Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Straight from the Source!

This is the founder of Brain Balance giving a lecture at the recent Autism One Conference. It is worth your time to watch and very informational.  This man is performing miracles - miracles I am watching before my own eyes. This is not just another treatment option - it is the Answer. Thank you Dr. Melillo for giving my children and family a future!

Monday, May 30, 2011

All Worn Out!

I had planned to do a nice long update complete with pictures and video from our long, fun weekend. However, we are BEAT!  We took the boys to the airport about 3:00 and then came home and played play dough, did some coloring, cleaned the house and did dinner and medicine.  After finally getting the kids in bed and having some dinner, Brody woke up.  Then I realized that Wyatt had never gone to sleep!  What?  It was 10:00!  I went in to find that he had gone #1 AND #2 in his little tiny potty (Hazel's old princess potty....)  That is SO great since this morning we woke up to another GIANT #2 disaster including the infamous "train through the mud" trick.  Yuck. 

Now that they are both back in bed we must get our sleep so that we can make it through yet another crazy, busy, fun, stressful, happy, roller coaster week.  I promise to start early tomorrow so I can give you (me)  a full update.

One funny note:  When Paige got home last week and we picked her up from the airport, Brody asked her why she went home and she told him it was so she could see her husband and family.  Brody then said "Why do you keep leaving?  It's really annoying".  It was in the cutest tone and I gave him a high 5 ;)    Silly Brody.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

What's For Dinner?

We had a great day today and a great day yesterday.  I have recovered from what I will say was the worst headache and probably the worse pain I have ever been in - yes, it was that bad.  I have so much to tell you and I can't wait!  (Mostly because I will forget it all....)

Tonight after the kids went to bed I surprised Bo, Paige and Drayton with movie night!  They were all excited until I wouldn't tell them what the movie was.  Apparently Drayton was under the impression that it was only 15 minutes - which is why he even came in the room.  Poor Drayton.  They were all troopers and stayed for the whole hour and a half movie.  What movie was it?

Now, many of you may have already seen this.  I had heard a lot of about it, I read up on food a lot because of our families restricted diet, but I had never seen this movie.  It is a HUGE eye opener.  Even though I really already knew fast food was bad and that food is processed terribly and everything is chemically engineered, there was still SO much I didn't know.  In fact, I would LOVE if this movie was 3 days long and explained every bit of the food industry, every thing we should NOT eat, the companies we should and should NOT buy from, etc.  That would probably take a month?  Maybe more?  I used to tell my husband that I just wanted to plant a garden in my backyard and raise my own cows, etc.  This movie makes me want to do that even more.  

The thing that scares me the most is that as consumers, we really have NO idea what is in our food, how it is being made or processed and how many diseases there can be in just one pound of hamburger that we buy.  A mom tells her story about her 2 1/2 year old son who was perfectly healthy and then after eating a hamburger he dies 12 days later.  He got the terrible E-coli virus and they couldn't save him.  How heartbreaking is that?  There are so many terrible ingredients and toxins in our food and our chicken, beef and other meats are all contaminated as well.  It is making us sick.  It is making our children sick and even killing them.  It is contributing to their neurological disorders.  We all need to educate ourselves on what we put on the dinner table and we need to do more cooking (quality food) and less eating out.  Way Less.  Seriously.  I knew that eating out was unhealthy because of the fat content and calories, but that is only a part of it.  

I rented this movie for 3.99 on iTunes.  You can buy it on amazon for $8.50.  You will spend more than that on your next meal so please take the time and spend the money to watch this.  Please.  

If you have already seen it, pass the link on to friends and family who haven't.

Here is the trailer to get you excited :)

The boys fly home tomorrow afternoon :( so maybe tomorrow night I will have time to fill you in on the details of the weekend!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hello from Paige!

This is my first time blogging and I am not known for my blogging skills, so this will be short and sweet!
We went to Stone Mountain and everyone had an awesome time. Tammy will update you on everything that happened and post pictures I'm sure.

Oh the reason that I am blogging is because Tam got really sick with a horrible headache. If y'all know Tam is has to be REALLY painful to slow her down! We took care of her and put her in bed! Hopefully she wakes up feeling better. (That way I won't have to blog again;)


The Boys are Here!

This is so exciting!  Both of our husbands are here for the Holiday weekend!  We have a FULL day planned today and we must get packed up.  You see before we can leave for a day of fun (hiking, climbing, sliding, riding, pedaling, etc!) we have to make 3 packs of turkey bacon (organic, nitrate free), and cook about 8 hamburgers to take with us.  We need to wash grapes, apples and strawberries as well as gather all of the freeze dried fruit we have left in the house (Wyatt has eaten it all in the last week!)  Then we need to get lots of water, the pumpkin muffins and any snacks/food the guys want.  Next comes the extra clothes and outfits for all the kids, the stroller, the harness for Wyatt (which I don't think we will need anymore!) Shoes and socks (which I don't know if we even own..), a blanket and then jackets for night time.  I am sure there is more, but that is all I can think of for right now. 

In addition to that, we still have to feed them all breakfast, make smoothies, do medicine and supplements and the exercises are going to have to wait until tomorrow!  (We usually take Sunday off but we are going to trade today)

It is 9:17 and I wanted to leave at 9:00 and we haven't even done the above yet!  Ahhhh! 

I better get going so we can get to our destination on time but just wanted to give you a quick update.  Sorry I didn't post last night!  (I am really saying that to myself...)  I will have to post tonight too and maybe that will make up for it.  I picked Bo up from the airport late and I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before so I guess I just fell asleep! 


