Our First contact with the IAHP- Founded by Glenn Doman

So I finally had a conversation with someone from The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. After days of phone tag, we managed to connect.
She suggested I read “What to do with your Brain Injured Child”, stating that even though Wes is still on the road to losing his diagnosis, he is still in the Institutes eyes “Brain Injured”.
I told her about how we are doing a home reading program and it is proving to be successful, she informed me that is just one piece to the puzzle and to look into the book “How to Teach your Child to be Physically Superb”. I told her I did have that book, but was confused on where to start, as the book is written for children starting at birth. She told me she could not give me advice over the phone, however crawling and creeping even in older children helps get the brain to develop.
She offered to send me an information package with more information about The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. Once I have read the book “What to do about your Brain Injured Child” that will give me a good idea if the program is for us. Then to call her back to book a course.
The course would cost me $1900, but is for 5 days. It is a parents only thing. As hard as it would be to leave Wes I think this is the best thing I can do for him. I mean the reading program alone has helped him develop so much, and he is loving the EK program too.

My main concerns was by the time I go out there and finish this course Wesley will almost be 5. Won’t that be too late?? The lady assured me that they go by neurological age, and that it would be still very valuable 🙂
So after getting off the phone I went online to chapters.ca and ordered the book.

I have to say I was very impressed. She was not pushy at all. There was no salesman talk, she just answered my questions.
Step 1 Read book… I will keep you guys posted 🙂

Have you heard of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential? What are your thoughts?

Eye Check Up for Wes//Homeschool Lesson with Handwriting Without Tears

Well I was home today. I had the worst head cold. I don’t usually stay home for that kind of stuff but my eyes were swollen and watery. Plus Wesley has been complaining about his eyes hurting him this weekend so I took him to the eye doctor.
He was so good! He thought it was like school because he was being asked to name then letters. LOL he’s say “T. T says Tah” Turns out he has perfect vision, his eyes are a little dry and that’s whats bugging him.

So instead of spending the morning with his ABA tutor, he spent it with me. He asked to do “words” a million times. “Words” usually means a mixture of flashcards. Right now he knows his time when it comes to hours and half hours, and today I introduced 15 mins. We are also working on some basic sight words, organs, sea creatures and musical instruments. I still don’t see how he can tell the difference between a oboe and a clarinet but he can lol.
To end the day after I got some meds, I was making dinner and he was demanding some attention lol. So I pulled out our “Handwriting without Tears” wooden pieces and he did those at the kitchen table while I cooked.

I’m still waiting for my Tweedlewinks DVD’s and Themes to Remember Cd and book to come in… I’m so excited. I’d really like to order “Your Child Can Read” and this other Math program another mom recommended but I have to pace myself. LOL don’t want to go broke 🙂

 

How to Teach Your Preschooler the Days of the Week

How to Teach Your Preschooler the Days of the Week

Well I just counted out all Wesley’s retired flashcards that he has shown me he can read 90% of the time(other 10% he’s not focusing)and we are at 195 words!!! That’s not bad for just really starting just 4 months ago!

Some of these words he has learned were the days of the week. While its great to be able to read the words, I wanted him to learn in what order they go in. So Mr Wesley is also learning to sort the days of the week.

The first step is using the Doman method in the book “How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)“, and teach your child how to read the days of the week.

I start with Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. I mix them up and asked him to sort them in order.


 

After 2 days I added Thursday. We did this for 3 days before we added the next one because I found that unless Wesley was really focusing he often mixed up Tuesday and Thursday.


 

Today I felt he was ready to add in Friday. Of course he was able to sort them no problem. He made mistake here and there when he was rushing, but when paying attention got it right away.


 

LOL then he asked me were Saturday was. So in regular Doman style, I stopped when he still wanted more and told him we will introduce Saturday tomorrow 🙂

I also played the “Days of the Week”, found on this CD Learning Is Fun every day in the car on our way to daycare.
I’m hoping that our next step will be the months of the year.

Share with me how you teach your children the days of the week!

BrillKid’s Success Story -He Read His First Book at 4 Years Old

BrillKids is paying off!

Well all of our hard work with BrillKids Little Reader is paying off! Wesley read his first book almost independent. He even read a new word without being taught it. Mind you this is a very simple book “The cat sees me… The dog sees me…etc.” BUT even so this is his first book, he was reading the words by himself, and he had never read the story before. I’m so proud of him.

Just decided to try and see what would happen…

I had these books ready but never showed them to him. We had our parent tutor overlap today. This is where his ABA Senior Tutor and I have a meeting. She goes sits down and goes over the programs I am running with Wes to make sure I am running them correctly. This is also a time for me to ask her any questions I might have.  Today she just suggested we just try these new books and see how well it goes.

Well he read about 85% independently. His senior was just jumping with joy, saying “I can’t believe this, I mean he’s only four!” “You have to bring this book to the next clinic meeting so we can show Rene(his ABA consultant), he’s not going to believe me when i tell him this.” Needless to say, I was so proud of him.

Helpful Products

This goes to prove what an amazing product BrilKid’s Little Reader program is. If a busy mom who works full time can teach her child to read before Kindergarten, anyone can with this program.

Another thing he has learned this week is his days of the week!! It is so cute to hear him recite them to me. To help him learn we have been using the CD Learning Is Fun by Hesita.

I love this product. The songs are simple but help kids learn. Right now we are focused on the cementing the days of the week in our head. Repetition does wonders for our minds. Were also learning our months of the years, and countries and continents.

