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

Secret Blogger Coming out of the Closet. Plus Family Update and Z Update

Wow it has been a very long time since I have last updated. I think about writing often, however with all of Z’s programs and homeschooling, mixed with my day job I have had very little time. That being said I also kept this blog in secret. I know that sounds absolutely crazy, it’s posted on the Internet for crying out loud. But I don’t share with many people in my real life that I keep this blog. I have been a Secret Blogger. I didn’t even tell my hubby. He knew I did reviews and stuff, but he didn’t know the details.

The other day I decided that I need his help. So I shared with him my blog and YouTube channel. He is very knowledgeable in computers and I’m hoping that the two of us can work on this blog and my YouTube channel as a team. He’s also been wanting us to work on a project together but we couldn’t figure out what we could realistically do. This seems to fit the bill and I’m so excited to start really getting involved in the blogging and vlogging world.

Last year my goal was to write here and post a YouTube weekly. Every time I got notification that I had a new YouTube follower I felt guilty there hadn’t been any new content in such a long time. But because of the fact I’ve been so shy to share what I do with my hubby, I never had enough time alone to write and edit. Now I’m hoping because we are going to be doing this as a project together I can jot down a rough post in the day and we can edit it together in the evening. Even if he’s not part of the editing process at least I can just sit at the kitchen table and not be embarrassed of my work.

It was so silly of me to keep this to myself as he has been extremely supportive since I’ve shared my projects.

So I’m excited to announce that in the next few weeks you can expect the following post:

– The last installment of what I thought about the What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child Course. I can’t believe how disorganized I have been. I took this course in Sept 2016, yet I have not written about the last day of the course. To make it worse I started sharing about our most recent trip, before finishing the first.

– Finish writing about our trip to Philadelphia with Little Z. We had 2 days before our appointment that we did some traveling and visiting with friends. I have so much to share about the evaluation, Lecture Series II and the programs we received.

– Why we are not going back to the IAHP for our 6 month reassessment.

– How we have changed our nutritional program to better serve Little Z’s needs and how we added in Ozone water.

– Why we love a literature based homeschool curriculum.

Family Update

In September Wesley started back up in Trampoline at our local gymnastics gym. He’s still loving the sport and is excited to go every week. Since Wesley alternates his weekend between my home and his dad I’m only responsible to bring him every other week which is less on my plate. He’s old enough now that I can just drop him off and pick him up and hour later. So the whole thing requires very little from me.

Wesley is also back in piano lessons this year. We allowed him to take the summer off, and I’m a little more relaxed about his practice schedule. I vlogged about him wanting to quit last summer. As his mother I was torn. On one hand I don’t want to make him do something he does not want to do anymore. On the other hand I know so many people who quit piano, that now regret it. So we are working through to find the right balance.

Both boys are back in swimming lessons with SwimAbility. They finished their fall season right before Christmas, and they just started the winter session 2 weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this program. All the volunteers are amazing. You can tell that they really want to be there. The boys have been part of these program for 4 years now out of 3 different city pools and we have not had one bad coach. That is so rare to find such an amazing group of people. Wesley also attends summer camp offered by this program. This year will be the first year Z is old enough to participate in that as well.

Welcome to the Family!

Apollo & Artemis

In October we introduced two new members to our family. We adopted two Canadian Sphynx kittens, whom we named Apollo and Artemis. They are quite the characters. It’s like living with two wild toddlers. My husband describes them as a cat tumbleweed. These two are not like any cat I have ever met.

Originally we were just going to just adopt the male kitten Apollo(cat to the right in the photo above). On the way to my herbalist house, who happens to also breed Sphynx kittens, my husband was against it. He spent the whole way there trying to convince me this was a bad idea. However growing up I had always dreamed to have one of these sweet kittens as a pet. In my mind it was such a wonderful opportunity. There was no way we would ever be able to get one of these beauties from a person I trusted, for the price she was willing to sell him to us for.

When we arrived the breeder took us up to her room where these kittens were. They were just so small and sweet. They would be ready for us to take them home on Thanksgiving Day. While I was snuggling my little boy, my husband kept being drawn to this female kitten with a black and white stripe down her nose. After a bit the breeder told us that she would understand if we couldn’t, but she would love it if the male we were taking and the female that my husband was drawn to could go to the same home. He seemed to think this was a great idea. I on the other hand wasn’t so sure.

So the ride home was much different then the ride there. Now my husband was trying to convince me why we should adopt both kittens. Well needless to say, I have a rubber arm. When we got home I text messaged the breeder and made payment arrangements. So a week later we brought home two kittens instead of one.

Gizmo with the kittens

Our Devon Rex Gizmo took a little while to adjust to them. She’s been an only child so to speak for the last 9 years. So bringing these two home was a real game changer for her. We took it real slow. They have learned to tolerate each other. I don’t think Gizmo will ever love them, but she is willing to live with them, as long as they stay out of her bubble.

Now to talk about Little Z’s progress.

