WTD Course – On My Way Home. Children of Dreams, Children of Hope.

on my way home

Children of Dreams, Children of Hope

Children of Dreams, Children of Hope, may have been a title to a book written by Dr. Raymundo Veras, but this was how I felt. I felt like I was one of the children of dreams. Allowed to dream again for my child’s future. Everyone who attended that week long course were also Children of Hope. Our hope was restored.

Saturday morning

Saturday morning I woke up to my alarm clock. I set it fairly early because I wanted to do a little exploring in Philadelphia before I returned my rental car. I got myself ready for the day, packed up my last few things and went downstairs.

My wonderful host and I chatted about the Institute and our experiences there. She had taken the course for well babies a few years before. Then she showed me her amazing playroom that she had set up for her children. IAHP EK bits hanging on the wall. I love the dedication she had to teach her little ones.

Host for Hospital program

After thanking the family for their hospitality, I packed up my rental car and drove out of the driveway for the last time. I cannot say enough good things about the Host for Hospital program. If you are heading down to Philadelphia to take either of the courses offered at the Institute, please check out Host for Hospital. It is an affordable program that connect families from out of town to host with space to share. My entire stay for eight days cost me less than one night would have in a hotel. When you consider the exchange rate that I was paying to convert my Canadian money to American, this made it an even bigger savings.

Every host has something different to offer so I can only share my experience. I was allowed to use a large bedroom (larger then my bedroom at home) with my own personal on-suite bathroom. The family also allowed me to use an extra fridge they had in the back entry way. I felt so spoiled and was treated with such respect. My host also passed on a books she had bought at the IAHP that is no longer available about vaccines. I thought that was so kind of her.

Exploring Philly

Thanks to my phones GPS, I was easily able to find my way into Philadelphia to the Liberty Bell. I planned to arrive early so I could get into line and get in as soon as the building opened at 9am. But I landed up arriving earlier then I anticipated. So decided to look to get some souvenirs for the family who helped me make this trip even possible. On the way I found a few cute little gift shops with exactly what I was looking for.

Afterwards while I walked to the door to the Liberty Bell Centre, I immediately wished I had more time to explore more of the sights and sounds of the area. It is just beautifully kept and I felt very safe walking around on my own. But I was happy I had a few minutes to see the actual Liberty Bell and get a few photos. Another couple offer to take my phone using my phone in exchange I would take their photo with their phone.

When I made it back to my rental car and decided to clean out the car there instead of at the gas station. I gathered up the empty food wrappers and such and found a garbage and recycling bin to get rid of them. Checked all the compartments and under the seats to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Finally found a safe spot in my luggage to pack up the souvenirs I purchased.

Scary Gas Station

Once I was back in the car and buckled up, I GPS’d a nearby gas station. I did not want to have to pay the ridiculous price the rental company would charge me if I did not return the car with a full tank. As I drove away from the Parkade and started following the directions on the GPS. I soon found that the location I picked was taking me away from the direction of the airport.

Soon I saw a Shell gas station on the right side of the road. Even though it didn’t seem to be the best area of town I decided I may as well just fill up there. Well of course the pay at the pump didn’t work because I had a Canadian credit card. So I went inside, only to find the cashier looked like he had been recently beaten. He had a black so swollen, that his eye could not open. I almost turned around a left. My imagination ran wild wondering if he had been recently stuck up working here. But instead I prepaid, pumped my gas and left as quickly as possible. I was not interested in sticking around and meeting the people who had beaten this poor man.

Off To The Airport

Now with a full tank of gas I was once again following the GPS back to the airport. I brought my car back to the rental company. Of course my bill was through the roof since I had to rent a car on the spot. Lesson learned, do not travel with a temporary license. I will make sure to allow time for my new license to come in the mail. I dragged my bags onto the shuttle and road back to the airport.

When I got to the correct terminal, I found a luggage cart and loaded it up with my large duffle bag I bought the night before, my carry on and back pack. I made my way to the desk for checked bags. I felt like such an amateur traveler. Most travel I had done in my life up to this point was in the form of road trips. Prior to this trip I had only ever been on two trips that required flights. One with my parents to Florida when I was 16. The other was a flight to Calgary with Travis and Wesley when I was 25 to take Wesley to a DAN! Doctor. The first trip I was along for the ride, and the second trip Travis and I were together. It also did not require us to go through customs and my aunt was on the other hand picking us up and bring us back to the airport. So I prayed this was going to be an easy process. Luckily it was. They weighted my bag and it came in at 29 lbs. I scoffed when they told me the weight and wondered how I ever thought I’d get that all in my carry on.

At this point I was starving. It was only 10:30 am, but seeing as this was my last few hours in the USA, I wanted something I couldn’t get back at home. I looked around the food court and decided to try Smashburger. I had seen a mom I follow on Instagram post about it and it always looks so yummy. It was on the pricey side, but super tasty. I really enjoyed that it was not greasy at all.

Afterwards I wandered and looked at the little gift shops in the airport. I was actually a bit surprised to find so many weird types of presidential nominee merchandise throughout my trip. Something I never saw in the Canadian elections. All I could image was a Justin Trudeau chia pet. “But he’s got nice hair” would have a whole new meaning.

A Few Minutes of Peace & Quiet

children of dreams, children of hope

As excited as I was to get home to my kids, I was not crazy enough to not take advantage of the quiet, child free few hours I had left. I regretted packing my binder full of notes from the course in my checked bag. I really wanted to start planning what I was going to do with Zakari. But in the end, it was for the best I didn’t have access to them. I think it was good to just take this time to relax. Looking through my bag, I picked up and started reading a book I purchased at the Institute’s bookshop. Children of Dreams, Children of Hope by Dr. Raymundo Veras.

