"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Finding Hope...

So I have a LOT to catch up on - we just spent a week in Atlanta, re-evaluating both Aidan and Aeson with Dr. Pete at Brain Balance. AMAZING progress for Aidan, and a concrete plan to help Aeson. ALL GOOD! And we shot a parent testimonial video about our experiences with the Brain Balance Program - I can't wait to see it and to share it with everyone. This program has truly changed Aidan's life, and has helped our entire family in SO many ways. I hope that sharing Aidan's story will help other families learn about Brain Balance, and find hope for their children.

Today's blog, however, will be very short, and very sweet. Right this minute, Andy and I are thoroughly enjoying our 15th kid free hour! That's right - all THREE boys spent the night with Mimi and Papa last night! We dropped them off last night, fed, bathed, and ready for bed. In fact, Ash was asleep already. Andy and I enjoyed a fantastic dinner at our very favorite spot, the Sundae Cafe. Drinks, appetizers, entrees, dessert (to go) - great conversation, no rushing through a meal, not a coloring book in sight - BLISS! We slept in until 9 am - I honestly can't remember the last time I was still in bed at 9am! I called to check on the boys, and everything was ALL GOOD at Mimi and Papa's house. No drama, no tears, ALL GOOD! Andy and I drank our coffee, chatted some more, and I had last night's cheesecake for breakfast! HEAVEN! Now, we are headed to the beach to play with the boys for the afternoon. Thanks Mimi and Papa - we needed that! Maybe 4 days in Chicago for the Autism One conference next month isn't just a pipe dream for this Mama. I am hopefully optimistic!

Much love,

Allie

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you and your family!

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  2. Hi Allie! Loved reading your journey - I do not live near a Brain Balance center but I have read the book. In fact, I bought it twice - obviously a sign from the universe that I needed to read it! I am going to be doing the exercises in the book but I was wondering if you could explain a bit for me the difference in your experience from doing the home program and doing the work at the center. Also, are you still continuing with exercises at home now? Have the developments "stuck"? Thanks so much! ~ Amy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amy!
      First of all, thanks for reading! The first thing I would recommend that you do is head over to www.brainbalanceparents.ning.com and register. This free site is a community of Brain Balance Parents and doctors that share stories, provide encouragement, and answer questions directly. It is a great resource for someone just starting out with Brain Balance or interested in learning more about the program.
      If it is possible for you to travel to a center for an assessment, I will tell you it is definitely worth the time and expense. The assessment in the book "Disconnected Kids" is only a partial assessment and will take quite a while to complete. (I had only made it halfway through the assessment in two weeks time when we decided to go directly to a center.) In just a few hours spread over two days, the center was able to collect SO much information to really help fine-tune what we were to begin doing at home.
      As far as home vs. center, here is our experience. After our initial assessment, we worked with the center to create a specific home program for Aidan that was much more detailed than just the exercises in the book. We worked VERY DILIGENTLY with this program, doing exercises three times per day, EVERY SINGLE DAY for months. And we saw slow, but very steady progress. After 2 weeks, we were noticing changes and after 4-6 weeks, so was everyone else! Using the home program we had nine steady months of forward progress, with NO major backslide or regression for the first time EVER!
      Now, putting Aidan through the program was INTENSE. The developmental changes happened SO quickly and so continuously throughout the 18 weeks that we were in Atlanta. It was really amazing, the amount of progress that he made in such a relatively short amount of time. And it has definitely stuck. Since we've been home, Aidan has taken up riding his scooter, and learned to ride his bike without training wheels! (These are things he would not even attempt prior to BB, because balance and coordination were such an issue for him.)
      We are still doing an 8-10 minute routine of exercises each morning, but will try to phase that out after school gets out for the summer. (Of course, we will ALWAYS have to make sure to keep Aidan as physically active as possible throughout the day.) We just spent Spring Break in Atlanta getting reassessed (6 months after finishing the program) and the results are awesome. I've been working on that blog post - keep an eye out for it in the near future!
      The program at a center gives you the biggest bang for your buck, simply because they have the tools to REALLY stimulate the weaker hemisphere of the brain in many different ways, all at once. But you can make a TON of progress, working from home under the guidance of a BB center too. One thing I have learned in working closely with directors of two different centers is that the folks involved with Brain Balance are some of the most caring individuals that I have ever met. I have never had a problem making a phone call or sending an email and getting a quick response.
      If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Again, the Brain Balance Community website is a great resource. And you can always shoot me an email at allmash@hotmail.com

      Allie

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