Little Z  has been doing amazing. We have noticed even more changes since altering the supplementation program that the Institute gave us. Because Zs blood work came back so amazing, we were on only a few basic supplements. I really felt that he needed a bit more in this area and joined a biomedical Facebook group to learn more. No clearly I don’t just jump on the bandwagon and purchase a supplement because somebody on Facebook says it’s good. However I’m able to find what other families are using, and then do my own research to find if that is a product that would work for my child.

Ideally I would have him on an herbal plan like I’m on with my herbalist. But sadly I know this would be a waste of money as I would not be able to get the herbs into him due to the taste. Like his hearing, he taste can also be hypersensitive at times. So for now he is on the supplements I have researched myself and one herbal supplement that my herbalist recommended that I can get into him.

Since making these changes in his supplementation, we have noticed huge changes in his behaviour and his ability to follow directions. He’s still a busy boy, but less wild. He actually plays with toys now. He’s building better relationships with people and overall we are getting to know the real Zakari.

Little Z on the incline floor

Last week my dad delivered Zs crawling track that he built for us. This was one of the missing keys to our Institute program. So over the last week we have been using it to get in our military crawling. At first I was concerned about Z’s lack of coordination when it came to military crawling. Currently when we have him doing his creeping(crawling on his hands knees) he is able crawl in a cross pattern. But when we started military crawling he was all over the place. So I went on our Facebook group for parents on the IAHP program and spoke to one of the black jackets (aka staff that specialize in the physical program).

Currently on top of our IAHP program we have been working through Bookshark’s PreK homeschool curriculum. I love the literature-based approach to homeschooling. This was a major adjustment for me as I learn best using a workbook approach. But I quickly realize that this was not going to work for a little Z.

Now while we do love Bookshark, we are planning on switching to Build Your Library Kindergarten after we finish Bookshark PreK. Now I’m usually of the mindset, if its not broke, don’t fix it. But over the next few weeks I will share with you why I feel this is the best course of action for Little Z. I will also share with you the critical thinking math program we are working through that is great for kids who are not ready to write just yet. Also we have found a few series that we are reading aloud before bed, and both of us are enjoying them.

Have you ever changed curriculum even though the one you are currently using works? Let me know in the comments below.

Look forward to sharing more with you in the weeks to come.

IAHP Visit – Traveling Day – Friday


IAHP Visit - Traveling Day - Friday

 

IAHP Visit – Traveling Day – Friday

We’re Leaving on a Jet Plane…

Friday, August 4th, 2017… The day we had been waiting for. We were heading to the airport to start our journey to bring Little Z man to The Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. Today is what I have dubbed our Traveling Day.

11 months after my first journey to Philadelphia. It was almost like a dream. Never in a million years did I think we could pull this off.

But thanks to the help from a wonderful organization, The Elks of Canada, we were there at the airport. Starting our journey to the IAHP in Philadelphia.

Nerves and Worries

I had to say I was completely nervous to be traveling by air with Zakari. He’s not one for crowds and we had a layover in Chicago.

Waiting to check our bag.

We arrived at the airport 2 hours early like they recommended. Then we saw the line to check in. We had tried to check in the night before online, but it said we had to check in when we arrived. So we got in line and waited our turn.

We started getting nervous when the line wasn’t really moving. Were they canceling flights. We had taken a chance and flown United Airlines. yes they had bad publicity lately, but we figured they would now be on their best behaviour since the world was watching.

We finally reach the check in desk and everything was fine. They let us check our bag and off to security we went. Thankfully we were the only people going through security at the time.

Compassionate Security Staff

The people who were running security were amazing. I quickly explained to them that Z has autism and that I could not let go of his hand. They were very compassionate and kind. They had us remove our shoes. We were told that Z could keep his on, but then they noticed they were light up shoes, so they said he had to remove them. Well Mr. Z was more than willing to comply.

From that point on he was convinced you’re not suppose to wear shoes in the airport.

They let me carry Z through the metal detector. We quickly gathered our belongings and made our way to customs. We had 2 back packs, Z’s car seat and 1 carry on because Hubby thought that it would be worth the money to check a bag. Boy was he right! I could not image trying to juggle an extra bag. While the car seat was a pain to drag around, it was a blessing to use on the plane.

We found a little alcove in the waiting area and Z climbed on the couches and got all his wiggles out. They kept changing gates, so we just stayed there till we heard they were boarding our flight. The Winnipeg Airport is very small so its easy to just stay put and move to where you need to be when its time.

Boarding Time

We got in line and when we made it to the front the flight attendant said she had called us to board first. We must have missed her call. She said because I had called ahead to let them know about Z’s special needs they wanted to make sure he was taken care of.

Mr Z’s first time on an airplane.

When we got on board, Hubby helped me install Z’s car seat. I have to say, if you have a busy child, make sure to bring your child’s car seat on the plane. Z knows when he’s in a car in his carseat, that’s where he is expected to be.

Take off went well. I was worried he might freak out about his ears popping, but he just plugged them. I had brought ear defenders, but he was not interested in using them.

When they came around with snacks and drinks, they brought him one of those squeezy apple sauces, which he enjoyed. But of course in total Z style, he managed to dump my glass of coke on my lap. Thankfully I had already drank half of it, so I was only a little wet.