Description was taken from the Gentle Revolution website

This is the story of Dr. Raymundo Veras, a brilliant Brazilian surgeon and his journey into the world of brain-Injured children. After Dr. Veras’s son, Zé Carlos was injured in a diving accident, Dr. Veras dedicated his life to fixing his son’s injury. That devotion led him to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, where he learned from Glenn Doman and the staff, how to fix brain-Injured children. From there he returned to Brazil and began treating many more children. His success with the children the world has called Mongoloid or Down Syndrome led to the first successful methods to treat their problems. This book is the story of Dr. Veras’s second life and the first chance for wellness for many of the world’s hurt children.

I nearly completed this book by the time I got back home to Winnipeg. Even though I do not have a child with Down’s Syndrome, I still found it very informative. No matter what type of brain injury a parent on the Institute program writes about I find them to be amazing to reads. I love learning about how the program worked for them, how they managed, and how the Institutes have changed over the years.

Homeward Bound Part 1

Finally it was time to board my first plane to Toronto. I texted Travis that I was boarding the plane and would let him know when I made it back. I sat back and enjoyed the flight with my book in my lap. Mid flight a flight attendant came around with custom forms to fill out. One of the questions on the form asked if I was carrying and business product samples. Of course I have two Beach Body Shakeology samples I had not drank in my bag. I sat their debating if I that’s what the form meant. Should I declare it? So I did to error on the side of caution. I did not want to cause trouble smuggling back to protein shakes.

Homeward Bound Part 2

Well of course after we landed in Toronto, I went to scan my passport and this form and got hauled into customs. Luckily for me the customs officer was real nice. He asked me if the samples were to try and solicit customers for a business. When I explained they were for personal consumption, he changed my answer to no and welcomed me back to Canada.

The first thing I did when I arrived in Toronto was hit up the Tim Hortons kiosk. Oh man, Dunkin Donuts does not hold a candle to our good old fashion Timmy’s. It was nice to have a piece of home shortly after landing back on Canadian soil. While I enjoyed my Timmy’s I made a few phone calls. I let Travis know that my flight was on time and when should expect to be back in Winnipeg. I called my mom to let her know I had landed safe. The idea of me traveling alone didn’t sit well for her. This is where we are completely different. For me this was an awesome adventure. For her the thought was just down right scary.

Next thing I knew I was boarding my last flight from Toronto to Winnipeg. I was so excited to get home to my kids. I would have to wait one more day to see Wesley as he was at is dad’s for the weekend, but I could see Zakari. This trip was the longest I had ever been away from either of my children. As rewarding and totally worth it as it was, I was glad I was going home.

Somehow I scored the West Jet Plus seat and I had lots of room on the flight to Winnipeg. The man next to me try to spark up a conversation with me, but honestly I was not in a chatty mood. How could I really explain why I was in Philadelphia. I was still processing everything I learned, I was not ready to be challenged if this person turned out to be a skeptic. Luckily I was able to be polite and come off as shy and he left me to my book.

Home Sweet Home

Finally I could see the lights over Winnipeg. We were landing. As soon as we made contact with the ground I called Travis to tell him to be ready to pick me up. He was in the area, and my friend had gone to our house to wait with Zakari. He tends to fall asleep in the car so close to bedtime and they knew I would want to see him.

I stood anxiously at the conveyor belt waiting for my huge duffle bag. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long because my bag was one of the first out. Because it was raining in Winnipeg my bag was soaking wet, but when I looked inside everything dry. I was quite impressed with my last minute Walmart purchase. I loaded my bags on a luggage cart and went out into the rain. Travis looped around the front of the airport and helped me get the bags in the van.

It was so nice to see him and hear about how he made out with the kids for the whole week. I think having mom gone and only him in charge really helped strengthen his relationship with the boys. He made sure the house was cleaner then I left it the week before. I came home to dinner and cuddles with my Zakari.

I made it! My first time traveling alone. A dream come true. Something I had wanted to do since Wesley was little. My only regret is that I didn’t make it happen way sooner.

Children of Dreams, Children of Hope…

What I have seen cannot be unseen…

Did you miss how the beginning of my trip to Philadelphia to take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course went? You can catch up and read about it in the following posts:

My first few days traveling alone for the first time. Day 1& 2 of My Trip To The IAHP

Ready to learn on our first day. What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Monday

Ready for another day of learning: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Tuesday

All About the Physical Program: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Wednesday

Reading and Health: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Thursday

Closing out our week: What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Friday

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Friday


Friday morning was the last day at the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. It seemed that everyone who wasn’t having their children assessed on Monday was ready to go home to their kids. We had learned so much, I just needed to get home and start working with Z. Honestly I thought I was ready after Thursday and could not think of what more they could really tell me. Of course now looking back, this was a silly thought, I’m sure they could have keep us for a month and still not completely shared all their wealth of information. However I think I was hitting information overload.

At the time I could see why they have 6 more Lecture Series for parents to attend instead of drowning parents in the first What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course(WTD). However a year later I attended Lecture Series II and I noticed a lot of information overlap between WTD and Lecture Series II. I believe the mentality is repetition is good to help us remember. I get why they do this. But at the same time, if I am flying all the way to Philadelphia and being away from my family, I really want complete new information.

Friday they broke it up into good bite size pieces so as not to overwhelm parents.

  • Five Treatment Principals- They explained each treatment principle and told us that each treatment procedure can be placed under one of these five principles
  • What are the odds?
  • When do we give up?
  • Psychological Problems in the World of Brain Injured Children
  • The Family as the Answer
  • How to Begin- This section was very helpful for me. It made me realize that I could do the program with my son and still run my home daycare. What I need to do is include my daycare kiddos in the process.

