Top 8 Tips Before Attending the “What to do About Your Brain Injured Child” Course
In September of 2016 I attended the What to do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. In 2017 I went back with my son. We had a full evaluation and I took Lecture Series II. I have to say I was way more prepared during my last trip because of these 8 tips.
#1. Turn off your cell phone.
You have to trust the people at home taking care of your children can do the job. The cell phone is a distracting tool. You are there to learn how to help your child. Do not allow your cell phone to take away opportunities to talk to other parents, staff, or listen in on questions other parents have.
Give your family the number of the Institute in case of emergencies. And tell them that your phone will be off from the moment you arrive till the moment you leave. Now this was a hard adjustment for me I’m a phone junkie. However on the Friday I made the exception of turning on my phone to complete some of the homework and I did find it very distracting. I was happy that I had made the decision to turn it off Monday through Thursday.
Now haven’t been home for a few weeks I can see how much of a distraction my phone has been to be in the past. I make sure that I am not distracted by my phone while I’m working with my son on his programs. That being said there was a day last week when my son was having some free time between programs and I picked up my phone to read a text. Well apparently he didn’t like that, because he came up to me and gently said no phone mom. Point taken little man point taken. And I put The phone down.
#2 A sweater is not going to cut it.
When they tell you the auditorium is cold they don’t mean it’s just slightly chilly. It’s an icebox. Bring yourself a blanket, a sweater and make sure you’re wearing close toed shoes. When I went back the second time I brought along my winter jacket. I’m from Canada, no one is going to make me cold like that again.
#3 Monday through Thursday do not make plans to do anything after class.
You’re going to leave exhausted. Your brain will be full of so much information and it is going to take you time to process it. Some days are your are going to leave class at 9:30, You’re going to have only a short bit of time to grab something for dinner. Then run home or wherever you’re staying and do homework. Plus remember you’ve also had your cell phone turned off all day so you’re going to have to catch up with everything going on back home.
Thursday nights the big one, you’re going to be working on a program for your child. Friday you’re going to be assigned time to sit down with a staff member to go over this program and get some advice. That night my head was spinning, my best friend wanted to talk to me, and the kids want to talk to me. We got out of class late and we had the largest homework assignment of the week.
I had to make the decision that everything else took up a backseat to the homework. I know it hurt everybody’s feelings when I told them I couldn’t talk but I was a woman on a mission. Once I was done the homework showered and in bed I called hubby and found out what was going on throughout the day. My best friend forgave me, my kids forgave me and I had a full complete program to go over with my staff advocate on Friday.
#4 Pack some snacks in the car or your bag.
Lunch is delicious and there is a soup or sandwich break at around 5 o’clock, however it is nice to have a few little snacks keep you going.
I’m going to be honest I was a little concerned about the food before I came. I had heard some reviews online that the food was less than desirable. I’m glad to say in my opinion this was the furthest thing from the truth. Even the day that we were served salmon, which I don’t like the sides were so filling I didn’t miss it. There was also a vegetarian day and I found that meal also delicious.
#5 Make Connections.
Get to know the people sitting by you, Find a staff member that you connect with and make sure to find that person with your questions during the break. Find out if anyone is starting a Facebook group. People are not going to understand what you’re doing with your children and it’s nice to have a group of people that know what you’re going through I can support you.
#6 Take Notes
Yes you will receive a package at the end of each day. That being said you should still take some of your own notes. Because most of the notes will contain exactly what’s on the board. So if you find the speaker says something that you find inspirational or helpful write it down.
#7 Ask Questions
If you have questions be sure to use the 10 minute breaks to get answers to those questions. The staff at the What to do About Your Brain Injured Child Course are there to help. You may find that one staff member may be more helpful to you than another. All the staff members are qualified however you may find you personally connect with a particular staff member. I found even though some staff members were available I would wait to speak to a particular handful. I knew they had connected with me and understood what I was looking for for my children.
#8 Spend Some Time in the Bookstore
OK well this might just be because I’m a book junkie. I have a pile of books by my bed that is so large and I haven’t read them yet yet I keep adding to the pile. I was in heaven in the IAHP bookstore. Yes it is a small bookstore but I really connected with both of the shopkeepers. I found them very helpful and knowledgeable.
One thing that I really liked about the bookstore was the fact that the encouraged you to wait until the end of the week to make your final purchases. So you could make a pile and take things out and add them throughout the week as you heard the lectures and make your final purchases on Thursday or Friday. This helped me save a lot of money. I often went in during break to remove a book or add a book as a lecture series went on.
If you think you’re going to want to purchase a book to read in the evenings I can almost guarantee you you will not have time. By the time you get out of class, find somewhere to eat, and get home or wherever you’re staying, you will have very little time to do much else but your homework, shower, and check in with your family at home. My head was usually spinning from all the information I had her during the day, the thought of adding more information on top of that was a bit nauseating.
This course was life-changing for me. When I came home I looked at my kids differently. I parent differently now. I have an absolute newfound respect for my children. It’s not like I didn’t think they could do things before. I mean I taught them how to read at a very early age. But I found out things about them but I was there that I didn’t know. So take these tips seriously if you were planning on attending the What to do About Your Brain Injured Child course. You have sacrificed a lot to be there. Don’t waste it