The biggest challenge for me was preventing him from kicking the chair ahead of us. He is use to traveling in a van where he has lots of legroom.

Luckily the person in front of him had no one sitting beside him, he was able to move over. That being said I made my best effort to stop him from kicking the back of the chair.

What Do You Mean I Can’t Go Outside?

About 30 mins into the flight Z decided that he wanted to go play outside. Try as I might to explain to him that we are thousands of feet in the air, he still wanted to go play outside. This was one of the many times this trip this poor guy’s mom rained on his parade.

After our 2+ hour flight we landed in Chicago. We waited for the plane to empty out and then we uninstalled his car seat and made our way off.

United Airlines, Amazing Staff!

There waiting for us was a United Airlines employee with a wheelchair. Z needed the opportunity to stretch his legs. But the employee invited us to put his car seat and bags on the wheelchair, and escorted us through the airport to our next terminal gate.

I was so grateful he did! Boy oh boy is the Chicago airport huge! Because he escorted us, we were able to have time for a bathroom break as well as get Z some popcorn to snack on on the next flight.

Because we were right by the gate, we were able to board first. United was able to upgrade our seats so Z had more leg room. Z snacked on popcorn and watched a few episodes of his show I had downloaded from Netflix to his tablet. He started to doze off to sleep just before we landed.

Welcome to Philadelphia

We are in Philadelphia! Posing for a silly picture while Daddy gets our bag.

Once again we let the plane empty out before we gathered our belongings and got off. There waiting for us was another United employee with a wheelchair. We thanked him very much, but told him we knew where to go as I’ve been to the Philadelphia airport before and Z needed to stretch again.

We made our way to the baggage claim. Grabbed our bag and made our way to catch the shuttle to the Alamo, the car rental company.

By now it is Saturday. Z is tired, and a giggling mess. As I waited for Hubby to finalize our car rental, Z is jumping from couch to couch in the empty waiting area.

A few people in line were staring, but frankly I didn’t care. He was not disturbing anyone. It’s after 1 am and my kid is right on the edge of having a party or having a meltdown. I’m wanting to mark this up as a good traveling day, so I’m voting for the party option. I could handle the dirty looks, those would disappear as soon as we got into the rental car. The meltdown however would follow us to the hotel.

A few minutes later we were away from the dirty looks and cruising to our hotel to check in.

Hotel Delays & Walmart

35 mins later we arrived. I had made arrangements with Expedia to be able to check in at 2am. But when I went in, the front desk needed 45 minutes to reboot the system so that the sign in would count as a Saturday check in. So back to the car I went, and off we went to look for food.

A quick trip through a drive through, we still had a bit of time to kill. So Hubby ran into a 24 hour Walmart and picked up some supplies we were going to need in the morning. I waiting in the car while Little Z slept. Of course just before Hubby was about to come out of the store there was a torrential downfall. By the time he got to the car with the bag they were both soaked.

Tired & Panicking

Now I made a huge mistake, while waiting for Hubby. I went and rechecked the hotel we were staying at’s reviews. When I had booked this hotel, the reviews were OK. Now since I last check there was a terrible review. I went into panic mode. Do I call Expedia and try to get into a different hotel? I’m tired and sleep deprived at this point and a bit irrational.

We head back to the hotel and when we arrive there is a sign, “Back in 15 mins.” Are you kidding me? I’m tired and it’s now almost 3 am. I start praying, is this a sign we should find another hotel? I get on the phone with Expedia and am put on hold. As I wait the woman come back to the desk and removes the sign. I hang up the phone, I guess this is where we are suppose to be.

A few minutes later we are parked near our hotel entrance. I’m panicking. Maybe we should check it out first before we bring in the bags and Z? Nope, Hubby wants to bring everything in in one trip. I put the card in the door and slowly open it…

Much to my relief, it looks nice and clean. A quick examination and I’m feeling a bit better. Z immediately makes himself comfortable and takes up a whole bed.

Here we are, we’ve made it. Finally able to kick off our shoes and get cleaned up from our first Traveling Day.

Our Adventures have just begun after our first Traveling Day.

Bed! After a long day traveling.

 

Cure Autism : A Child’s Journey out of Autism(Updated 2017)

A Child's Journey out of Autism. Cure Autism

A few months ago I sat down to read “A Child’s Journey Out of Autism: One Family’s Story of Living in Hope and Finding a Cure” By Leeann Whiffen. Now everytime I hear that someone’s child has a diagnoses of Autism, I recommend that they read it. It is a perfect fit for families fighting to cure autism.

There are enough books and articles that make it out that there is no cure for autism. It is so refreshing to find a story where a family has found a path to cure autism that has worked for them.
The book is a story about a mother who pulls her son Clay out of autism and saves him from being trapped in his own little world. Her story truly touched me, I could not put the book down. I myself was in the process of setting up an ABA program for my son and I really truly felt the emotions she was writing about.
I feel blessed to have read her book because she helps mothers like me see that we are not alone. She gives us hope that we to can save our children. It is amazing that she puts her heart and soul into the pages she write, her pain and suffering, and her great successes out there for us to read.
I think its important that people with children who have autism, and heck even parents with typical children learn that it is our responsibility as parents to protect our children. Not everything the doctors and specialist say are right for your child. I had one specialist telling me that the gluten and dairy free diets would not help my child. That his digestive issues were not related to autism. Well we did it anyways and poof, I have a whole new happier child.What I’m trying to say is educate yourself, ask questions, and follow your gut.