Friday, May 27, 2011

HUGE storms here today! Rain, wind, lightening and thunder! Power went out, Internet down! Spent the night talking to a friend in need and now it is late! So much more to tell but It will have to wait until tomorrow. Blogging from my phone takes forever....

We have a fun weekend planned...... My husband AND Paige's husband will both be here tomorrow! We are going to have a fun holiday weekend as a family! :) The kids are SO excited!

I keep falling asleep so I will see y'all tomorrow!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:What a Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wyatt's 8 Week Progress Report!

Okay folks, I met with the Center Director today and got Wyatt's report.  He is doing great!  I LOVE that there is concrete data that shows his gains and improvements in all the areas.  Once I post the report I am going to bed!  I keep staying up WAY too late because my brain won't stop working :)

Here we go!
(Again this levels are overall from the start of the program until now)

Sensory Motor Room:

Core Stability:                  Went from level 1.5 to level 4!
Balance Beam:                 Went from level 2 to level 6!
Visual Ocular Reflexes:   Went from level 3 to level 6!
Fine Motor:                      Went from level 1 to level 6! 
Gait:                                 Went from level 1 to level 5!
Interactive Metronome:   Went from level 1 to level 5!  (with Prompting)

Notes from Coach:

Wyatt is such a joy to work with in the sensory motor room and has given so much effort.  Many gains have been made but what I am super excited about is his overall awareness and his communication skills.  Looking forward to seeing his levels climb even further!

Cognitive Room:

Motor Goals:       Went from 19-24 months to 31-36 months
Listening Comp:  Went from 19-24 months to 25-30 months
Cognitive Goals:  Went from 19-24 months to 31-36 months

Notes from Coach:

Wyatt is showing me more of who he is every day.  He is making great eye contact and using more and more words.  He is writing his name, letters and numbers on his own.  He is using scissors.  He is playing "pretend" with the dolls I have.  The baby is Hazel - he named her!  He is following directions more and more and choosing the order of activities.  He is also saying "no" to some of my requests!  His progress is so encouraging!

Go Wyatt!  I can't believe that he named a doll Hazel!  That is SO cute!  I love having these reports to go along with my own documentation of his gains and improvements.  It is just a matter of time before his Autism (i.e. right brain delay) will be a thing of the past. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moving Mountains

In all honesty,  I had a hard day.  For some reason I just woke up feeling strange and it just never left.  I know every mother in the world has felt this way sometimes - like you just aren't doing enough.  Whether you have typical children, children with special needs or your children are grown -  mothers always want to take care of their children, fix all of their problems and take away all of their pain.  That is just what we do.

Most days I feel good about how I am doing - that I am doing everything I can.  However, there are days - days like today - where I feel like I am just not cutting it.  I feel like I am letting my kids and husband down because I am falling short as a mother.  In the world I live in, you hang on to every tiny change, every improvement, and that is what keeps you going.  However, when setbacks come, they hit you hard.  I think my expectations are SO SO high that even the tiniest little setback seems like the end of the world.  It is strange because I am not usually a negative person at all, but for some reason when this happens I tend to focus on the one tiny thing and not on all the HUGE things that we have accomplished.  I need to work on that. 

Now don't get me wrong, the kids are doing great.  Just saw a few old behaviors - nothing big, but they freaked me out.  Why would I get freaked out about a few little tiny things?  I think because I felt like they were totally gone, so when I saw them come back, I panicked.  My mind immediately went through all the things that I am not doing good enough at and I spent the day blaming myself for pretty much everything you can imagine.  Even though my brain knows that it has only been 8 weeks and that we still have a long way to go, my heart just doesn't want to go backwards at all - ever again.  I know we won't go backwards.  I KNOW that.  However, it is really hard work and you have to keep up on it every day.  

A good friend told me yesterday that we both have PTSD  - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We laughed about it, but it sure seems to fit :)  I decided to look it up just for kicks and here is what I found the symptoms to be: (My personal notes will be in green)
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event (Not really anymore)
  • Feeling emotionally numb (Sometimes)
  • Avoiding activities you once enjoyed (Frequently)
  • Hopelessness about the future (Not anymore!)
  • Memory problems (Ya think?)
  • Trouble concentrating (Here and there)
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships (Unfortunately) * Husband not included. It has not been easy, but we have grown closer and stronger throughout all of this. 
  • Irritability or anger (Not usually anger, but maybe the irritability once in awhile..)
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame (Only on days like today....)
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much (Yes, but only Dr. Pepper!  But I have quit now!)
  • Trouble sleeping (Are you kidding me?  By the time I get in bed I am out!  However, the night wakings and minimal sleeping hours are working against me.)
  • Being easily startled or frightened (This is the funny part.  Two days ago I was at the park with this same friend and we were talking.  I was pushing Wyatt in the swing so I knew where he was.  However, I suddenly panicked because I couldn't find Hazel.  I started looking everywhere, calling her name and my heart started racing.  Then I realized I was holding her.  For real.  That fear that you feel when you can't find your child, especially a child that can't talk and is totally unpredictable, I think permanently scars you.  I see other mothers who don't have their child in view and they calmly look around and then either find them or figure that they will come back around sooner or later.  Then I see mothers like myself and my other BB moms and you see the panic and fear set in instantly.)
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren't there (To the contrary:  I see what is there and I am reaching for it!)
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can come and go. You may have more post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms when things are stressful in general, or when you run into reminders of what you went through. You may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences, for instance. 

