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So, I have to admit that Halloween was a little less exciting for me this year. Usually, it’s my favourite holiday of the year. I love all things, scary, creepy and eerie. But this year I guess I was preoccupied with Z’s diet.
Right now we have started following some recommendations from the IAHP: What To Do About About Your Brain Injured Child course. So far we have limited or eliminated gluten, yeast and processed foods from Little Z’s diet. We are currently under the care of a naturopathic doctor and supplementing his diet with vitamins and other minerals.
Part of me wanted to let him have a cheat day. But I know that is a slippery slope. What will be the next even that we can cheat on his diet? Then we all know, we will take it less and less seriously and next thing you know we are back to our old eating habits.
Going back to our old ways is the last thing I want to do. We have noticed so many changes in Little Z for the good. Who in their right mind would want to undo all that good.
In the past when Wes was gluten and dairy free, I wasn’t as concerned about sugar and preservatives as I should have been. So I was always able to find things in his bag that were “safe” for him to eat. So on actually Halloween day I shared this video with the people on my IAHP parents Facebook group.
I just felt heartbroken that my 4 year old would not be able to participate in what I feel is a right of passage for kids. I received a few comments and some private messages. The one that really helped me was from someone who was on the Institutes program. She told me that she never felt deprived at Halloween. She went out with all her friends and when she came home, her mom would buy her candy off her. She would then get something she really wanted. Hearing that she still enjoyed Halloween and never felt deprived, helped calm my nerves.
In the end we decided to send Wesley to go start trick-or-treating with his friend(who’s mom happens to be my best friend) and we took Z down the block. I held his candy bucket so he wouldn’t get too distracted by the candy and junk. Afterwards when we got home we traded him his bucket for some homemade “snails” aka gluten free, low sugar, no preservative or yeast mini cinnamon buns. He was completely happy with his treat.
After I got Z off to bed, I went out an met up with Wes. I took over and took the two big boys trick-or-treating so my friend could go home and get her two little ones to bed. They boys had a great time, despite the rain. Well I had a easier time because I just followed the boys in the car. Joys of parenting, you can sometimes take the easy way.
SWe came home and sorted through all of Wesley’s treats. I let him take a couple pieces and I locked up all the rest in a suitcase. Yes there is enough to fill a suitcase!! I think this weekend I’m going to have him pick out a little bowl and we are just going to get rid of the rest. No one needs that many candies.
So overall Halloween was a great success! I think next year I’ll be able to go back to Halloween being my favourite holiday. I’m going to be able to go in with a game plan. We will talk about what I will trade them for their candy, and then we will plan where we are going to donate the candy to. I may also take a completely different approach and plan an activity like a movie or a trip to the indoor playground instead. But I have a whole year to decide.
I know! I know! I still haven’t finished writing about my trip to Philadelphia. Like I said there is so much for me to process. That being said I’m almost done writing about Wednesday!
However I’m going to jump the gun here and update everyone on our Nutritional changes. Tonight we are going to the naturopathic doctor to review doses and other options. So I really want to share what we started doing on our own, so I can come back and compare the differences.
Right now Little Z is taking:
A few weeks before I went to the IAHP, started Z on Goji Berry Juice. I had read in the book Naturally Better that this was very helpful for children with Brain Injuries.
We also started him on probiotics. Of course nearly all holistic methods of treating autism include probiotics. I say most because our herbalist did not want the boys on them. However I decided that we are going to try them. I had also read they are also recommended by the IAHP.
Then there was fish oils. I had read about other families on the IAHP program using fish oils with their children, so we added in Nordic Natural Children’s DHA oil. I picked this brand because it was recommended by our naturopath years ago, plus it is easily available. That being said, I don’t believe it is strong enough and our naturopath confirmed that via email last week. Through my research I discovered the boys need about 1000mg of DHA. In for chewable “bubbles” as they call them, contains only 220ishmg. In order to get them to the 1000mg mark they would need to 17 “bubbles” each. Yikes!! I have no doubt we can find another brand for Wes, as he’s able to swallow pills and such, but Z needs something that taste good and is chewable. He won’t take liquids, especially if they are oily.
