Friday, August 27, 2010

Neuro Developmental Therapy

Samantha has had many priesthood blessings during her short life. All of them have brought me peace in the moment, but some of them I think of often. The words run through my mind and I am constantly reminded of blessings the Lord has in store for her.

When she was born, her great grandfather gave her a blessing. Because of certain things that were said, I have felt that there are things we need to do in order to help her achieve her earthly potential. I have tried very hard to be her do whatever we can to help her take her therapies seriously, etc. But, I'm also just her I love and hug her as much as I can, and if she's upset...well, I've been known to tell our therapists, "I think she's done for the day." BUT, I can also be one tough cookie. There's got to be balance, right?

There was another blessing she received where she was told her head would grow. I remembered being shocked. Samantha's head measured small in utero, but continued to grow...until she was 4 months old. At that time, her head stopped growing, and measurements have been the same since then (32 cm) and she is now 4 years old. No growth. But, I have faith in that blessing. So, how can that be? Well, maybe in the next life. I asked her neurologist once about brain growth, and he said, "Well, as long as progress is being made, the brain is growing. It may not be measurable, but there's some kind of growth." That satisfied me. I felt like as long as Sammy was progressing, there was fulfillment to that promise.

About 8 months ago I spent many hours reading a series of books by Glenn Doman. I was intrigued and read as much as I could. He has an institution in Pennsylvania where you can get your child evaluated and put on a program. I felt pretty sure that we needed to do this, but I didn't know how to do that. A friend directed me to Patty, a woman in our stake, who had gone through a program based off his research and saw huge successes with her children. I immediately called Patty. She told me her story (her story consisting of 3 of her children) and told me about Donna Bateman...a therapist who was trained by, and continues to work with, the Family Hope Center -- an offset of Glenn Doman's institute, pedagogy, etc.

Long story short -- we met with Donna. She flew out to San Jose and did an evaluation on Samantha. (And, this was way way way less expensive! She's a mom who became trained herself because of her son who had his own problems. She is now wanting to share this with the world...and does.) She did an evaluation on Samantha. She got us set up on a program. And we will begin next week.

The idea is that you need to start at the basics of the brain. There are certain reflexes, reactions, skills that kids should have. If they don't, then we need to go back to those and work on those before we can move on. It's so much more than that, but this post is already too long. We went to a seminar that explains it all (though you can get all the information in Doman's books), and Marcus, who is spending many hours a day studying for the EPPP (psychology licensing test) found that what they were teaching us matched what the scientific world knows and says about the brain. So, no funny stuff here. Marcus, the good man that he is, is often leary about what I introduce. He wants facts. Research. Stuff to back it up. But, he usually goes along with it as long as he doesn't see any danger in it. This time, we both feel so good about this path we're pursuing, and I can't wait to begin.

Side note: Research has shown that with this program, brains grow. And not just how my neurologist told me...but the actual measurements change. I can't help but wonder if we will see any changes, if this will be a greater fulfillment of the blessing Samantha was given. Either way, though, we press on.


  1. Ooooooh, how exciting! It sounds very intriguing! I am so glad that you got the right hook-ups to get this therapy going. Can't wait to hear how the progress goes. I love LOVE that header picture. Her smile.....sooooooo sweet.

    Love, bree

  2. Hmm, this sounds really interesting, and you've definitely caught my attention. Grace's head is growing at such a slow rate that she's pretty much plateaued on the growth charts. I keep getting a "we'll wait and see" from her pediatrician, but now hearing this...I'm very interested to learn more.



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