The company I purchased it from is great too. One of the two discs only plays when it feels like it. So I emailed and explained my problem and they called me back in 5 mins. No joke it was that fast. They originally wanted me to send the product back but when they found out I was from Canada, they said to nevermind that part because shipping would be so much. So they are sending me a replacement disc.(Update: the company has now changed hands since I last wrote this, I suggest looking for these CDs by Hestia on Amazon.com)

Please don’t leave teaching your child to read to the teachers. Don’t miss out on this awesome and rewarding time with your child.

 

Autism- What Gluten & Dairy Do To My Child

For people who do not have a gluten intolerance, it can be hard to understand what happens to kids who cannot digest it properly.

My son has been gluten-free since he was 2.5 years old. What is gluten? Why did I choose to remove it from my son’s diet?

In 2005 I had a beautiful little boy. As he grew older he started sending us red flags. I always imagined myself teaching my son so many things. However, he was a difficult baby. Always throwing up, screaming, and crying all hours of the night.

We tried everything, from Ovol gas drops to chiropractic. They both helped him with the stomach pains but something was still off. He was in and out of the doctor’s office, he had a chronic cough, runny nose, and was on and off antibiotics.

When I first switched my son from breastmilk to formula and started to notice the difference in him I ask the doctor if he could be allergic to milk. His response was “No the chances of that were one in a million, Milk allergies are so rare. So I believed him and for months we had these issues. I was a young mom having had Wesley one month after turning 20. Prior I had no real experience with babies.

I was a straight edge parent, following everything the doctor said to the tee. But things were not right and milestones were not being hit. Wes was not crawling at the same time others his age were. He sat there all the time and stared into space.

Finally, after one day when Wes was 11 months old, I noticed mucous in his diaper. That was it, I called around the city and finally booked an appointment with a pediatrician.

Our new doctor immediately sent a referral for Wes to go for allergy testing. After waiting for 4 months to get into the specialist we got a call.

A few weeks later I held my little boy down while they marked his chubby arms with little a pen. They made marks to match a little grid with all the possible allergens on a paper.

Then they started scratching those pen marks with little needles. As he screamed they wrapped his arm up in a paper towel and taped it. I was instructed that it would take about 15 minutes for the results to be available.

He screamed and screamed, finally I opened the door and asked the nurse if this was normal. She told me some kids have a harder time than others. So I tried cuddling and rocking him and nothing seemed to help.

My last resort, I reached into my diaper bag and pulled out a sippy cup of milk. This settled him, just in time. The nurse came back and removed the paper towel. She said he seems to have a reaction to the one item, the milk. I looked down at my baby’s tear-stained face and he sucked back the white poison.

The doctor diagnosed Wesley with a milk allergy and we were sent on our way. No instructions, no guidance, nothing. They never gave us a paper that told us what all the secret words like whey and casein. Just sent on our way to figure it out. 

I drove us to the local public health nurse clinic where I knew several of the nurses from our Healthy Baby group we attended till I went back to work. She called in the nutritionist and we came up with a game plan. 

Do you know what happened next? A few days later my clumsy crawler stood up and walked for the first time at 15 months old. 

Wesley started developing language well and at 18 months had about 15 words he used regularly. Then we went for our 18-month check-up and that’s when things went downhill. At the visit, they gave him his regularly scheduled vaccine, and that night he had a terrible fever. Poof! He stopped using the words he once did.

I started thinking about removing gluten from my son’s diet after reading Jenny McCarthy’s book “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” when he was 2.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat. Similar proteins are also found in rye, barley, and possibly oats. At this time I was in denial. It was apparent he was language delayed. But I refused to believe he had autism. But deep down I think I knew.

It wasn’t until that terrible day in January 2008 when Wesley was diagnosed with autism did I revisit the idea of removing the gluten. A month later we visited a naturopathic doctor. She also had me remove gluten and soy from his diet.

It wasn’t easy. Gluten can be addicting to some children. Wesley went through a withdrawal period, where his behaviors went through the roof. But after the rough stage, things did get better.

His speech started to improve. He started adding in little phrases, seemed happier. Another thing is we were able to start potty training him because his digestive system started to work right.

Basically what was happening to my son was that gluten was affecting the lining of the intestinal wall and large particles of food were getting into his bloodstream and affecting the brain. The body was then sending out antibodies to fight the particles. This was causing my son little body to go into overload.

You can see a MAJOR change in his attention to detail, and if he accidentally has something that has gluten in it he does act up and has trouble concentrating. One day we will try to reintroduce it, but for now, he’s doing great.

UPDATE: Read how we cured my son’s dairy & gluten intolerance HERE and HERE

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Day In the Life of an ABA Family – Maybe losing our tutor!!!

ABA Family

Welcome to the life of an ABA Family.

We found out today off the record from a source that our tutor might be leaving us.  The centre that hired her promised her a certain wage after for 3 months, and in the end after a amazing review gave her a an insulting 26 cent raise. So she was depending on making more and now may not be able to afford to keep working with the company or with Wesley.

I told them his dad and I are prepared to offer her the 2 dollars an hour more out of our pockets. But really the centre should honor there promise.

Frustrating Beyond Belief

Its so darn frustrating for our family. Previously before we had a terrible tutor who fell asleep on a public bus and a public park during a field trip while supervising Wesley. Her lack of commitment and motivation cost Wesley 3 months of a 3 year program while they trained her replacement. We can’t afford to waste another 3 months.

I’m at wits end. This is unbelievably fair to my son.  Plus Wesley is running so many program, it would be so hard for a new tutor to jump in and keep up to him 🙁

So once she announces this is what she is thinking, my ex and I(hopefully our consultant too) are going to the CEO of the company and were going to fight to keep her.

The person we heard this from told me this doesn’t think she would accept the money from us, but I don’t know I have to figure something out…

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

.
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.