After coming home we added in Vitamin C. Right now because I’m unsure of the doses we are only giving him a 500mg chewable tablet. I’m hoping to have this reviewed at adjusted tonight.
We noticed a major difference in Z. He’s calmed down, was able to force on what he was doing, and does not seem to struggle to sit still when he wants too. We are also seeing a huge difference in his ABA programming. He is flying through programs at such an accelerated speed! This is amazing because we only have one year left a ABA and I want him to get the best of both ABA and the IAHP program.
I mean we all know packaged foods are bad for us. But sometimes the western culture is hard to break away from. But now seeing the HUGE difference, I’m happy we tried this route. I can’t wait to learn more tonight with our naturopathic doctor!
Check out my latest video on our nutritional update!!
The other day when I wrote about my first day of the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child course, I forgot to include a few things that were said that I think are worth repeating.
There is no correlation between brain injury and intelligence.
There is a staggering correlation between brain injury and the ability to express intelligence.
This hit home for me. I realized that the IQ test that was given to Z what is a demonstrating his disability it’s not his ability. This is important for me to hear. I was quite upset about a report I received from a psychologist Z had seen a while back. The results were depressing and I couldn’t help but wonder if these results were for the same child I brought into that room.
A brain injured child’s worst enemies are time and gravity.
While my kids don’t have issues with mobility, so gravity really has no effect on them. Time, now that’s another topic. The longer it takes us to find something that helps, the further and further behind they get. Problem is their peers keep developing, they keep moving forward. So if my boys are not moving forward, and their friends are, they keep getting left behind at a faster rate.
I woke up way before my alarm on Tuesday morning. And I was a bit stir crazy I couldn’t stay in my room. So I left and decided to go and get breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts. I was really missing my Tim Hortons. Sadly Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t fill that void.
But I was still really early so I decided to go check out the local Walmart. I was so glad that I went for that early shopping spree because I found several items for Zs Leap pad for next to nothing. Like these LeapFrog Imagicards. Back home they cost $25+ dollars, I score them for $5 each!! I felt like the lady in the old IKEA commercial that comes running out of the store screaming “Start the car!!”
Afterwards I heading to the the IAHP campus snacking on my muffin. I walked into the auditorium and went to the front look for my seat. I was lucky enough to get another good seat near the front.
While waiting for the bell, I wandered back into the bookstore like I do every time I have a few spare minutes. Adding a bit to my order, removing other things. I suggest that even though the bookstore is quite small, you spend a bit of time there each day. After the lectures something might catch your eyes that you looked over before hearing the lecture.
We spent the day learning about:
- Physiology vs pathology
- Function Determines Structure
- Watched a video about “Coma to Total Awareness”
- The Developmental Profile
- How to Evaluate Your Child
- What is a Functional Diagnosis?
The class about the developmental profile and how to evaluate your child was very helpful to me. I have read every book published by Glenn Doman and I never really understood fully how to evaluate my children on the profile. After the staff spend the 3- 50 minute periods going over every detail on the profile, it made complete sense to me.
Then we were able to spend a period creating a development profile for our children, with the staff walking around available to answer any questions and guide us if we were unsure what level to place our child in.
Even though parents are really only suppose to work with one child on the intensive program, I was able to request a second set of forms and make a profile for Wes as well.
After we figured out where on the profile our children were, we were able to use a formula to calculate our children’s neurological age, then using that with their chronological age figure out their rate of growth. After we had that number we could use them as well as more information from the profile to determine our children’s functional diagnosis. Now we are able to tell the degree of injury(from mild to profound), extent of injury(focal or diffused) laterality(unilateral or bilateral). as well as which level of the brain is affected(Cortex, midbrain, Pons, or the Medulla and cord).
So now instead of saying my child has autism, (which is a label, not a diagnosis) I can say, my son has a Moderate, relatively diffused, bilateral, midbrain injury.