I combined a lot of therapies and make them work. My son:

  •  attends a full time ABA program,
  • attends daycare full time,
  • is on the gluten free/dairy free diet,
  • has an at home Doman program,
  • home schooled in the evenings,
  • has a good pediatrician,
  • sees a naturopathic doctor,
  • a speech therapist
  • and an occupational therapist.

All these programs as contradicting as they may seem all have there time and place. I am very involved in every aspect of my son’s life. I’m sure let him live his life but all these people know that I have high expectations out of all of them, and if they fall short and fail my son I will be following up with it.

I also pull my weight with this, I research, provide materials and make sure they have what they need to help my son. This has put me thousands of dollars in debt, but the window of opportunity is closing a little everyday. I will have years to pay off my debt. Right now I only have 10 months left till my son goes to kindergarten.
The author helped me realize I have to fight to save my son and it is possible to cure autism. She had the strength to challenge people and the fight to prove them wrong. Even when they told her there was no cure for autism.

UPDATED 2017:

Now this book might not sit right with everyone. Some people get very upset when people want to cure autism. While I agree we should love our children how they are, I love mine too much to leave him where he is. The reviews I have read about this mother have broken my heart.

In 2012 I had another amazing son, and in 2014 he was also diagnosed with Autism. However in 2016 we also found out he was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety.

People that say I’m a terrible person for wanting to cure autism have clearly not been beaten and attacked by their own child. Are you arms covered in bites, scratches and bruises?

However, do you know what is worse than that? When you see your own child hurting himself. When he knuckle is so swollen from chewing on it. He is trying to hold back because he doesn’t want to hurt you. But he has to do something. Or his poor forehead when he headbanged against the floor so hard he either has a bruise or rug burn.

Christmas celebrations are particularly heartbreaking for us as we typically spend the holiday confined to the basement instead of being surrounded by family and friends. I do my best to create a meaningful holiday experience for him; we watch a “Charlie Brown Christmas” together and Grandma brings his presents downstairs to be opened separately. Even so, he understandably wants nothing more than to be upstairs with the family but to do so results in an almost immediate meltdown. The boisterous conversations, laughter, music, and hustle and bustle of people are just more than he can handle.

When I say I will always want to cure autism, I don’t want to change my son’s personality. I love his wild personality. He is one of the toughest and bravest kids I have ever met. Never in a million years do I want to change his strong spirit, even though it can be a pain in the butt from time to time. None of this is autism, it is who my son is.

What I to do is help stop his body from running in overdrive from the time he gets up till the time he goes to bed. Not because it is hard on me. But because he cannot sit down long enough to do the things he loves. Read a book, watch a TV show for more than 5 mins.

My youngest loves birthday parties. But 9 times out of 10 they are too much for him. He gets overstimulated and we have to leave. Never does he wants to leave, but he has no choice.

So before you judge a parent for doing they do. Before you criticize them for changing their child’s diet. Or spending thousands on therapy that you don’t believe in because the doctor doesn’t believe in it. Think, what better suggestions do you have for that mother and father? If you need some support, there are many useful websites such as support for autism which can help you out.

This review was originally written in 2009. But was updated in 2017. The opinion expressed is that of my own. I was not offered any compensation for this post.

Autism Diet: NAET aka NAMBUDRIPAD’S ALLERGY ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES

Many families with children that have a autism diagnosis dabble in or completely changed their child to a gluten and dairy free diet aka The Autism Diet. But is that the only answer?

Jumping on the gluten free/dairy free diet for children with autism can be tricky at first. Once you get use to reading ingredients, figuring out secret industry names for gluten and dairy, it’s completely do able. Especially if they are removed before your child is old enough to really knows what they are missing.

The problem comes when they are older. Birthday parties become a nightmare, play date, family gathering. Will meaning family member or friend try and get something your child can have, only to find out that they don’t know the secret code that the industries use to hide these items in our food. Now you have to tell them, even after all their efforts your child can still not eat it.

Next thing you know, no one is inviting you over for meals anymore.

Your child is not getting invited for sleepovers or birthday parties because the parents are worried they will feed your child something they shouldn’t.

I was actually told by a family member that she was scared to kill him. No one wants to be the parent to have to call an ambulance to pick up someone else’s child right?

Then Came Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique

7+ years later, I stumbled upon something very interesting while I was reading a book called Naturally Better: Dramatically Improve Your Child’s Life Naturally . I was introduced to something called NAET, aka NAMBUDRIPAD’S ALLERGY ELIMINATION TECHNIQUES.

Instantly I was on google learning as much as I could about this technique. And oddly enough, it seemed to have way more positive reviews than negative. Could it be true?