These symptoms seem to partially explain why ONE TINY THING would bring back all sorts of bad memories, hard times and the hopelessness I used to feel. 

When I saw Soul Surfer again a few weeks ago I cried- again.  Especially hearing her end line:    A reporter asks her if she could go back to that day, would she choose not to go surfing.  Her response was that she would not change what happened to her because she had learned and grown so much and she was able to embrace so many more people with one arm than she ever could have with two.   Now I still have two arms :)  but I am SO grateful for the trials that I have - even though it sounds weird.  I have truly learned so much about myself, my children, and countless other things.  I have learned more compassion, unconditional love and understanding.   Now, I have the opportunity to share what I have learned and use it to help other families and children.  Helping my own children and seeing them suceed makes everything we have gone through totally worth it.  Seeing other families experience the same joy, hopefulness and pure miracles that we have will be icing on a very delicious cake.

Since I don't have a TV, and when I did I hadn't watched it in over a year, I really don't know what Ms. Cyrus is up to these days.  This video is not meant to promote her in anyway, it is just the song that I love.  I heard this on the radio last year and started sobbing in the car.   Pitiful huh?  I couldn't stop crying and every last word just hit me.  I had forgotten about it until a month ago and so I purchased it.  I really do LOVE the lyrics and the meaning and it really describes me and my life quite well.   I think about the mountains I am trying to move right now and I know that they WILL be moved.  Yet, as the song says "there's always going to be another mountain, I'm always going to want to make it move"  It makes me laugh because my personality won't let me stop with just my kids, I have to keep going - and I know that was all part of the plan. 

Before Brain Balance, these setbacks and bouts of PTSD really hit me and took me out for a few days.  Meaning I was just worried, stressed and lost hope for a bit.  I always got back on track because I KNEW one day I would get my children to reach their greatest potential.  I Just knew it.  Now that day has come and I have found the answer and the path to get them there and what a joyous feeling that is.  I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.  I always had hope, but that is all it was - hope.  Now, I have that hope in addition to the absolute assurance that my children will be able to reach their greatest potential and be the wonderful, smart, darling and typically functioning children that they were meant to be.  We are just taking the long way to get there and that is alright with me. 

Please listen and read the words. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Totally Random

Sometimes my days are so random, that the blog post just doesn't have a chance of being "normal" or structured.  So here is my day in a nutshell and here is my post.  For those of you that like things neat and organized, watch out!

  • Had three phone consultations - 2 with doctors, one with corporate. Did the time zone thing backwards and thought one was at 10 when it was really at two... that started me off strange.   It was really hard talking to doctors about supplements, medications, lab tests, etc. with kids running around a park, climbing all over me and asking for food non-stop.  Things are SO much easier with a second person around here!
  • Got Wyatt to Brain Balance and he earned a star!  So scattered, I didn't take a picture of it.  Will have to do it tomorrow. 
  • Tried to take the kids to the park (while talking to a Dr.) and it was WAY too hot and we had to go home.  
  • Had lunch, another phone consult and then off to take Brody to Brain Balance.  Poor Wyatt thought it was for him and he kept saying "no".  Like he was saying "I already did my work today!"  It was cute. 
  • Brody also earned a star!  I didn't even know that until later since he just ran out to the car!  I will have to get a picture tomorrow.  
  • Had planned all day to go swimming at our pool with some other BB friends and then found out it was supposed to be closed!  Oh no!  Wyatt had been saying "swimming" for two days and I was so so sad.  I called and asked the office and they said that the roofers didn't make it to that building today so we could swim!
  • Went swimming with 3 other BB moms and a total of 8 kids - 6 enrolled in BB.  It was a MADHOUSE!  We were laughing at ourselves the whole time.  The kids were good but nuts!  We felt bad (sort of) for the poor people trying to "relax" around the pool.  :) There was nothing quiet or relaxing about this pool party!  
  • At one point another mother and her son came and one of the mom's said "this is the crazy side of the pool" and then Brody yelled something like "Ya!  We are the Brain Balance Bunch!"  It was pretty funny.  
  • By the time we got home the kids were ravenous.  I hurried with dinner and meds and Wyatt said another prayer completely by himself.  This time he said "bless water".  So cute.  
  • Brody fell asleep in the living room, Hazel in my bed and I finally just got out of the shower and it is 11:00 pm.  How is that for a scattered day? 
Now on to the random picture post!  Here we go!

Wyatt's Drawings!  This is Wyatt's version of the Baby Einstein baby (I helped only with the glasses because he asked me to, but then he did another one on his one later, but I can't find it)  He wrote the words all on his own and If you can't tell he was writing "Baby Shakespeare" which is one of the movies.  He has not seen the movie for probably over a year yet he wrote that word from memory.  Pretty darn good if you ask me. 