After this cram packed day of classes, I walked away with a new understanding of my boys. Also I had a better idea what areas we were going for focus on.
They also talked about something called the Catch-Up Phenomenon. This is when once you’re on the right path, your child will physically start to grow and develop at a MUCH after rate to catch up for lost time.
I realized that our NAET therapy was something that works will for Z as he grew like a weed after. When we started NAET he had been in 18 month clothes for nearly 18 months. After a month or two he skipped 24 month and went nearly to 2T. I knew this was a good sign, but now understanding the Catch-Up Phenomenon, it makes even more sense.
The same thing happened when we started doing his IAHP programs and adding Goji berry juice and probiotics before attending the course. When I came home 8 days later his shoes would not fit, and his toes were literally hanging off the edge of his sandals. Few days later he woke up and he looked like he was going to a flood. So I feel we are on the right track. His body seems to be telling me so anyhow.
So while the first day was hard for me to stay focus and adapt to the course, Tuesday they had my full undivided attention. For the first time since Wes was diagnosed in Jan 2008 at 2.5 years old I understand what is wrong with my children. Where they are hurt. After today I had a good idea how to help them. But in the next few days, I will realized that I would be given so many more tools to help.
We got out of class just after 8:30pm. We were reminded to wear comfortable clothes and shoes because the next day would be black jacket day.
I got in my rental car and headed to Walmart, I had noticed during that day that I had bought two of the same sets of Leapfrog cards and wanted to go return one of them. Since it wasn’t too late, I stopped there quickly before I drove over to Chick-fil-a for dinner. I sat in the parking lot next to a police cruiser and ate my dinner while I chatted with everyone back home. Then it was time for the 25 minutes drive back to the house to get my homework done, shower and off to bed. Once again I slept like a baby.
If you missed my previous post about the Saturday and Sunday before the course, you can find it HERE.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We didn’t get out of the course till well after 9pm. 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.
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.
I can’t believe I haven’t written yet about my trip to Philadelphia. To say it was life-changing would be a major understatement. I guess it’s taken me so long to write because all of the wealth of information was so overwhelming to process. I don’t mean overwhelming in a way that is bad just like I said so much to process. Honestly I tried to write sooner, but couldn’t organize my thoughts. So finally last night I sat with my phone and dictated the post, it was actually easier to talk about it then to try and write it.
My trip started with a little glitch on Friday night. I logged into my computer to check in to the plane like you can do 24 hours before your flight. For some reason it wouldn’t let me login. I spent over an hour on hold waiting for answers from Expedia. Then I was told it was all fixed, wait 10 minutes and I would be able to check in. Well of course it wasn’t all fixed, I waited the 10 minutes and try to check in and sure enough I wasn’t able to. I called back and the next personnel I spoke to told me that I would have to arrive to the airport three hours instead of two hours early to fix any problems they were having. Why this person could tell me in 20 short minutes when the other person I spoke to took over an hour to give me the wrong information. We had been invited to my friends for supper to make my last night home easier. I landed up sending Hubby and Z there without me because this was taking so long, and I joined them when I was done.
That night I couldn’t sleep I was so excited I landed up spending most of the night on the phone with my friend in the US. I think I may have gotten three hours sleep that night but I might just be being generous.
The next morning I arrive three hours early for my flight just as recommended by Expedia. Of course the problem was fixed within five minutes and I probably could’ve slept an extra hour. Regardless I went through security. I went through my bags and put all my liquids in the ziplock bags provided and stood in line. Once I was through I grabbed a smoothie and sat down at my terminal gate and waited. I chatted with my mom and with hubby on my phone. Then it was time to board.
Everything was good even though I was quite nervous for my flight. But once we got in the air I felt a lot better. I was quite lucky that the flight was not sold out and there was a seat between me and the next person. I dozed off after takeoff only to be awoken by a child crying. I almost jumped out of my skin. I was still in mom mode and couldn’t believe I would ever allow myself to fall asleep in a public place when I had Z with me. Then I came to reality, not my kid. The only person I was responsible for on this trip was me.