I left Friday feeling like I could really do this. I realized I needed to include our whole family in the program. Friday’s lecture made me see, where there is a will, there’s a way.

At the end of the day we were all presented our certificates which stated we completed the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. I felt so accomplished when I received this certificate. I know it’s just a piece of paper. However I had wanted to come down and take a course at he IAHP since my oldest was a toddler and I read “How to Teach Your Baby to Read.(Read about that HERE.) It felt amazing to have finally made it down there to do it. Truly a dream come true.

The one thing that was truly amazing were the Parent Summaries. The one or two people that left before sitting though this, I have to say you missed out. If your going to attend this course, do not plan on leaving till Saturday. You do not want to be rushed on Friday.

All of the staff we had worked with throughout the week sat at the front of the auditorium. Each person had a few minutes to share their story, what they had learned, and what they are taking home with them from the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. I know this might sound scary, but let me tell you it wasn’t. You feel like you know these people well after a very short period. No one is trying to keep up with the Joneses. So for me when it was my turn to share, there was no fear. I was excited to share what I learned and what my hopes were with everyone.

Wow! So many emotions went through me that evening while I sat there and listened to everyone’s story. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. Almost everyone came there with crushed souls. Some families had been given such depressing prognosis. Before they arrived that week they had no one telling them they could help their child. Just people preparing them for the worst. Telling them to give up.

But something had changed for them. Something changed for me too. Once you have seen this information, you cannot unsee it. It seems like the other parents had the same experience.

Afterwards we all gathered for a group picture. I had seen these posted on the IAHP facebook group many times. I was so glad to be able to be in one of them. This group of people became like family during the 5 days we spent together. We all had so much in common. Every single one of these parents were fighters. We spent 12 hours a day, learning, sharing meals together and sharing our experiences. Our kids ranged from mildly to severely brain injured. But no one was willing to accept that where there kids are now are where they will be forever.

I also got pictures with Betty from the book store(God knows I spent a lot of time there) and Harriet who is the registrar for the course(I had spent plenty of time on the phone with her over the years). I was also able to get a picture with Janet Doman, Glenn Doman’s daughter.

I don’t know what happened to most of them months and years after the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. I hope they have experienced the same success and witnessed the same degree of improvement in their child’s quality of life that I have seen in Little Z man.

Afterwards I packed up my belongings and said my goodbyes. A lot of people were staying behind to chat, but I had a lot to absorb. As I drove my car through those campus gates I felt like a new person. I felt like Batman with a tool belt full of new things to use to help my son.

This was my last evening in Philadelphia and I knew I had to pack, but I wasn’t ready just yet to head back to the house I was staying. I landed up going and doing some retail therapy. I checked out a store a YouTuber I regularly watch often vlogs about, Five Below.

When I arrived a friend of mine from back home called. Well I felt like I had so much to share with her, but I couldn’t organize my thoughts. I landed up letting her go because I had so much on my mind from the course I was unable to multitask. People were giving my dirty looks in the store because I was that annoying person that was on the phone not paying attention. When I got back to the car, I got a text from this friend. I guess I was so distracted I came off as upset with her. Holy, that was not my intentions at all and I felt bad. Luckily a few text back I was able to clear the air. I promised to call her when I got my thoughts together. 

I decided I needed to get one last Chickfila fix. But I really didn’t want to sit in my car and eat alone again like I did every night. I also don’t like to sit in a restaurant alone. After a quick google search I found Five Below was right by a Willow Grove Park mall with a Chick-fil-a. Don’t ask me why eating alone in a restaurant makes me uncomfortable, but a food court is just fine.

After I ate, I decided to explore the mall a bit. I found this really cool toys store called “Go Games & Toys”. I was able to find a few board games at a great price to bring him for the big kids. As I walked out of the store I started to wonder if I was going to be able to get everything I had bought into my carry on and backpack. I was pretty sure I would be able to, but I still a bit of doubt.

It was getting late, so I started to head back to the house and get my bags packed. When I got there the babysitter/nanny was watching the kiddos and the parents had gone out. I went upstairs and started packing. Wow, I was completely delusional. There was no way I was going to get all the books, toys and souvenirs I had bought into those bag. Not even close. I don’t know what I was thinking.

If you haven’t seen my IAHP Better Baby Bookstore Haul video and want to know which books I had picked up that the IAHP Baby Store, check out this video.

I looked up the closest Walmart, and they were closing in a little more than an hour and I was still 20 mins away. When I went downstairs to leave the nanny seemed very concerned I was going out so late at night. Maybe I was naive. Back home I go to Walmart at all hours of the night and don’t think twice. I assured her I would be fine. We chatted at the door for a bit. I just loved this woman, we talked about books and what life was like there. I wish I could have spent more time chatting with her but I was short on time.

On the way there I got turned around and landed up on a toll road. I had managed to avoid them all trip. Do you think I had any cash on me? Nope. I landed up having to use the rental car Ez Pass. So I had to pay for the toll and the rent the EZ Pass for each day I had the car. So needless to say, that was an expensive toll.

I made it to Walmart with 15 mins to spare. I hurried and looked around and could not find the luggage section. Luckily I found an associate and she was able to lead me to the spot. I grabbed a bag and hurried back to the house.

When I made it home I decided to wait till morning to clean out the car. I went up to my room and filled the duffle bag I bought full. I could have fit more in my carry on and backpack, but I figured why haul around two airports more than I have to since I was already checking a bag.

I showered, tidied up the room and got into bed. I phoned home and chatted with Travis for a bit before I went to sleep. I had so much on my mind I had a bit of trouble falling asleep, but soon enough I was out.