I have seen Wy draw this  a couple times and wasn't sure what it was.  I finally figured out that the middle picture was cheese!  Then I asked Brody if he knew what the last item was (Wyatt kept saying it but I couldn't tell what he was saying)  Brody finally said "It is tomato sauce!"  I guess it is from an old Blues Clues episode that he hasn't seen in ages either where they make pizza?  So the circle is the dough?  Then the cheese and the tomato sauce?  Really pretty good illustrations - better than I could do :)

Randomly went Gluten, Dairy and sugar free the other day.  Thinking I might go all the way with no grains either - basically what the kids are eating.  Let's discuss this topic later :)  Anyways, got a grilled chicken breast at Chick Fil A when Bo was in town since Hazel was DYING to take Papa there.  I got a side salad with vinaigrette dressing and it came with these sunflower seeds. I don't love sunflower seeds, but thought about tossing them on the salad - until I looked at the label.  I really don't understand what has happened to the world.  Since when do we really need all of this junk in all of our food?  In case you can't read it, these simple sunflower seeds contain:  Sunflower kernels (thank heavens), sugar, corn syrup,honey, wheat starch, high fructose corn syrup (otherwise known as the neurotoxin Mercury), salt, xantham gum. Wow.  I thought maybe there was just sunflower seeds and salt.  And no, I did not eat them. 

THIS WAS A MAJOR DEVASTATION!  This is my favorite sauce in the whole world and it is the main reason I go to Chick fil a.  I have NEVER looked at the ingredients.  I don't know why I just rip it open and enjoy without taking into account what is in it.  Now, if we are only talking about myself, I probably won't die from eating this (although who knows the long term effects of all of this crap?)  We do know that mercury is linked to Alzheimers, etc. so..... Anyways, but when you have developing young brains it is ESPECIALLY toxic.  I already told you to check your ketchup, salad dressings, breads, etc. but I never really even thought about checking condiments at restaurants.  Well, now I do and guess what?  My favorite sauce has HFCS as the FIRST ingredient!  Now I wonder if when I was a kid it used to just be plain old sugar?  Not sure.  So even though it was SO hard for me I ate the chicken breast with a little salad dressing.  It was not great for me, but didn't have any toxic ingredients in it... 

Since Ranch is not sweet really, then it would be safe right?  Wrong.  Same HFCS right in there.  So Sad.  How many children around the country are eating all of these sauces and foods that contain toxic mercury (not to mention the other toxic chemicals that we call food..)??? 

Brody's Brain Balance Creation.  My sweet sister sent the kids a package full of awesome toys and crafts.  One of them was this foam.  It was great and not sticky!  Brody created the BB logo!  It was a little easier to tell what it was before, but then he added the sun, the music note, the letters, etc.  onto it and it made it a little jumbled.  A darling effort though!

Here they are playing with their foam.  Wyatt was of course wearing his glasses and trying to cheat by pulling them to the side... punk.  He liked the foam and made a house, a snowman, etc.  It was great! Hazel played with this stuff for hours - really.  I have never seen her play with something for so long.   You can see the BB logo on Brody's shirt.  :) 

Here is Brody playing with the Jacks!  I already posted about how hard he worked to catch the ball.  What a good boy!

I came in the room and found Paige playing with the foam and she had created the whole alphabet!  Okay fine - Wyatt wanted her to do it and helped (a little..)  But I think she had a lot of fun :)  She was really glad it wasn't messy like Moon Sand!

The next day we played with modeling clay and Hazel made herself a beard.  Not sure why, but she wanted me to take a picture so here it is!
On Saturday the kids to Papa to the sensory gym.  Not sure what was going on here, but they all had a lot of fun!

Well, that is the end of my randomness tonight!  I can't believe I might be to bed before midnight!  There is a HUGE part of me that wants to stay up and make muffins for the kids since we are out.  We are also out of bacon so this is BAD!  Poor Wyatt has nothing for breakfast!  I guess it will be hamburgers and smoothies.  Yum. 

And one last thing.....................................................


Thank you for being an amazing, wonderful, fun, crazy, thoughtful, selfless friend (with an attitude).  You have been with us on this journey from almost the very beginning and you will be with us to the end!  Like it or not :)  We are so blessed to have you (and your family) as part of our family.  Thank you for all that you do.   Our children (and countless other children) will have futures because of the help that you so lovingly offer.  We are so glad you will be part of our Brain Balance Family too!  
We Love you!  Tam, Bo, Brody, Wyatt & Haze

See you tomorrow!   If you are not too mad to come back ;)
This is the only picture we have together that we can stand.  Everything else we have ever taken really just didn't work out... :) This picture was actually taken a year ago when I took Paige to the airport to go see her sister.  (I had given her a plane ticket as her birthday present)  I don't know if I can top that gift and I think she is probably sick of flying :)  So I am going to have to come up with something different this year.  She gets home tomorrow so I better hurry up! 

Monday, May 23, 2011


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:


  • 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. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hope Restored

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the First Annual Brain Balance convention which was also paired with a conference for The International Association of Functional Neurology & Rehabilitation. The entire experience was absolutley amazing.  I learned so much from some brilliant minds. 

At the final dinner they showed an amazing movie called "Hope Restored"  this is just the trailer for the video and only gives you a glimpse of what it is about but it is awesome.  By the end of the movie there were 300 pair of eyes all filled with tears.  This is the same science that Brain Balance is based on and it is real.  It is amazing and is changing people's lives - people who were told that they had no hope (like we were).  But it expands to so much more than Brain Balance and helping our kids - it truly is a miracle.  When I get a hold of the video we will have to have a movie night :)  But for now, here is the trailer. 


P.S.  We had a great fun filled day and I will tell you all about it later! 

Hope Restored Trailer from Unseen Line Films on Vimeo.

Hubby Is Here!

Husband came into town at 7 pm tonight! 

The kids were SO excited to play with their papa and of course he brought them little surprises from home again! 

After the kids went to bed, the two of us went to dinner and then I talked his ear off for the last 5 hours.  Poor guy.  After not seeing him for 2 weeks it there is just SO much to talk about! 