We went from Winnipeg to Montreal. When we arrived in Montreal, off I went to find my next gate. I had a 2 hour and 20 minute or so layover but I didn’t want to get caught up in customs, so I went straight to security. That landed up being a breeze. I chatted to the guard about Shakeology and then made my way through. Thing was I was a bit disappointed with the food selection. I really wanted to grab lunch yet there was nothing that caught my interest. So I settled for a chocolate chip muffin. I went and sat down and called my mom up to chat as I unwrapped my muffin. The dare thing was stale. I tried to eat it but it was too far gone. So once again I wandered around looking for something else. I landed up settling for a over priced small can of Pringles.
Then it was time to travel from Montreal to Philadelphia. I handed the flight attendant my ticket and she let me start boarding the plane. As I was walking through the tunnel towards the plane entrance a man asked me to leave my carry on bag in this cargo elevator thing. I told him as I clenched on to my bag that this was my carry on. The people behind me just passed him their bags. “Don’t worry, when you get off the plane it will be waiting at the exit for you. This plane is small and there is no room in the overhead compartments for a full size carry on bag.” Small plane?? How small is this plane? I thought as I boarded the American Eagle. I looked around at the older style, very small plane and thought… “I’m going to die…”
I found my seat near the back of the flight. Ok this is good. They say the people in the back of a plane have a better chance of surviving a crash… Right? I pulled out my book from my backpack, stuck the bag in the tiny overhead compartment and sat in my seat. Maybe this flight wouldn’t be full and I’d land up sitting by myself. I hadn’t even finished this thought when the a younger guy came and sat down next time me as he put his earphones in. I slept for the first part of the flight, still tired from being up all night. I woke up just before the flight attendant came with the drinks and tiny pretzels. I was worried I had been snoring or drooling or something embarrassing while the person sitting next to me stated in disgust. Luckily when I looked over he was fast a sleep and slept the whole flight.
The only other problem I had was once I landed in Philadelphia. My license was in two parts because it was my renewal year and I required a new photograph just before I left for my trip. But because my license was into pieces Alamo refused to rent me the car I had already paid for. I started to freak out. I’m standing in the fifth largest city in the United States without transportation. Someone there told me that another car place Avis would rent me a car with a two-piece license. Of course it cost me more than double what I paid for this original car however I was just glad to have a car.
By this point I was tired and hungry and ready to head to my host home. Instead of renting a hotel room, I was lucky enough to be accepted as a guest in a program called “Hosts for Hospitals”. I had planned on stopping to eat on the way there however driving is definitely more different in Philadelphia than it is in Winnipeg. I found the house and it just so happens the couple was leaving for their anniversary dinner. So I was able to meet them before they left. I cannot express enough what a lovely family this was. And the house that I stayed in was beautiful. I had asked them where I could grab some food locally. Jenn recommend I’ll look on this particular website that has a bunch of restaurants that are available to order from and they would deliver directly to the house. Well this was definitely the more expensive option. But I was tired, it was dark and the streets were all winding and curvy. I just felt like I should probably just kind of rest and get started the next morning and learn the area.
So I ordered my food and while I waited I chatted with the babysitter Denise. She was such a nice, kind woman. It was amazing to hear about her, her children and her grandchildren. I felt like I had a lot in common with her as her grandson also has autism. When my food arrived I was very pleased, it was so fresh and my burger and fries were not greasy at all. So even though it cost me an arm and a leg it was not a disappointment.
The next morning I got up early and headed over to get some food essentials. I was so excited when I heard they had Wholefoods stores out there. I walked into that store and it was better then I could have imagined. I wish when Wes was gluten and dairy free we would have had these options. Yes it was a bit pricey compared to the average grocery store, but I felt it was worth it for what you got. Now at home in longing for the variety that why had at Wholefoods. I know our time utilizing the farmers market is coming to an end for the session as it gets colder.