Last post about my trip to Philadelphia for the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course coming soon(I promise to have it out sooner then this post took).

Did you miss how the beginning of my trip to Philadelphia to take the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course went? You can catch up and read about it in the following posts:

Day 1& 2 of My Trip To The IAHP

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Monday

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Tuesday

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Wednesday

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course – Thursday

IAHP VS NACD – Autism Treatment Options

IAHP vs NACD Family Led autism treatment, which is better?

UPDATED Nov 2020: Since I wrote this post, IAHP split into two separate organizations. We are now working with Doman International.

Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE consultation.

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Debating between programs to help your child with autism? 

Family led autism treatment are a great option. But which program is better? Two that come to mind are Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential aka IAHP and the National Association for Child Development(NACD).

I should mention right now, that my family has been involved in both of these programs. We are still involved with one. This article may seem bias to some, however, it is strictly based on my personal experiences and feelings. Others may disagree, and they are entitled to their experiences and feelings.

I’ve known about The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for years. But I had it in my mind that Philadelphia was too far away. I could never put together enough money to make that happen. Right?

The National Association for Child Development

However, in 2014, I heard about a program run by Robert Doman Jr, Glenn Doman’s nephew. It was called the National Association for Child Development(NACD). A few things intrigued me about this program. They could conduct their assessments via Skype and I did not have to travel to start. Also if we did want to see them in person there was a chapter in Minneapolis about 7 hours south of Winnipeg.

I don’t want to say that they mislead me, but I was sold that this was a better, more modern version of what they do at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential(IAHP). I guess I believed this because of what a speaker at a homeschooling conference years ago had also told me about the IAHP when he had suggested that I skip the IAHP and go to yet another program called The Family Hope Center.

Over the years I had heard stories that the IAHP was like a military camp, everything was their way or the highway.

I was led to believe that if you could not commit 10-15 hours a day to run IAHP programs, you were not good enough for them. These other treatment centres are sold as if they understand families, and they can help you and your child in the amount of time your family has available.

I should also disclose that in the past I have been quick to drink the kool-aid when it comes to helping my boys. I can be easily swayed on and sold an idea if there is hope that it can help my boys. You could say I have curriculum coming out the wazzu because others have said it was amazing. Over the last year or so I have become more selective of what I jump into because I realize I might be wasting money that could be better spent on proper treatments.

Maybe This Is Not What I Signed Up For?

As we got more involved with the NACD, I started feeling like it was not what I signed up for. The monthly fee of $260 US dollars a month started to really hurt when the Canadian dollar took a dive. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I felt the money was well spent. However, I just didn’t understand what these programs were really doing to help my children.

I was also told we would have a coach available to answer all my questions and be in constant contact with us to help us stay on track. While my emails were answered when I emailed my coach, the constant contact we were promised was just a Monday thru Friday mass email. Nothing personal, no checking up on how things were going.  If I didn’t email them, the only contact I got was this mass email.

Enough Is Enough

I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back was when one Skype evaluation, our evaluator suggested we make some changes to Little Z Man’s diet. When the report came back with all the program changes, there was no mention of the diet. When I emailed to ask for more information I was told it was not actually part of the program. She suggested that we avoid processed foods and simple carbs, but besides that, if I wanted more guidance I would have to set up a consult with one of their doctors for the fee of $250 US dollars. This was on top of the $260 a month I was paying for their support, and the extra $250 4 times a year when we had reevaluations.

I felt with the money I was paying, and the fact that the gut is the second brain, this should have been a more important part of the program. Eventually due to the lack of understanding why I was doing the programs, and the constant need to spend even money on subscriptions to programs, apps, mp3 lectures, CD programs we discontinued treatment with the NACD. The minimal changes in the boys were not worth the kind of money I was spending.

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential – IAHP

Eventually, I started connecting more via Facebook and phone conversations with a mom who had attended the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential course for well children. She started getting on me about having to go and take the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course. I agreed with her, but I didn’t really believe I would.

Make It Happen, Captain

However, she became ruthless about it. She cleared up some misconceptions that I had about the IAHP, and kept telling me, “Monique, you just need to make this happen.” Make this happen? How does one just make something like this happen? Money doesn’t just materialize when you need it.

Okay, maybe money doesn’t just materialize. However, it is amazing that when you make up your mind to make something happen, you can make it happen. I decided I was going to Philadelphia and I put down my deposit and made the rest happen.

Boarding A Plane

On that early September morning on the way to the airport, I had butterflies in my stomach. This was really happening. I had been dreaming about stepping foot onto the campus of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for 9 years. Now after 5 months since deciding I was going, I had made it happen. It was surreal.

Nearly 10 months since taking the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child Course(WTD course), life as we know it has changed forever. The programs that I learned to implement are making a HUGE difference for Little Z Man. We have in a general sense, to treat his whole body, physically, intellectually, and physiologically.

The Why Is More Important Than The How

I realized that knowing WHY you are doing a program with your child is just as important as HOW to do the program. The staff at the Institutes made me realize that without knowing WHY you are doing something, I am less likely to be motivated to do it. This is why the NACD programs did not work for my family. The short 10-minute videos and 1-2 page write-ups about their programs did not answer the WHY for me.

Notes and charts from the IAHP course

The literature available to me all about the programs available from the IAHP helps guide me on my journey and helps refresh all that I learned at the WTD course. After completing the course you can always find on my nightstand or kitchen table my binder full of notes, What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child, How to Teach Your Baby to Read, How Smart Is Your Baby? and How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb(the newer version is called Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!)