I started chatting about what I had discovered with my youngest son’s cranio sacral therapist. She told me one of the woman in my Facebook Attachment Parenting group had done NAET with her child and it worked.

So I contacted that woman and chatted with her for a little bit. It seemed promising. Her son could not have any dairy or citrus, otherwise he’d get terrible blistering diaper rashes. After a few treatments with this woman he could eat both triggers and had no reaction.

So I made a phone call.

As soon as I started talking to her, I was instantly reassured, this sound like the real thing.

So at our first appointment we tested the basic 15 items. To my understanding, these items have to be cleared for the body to run properly and before any other specific treatment to trigger allergies can be treated effectively. This does not mean you have to have 15 treatments first before starting, each person is different. My oldest reacted 6 of the 15.

In order to tell if your body reacts or doesn’t react the NAET practitioner did muscle testing on me while I held my son’s hand and he held a vile of the allergen. At first, I thought this was too much to believe, until my boys were holding a trigger for them and my arm turned to jello and I could not keep my arm up when the practitioner was pushing my arm.

You can read more about what NAET is and the process HERE .

Since starting our NAET sessions, Wes was cleared all of his 6 of the Basic 15 he tested positive for. Then we started working on Gluten and Dairy. Gluten was a tough one. The first time we treated him for it, he had to avoid ANY contact with it for 25 hours after the treatment (which was fairly easy since he was gluten free already.) The following week we retested and he was not clear, so we would do a boost, and then we treated something else as well. Gluten took one treatment and 2 or 3 boost.

Wes had tested positive for casein, whey, cheese, milk protein, basically anything dairy related. We treated him for casein and then did one boost and he cleared it. Best part was, we retested all the other dairy related items and he cleared them too. We are also working on treating Wes’s reactions to immunizations, heavy metals, etc.

He seems more focused now and is loving the freedom of trying new foods. At the first family birthday party, it was the first time since his 1st birthday he could participate in birthday cake. He was so delighted and everyone there was so happy to see him allowed to live! A family friend even negotiated him a second piece.

NAET RESULTS FOR AUTISM AND ADHD

But 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, But we were told he most likely has ADHD, but they will not give him an official diagnosis till he’s 5.

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.
We really noticed 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 than 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.

Overall if you have a practitioner in your area, give them a call. Our NAET practitioner was very helpful and able to explain a lot to me over the phone.

Does NAET help ADHD? Autism?

NAET Allergy treatment… Does it really work??

11 Ways to Build Your Child’s Home Library Without Breaking the Bank // STUDY SHOWS: MORE BOOKS IN THE HOME MAKES KIDS SMARTER!!

 

Can a child have too many books? The answer is no according to a study done at the University of Nevada. Having more books in the home makes kids smart. Whether you living on a minimum wage income or are in the high income tax bracket. Or live in the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents can help their children by have books in the home. This 20 year study says that this simple act can increase the level of education their children will attain..

Read this study HERE

For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated. But, strikingly, this massive study showed that the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate (3 years of education) compared to having parents who have a university education (15 or 16 years of education). Both factors, having a 500-book library or having university-educated parents, propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average.

We Need All The Books!!

Anyone who has been to my home knows that I have a love for books. Especially kids books. I have shelves and shelves of book bins in my daycare area along with a Rubbermaid bin of board books. Boxes of chapter books put away for Z when he is older, and each child has 50-100 books in their bedroom at any given time.

But Books Are Too Expensive. Right?

When I read this study back in 2010, we had just moved from a tiny apartment to a more spacious townhouse. Reading this I knew I had to grow my son’s home library. However, even though I had a great job, at $4.99 and up a book, I knew it was going to be a long process. Especially since I was planning on quitting my good paying job to open up my own home daycare.

Thrift Store Snob No More!

During this time I was part of a online forum called BrillKids and was constantly on Amazon or Chapters adding recommended books to my shopping cart. It was starting to get pricey.

One day I met up with another mom from this group who happened to live in a city 30-45 mins away from me. She introduced me to this thrift store in her town that had an amazing used book section. Up until that point I was a bit of a snob when it came to buying stuff used. But when I saw I could get my son books for .10-.75 cents a piece, I got over them not being new pretty quick.

Expanding Our Family Library Without Breaking The Bank

Over the years I have figured out many ways to buy books for my kids and expanded our family library without breaking the bank. Of course their are still times when I will pay full price for specific books. My oldest son loves graphic novels and comic books. He’s not as big of a bookworm like his younger brother and sister are, but he will pick up and read a graphic novel on his own. So in this situation, I have no issues, ordering him full price books off of Amazon.

Why The Library Is Not For Me

Before someone asks, we don’t use our local library often. I am terrible with due dates. I often forget to return books and the late fees we incur get down right embarrassing. One thing I don’t like is to be rushed with a book. I like to go back to a book and have it available to me. So while this is a great for a lot of families, I can’t seem to get my act together.

11 Ways to Build Your Child’s Home Library Without Breaking the Bank

Over the last several years I have found a few ways to expand our home library without breaking the bank, here are a few ways I’ve done so.

