't stopping him!  :)

He is also still communicating a lot.  He will say "I want playroom" if he wants us to take him upstairs".  He will also say "climb stairs" or "bed, nigh nigh" if he wants to go to his room.   Yesterday he was trying to put a Lego train back together and he said  to me "blue block"!  It was great that he was putting words together and knew what he wanted. So I looked around and sure enough, I found a blue block.  Then he said "yellow block" - and I found that too!  Then he said "Gordon train", and I found the face of Gordon the train.  He knew all the parts that were missing and was able to ask me for all of them! 

He was sitting on the couch last night and I tried to take him to bed and he said "no" and he said, "blanket and pillow".  There was a blanket and pillow on the ground since Brody had slept there last night... I gave them to him and he snuggled up and got comfortable.  I decided to leave him there until he fell asleep and then I would just carry him upstairs.  I was doing other things and the next thing I know my husband had carried him upstairs to bed (I had asked him to help me get the kids in bed..).  I heard Wyatt saying "no, Kitchen", etc.  It was so cute.  My husband finally left him in the playroom to play.  I decided to go check on him a few minutes later and he wasn't anywhere upstairs!  I came back down stairs and he was back on the couch underneath his blanket all happy!  It was so cute that he wanted to sleep there and amazing how fast he made it back down the stairs and onto to couch!  I love that he is thinking for himself :)

Now for the progress Report!  As I mentioned before, I am SO GRATEFUL that we got this assessment done before he broke his leg!  We did the sensory motor assessment only ONE day before.  He was able to do the cognitive portion the next week with his broken leg...

He started with 5 primitive reflexes and ended with 4.  However, some of them actually changed?  It is quite hard to test the reflexes and there are some that he didn't seem to have at the beginning, but at the end it seemed it did.  In a case like his, I would say it is better to be safe and just do ALL of the primitive reflex exercises.  That way you ensure you are getting rid of them all. 

*Note:  some things are hard to test on a child like Wyatt some areas may not have changed because of that.  In fact, some things were not even tested.
  • Computerized-eye muscle coordination/balance:  Went up half of a level!  (which is great because they just barely started him on the computer!
  • Computerized-Visual processing assessment:  Went from below age 3 to age 4
  • Arm-Touch sensation (literally being able to feel his own body) Went up 1 level
  • Leg-Touch sensation:  Went up 1 level
  • Eye movements/reflexes:  Went up 2 levels
  • Smell identification test:  Stayed the same - still doesn't really sniff...
  • Eye Movements/Reflexes: Went up 4 levels!
  • Pupil Light response:  Stayed the same
  • Auditory assessment:  Couldn't test
  • Auditory Processing: Couldn't test
  • Fine Motor assessment:  Went from under age 3 to age 4
  • Proprioception (body's spatial awareness): Went from under age 3 to age 4
  • Balance Beam:  Stayed the same - age 4
  • Gait/Aerobic and endurance:  Couldn't really test
  • Postural Assessment (muscle tone) -
  • Supine Core: Went from age 3 to age 4
  • Prone Core:  Went from age 3 to age 4
  • Lateral Core:  Went from age 3 to age 5
  • Abdominal Core: Went from age 4 to age 5
  • Upper Body Strength:  Went from below age 3 to almost age 4
  • Brachiation (hand strength) Went from age 4 to age 6
  • Interactive metronome (Bilateral/Unilateral Rhythm and timing):  Went from below age 3 to age 4
  • Inner ear balance:  Went up 11 levels!!!!! (He actually gets dizzy when he spins now!)
As for his Cognitive results they test what they can get out of him, but I am not going to post all of the results.   It shows he went up in all areas but there are so many like: cutting with scissors, prehandwriting, toileting, etc that I am just not going to type them all.  In the Pre Brain Balance program they don't focus very much time on cognitive at all.  We have a long way to go in the sensory motor area that we aren't worried about cognitive.  Besides, we already know that he is smart, can read and spell,  etc.  so he will catch up quickly once his brain starts functioning properly!

So there you have Wyatt.   More CONCRETE EVIDENCE that he has changed and improved in all areas and some were HUGE.  This means his brain is changing and will continue to change.

I am also very pleased that even though we have not been attending Brain Balance for 3 weeks now, that he has still continued to improve.  However, I know that won't last forever and we need to get him back in.  We are shooting for an October opening date for our center!  I am glad that I have had the experience of being a mother of children in this program.  I have learned so much and because I know what it is like to go through this process, I will be able to connect with the parents dealing with the same things.  I am grateful for this knowledge and experiences because I know it will help me be able to better help the children and families in our center. :)

Goodnight!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Progress Report Time!