Afterward I killed some time at Target while I waited for my friend and her son to come in from Maryland. I was able to find some great things for the kids. Then I drove down the street and met them at Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s crazy I’ve “known” Summer for 10-11 years and this is the first time I’ve ever met her in person. We met years ago when we were young moms on an online website called ‘Opendiary’. I’ve watched her oldest son grow up on that site and now Facebook. It was awesome to meet them and hangout. I am kicking myself for not getting a picture with them.
Then it was time for me to drive to the IAHP for registration. I pulled up to entrance of the campus. I wasn’t sure where to go. I pulled up to a circular driveway, as I did another car pulled up and dropped off a man. I went to the building and no one was there. So I hopped back into my car and offered the other man who was there for the course a ride to the next building. I jokingly said “If you are not planning on jumping me or anything you can catch a ride with me.” He started trying to show me his passport to prove he was who he said he was. I told him that wasn’t necessary, I was just joking.
We pulled up to the next building and when we walking in we heard talking on the second floor. We went upstairs and that is where we got to meet Harriet the registrar. We received our binder, that included the schedule for the week, a letter outlining the rules of the auditorium, statement of goals and objectives, as well as the booklets that explains all the programs available through the IAHP regarding brain injured children. We were show the auditorium and they explained the bell system and when we should arrive the next day for class.
It was amazing to be there, on that campus. It was somewheres I wanted to go for years. I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice, but there was no turning back. I was so excited to come back the next day.
I went to my car and google mapped the closest Target. I picked up post its and highlighters and a few snacks to keep in the car. I did some more shopping, mostly to kill some time, checked out a few Walmarts and a Kmart, then I went back to the house.
I got myself ready for the next day, showered, read every paper that was given to me at registration, called home to check on everyone… But after I just lied there with my eyes open. I needed to sleep, I had just read that we were looking at 11-12hour days. My anxiety was through the roof. Finally I made sure my alarm was set, and a back up alarm was set and then I took half a clorazapram. After watching a bit of YouTube I drifted off to sleep.
This trip will have to be written in separate entries. This week was so packed, it’s impossible for me to write about it in one post. Well I guess it’s possible, but it would be desperately long.
While I spend the next week or so preparing for my adventure to the IAHP, I decided to reread the book Naturally Better, by Kristen Morrison. I went through my past post looking for a blog post about this book. Surely I must have written a book review. Apparently I never did!! I made mention of the book in an entry on NAET, but never elaborated much on it past that.
After reading it a second time, and enjoying it even more than the first time (and I loved it the first time), I decided I needed to share more about it with my readers.
If you clicked the link above you might be wondering why on earth I’m writing a book review about a book on Down Syndrome on a blog mostly about autism. Well I’ve learned that while Down Syndrome is a genetic condition, children with Downs or Trisomy 21, also suffer from mid brain injury, just like kiddos with autism. Many of the programs and therapies that Kristen used with her son described in this book can benefit children with autism.
How Did This Book Changed My Gameplan
1.NAET Therapy(Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique)
Two years ago, when I read this book I was introduced to the world of NAET aka Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique. This was game changing for my oldest son Wes. He had a dairy allergy since he was 15 months and we had him off gluten since he was two and a half years old as we found it was a major cause of his digestion and behaviour issues. After going for a weekly appointment for 2 months, he as cleared of those allergies.
NAET has also been used to used to help heal areas of the body which are affected by chemical, emotional, environmental and food allergies. Kristen tirelessly researched what areas children with Trisomy 21 have issues, and she used NAET to help prevent her son Gryffin from dealing with these issues.
After reading this, I knew I needed to explore this for Wesley. But I also needed to research how this therapy could help with autism. Then I stumbled across the study that had already been done on children with Autism. You can read the actual study HERE. They even have a specific kit designed for children with autism.