1) Hit up your local thrift stores.  

Parents are often shocked what they find on those shelves. I often drool over the Usborne Catalog. I have yet to place an order. Why? Because I have managed to find so many Usborne books at my local thrift stores. Many people go to Usborne parties and feel obligated to buy something. And well, what happens when you don’t really want something? Yep, it lands up at the local thrift store.

What about those Leapfrog Leapster Pen (formally known as Tag Pen) books that retail for $9-$15 a book? Yeah I don’t buy those new anymore either. I can find them at our local Value Village Thrift store for $1.29 a book. Of course you have to have patience, but after a year or two we have a very large collection of these books. The plus is since I have also been able to find these pens for $2-$5 at the thrift stores as well, when we are done with these books, I can bundle them in lots and resell them. I should be able to easily regain what I spent.

2) Garage Sales.

As soon as the snow is mostly melted in my area, we start seeing garage sale signs popping up at the usual corners. This can sometimes be a bookworms paradise. I have picked up full box sets of chapter books for my kids for $5-$10. However be sure to pull each book out and quickly flip through them. A month or two ago I was so excited to find the Little House on the Prairie box set for $5. I was about to go pay when I thought I should check them out. Good thing I did, 2 of the books apparently had something split on them and the pages were are stuck together. Needless to say I left them behind.

A lot of people just want to clear out their kids books and will sell them for .25cents to a few dollars. Know your prices! I have seen people selling books for nearly full price. Or selling a book for $2 that has been widely circulated and can be found every other time at the thrift store for a quarter. However because I’m well aware of the prices of graphic novels, I’m willing to pay up to $5 for some of them.

If you find several books at one garage sale that you want to buy, try haggle down the price a bit. A lot of the time people just want to get rid of stuff as soon as possible.

3) Kijiji and Craigslist.

When shopping on these types of sites I prefer to buy lots of books as opposed to individual books because I have to factor in the cost to drive to pick up. Many homeschoolers clear out their homeschool libraries as their children outgrow them to make more room for age appropriate materials.

Also remember you don’t always have to pay the posted price. Some people post their items for more than they think they can get to give wiggle room for haggling. Just make sure you are being respectful when making an offer. Nothing is more insulting when you’re selling something for $20 and a person offers you $5.

4) Library Book Sales.

Our local library often has books for sale. They are usually withdrawn books, or books donated to the library that are no longer needed. This is a great place to get DK Encyclopedia type books, kids chapter books, picture books, even graphic novels for CHEAP. Where I live they charge .50 cents a book or a reuseable bag full for $5. Be sure to carefully look over the books for water damage and missing pages.

I love getting board books here for my daycare. Lets be honest, my daycare kiddos are all learning how to respect books and are like a pack of wolves a little rough with them. If I have spent $5 on a bag of books and have to throw a few a way from time to time, I can live with that. If I had spent  $5-$15 on that same book, I find that a bit harder to swallow.

5)Hand-Me Downs.

Maybe your mom saved a box or two of your old kid books?  Maybe a friends with older kids is looking to get rid of some of their kids old books they have outgrown.

When I was maybe ten years old, my grandma’s neighbour called her and told her to send us over. Turns out she had several subscriptions to the Archie comic series, and over the years she had boxes and boxes of them. She could no longer read the small print, so she had not renewed her subscription. She wanted to make more room in her apartment for other things and sent us home with hundreds of the comics. Irene may have passed away a few years ago, however her memory lives on, my oldest 2 kiddos are now working through those books she gave me and my brother all those years ago.

6)  Birthdays.

When my kids birthdays come around, friends and family often text or call me to ask what the birthday boy or girl might like. This is the time that I sometimes suggest books that are harder to find in the thrift stores. Or my step daughter often asks for gift cards for Amazon or Chapters, so she can order books she has wanted.

7) Advent Books.

Ok this is more of a suggestion on how to give books to your kids. But that being said, instead of buying those expensive $40 Lego Advent calendars, go to the local thrift store and buy 24 books. If your child is young, look for Christmas theme picture books. Wrap each book up and write a number on it. Each night before bed allow your child to unwrap one book and read it together.

8) Amazon or Chapters Book Market.

This is a good option if your looking for specific books that are a bit pricier. This year we decided to use the curriculum BookShark(the secular version of Sonlight). But the complete kit would have cost me $500+ Canadian with exchange and shipping cost. Instead I ordered the Instruction Guide and went on the Amazon Market and bought used copies of the books for much less. While it was cheaper for me to buy a few of these books new, most were purchased used and I saved $200.

9) Mcdonald’s Kids Meals.

While we try not to eat fast food, I have noticed that instead of getting a toy with your child’s Happy Meal, you now can request a book. That is something that will typically get a lot more use than a dinky plastic toy that will likely land up in the donation bin in a few months.

10)Create books for your child.

Since following the Glenn Doman method of teaching my son to read, I have created hundreds of books for him. This way I can control the content, font size, and positioning of the words and the pictures. You can either do these by hand on cardstock, or create them on Google Drive. I prefer the Google Drive method, because this way I can share them with other parents. My thoughts are if a group of 10 parents each made 10 books, and everyone shared them, each family will land up with 100 books. Many hands make light work. 