Sometimes Books Don’t Do It Justice

 Honestly, when I was sitting in that course I realized a lot of the information was available in the books, however the course explained to me in more detail the WHYS and the HOWS in a way I could really get. Without the history of the program, the science behind how they figured out the brain works in children with brain injury, and the experiences of other families who were successful, the books did not have the same power as they do to me today.

These books are also not the type you read once and put away. I’m always coming back to them and rereading them and referencing them. Every time I read them something else jumps out at me. Something that we were not ready for the first time I read it and I forgot about jumps out at me and gives me new ideas.

No Secret Handshakes 

I kept hearing that the IAHP is a super secretive cult, and unless you are part of their Intensive program you can’t access their wealth of information to help your child. I have learned this couldn’t be further from the truth. The IAHP honestly wants to help as many families as physically possible. They are doing what they can to do that in a safe responsible way, such as:

  • Free webinars on Youtube
  • The What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child book. This is a must-read for families and the prerequisite to all of the other programs.
  • The Home Program Consultation- After you take the course you can do with with your advocate via Skype
  • The What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course
  • Public Facebook group available to all families of special needs children thinking of taking the WTD course
  • Private Facebook group for families who have already taken the WTD course. Several staff members frequent this group.

Except Maybe Masking…

There is one program that the IAHP seems very hush-hush about, that is the masking program. However, this is for good reason. The masking program is only prescribed to children that have had a complete medical evaluation. They must be found to be fit for this program. If done on a child that is not a candidate it could be very unhealthy for them. It has nothing to do with the IAHP wanted to keep their methods secret. It’s about protecting children from well-meaning parents without the proper information.

That course is enough for many families to change their children’s lives without ever having to go back to the Institutes. However for myself, to keep my momentum I need to continue to learn. I need more, but that is just a personal thing. I have seen so much change in Little Z Man. Even so I feel like I need the staff at the Institutes to do a thorough evaluation on him. They will help me come up with a more personalized program for Z. I’m the type of person that will take on too much and not get anything done. I feel that having the staff guide me will keep me on track.

Once Was Not Enough

Next month we are jumping on a plane and the staff will be getting their hands on Little Z Man. Through the power of answered prayer and determination, we have made another trip to Philadelphia possible.

Conclusion

In order for any program to work, not just therapies. It could be a diet, financial plans, etc, the WHY is as important, maybe more important than the HOW. I need someone with the heart of a teacher guiding me through the process. It is very discouraging when I’m promised a coach and a whole program to find out that parts of the program are not included. Let alone only come at yet another fee.

For me, the IAHP is the tried, the tested, and true path for my son. They have 60+ years of experience and data to back them up. Yes of course they do have their cases where they cannot help that particular child. After taking the course I can now see that the kids they cannot help are not forgotten about. Actually, the opposite is true. Those are the kids on the back of their minds day in and out. Pushing them forward to find new techniques and programs to solve that problem.

 

You can read a bit about our journey with NACD in there past post:

Prepping for the NACD

What My Two Year Old and I Read Today. Mini NACD Update.

NACD Early Learning at 32 Months Old

NACD With My Nine Year Old. Helping Your Child with Reading Comprehension.

You can also read a bit about our journey so far with the IAHP in these post

Little Z update. Starting IAHP

UPDATE BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE IAHP

Day 1&2 Of My Trip To The IAHP

Monday- IAHP What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

IAHP Nutritional Update

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Monday- IAHP What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child

If you missed my previous post about the Saturday and Sunday before the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course, you can find it HERE.

The First Day

Well then it was Monday morning. I was up before my alarm but figured I may as well get up because I was afraid that I fall back asleep and miss the beginning of class. Also if I left earlier I figured I would miss a lot of rush-hour traffic. It was also raining and I didn’t know how it would be to drive in less than ideal weather in a new city.

I was running way ahead of schedule, so I quickly stopped at a McDonald’s on the way. I figuring I could grab myself a BLT bagel and a smoothie. What I have to say that the McDonald’s in the US does not have nearly as good of a selection as in Canada. So I landed up just grabbing a smoothie and giving my mom a call. I knew she would be up even with the hour time change because they were going to my house to watch little Z for the morning as my mother-in-law had to work until noon. 

Pulling Up To The Campus

I arrived to the campus. It’s strange to think that first day everyone was so awkward. And by Friday we were all hugging each other and exchanging contact information. But anyhow it was Monday and no one knew anyone. I ran into the man who I had met at the wrong building the night before. His grandson had developed meningitis and from there developed complications which lead to brain injury. I wasn’t sure what to say when he was asking me what I have done with my boys to help them talk him. I mean I was no expert, there was a reason why I was taking the same class he was. Not to mention my boys have a completely different condition then his grandson. It was hard for me to not share my opinion, but I thought it was more important for him to take in what the experts had to tell him. I also know that a lot of what we did with the boys we may have done the hard way. So I was able to politely get myself out of those questions.

So Cold The Canadian From Winterpeg is Uncomfortable

I went into the auditorium and found my seat near the front. Now if you’ve heard anything about this course it’s that the auditorium is kept cold. You’re told to bring a sweater. I think this was the understatement of the century. If I had known the room was going to be as cold as it was, I would’ve brought my winter jacket. I later found out from my host who had taken the course for well babies, that the air conditioning unit they use is actually designed to cool a morgue.

What Each Jacket Means

We were first introduced to the staff. I found out that each staff member wore a certain colour jacket to signify which area they specialized in. There are the black jackets who focus on mobility and physical programs. Then there are the tan jackets who focus on intellectual programs. Whereas the staff wearing the green jackets specialize in physiological development. 

We spent the day learning:

  • What is brain injury?
  • What is the causes of brain injury?
  • Brain injury is in the brain and why the past has not worked. 
  • The range of brain injury.