Sadly this year I have not been able to take them as often due to financial issues. Which is sooooo frustrating as we do have insurance coverage, but I need to be able to put the money down first and wait for reimbursement, but our therapist does not accept credit card. So that money would be tied up for a few weeks while the claim was processed. But after speaking to her we have been able to work out a payment arrangement. So this past Thursday they went back for their first visit in months. Our goal is to go through the rest of the autism kit, by the end of the year.
2.Legitimizing The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP)
I had heard about the IAHP many years before reading this book. I also did a reading program with both my boys inspired but the IAHP. However, I never really could see, if I read all the books, why would I need to go to the course?
After reading this book, I made me realize that my boys could really benefit if I went and attended this course. I also had a good friend who took the course for well babies, insists I make attending the course happen. So now I leave this coming Saturday.
3.Suggesting Probiotics and Goji Berries
While reading through this time around, I learned the benefits of Goji berries. I went online and found a local store that sells a good quality Goji berry juice, and the next morning I went and picked it up. I was so lucky that they happened to be on sale, buy one get one half off.
While reading about Gryffin take probiotics, I started thinking, why are the boys not on probiotics? Wes had been on probiotics when he was younger. I also had Z on probiotics as a baby to deal with colic. So while I was at Sobey’s last week, I was wandering through the new health food section. I noticed they had a cooler full of different probiotics. I found a brand that I recognized and trusted so I grabbed them.
These simple additions were added to Zs diet only a week ago. We noticed a difference in him about 2 days later. His tutors are commenting he is much calmer. I have noticed his language is improving. His sentences are getting longer. He is following more instructions. His dad came home after a 10 day trip. He commented his calmer as well.
So for now Goji Berry juice and probiotics are part of the morning routine. I have also added DHA oil this weekend, but it’s way too early to comment on this.
4.Making Me Realize I Need To Take Their Diet More Seriously
Before we started ABA I was drowning. Honestly, I felt like I was losing control. I felt isolated, scared, exhausted, etc. So when it came to food, I kind of just did what was easy. Hot dogs, chicken nuggets, store bought freezer waffles junk, crap… Basically now that I’m in a better position mentally, I see it as poison. But I have addicts now.
I knew this before reading this book. But now knowing that the better part of next Thursday’s sessions at the course will be about nutrition, then reading about Gryffin’s diet. I need to step up my game. So when I get back, and we have settled back into routine, things are going to start changing. How? I’m not sure yet. I know I will be in the kitchen more. Making much healthier, homemade versions of my kids favourites. The details though, I will know after I return from my course and do a bit of my own research. I’m also planning on taking my plan to our naturopathic doctor for her to review first.
Overall I found this book to be very insightful and well written. I believe all parents of brain injured children need to read this book. I’m glad I was open minded. Honestly I don’t think I would have picked it up if I hadn’t read they had been using the IAHP method. Up until reading it I did not realize how much children with Down Syndrome and Autism have in common. Kristen is a inspiration to me. Top notch warrior mom, doing what she needs to do for her child, even when people told her to save her money and buy a big tv.
UPDATE BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE IAHP
So I’m finally going to do it! I feel like a little kid counting down till Christmas or my birthday. As of tomorrow there are only 2 weeks till I head off to the IAHP for the week course on What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child.
I have been DYING to go to this course for years. With a gentle push from a friend who has taken the course for well babies, I signed up.
In the last 2 weeks I have managed to make Little Z 41 homemade books and TONS of sets of flashcards. I want to have my stocks ready to be able to jump right in. The Monday I get back, Hubby is have surgery, so once he’s back to himself, we are going to sit down and go over everything and come up with a game plan.
I must have looked like a crazy lady at Walmart two nights ago when I bought out all their 15 cent duotangs. I had been there the week before and bought what I thought was a bunch, but when I used over half of them I decided I need to stock up before the prices double outside of back to school season. I might even go check out another Walmart this weekend.
I figured out a few ways to create homemade books quicker than the way I was doing it before. I look for stories that lets say are featured on Super Why, like Little Miss Muffet or the Tortoise and the Hare. Once I find them online, I copy them and paste them into a word processor and alter the size and words per page.