I find my son enjoys books about the characters on shows he watches on Netflix. However I find with these books, a lot of the time are why too long. Not to mention they have itty bitty writing. Licensed character books are often easy readers with limited vocabulary and next to no story line. By creating my own books, I can take books he already owns, scan the pictures, and change the story. I can summarize and make a book that’s too long appropriate for him. I can also take those lame readers with no real story and make them more exciting.

If you want to see more about how I create these books easily and cheap, check out my video called “Glenn Doman IAHP Program.Make Materials to Teach Your Child For Cheap”

11) Sell the books your child has outgrown.

Has your last child has outgrown those phonics reader? Their princess storybook collection collecting dust? Sell them and use the money to buy more age appropriate materials.

Of course you’re going to want to keep your kids favourites. Pull those ones out and put them away for their kids. But all the rest sell online, at a garage sale, etc. Clear some room on the old bookshelves and fill the space with age appropriate books that will be used .

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Is it important to you for your child to have a large home library? How have you grown your family library?

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.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What to Learn More About Doman International?

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

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

How the Elks of Canada’s Children’s Charity Helped Our Son

Elks of Canada's children's charity. Our story how the elks helped our son with autism/adhd

This summer we will be flying back out to Philadelphia to go back to the IAHP. This time I will have my hubby and Little Z Man in tow. Z will be going for a full evaluation and a complete program custom made for our Z. I will also be taking the Lecture Series 2, which is a continuation to the course I took in September.

As you can image this will not be cheap. We have to fly to Philly, stay in a hotel for 7 days, rent a car to transport us, and then the actual cost of the evaluation and lectures. I started looking for grants and financial assistance. Last year I found the Elks & Royal Purple Fund for Children.

So I decided to contact their head office last year. They put me through to our local lodge. A man named Dave from the lodge came and met with me and Z. But since we were not going to be going till August of 2017, and the lodge was closing down for the winter, I held on to the paper work till April. Honestly it took me a while to get the letters I needed from different doctors.

Come April I tried to contact Dave, but he was still out of town. So I was put in contact with a man named Dave. He took our application to the local lodge and they voted on it to see if our cause was something they wanted to sponsor. I was so excited when I got an email back saying this was something they wanted to back, and we moved on to the next step in the process.  Dennis then helped me get the paper work to their head office and gather up other documents they required.

While I was really hoping we would get the financial aid, I was mentally preparing myself that we might not.

Then one day I got this email from Dennis:

Congratulations Monique we were successful when the cheque arrives we will make a formal presentation to you and Zakari. no doubt with our regalia on.
We will have pictures taken for our Elks magazine and when you get a receipt from Achievement of Human Potential we will require a copy for Agnes.
We wish you a successful trip to Philadelphia.

I was over the moon thrilled. All our hard work and determination had paid off. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders. The Elks of Canada were paying for our evaluation appointment. We had managed to get an amazing deal on our flights, accommodations and car rental. We had saved and were able to pay cash for that part. The fact our family did not have to go into more debt to get our son the help he needs was just amazing. It lifted such a burden off our shoulders.

When the cheque arrived, we went down the the local lodge’s bi-monthly meeting. It was so nice to meet all the people who had stood up and backed up our son. I was nervous about the whole meeting, because sometimes Z gets worked up in a group of people. However I was super proud of him. He said “hello” and thanked them for helping him. He did spot a box of Tim Horton’s donuts from across the room, and ask for one. Of course they told me he could have one, but they didn’t offer because they don’t know about allergies and stuff. Of course we declined as Z is gluten free and wouldn’t feel well afterwards. Since it was so close to bedtime, I was worried he was going to hit the ground and have a full force tantrum. But I told him we had gluten free ones at home and he was fine with that. However it was one of those “Out of the Mouth of Babe” moments. Here they wonderful people are giving him thousands of dollars for therapy, and all he wants is a Timmie’s donut.

Everyone there was so welcoming and kind. They asked questions about our journey. Also about the program itself. They also seemed so happy to have been able to help us. I could tell that helping children is truly a passion for this group of men and women.

They are now part of our journey to wellness. In the future, when Little Z is completely well, we will look back and show him this picture and tell him these are only a few of the people from the Elks, that helped you get the help you needed.

So in 17 days, we will be jumping on a jet plane and starting a whole new adventure. I have such high hopes for this trip. This life changing step towards wellness.

Thank you to the Elks of Canada, especially Winnipeg Lodge No.10. To our family, you are angels with purple wings.

Check out the video below. This was after we visited the Elks meeting.

 

MACHS Homeschool Conference-Heidi St. John

Wow! I can’t believe it has been well over a month and I still have not not written about our local homeschooling conference. I originally wanted to wait until the materials I had ordered arrived, and then life got in the way.