What Are Monday’s So Hard??

Monday for me was the hardest day. I was adjusting to the cold temperature and to be honest I was probably a little sleep deprived from travelling still. But I think the main thing was there wasn’t really anything that connected just yet to my child. I mean yes it did make sense and it was extremely interesting however I did have trouble near the end of the day staying with it. I see how through the week where this stuff connected, and why we needed to know it.  But by Tuesday they had my full undivided attention. But Monday was a little hard but still very important.

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A Word From Glenn Doman

Another thing I found interesting, is even though Glenn Doman had passed away a few years ago, he is still very much present in the course. Some of his lectures were recorded. I felt that they had placed an empty chair in the middle of the stage when his videos were playing. Part of me felt like he was sitting right there telling us what we needed to know to help our kids. I know this might sound crazy but it was was how I felt. I don’t know if this was intentional by the stuff, but I couldn’t help but think that’s where he used to sit. So even though Glenn Doman and is gone, he still very much alive at the Institute.

My First Chick-fil-A Experience

We didn’t get out of the course till well after 9 pm. I hoped in my rental car and headed to the local Chick-fil-A. I made it there with less than 30 minutes before they closed. We do not have this chain in Canada, and it was located near the Institute campus, so that is where I ate most nights. It was the beginning of my true love for this restaurant.

No Cellphones, No Distractions Allowed

I had really hoped that I could have connected with other parents after class and gone out for dinner with them in the evenings. But there was no time for that. I needed to grab something quick, then drive home, get cracking on my homework, and of course call home to see how my family was doing. They recommend you turn your cellphone off during the day. Not just on silent, but completely off. My family had the number for the switchboard in case of an emergency. But my 100% attention needed to be on that campus. So if you’re attending this course, this is the most important thing, TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE.

Now before you start to worry about the homework. There is really know right or wrong. It just gives you the time to reflect on what you learned that day.

Even though my mind was spinning with information, that night, I had no issues falling asleep.

 

ABA Therapy and Herbal Remedies

 
Little Z loves his tutors and they are just so kind to him. I’m so happy with our awesome team. Everyone has come into our home with their A game on.

Yesterday one of the tutors knocked on my bedroom door. (I always hide in my room during the afternoon, daycare kids are napping downstairs and Z and his tutors have the run of the upper floor.) Little Z had taken one of each of their boots and was walking around with them. They thought it was so cute they had to share with me. I’m so happy he’s allowed to learn and just be a kid and have find at the same time. 

He’s mastered a few programs and now he has a maintenance program. Basically what this is is the tutor occasionally asks Z to do a program he’s already master periodically to insurance he maintained that skill. It’s awesome we are only 6 weeks in and he’s already running maintenance.

  This weekend our herbalist and I tweaked his herbal program. I found that his sleep cycles were all wonky, and his bowel movements were too frequent. So we cut his catnip fennel from 4mls a day to 2mls, and his turmeric from 4 capsules a day to 1. We kept his black walnut at 1 capsule a day.

Our herbalist Carrie also mentioned this Nature’s Sunshine blend/formula she brought in and was having success with 2 other children like Little Z. So we decided what the heck, let’s give it a go. I scraped up $45 and went and picked it up.

Well I’m glad I did! He’s so calm. Well I mean if you didn’t know him, you might think he was still hyper. But if you know where we are coming from then you would see a HUGE improvement.

I am so happy and grateful we are able to combine these two amazing therapies and create such earth shattering results. For the last year and a half I have been a basket case, having to be on my toes every waking minute. Now yes I’m still on my toes, but not much more than any mother of a rambunctious 3 year old. 

This morning I was able to hot iron my hair while he played with his bin of bath toys in the floor of the bathroom or sat in the stool chatting to me. I’m so happy and feel so relaxed now. To an parent to a easy going typical child, you might not understand. But if you saw me a few months ago and saw me now you would see a difference. I feel like I’m living again, not just surviving. 

Disclaimer: This is not a cookie cutter herbal plan. I am just blogging what we are using here for my records. I would strongly suggest before using a herbal plan with your child you speak with an herbalist. I’m not an herbalist and I am not in a position to offer any advice other then see an herbalist. If you do try what I’m doing with Little Z regarding herbs I am not responsible for any outcomes.

Book Review: He’s Not Autistic, But… by Tenna Merchent

Hes not autisticHe’s Not Autistic But…: How We Pulled Our Son From the Mouth of the Abyss

I love reading autobiographies mom’s have written about raising a child with autism, and succeeding. Even though these books are not designed as a step by step guide, a lot of these books have forced me to step back and consider new options.

Tenna’s son Clay was a very sick little boy. But that actually was not that surprising, seeing as she herself was also very ill. One thing I find fascinating that you see in this book, a mother herself can be very sick, however its not until her child falls ill that she is going to stop at nothing to help her child.

I can relate a lot with Tenna’s story. The heartbreak when the doctors you have trusted cannot help your child. If you were like me, you were raise believing doctors have all the answers when it comes to your health. Get your shots and don’t ask any questions. Take your pills, the doctors know best.

What happens when there are no answers, or when your doctor doesn’t think there is a problem? But you know in your heart there is.

Clay was not developing as he should have been, and while his doctor said he is not autistic, he was considered high risk to be autism. Hence the title of their book “He’s Not Autistic, But…”.

Between dealing with headbanging, allergies, yeast, chronic illness, and aluminum poor Clay was dealing with a lot.