As usual, blogging will be short while he is here - I must spend every moment I can with him since he leaves on Sunday! 

We have a fun weekend planned and I will tell you all about it Sunday night :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brody! Brody! Brody!

Before we get started on Brody, here is short Wyatt update!

Today he tried a piece of pineapple!  He also tried a piece of shrimp!  He also tried 2 bites of broccoli!  Yes, broccoli!  That is unbelievable!  To go from eating literally nothing to being wiling to try broccoli in such a short period of time is....  - well, unbelievable!  Then, not only did he try the shredded beef roast for dinner, but he ate a whole plate of it!!  Yahoo!!

Then when he went to bed I said "Let's say prayers - fold your arms."  He folded his arms right away and started saying the prayer on his own!  He said "Heavenly Father, bless food, hungry, bacon".  Then I helped him finish the prayer :)

Now on to Brody!

Brody's 8 week progress meeting was yesterday and we got more great news!  Again, I have seen the changes and improvements happening at home,  but it is always so good to see the actual data that has been kept and the levels he has moved up, etc.  It just confirms what I have been seeing and they also give me a lot of other good information as well as things to work on at home.

A lot of the changes in Brody are not as tangible as Wyatt's are.  It is easy to say "Wyatt said more words or tried new foods",   where Brody's changes are not as obvious although still very significant. 

Overall we have seen:

  • More maturity
  • Better following of directions
  • Better motor planning and coordination (basketball, baseball, etc)
  • More determination (not giving up as easily)
  • Willingness to try (and actually like) new foods. 
  • Less emotional outbursts
  • More calm and less hyper active
  • MUCH better focus and ability to stay on task
  • Doesn't need as much help or direction when doing simple tasks or chores
  • MUCH stronger core - can do sit ups and push ups above his age level now!
  • Is now able to do the monkey bars the correct way
  • Endurance is much better!
  • Not quite as obsessive
  • I know there are more, but just can't think of them!
Progress Report Time!

The Beginning level listed is from the 1st day he started (not from the 4 week Progress report).  So the changes are overall from entering the program until now.

Sensory Motor:
  • Eye Muscle Coordination and Balance:  Has moved up a whole category - this one is hard to explain :)
  • Auditory Processing:  Has gone from level 2 to level 8! 
  • Gait/Aerobic:  Has gone from level 3 to level 10!
  • Core Stability:  Has gone from level 3.5 to level 7.6
  • Interactive Metronome:  Has gone from level 3 to level 7
  • Fine Motor Skills:  Has gone from level 3 to level 7
Notes from Coach:  Brody has been coming into the sensory motor room very focused and ready to honor the silent station.  His levels have gone up very nicely and again, Brody gives his best effort and is so engaging.  Overall, I am very pleased with Brody's progress in the sensory motor room and look forward to seeing even more gains from Brody!

Here is a short video clip of Bro.  He likes to ride this "zip line" at the park.   Paige had the idea of pushing the handle to him and having him try to jump and grab it while it was moving and hang on for the ride.  I wasn't sure I liked the idea, but I went along because Brody was excited.  He kept trying and trying but he would either jump too soon, miss the handle or grab it but not hold on tight enough.  He didn't have to try too many times, but his old self would have given up after one or maybe two tries.  When he finally got it he was SO proud of himself and you can see that at the end of the video.  He is such a sweet boy.  

My sister sent a cute care package that we just got today.  It had all sorts of fun toys in it and one was a set of jacks.  Brody has never played jacks before and I tried to show him how to do it.  I knew it would be hard for him to bounce and catch the ball, but then he also needed to grab a jack.  He tried and tried and tried and I could not believe that he didn't give up.  He did get frustrated, but not too bad.  Then he finally did it!  He was so excited!  I was sad because I missed it.  So I watched for awhile and then right when I turned away he did it again!  So then I stayed right there so I could see him succeed again.  As he was trying over and over he said "I did it twice, so I know I can do it again!"  It was just so amazing to see his self esteem and the new confidence he now has that he CAN do it!  (Whatever it may be....)


  • Main Idea:  Went up 2 levels and is at 100%
  • Fact & Opinion:  Went up  one level and is at 70%
  • Math reasoning:  Went up one level and is at 85%
  • Sentences:  Went up one level and is at 97%
Notes:  I am very proud of Brody for the great improvement he has made in his focus.  Brody now recognizes verbally that he needs to focus only on the tasks that are given to him.  In his work he works diligently.  Brody has reached the required level in main idea by reaching level C and is now flowing smoothly through the fact and opinion workbook.  In terms of writing, Brody has shown great improvement.  He is now writing with full sentences that are focused on the subjects provided by the worksheet.

So overall amazing changes!  I can't wait to sit down with him and do some worksheets and compare to what it was like to do homework before.  It would sometimes take an hour or more to do one 3 problem worksheet.  It was HORRIBLE.  I am excited to witness the changes when it comes to academics, etc. 

So to sum up what we talked about:  When we started here Brody's left brain was approximately 9-12 years old and his right brain was approximately 3-5 years old.  Now there were things on both sides that were slightly higher or lower than that, but that is an average.   So you can see how there was an imbalance.  It explains why I had a really smart child who couldn't sit in school or focus.  Or an 8 year old that should know better than to dart in front of cars or do other impulsive things - but developmentally he was much younger than an 8 year old. 