A local Christian Homeschool group, MACHS, puts on the Homeschool Conference here in Winnipeg every year.  Back when I was homeschooling Wes I also attended. You can read about my past conference experience in 2011 HERE. It is such a great way to get motivated and inspired. As usual the event was 2 days long. I closed my daycare and took a personal day on the Friday to attend on my own and scope things out. Then Hubby and I attended together on the Saturday.

The Friday was a great time for me to reconnect with other homeschooling moms. We were able to eat lunch together and chat about our kiddos, what was working for us, and what wasn’t.

Saturday was a great time for Hubby and I to explore our options. We were also able to talk about what we really wanted for our son, and what we didn’t want. We spent the session before lunch that was biblically based at the vendors as hubby is not religious. It was nice to see what we think will really work for Little Z Man and what likely wouldn’t be a fit.

The keynote speaker was Heidi St.John, mother of 7, grandmother of 2, author of The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight and blogger for the blog The Busy Mom. My friend was saying that all the women in her co-op were super excited to hear her speak. Tracy and I had no real idea who she was.

Now I can say I follow her blog and social media accounts. She was an awesome speaker. Some of what she said was not what we wanted to hear, but it was the truth. There is no sugar coating things in the way Heidi spoke.

I heard her speak on the topics:

  • Fearless Homeschooling: How to Ignore the
    Critics and Do What’s Best for Your Child
  • Real Life Homeschooling
  • The First Three Years: A Workshop for
    Homeschool Rookies

We also sat in on three sessions by other speakers:

  • Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and My Homeschooled Child – By Ross McCallum
  • Homeschooling 101 – By Stacy Fraser
  • Hands on Learning Fun! By Debbie Mogilevsky

The vendors. Oh the vendors. It is amazing how one could get lost in the 2 vendor halls. I could also spend our life savings. Heck, I could even miss all the speakers speak, because it so easily get lost in the shopping aspect of the conference. I think of my first conference, before I started blogging. I spent so much money on curriculum I didn’t really need.

The vendors are not evil. They are actually very helpful, but you have to remember to keep your wits about you.

Before you go to the conference, try and keep these things in mind:

  • Look at what you already have at home, how are you going to use it?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish next year?
  • What do you have missing to do just that?

Now you know what you have. How your going to use it. What you want to do, and what you still need to get.

Now when you get there and you see this amazing phonics program, and the sales pitch sounds unbelieveable, you can really decided if it’s necessary. Oh yeah, you have two other phonics programs at home, and they seem to be going well. Why fix something that is not broken? But now you have the name and contact information for a different phonics program, should you hit the wall with the ones you current own. You just saved yourself from buying something you may not have needed.

Answering the above questions also keeps you focused. If you love anything to do with Language Arts, and are not too drawn to Math, but you need to find a math program for your child, this will help you say no to the unnecessary stuff. You can now keep reminding yourself to focus on finding a shiny new math program that hopefully you and your child will enjoy.

So what did I buy? Isn’t this what all homeschool moms want to know. Well I’m happy to say we didn’t go crazy. I have A LOT of materials from when we were homeschooling Wes. We also are going to be going back to the IAHP(If you’d like to hear more about that, check out the video below.), so I know they will have an entire, intensive program for us. I do not want to buy materials, only to not have time to work on them.

I decided that this year, besides the IAHP program, we are going to focus a lot on fine motor skills. So we decided to start with Handwriting Without Tears – Get Set For School – My First School Book – Pre-K Activity Book. I already have the wooden blocks to work with back from when Wes was little. We will also be spending some time on the wonderful brachiation ladder my dad built the boys to build hand strength.

 

 

Now while Z is already reading, and has a solid understanding of phonics, I grabbed Get Ready for the Code A (Explode the Code). The main reason I grabbed this book was to work on following directions and another way to work on penmanship. I thought if I used a subject he was strong in(phonics) to work on a skill he needs practice in(fine motor skills).

 

 

I was really impressed with the whole Akeba curriculum. However Little Z’s level in different subject areas varies too much to follow an all in one curriculum. However I did pick up Readiness Skills K4 – A Beka. It is a great resource for skill appropriate activities for Little Z Man to work on those fine motor skills.

As you can see, I wasn’t kidding when I said fine motor skills are really our main focus.

One other thing that I will be sure to plan ahead for next year is to bring a lunch on Friday when I’m there without my Hubby. I found the lunches they served to be small, and overpriced. The food was good, but $9 for a small chicken salad sandwich, a few carrot sticks and a bag of chips was too much. I could have gotten the same at Subway and have been full.

The prices of the conference has gone up, but the price now includes a one year membership to MACHS(Manitoba Association of Christian Home Schools) as well as access to the video/sound recordings to all the sessions presented this year and last year for one year. This is great because there were times were two sessions were happening at the same time that interested me. But now I can listen to the second one at home and not have to miss either of them.

The one thing I always dread about the conference is its location. Calvary Temple is a beautiful church, however it is located right downtown. Traffic is horrendous during rush hour on the Friday.  Parking is a nightmare, and quite costly. So to hear the conference is moving to the Victoria Inn with unlimited free parking was amazing news!

What are conferences like in your neck of the woods? Please leave a comment and tell me all about them. Feel free to ask any questions.