One thing I really liked about this book is the chapter on Tenna’s infertility and difficulties during pregnancy(preeclampsia). While I did not suffer from infertility, I did suffer from preeclampsia. This puts a new perspective on the situation. As important for us to figure out how to help our kids with Autism, its equally important to figure out whats going on with our babies prenatally and try and prevent autism before birth. Interestingly enough there are now some studies suggesting that moms of children with autism were more than 2 times likely to have has suffered from preeclampsia. (Read Here)

The author, take the reader through step by step of what she did. What therapies she tried, her theories and what worked and what did not work for Clay. I think as a reader this insight is just pure gold. I know that it opened my eyes to different possibilities and because of her suggestions I explored other avenues with my boys. Its also worth noting, if you do read this book and read about one of the therapies that may not have yield the best results for Clay, but you feel strongly about it, still look into it. Some therapies work for one child and not another.

Prepping for the NACD

NACD Logo-Letters OnlyWell things are about to start getting interesting around here. This week the boys are having their evaluation with the NACD- National Association For Child Development via Skype.

The NACD is run by Glenn Doman’s nephew Bob Doman. They combine over 3000 methods of therapy to create the perfect program for your child.

I have looked at 2 other programs:

The Family Hope Center and The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential(IAHP). Both of them seemed awesome.

However the IAHP seemed a little to strict. I am not able to quit my job and do programs 10 hours a day. Also I am using some alternative treatments that are working well for my boys like NAET(Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique)

The Family Hope Centre seems very good too. I have watched some of there video seminars and have been very impressed. The one thing stopping me is the travel cost. The cost of paying for passports to fly into the states, plane tickets for 2 adults and 2 kids, accommodations, dining out while there, and missing nearly a week of work is just not possible for us right now.

I have been saving to do either the Family Hope Centre or the IAHP, but could never pull the trigger. Then I discovered the NACD. All assessment can be done over Skype, and if we want to go down the Minneapolis for an in person evaluation, we can hope in the motor home and be there in 10 hours. We could easily book a Friday appt, book Friday off of work and make it there and be back before work on Monday.

So this is a new adventure for my family. I’m so excited, as it seems so promising.

Stay tuned for more updates!!

Does NAET help ADHD? Autism?

So last month I wrote about how Wes was doing with NAET. You can read about it HERE, but basically to summarize, it has worked WONDERS for him, when it comes to foods that were once an allergic trigger to him. Foods like gluten and dairy. We were also able to reset his body when it came to damages caused by heavy metals from the vaccines he had as a young baby. 

 How NAET Has Helped My Oldest Son

He is more focused at school. Able to participate in treat days at school and birthday parties without having to bring a gluten free/dairy free alternative. He is now able to participate in activities at the Y without a one on one adult support. He is not really utilizing his level 2 support worker at school either. Also if things keep going this way, next year he wouldn’t even need one. 
 

Can NAET Help Hyper, Young Children With Autism?

The biggest difference I have noticed with NAET is in my 2 year old. He didn’t have food allergies that we were aware of. However he was diagnosed with Autism and we were also told he most likely has ADHD, but will not get the ADHD label till just before he starts school.
 
Three and a half months into NAET he is a different child. I finally feel like I’m caring for a typical 2 year old. Not the Tasmanian devil in a 2 year old’s body. 
 

When Did We Start To See A Change?

We really started noticing a difference about 2 months in. Once the changes started happening, it was like a snowball effect. And literally we would have a treatment done and the next day he would start doing something new. Or stop doing something old. 
 
We went from a child that was only safe in a playpen, to us packing up and putting the playpen away.
 
A child who would not make eye contact, to a child who is making eye contact way more.
 
To a child who didn’t care whether someone other then mom was around. To starting to show interest in extended family members. 
 
From a child who just runs back and forth all day, to a child who will sit down and play with toys or watch a show. 
 
I feel like I’m getting my little boy back. And I know this would not have happened without NAET.

How Can You Learn More About NAET For Kids With Autism?

If your interested in reading more about this, check out the book,Say Good-Bye to Allergy-Related Autism NAET

Welcome to the World of a Autism Diagnosis.


welcome to the world of autism

An autism diagnosis was not a planned part of my motherhood story.

Since before my son was born I wanted to teach him. I know how smart little children are and how much they can learn if parents just take the time. However things didn’t go so smoothly for us.

No matter how hard I tried, it seemed like I could not teach him. He was a late crawler, a late walker, a very late talker(were still working on this) and he was hard to control. I couldn’t reason with him, not even a little. Times he just plain ignored me.

However he was very smart, there was no doubt. He needed to know how everything worked. Thing is it was on his terms, he just would not allow me to teach him.

He did OK in the infant program at his daycare. He bonded with his caregiver. But when he was moved to the toddler room he did not adjust so well.

Every morning, involved him crying in the parking lot before we even got out of the car. The staff was little help in the new room. In order to leave I had  to peel my son off myself and leave him there crying. The caregivers had just accepted this was how Wes was, and did little to comfort him.

Because of his allergies he could not sit at the group table instead he ate his lunch alone in a corner in a highchair. As a young single mom, who had never attended daycare myself, I had no idea this was not how it was supposed to be.

At the time we were trying to get him into speech therapy and had to go through the Children’s Development Clinic. There were countless forms to fill out. A packet was given to the daycare to complete. When I got that completed form I sat in the daycare parking lot that night and cried.

The comments and statements that the caregivers wrote crushed my very soul.

It read comments like “Wesley spends most of his time sitting in a corner with a toy staring into space. If another child takes the toy from him he does not get upset just begins wandering around the room” or “Wesley shows no interest in spending time with his caregiver, when shown books he refuses to sit”

They also talked about how he was unable to do puzzles. This was odd to me because he did puzzles at home all the time. How he seemed sad all the time, Wesley had always been a happy kid, until he started the toddler program.