I also created books that contain several Mother Goose rhymes. I look for vocabulary list based on topics of his interest, copy paste, boom flashcard sets.
My dad already has the ladder portion of our brachiation ladder ready, I just need to measure the ceiling in the basement, so he can make it to fit where I would like it. My AMAZING dad managed to make it for much less than $100.I’m also hoping to be able to vlog each day I’m down at the IAHP and share my experience.
Have you ever attended a course at the IAHP? If so what were your thoughts? How did it affect your child’s life.
The first weekend of July was the Canada Day Long weekend, and we decided to spend the weekend at a cabin with friends. I have to mention, it was a nightmare trying to book a cabin. I think I applied for 4 on a cabin designed for private cabin owners to rent out their cabins, and was declined. Turns out the owners were often too lazy to change their calendars on the sign and they had all booked them out using other methods.
Finally as our last ditched effort, my friend told me to call this place directly that someone had recommended to her. Lone behold, they had 2 cabins left, side by side, right in front of the playground. This resort was totally kid friendly and our kids were in a safe environment for the most part to just play and have fun. I loved that people were only allowed to bring their vehicles up to the cabin to upload their belongings and load them up at the end of their stay. Keeping the roads in the resort safe.
Thursday after my daycare kiddos left, we quickly picked up my stepdaughter and head out. We arrived around 8:30pm, unloaded the van and got the cabin all set up. The kids played for a bit, then the boys went off to sleep and the adults hung around the fire relaxing.
Friday morning we woke up and the kids ran out to play. The resort was very comfortable with each cabin having air conditioning, a fridge and freezer, running water, washroom with a shower. However there was no TV and no wifi. However they did have a few shelves of board games and books for the kids. So we spent a lot of time playing board games and reading. iPads were reserved for just before bed.
We did take a walk to the beach near the cabin. But the water was full of debris as there had been a terrible storm in The Whiteshell the week before. While it was out of my comfort zone the kids didn’t seem the mind. I enjoyed hanging out on the shore with my little goddaughter.
That night we enjoyed a delicious steak dinner. Wes was kind of sick of playing board games and wanted to ride his bike around, so he was bit of the odd man out. Be he was so excited when hubby asked him to come help him bbq.
Since it was Canada Day, the community of Falcon Lake had planned fireworks for the evening on the beach. They were expected to go off at 10pm. So we walked over to the beach for 9:55. We were all working very hard at keeping Zakari awake. He had been talking about them all week. However the fireworks landing up running late and we lost him at 10:25pm. The fireworks started 5 minutes later. Even though they were so loud, there was no waking him up from his slumber.
We walked back with the crowd to the cabin. I moved Little Z to his bed since I already had him in his pjs. Wes was acting like he was pretty tired to, so sent him off to bed too. Then the adults relaxed around the fire.
Saturday was a bit rough for me. We had been up late the night before and Z decided 5am was a great time to wake up for the day. On top of all the late nights for him this was way to early for him. When he’s tired it’s hard for him to function, and he tends to get into a lot of trouble. We tried everything to get him to sleep. I took him for a walk, my best friend too him for a drive,etc. Nap was not coming easy. Because I was sleep deprived, and we were out of our element my nerves were shot. I’m so blessed my best friend came in calm nerved and helped get him to sleep. Then she convinced everyone they needed to go to the beach. So I stayed behind, had a nap and sorted out the cabin while Little Z napped. It was exactly what I needed.
While I was getting Z down for the night, the rest of the adults made s’mores with the big kids. I was not forgotten sitting in the cabin waiting patiently for Z to fall asleep. There was a small knock at the door, then the door slowly opened and a hand came through the small opening holder a delicious s’more.
Once Z was fast asleep, I went outside and enjoyed the fire with everyone. We stayed out quite late. When we came back in, it was after 2am. I did a few dishes and tidied up a bit before I turned in for the night.