So as we went over his report it showed that he had already hit his "age level" for most everything for the right brain.  Meaning, he went from being a 3 to 5 year old developmentally to being more his age - 8 years old.  So we are done right?  He has reached age 8 so we can pack up and go home!  Wrong  :)  What I now have is a child that has a right brain of his age, but his left brain is still much older  - 9-12.  What does that mean?  It means we still have an imbalance.  It is much less of an imbalance, but it is still there.   So we will continue to work on the right side of the brain until it reaches the same level as the left side. 

So what does THAT mean?  It means that by the end of 6 months I will have a child that is academically similar to a 10-12 year old AND developmentally/behaviorally similar to a 10-12 year old.  In short, a very smart, very well behaved little boy :) 

I LOVED the little boy that I started with, but his whole life was and would continue to have been a struggle.  He couldn't function in school so he was schooled at home.  He was social and friendly, but not socially appropriate and mostly played with children half his age.  He was not able to ride a bike, play sports or many other things that kids his age enjoy doing.  I had no idea how he was going to make it through school, let alone have a job, support a family, etc.  That sounds so sad doesn't it?  Well it is.  It is so sad that SO many children are slipping through the cracks and barely squeaking by.  These children are exceptionally smart and have SO much potential, but they can't reach their potential with these brain imbalances.  WE MUST BALANCE THEIR BRAINS! 

At Brain Balance they don't talk in labels.  There is no Autism, ADHD, learning disabled, etc.   Those disorders are merely lists of symptoms with a name attached to it.  At Brain Balance, there are only left hemisphere and right hemisphere delayed children.  Once you stimulate the weak side of the brain and balance the two hemispheres, the list of symptoms disappear.  (Literally before your eyes) 

There are thousands of children out there without a label.  Children that are just struggling in school, have social issues, sensory issues, trouble reading, etc.  These children all can benefit greatly from the Brain Balance program - and the benefits are lifelong.  It is not just a medication band-aid, or a therapy band-aid.  It is a true solution to the problem.   A solution that gives these kids a future and helps them reach their true potential.  In fact, I realized that I don't have the Brain Balance Mission listed on my blog so here it is:


To make the Brain Balance Program available to as many children as possible, so that each child may reach their greatest physical, mental, social and academic potential.

Have you ever heard of a better Mission?  I am so happy that in addition to helping my own children reach their potential (which has been my goal all along),  that my mission will now be exactly what is listed above.  I am truly blessed and honored to be a part of it. 


We're On a Roll Folks!

 Okay - so much is happening it is hard to keep up!  Really, it seems like it is just one thing after another of amazing things!  So here we go!

We will start with Hazel.  Sometimes I feel bad because I don't blog about her as much.  However, it is just a fact that there is not as much to say right now.  I am sure her time will come :)  She is growing up fast and is so cute.  She is excited to go to school next year and talks about it a lot.  She gets excited about all of the improvements we are seeing and always prays that "Wy Wy will talk".  She loves to build obstacle courses with Brody and loves when Wyatt wants to play with her and tickle.  She is convinced that the Brain Balance we are building is for her.  She always wants to go to Brain Balance here and she can't so I had told her she could go when we open ours.  I guess to her that equals "Hazel's Brain Balance Center".  :)

Wyatt:  I failed to mention a few things yesterday and then I have a whole new list for today!

Wyatt has always loved music and has been interested when I play songs for him on the guitar.  The other day I played Row Row Row your boat and he was singing along and then he started asking for songs like Old MacDonald and Twinkle Twinkle.  It is SO Cute.  So then he has been wanting to play it a bit so I gave it to him and he actually let me put his fingers in position for a chord and then he strums.  I love that he doesn't just bang or be crazy.  He actually just strums the way he should and it is darling.  Soon enough I will be teaching him :)

Future musician!  I started playing when I was 7 and Wyatt might even beat me!

Wyatt has been drawing and writing on his magnet board a lot the last few days.  I saw him drawing this in the car yesterday.  I think it is so cute.  I am quite positive that it is the Baby Einstein baby and he is in the process of writing Baby Einstein :)  SO cute!

Yesterday when we were driving to the Sensory gym Wyatt said "potty" so we had to get off the freeway and the whole clan had to go in the gas station to go to the bathroom.  So great that he tells us though and doesn't just have an accident!  Anyways, so even after making that stop and taking three freeways to get to our destination, Wyatt still new exactly where we were.  (And we have only been there 4 times?)  How do I know?  We got off the exit, made a few turns and then we were coming up on the left turn we needed to make.  As we approached, Wyatt sat up in his booster seat and pointed to the next turn on the left and said "This Way".  It was SO cute and so amazing that he knew where we were even though we were 40 miles from home.  And even more amazing was that he pointed to and told me where to go!  That is communication!  Spontaneous communication!  Yahoooo!!  After that it got even better!  I said "where are we going?"  (which he never responds to my questions unless they are yes/no questions and that is still only every once in awhile)  But this time he answered and said "Sensations" (as best he could).  I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT HE ANSWERED A QUESTION!  If you think this is great, wait until you hear about today :)


This morning I got breakfast ready which consisted of fresh fruit, pumpkin muffins and turkey bacon.  Wyatt doesn't eat fruit, but since I had gotten him to try some last night (Miracle!) I decided to try again.  But first, it was prayer time.  I decided to have Wyatt say the prayer again so I started the same way and said "Heavenly" and again Wyatt said "Father".  But this time - before I could even say anything he said "bless food".  Holy Cow!  He was saying a prayer!  He knew what he needed to say without me telling him and he actually said it.  He wasn't just repeating words, he was USING them!  Wow - this is so significant and so amazing.