After I read this report I was done. One month in this room was long enough.

Why would they allow him to sit alone and not engage him, even if he doesn’t respond right away, try again! These are suppose to be train Early Childhood Educator. Just because he didn’t fit their perfect cookie cutter child ideals he was being left in the dust. I could see he was being ignored because all the other children could talk and Wesley was never one to demand attention. So he was left to rot.

I called around and put him on a few waiting list for other daycare centres. I expected it to take months as good childcare is difficult to find in Winnipeg. However only a week or two later I got a call at work from a daycare in our local deaf center. They had a spot available for Wesley to start the next Monday.

I went into panic mode! I needed to give the other center 2 weeks notice or I would have to pay for that spot and this new one. As a single mom on a tight budget I couldn’t make that happen and still pay the rent. Not on such short notice. Plus I wanted to visit the centre, talk to the workers and make sure this was actually better for Wesley. Because they required a yes or no answer I had to turn them down. My heart just sunk as I sat back down in the chair in the lunchroom at work and fought back tears.

But God must have been watching down on me, a few minutes later they called back. They decided that because Wesley(being non verbal at the time) could benefit more than the other children on their wait list they would hold the spot for the two week period as long as I agreed to come down the next morning check out the center and give a firm answer. My heart just sung with joy! A daycare actually wanted my son because he was nonverbal, and they were willing to work with me.

The centre was everything I dreamed, it was slightly Montessori. Children who were not potty trained were cloth diapered, and they used a emerging curriculum. Children learned using things they were interested in. Plus they signed, and not baby sign, real ASL. What more could a mother ask for a great environment and the chance to learn a second language. I had been trying to teach my son ASL and it was starting to come along.

Wesley still cried when I left, but he was included into the group activities. They included him at lunch. They exposed him to more and more signs. He was understanding the deaf caregivers.

The children included him, they just assumed he was deaf and that’s why he didn’t talk. The caregivers helped them understand he wasn’t deaf, he just needed help getting his words out. When he would say something all the children would cheer ‘Wesley talked!! Wesley Talked to ME!!” They were and still are so supportive of him. Plus the daycare director put in a few words at the Children’s Development Clinic and helped get him bumped up the list.

An Autism Diagnosis –  The Other A-Word

What I found out on that cold January day in 2008 almost paralyzed me. Dr. Bowman looked at me in the eyes and said, “Your son has many strengths, however I do see a lot of autistic tendencies.” I tried to reason with her, ” Wesley is not autistic! He makes eye contact, he loves being with me, he smiles! He bonds with people, autistic kids don’t do that.” “Ms.Dupuis, the autism spectrum is very wide. I will run a few more test, but I already have a good idea what they are going to agree with the autism diagnosis.”

I went on to ask about what Jenny McCarthy was doing with her son Evan. A few months ago I had just read the book, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism. I had seen Jenny promote it on Oprah and for some reason needed to read it. She shot it down saying it was not scientifically based. I asked if he would recover, they refused to give me real hope.

The autism diagnosis is really is wild card. No one knows what I child’s outcome will be.

We did the additional testing. I don’t know if it was more frustrating or comical. Every time the person conducting the test would turn around, he would do something she would have benefitted from seeing him do.

The results came in and of course as we expected, he was on the spectrum. We could choose between two provincially funded programs we could choice from.  We could do either ABA(What is ABA?) or Floortime. However we were lead to believe that ABA was ONLY for families with a stay at home parents. We more or less mislead into the Floortime program.

Honestly for us Floor Time was a waste of time. It was producing NO results. Every time we would finish up the session they would tell me I was doing great. I would ask what more I could do and all they would say is:

=”Keep doing what you are doing.” or

-“I wish we could record you for other parents to watch and learn.”

Well I don’t know about you, but to me what they were asking me to do was insanity. They were asking me to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. This was frustrating to say the least.

Around this time I had started seeing dating a new guy. One day he called me at work after reading an article about a family who moved across the country to participate in the local ABA program. I told him I knew all about it, but it was for families with a stay at home parent. That’s when he stopped me and said

“Monique, these parents were both busy doctors.”

WHAT?!?!? So I got right off the phone with him and called St.Amant. They assured us they could work with Wes right in his daycare and I’d only have to miss work once every two weeks. We got the ball rolling and wow. Just WOW.

I’m not going to lie, we hit some bumps. One being our first tutor who was good at first, stopped took a turn for the worse. She fell asleep on a public bus during a field trip with Wesley’s daycare while she was suppose to be supervising him.

Then the next day feel asleep at a public park while she was in charge. When I found out about this I demanded she never come near my son again as she was neglecting him and putting his life in danger. I don’t think I have to go into detail about what could have happened to him

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Now Wesley has a wonderful tutor who teaches him so much! She’s really an angel to us.

When Wesley was 5 months old I became a single mom. Things just did not work out between me and his dad. When Wes was a week shy of turning 3 I met my current boyfriend. Who in his own unorthodox ways teaches Wesley so much. As soon as I learned to step back and he was able to be more involved, he helped teach Wesley boundaries and respect. He helps me every day, I don’t know what I would do without him.

Now Wesley where is he today. WOW he is doing AMAZING. He can sign 100s of words, but is depending mostly on his speech. He’s still uses short sentences, but is improving everyday.

He can spell his name, count to 25, read 50 words(just started learning a few weeks ago and is just soaking this stuff up), knows his alphabet and what sound each letter makes. He plays with his peers, loves trains, cars, puzzles and Franklin.

I have ABA to thank, and also a modified Doman Technique, Your Baby Can Read and The Letter Factory.

I hope to come here and update regularly about Wesley progress and any new programs were trying.