The next morning I was the first one up. I was actually quite glad because I needed to get things sorted out to leave. I had actually wanted to get everything done the day before and packed, but since my day didn’t go according to plan I left it for the next morning. I ate a leftover hamburger for breakfast and got packing. When I went outside I saw the clouds coming in and decided I needed to move fast so I wasn’t packing in the rain.
Luckily we got most of the stuff in the van before it started drizzling. The kids said bye to their newly made friends and we drove away and headed home.
One the way home our low tire light came on. Now 9 times out of 10, this just means we are down a pound or two in one tire, not a biggie. But the last time we had this light come on we had a nail in our tire with a leak. Then we can’t forget last year when we were stuck on the side of the road with a blown out tire.
So when this tire light came on, it struck fear into our hearts. I was pretty sure Prawda was not too far, but I wasn’t 100% sure. I white knuckled the steering wheel and reviewed what to do if we blew out another tire. Relief came a few minutes later when I saw this little rundown restaurant. motel and gas station. We pulled in and locked but could not see an air pump. This place was creepy, like if I were to film a horror movie I might use this place. So I quickly ran in to ask them if they had an air pump. There was no gas station front desk or anything, just a restaurant, which a was dead. A man came from the back kitchen and informed me there was no air pump. I sighed and went back to the van. None of the tires looked bad, but I wouldn’t be happy till I could test them and make sure they were all good.
We drove up the road and about 5 mins away was a large, fancier gas station. We pulled in and found the air pump. Lucky for us, the light was only to tell us one tire was a pound or two low. No real emergency and we made it home in one piece.
I often get asked by friends in real life what different education sites I would recommend to help their child with math, reading, etc. So I thought that I would compile a list of my Top 7 Math Websites for Kids.
1) Dreambox: Dreambox is a subscription based math program for children ages Pre-K to Grade 8. We have used Dreambox with Wes on and off for years now. While it is an amazing program, after a while I find my son would get stuck and frustrated. However we take a break from it for a few months and when we resume he starts flying through it again. Other families I have spoken to have said the same thing. I think it’s like anything, sometimes you just need to step back and come back to it later with a fresh mind.
I wrote a review about Dreambox back when we used it when Wes was homeschooling kindergarten/grade, you can read it HERE. I also wrote about it a year or two ago when we used it to prevent the summer slide, you can find it HERE.
2) Mathseeds : This is a super cute subscription based math program. The site says that it is for ages 3-6, however I feel that it is better suited for very young toddlers to maybe preschool. It is very basic, however will help make sure there are no holes in your child’s math knowledge. Compatible with the iPad.
If you do decided to go ahead with this program, consider spending the extra $10 for the year to get Reading Eggs as well. This is an amazing program, and as soon as our new to us iPad is ready we plan on purchasing a duel subscription for Little Z. You can read about our thoughts on Reading Eggs HERE.
3) XtraMath: XtraMath is a free, non-for profit website that offers a program to students, parents and teachers that help teach the basic math facts.
This website was brought to my attention by Wes’s 4th grade teacher. They were required to work on this website once a day as part of their math homework. This site helped to hammer down those basic math facts in just a few minutes a day.
4) IXL Math: IXL Math is a great paid for supplementary website. This website does not actually teach how to do the math problems, but it does give your child the chance to practice what they have learned. It also can show you any holes in your child’s math education.
I love that whether your are in Canada or the States, you can look up the grade standards for your state or province. They will also allow you to try 10 questions a day for free.
5) Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a FREE website you can use to learn math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more.
We use this site with Wes following the Easy Peasy Middle School Math Curriculum. I can’t recommend it enough. There are video explanations and follow up questions that help your child work to mastery. Plus the best part is, its FREE.
6) SplashMath: We are working with Little Z on this app. I was able to get the whole curriculum on Mother’s Day sale for a $3 in May 2014. I have seen it on sale over the years, but haven’t paid to close of attention.
No internet connection required after set up on the iPad, iPhone, iTouch apps. This is huge for parents who are on the go with their kiddos.