Okay, back to breakfast.   We cut a grape up in small pieces and also put a few small pieces of strawberry on his plate.  I had to withhold his bacon as reinforcement, but I am amazed at how quickly he keeps trying things.   Within a few minutes he had eaten about 4 pieces of grapes and one piece of strawberry.  He didn't try to spit them out and the gagging was very minimal.  Crazy.  Just Crazy.

After exercises it was time for lunch.  Oh- and I think I failed to mention that the boys were both re tested yesterday and they had both lost a few of their primitive reflexes!  Wyatt had lost 2 and I think Brody lost 4!  This means less of the primitive exercises and more time for home programming! 

Anyways, Lunch.  I decided to grill some steaks.  Hazel and Brody loved it and Wyatt had eaten a bit the other day so I went for it.  A lot of times he will do something and then never do it again, so I was prepared for the worst.  I worried for nothing because he ate all of his steak and without us really pushing him!  Then, I put a small piece of a green bean on his plate since the other kids were eating them and he definitely didn't want to eat it, but with a little push, he grabbed it and ate it!  He has NEVER eaten a vegetable!  This was SO exciting!  He made a funny face, but didn't spit it out!  Go Wyatt!

After that it was off to BB where Wyatt earned a trophy!  This means that he moved up levels.  Way to go Wyatt! 

Later in the day he was coloring and drawing.  For a year or more he has been drawing the same house in the same colors and we have tried to work on it but with little success.  Today he drew a house, but Paige told him he had to switch the colors up.  He must have listened and understood because he mixed it up a little!  He then drew a clown too!  After that he started writing his letters and numbers and kept switching colors which was so cute.  I can't believe how well he writes for never being taught.. 


Before dinner Wyatt came and grabbed me out of the kitchen and took me into his room.  When I got there, I realized he had just done the same thing to Paige, Hazel and Brody.  They were all laughing because Wyatt had brought them in there and sat them down exactly how he wanted them.  He put us all in a circle and started touching our heads and saying "Duck, Duck, Goose".  I know he learned this from a movie and I have seen him play around a little before, but I have NEVER seen him really interact with all of us and try so hard to get us to play together.  He would say "goose" and then the person would run around and Wyatt would grab them and sit them back down.  I don't know if he really gets the real rules, but it doesn't matter.  He had each of us take a turn getting to be the "goose" and it was a blast.  We were laughing so hard - all of us.  Just to see him laugh and play and have fun and really spend time with all of us was wonderful. 

In this video for some reason he was only touching Hazel's head the whole time, but that is okay.  Then after he kind of tackles both of them!  Not sure why, but it sure was funny :)

What great changes and great blessings these are. 

 Now for the grand finale!  We have gotten Wyatt to eat a little chili once, but he didn't eat a ton.  We had also tried the split pea and ham soup I make and he had one little lick of the spoon and that was all.   Since he had been so open to trying new things today, we decided to give it another shot.  We heated some up and put it in front of him.  He immediately pushed it away as usual.  However, I used a little bribing  and got him to taste a bit.  He tried to push it away again, but I kept on him.  After only a few minutes he was eating it (while watching his phone of course) and just taking bites on his own!  It was so cute to see him just pick up the spoon and keep taking bites of this green soup!  It is such a different flavor and texture and I am so happy that he kept eating it.  It has carrots, garlic, onions, ham, peas, etc.  So good for him!  He ate almost a whole kids size bowl of soup.  Watch the video and be amazed :)  (Or cry like I did).

I know we have gone over this before, but these things I have been telling you are absolute miracles.  Even more of a miracle is that they have all happened in 8 weeks time.  When I really think about it and realize that 8 weeks ago Wyatt was still having accidents all over the floor and only using the toilet if we took him in.  8 weeks ago Wyatt was only eating pumpkin bread (with almond flour and eggs which he can no longer have), turkey burgers and waffles and it would take over an hour to get him to even touch a new food.   8 Weeks ago Wyatt was only using language when we asked him to say something, not because he WANTED to say it.  8 weeks ago we couldn't even get Wyatt to sit still for a prayer, let alone say one.  These are miracles and Brain Balance is a miracle. 
I wanted SO badly to get to Brody tonight.  I had his 8 week report today and he is doing AMAZING (I use that word a lot don't I?)  It is WAY too late so I am just going to have to tell Brody's story tomorrow.  I can't wait!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All About Wyatt!

 Wyatt!  Wyatt!  Wyatt!  He is such a doll I just can't even stand it! 

Okay, I will calm down just long enough to give you an update. 

Wyatt has been doing great overall since we got here, however, there are many ups and downs.  They have behavioral regressions (which is a good thing), and their brains are just changing so you really don't know what to expect.  We were really feeling good with the overnight potty training, trying new foods, etc, but then he slowed down a bit.  He has had a few accidents in his room and has not wanted to eat applesauce or try any new foods.  In fact, he would barely eat his usual foods.  It is easy to get discouraged, but we try to stay positive. 