You have all heard me talk and talk about how amazing the boys are doing and all of the improvements we have seen.  I still can't believe that all of this has happened in ONE 12 week session at Brain Balance.  It doesn't even seem possible, but it happened!  I can't wait to see what will come with each session that we do.  Brody will only need one more - almost sure of that.  Wyatt will need at least 4 and that is all we know at this point.  The great thing is, even if it takes Wyatt a few years, I KNOW that he will continually improve and that we will reverse this thing called Autism until it is no more.

So, since you have heard enough from me, here are the results as the Brain Balance Center sees it.  (From their very comprehensive testing of course..)

Brody:  (Note: I don't have time to explain what all the items mean at this point, but you can email me with questions if you like)
  • Started with 8 of the 8 primitive reflexes, ended with only 3.  Still have work to do, but that is great!
  • Computerized-eye muscle coordination/balance:  Went up 2 levels
  • Computerized-Visual processing assessment:  Went from age 5 to age 7
  • Arm-Touch sensation (literally being able to feel his own body) Went up 4 levels
  • Leg-Touch sensation:  Went up 4 levels
  • Eye movements/reflexes:  Went up 12 levels!  (highest on this is level 12!)
  • Smell identification test:  Went down one level (which is good because he had a hypersensitive sense of smell)
  • Eye Movements/Reflexes: Moved up within the program, but didn't move up on assessment levels
  • Pupil Light response:  Went up three levels
  • Auditory assessment:  Went up one overall level (this is one of his greatest deficits)
  • Auditory Processing: Moved up within the program, but didn't move up on assessment levels.  Again, this is a hard area for him.  In the test they actually noticed he was missing bits and pieces of information.  The words ball and car would be played in his ears at the same time and he would only hear "all"  and "are".  He almost always was missing the beginning sounds of everything he heard.  You can see how that would cause issues....
  • Fine Motor assessment:  Went from age 5 to age 7
  • Proprioception (body's spatial awareness): Went up within the program, but didn't move on assessment levels. 
  • Balance Beam:  Went from age 10 to age 11! (He was already above his age in this before!)
  • Gait/Aerobic and endurance:  Went from age 5 to age 12!!!  (I totally saw this happening)
  • Postural Assessment (muscle tone) - These are crazy results!
  • Supine Core: Went from age 6 to age 10
  • Prone Core:  Went from age 7 to age 9
  • Lateral Core:  Went from age 6 to age 9
  • Abdominal Core: Went from age 5 to age 11!!!
  • Upper Body Strength:  Went from age 5 to age 12!
  • Brachiation (hand strength) Went from age 4 to age 11!
  • Interactive metronome (Bilateral/Unilateral Rhythm and timing):  This one is hard to explain but basically he should be at about 78.0 as his score for his age.  The lower the score the better.  His initial score was 331!!  She said she has not seen many that are that terrible... His exit score was 146!  So he made HUGE gains, but still has a ways to go.  
  • Inner ear balance:  Went up one level
As for his Cognitive results they administer the WIAT-II which is a standardized assessment.  I wish I had his initial test with me (I need to find it somewhere!) so I could tell you his overall score.  I will at some point.  But his Post score was 92 percent!  The reason that is so great is because average score of kids his age is 50% and College prep level is 70 percent.  The director stated that he was "very very gifted".  :)  Of course I always knew he was bright, but I don't know if I knew just HOW bright.  This is of course partially due to the fact that  his left brain is so highly developed and the rest is credited to his father.  That is truly what makes me so sad about all of the kids struggling with these types of issues.  They are SO smart, SO darling and have SO much potential, but they just can't get there because there brains are not functioning properly.  I am so very grateful that Brain Balance changes all of that.

Here are some breakdowns:

Word reading:  Was at age 10.4 and ended at age 10.4
Reading Comp: Was at age 12.8 and ended at age 13.4
Pseudo Decoding: Was at age 17-19 and ended at age 17-19
Numerical operations: Was at grade 1.5 and ended at grade 2.2
Math reasoning:  Was at grade 2.4 and ended at grade 3.1
Spelling:  Was at grade 2.6 and ended at grade 3.5
Written Expression:  Was at grade 1.8 and ended at grade 3!
Listening Comp:  Was at grade 4.5 and ended at 7.2
Oral Expression:  Was at grade 4.7 and ended at grade 5.1

So there you have Brody!  As you can see, besides my observations of his obvious gains and improvements, there is CONCRETE EVIDENCE that he has changed and improved in all areas and some were HUGE.  This means his brain is changing and will continue to change.

I am trying a new thing since moving home - it is called "getting some sleep".  :)  I am trying to go to bed earlier so that I can function in this crazy life that I live.  Therefore, I will be posting Wyatt's results tomorrow!

Goodnight!