Well.... Over the last few days things have started to turn around.  He is getting close to his 8 week mark (next week) and I hope he is going to start taking off!  Many parents say between 8 weeks and 12 weeks it is just crazy how much they change and start improving in all areas, so we will keep praying for that :)

Alright so this is what we have been seeing.  When I was gone this weekend Paige took the kids to the grocery store.  Wyatt and Hazel were buckled in the little car (see below).  The old Wyatt takes off every chance he gets and will run as fast as he can.  This time, Paige had turned away for just a second to grab some milk and when she turned back, Wyatt was out of the car and had walked a few steps away but this time he stopped.  He was looking at her like he knew he shouldn't be walking away but was making a sneaky little face.  Rather than just impulsively running away, he actually thought it through more and waited to see what Paige's reaction would be.  Sounds like a typical kid right?!

What Cute little Monsters!
Next,  Language.  He has been talking a lot more lately.  Hard to really describe how, but he just is and it is spontaneous rather than us asking him to say things.  He has been labeling things, telling us what he wants more, etc.  His sensory motor coach keeps saying how he is just talking up a storm in there! 

Also, one of my favorites is that when he wants me, he actually says "mama".  He has NEVER done that.  He could say my name and knew that I was mama, but never actually has said "mama' to ask for me or get my attention.  It is awesome!

Prayers:  We have been trying to have him say prayers more.   When we used to have him do it we would have to say "say bless"  "say food" , etc.  We had to say the word "say" before each word.  We had to do this outside of prayers too and if he didn't say what we asked we would say "no, say water", or whatever we wanted him to say.  The other day was the first time I had tried to have him say prayers in awhile.  I said "say Heavenly" and rather than just repeating what I said, he said "Father"!  It was so cute that he knew what was coming next and said it rather than just repeating what I said!  He does that every time now!  Also, when I ask him to say the rest of the prayer, I can just say a word and he will repeat rather than me saying "say" before each word.  I can also use little phrases and he will repeat them!  It is so cute and so amazing!

Labeling:  As Paige was driving around in the golf cart last weekend (I think I may have mentioned it before), Wyatt was labeling everything he saw.  I know he had learned them from a Baby Einstein movie, but it was still amazing that when he saw a mailbox he would point (which he didn't use to do, but has been doing for awhile now) and say "mailbox", etc.  So this weekend we took a drive and tried to record him doing it.  At first I made Paige run behind the golf cart, but she just couldn't hold the camera steady :)  So this video was taken as she stood on the back and held on as we drove!  Thanks Paige!
What a climber!  He has been loving the climbing wall which is so good for him.  He runs right into the Sensory Motor room and goes straight for the wall.  This is at the sensory gym and he is climbing so high there too!
Just a Random cute picture Paige had of Wy with the scooter!
And now for the last topic.  EATING!  We all know this is a big problem area.  He had been improving in this area for awhile, but then he just stopped.  He wasn't eating great, wouldn't try new things, etc.  But yesterday things started turning around.  Paige gave him some applesauce and he actually ate it again!  Then he wanted more and more!  Then later that day we tried to get him to eat steak (which I don't know if we have ever tried - at least not in a long time).  I didn't think he would even try it but he did!  He needed some reinforcement, but then he started eating it.  He ate quite a few very small pieces - maybe 15-20?  It actually didn't take too much work either! 

Then today we went to the sensory gym again.  We brought the freeze dried pear cubes like we had taken before.  However, over the last two weeks, he would not eat them at all.  Today I gave him a little bowl of them in the car and he ate them so good!  Then he became obsessed of course and asked for pears all day!  He ate so many little bowls of them but it was so cute and they are good for him.  I loved that we would be in the car and we would hear this little voice say "pears" and hand us his bowl.  :)

So then for the big one!  Wyatt eats meat and will try new meats relativity well.  In fact, I failed to mention that he has been eating shredded chicken (as opposed to grilled and cut up) -with coaxing- the last few days.  Tonight he actually ate it really well!  However, for 4 years if you try to get ANY kind of fruit or vegetable near him he freaks out, throws them or throws the plate, etc.  (This doesn't happen with the freeze dried pears I think because they are dry, not wet and they have a crunchy texture which he likes).  Anyways, so we have tried over the last few months to give him carrots, grapes, bananas, mangoes, etc and it does NOT work.  NO amount of reinforcement can even get him to touch the slimy stuff!

So, tonight he ate his chicken so well.  Then he wanted more pears (his 10th bowl!)  I told him if he wanted pears he had to try a grape or a raspberry.  When I sat them there whole it did NOT work.  He just tried to throw them and run away from the table.  He had his game so I pushed pause and showed him his pears and told him he could have them both if he tried the grape.  I broke off a tiny piece and put in on the table.  He tried to throw it but I got it back and told him to eat it.  It took just a minute or less and he ate it!  I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! This is SO far from ANY texture that he eats or has ever tried!  We clapped and cheered and made a huge deal and gave him his pears and phone.  But then being the mean mom that I am, I wanted more :)  So I made him try two more tiny pieces of the grape which he did but not without some whining.  Then I went for the raspberry.  I broke off a tiny piece and put it on my hand.  This one is very textured and even red but he ate it!  He gagged a little, but didn't spit it out!  THIS IS A HUGE BREAKTHROUGH!  I was absolutely in shock.  This really is so far from what he has ever done it is not even funny. 

So we have a little Wyatt who is less impulsive, more talkative, saying his prayers, labeling things, eating more new foods and trying some REALLY different new foods!  Oh - and did I mention that he is cute???

So glad to see some positive changes - it keeps our spirits up and helps keep me motivated when times get hard.  As we were saying his prayers tonight I asked him to "bless brain balance" which he did quite well.  As he did, I truly felt like we were at the beginning of some amazing changes soon to come.  However, extra prayers never hurt :)


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........

 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.