Tag Archives: Autism

Hello there:)

blog-were-back

 

Hello my friends:)  No we didn’t fall off the face of the earth and we are still in full swing of the Brain Balance program.  Continuing to make strides and progress.  May has just been a month that has taken us and me personally through more than I had planned and it took my away from my blogging.  So I am super excited to be able to start it up again and here we go!!!

Two major changes for our Dalton within the last 2 weeks.  His medication has been decreased by 10mg.  Which is HUGE!!  We felt that the weight loss coupled with the changes/progress that he had been displaying warranted reaching out to his pediatrician to discuss this option.  The pediatrician did agree to decrease his dosage and he has already shown positive improvement from this change.  This has also made me question whether or not we should being looking for a new pediatrician for him though…with an outlook from one of the doctors in the practice of “there is nothing that Brain Balance is going to do to effect his medicine or help him”…I’m not so sure that he is a good fit for our team any longer.  I will wait to speak with his regular pediatrician before making that final determination.  They have been in our lives for 19 years…will be hard to let go and move on because they have been fantastic doctors…we don’t have to agree on everything and we already disagree about some things.  And that is OK:)  But if there is going to be more problems on the horizon and too much resistance and not enough open mindedness…you gotta do what you gotta do for your kids.

The other major milestone is that Dalton made it through the night in regular underwear and NO ACCIDENTS!!!  First….Time….EVER!!!!  I almost did backflips down the hallway when I saw his smiling face this morning 🙂  Super proud of you buddy!!  You are our rockstar!!!!

Tonight we have his 3 month evaluation.  Excited to see what his measurable progress is and see how far he has come since the program beginning!!  Stay tuned!!

 

 

It’s a family affair!

This journey with Dalton is one that our while family has to embrace fully in order for him to be successful.  And I am happy to report that everyone is doing their best to be on board/stay on board 100% of the time!  He continues to make improvements and progresses a bit more each day.   This has been a rough week for regression for him…but when he comes out of it he is even more of a rockstar than he was before!!

An example of our “Family Affair” from this evening our “Mighty Quinn” doing Brain Balance Exercises with Daltie (that’s what he calls Dalton) and daddy.  This one is called “Cat”…but Quinn’s FAVORITE is “Starfish”!

“I just want to read my books…”

 

Good morning folks!  So…I mentioned in my blog yesterday that Dalton always seems to show more real progress in the mornings after he is well rested and before his meds.  Well this morning was another stellar example of this!!

When going in to wake Dalton for school this morning…he was already awake.  But he wasn’t JUST awake…he was awake, laying in his bed reading his books.  When asked what he was doing he said, “I woke up and I just want to read my books.”  These words have NEVER come out of Dalton’s mouth.  N.E.V.E.R.  Did I mention NEVER?!?!?  Not in 9 years…NEVER!!!!  He then hurriedly got ready for school and put his shoes and socks on correctly the first time in less than 30 seconds (the shoes and socks took less than 30 seconds…not the whole process…LOL).  His motivation was getting back to his books before his transport arrived to take him to school.  Now…reading has always been a struggle for him.  Mostly because he lacks the attention and focus to keep his eyes on the proper line in the books and if he looks away from the book even for a split second he is completely lost…these are skills that we are working on in the Brain Balance program.  His exercises at home and at center are working his eye tracking abilities and are helping tremendously!  We also noticed that Dalton is able to read his school lunch menu.  He showed us this ability just 2 days ago when we were looking at lunch choices for the week and he read what the main entree choices were for each day.  We had no idea that he was actually able to read at the advanced level that he was performing at!  Not because we are inattentive parents…but because Dalton has been unable to show us what he is capable of.

Consider this…a child that lives locked inside his body.  He can’t command his body consciously or unconsciously to perform and behave in the way that he wants.  He lives unaware of his space and existence in our neurotypical dimension.  He doesn’t feel his body the way that others do.  He can’t track very well with his eyes (huge deficiencies in 3D vision) and therefore is nonathletic, clumsy and is constantly tripping over and walking into/over items in his path (and an occasional doorway).  His eyes can’t track and focus on single images/words for long enough periods of time to complete simple tasks that we do every day and take for granted.  His olfactory senses peak off the charts when new smells and foods are introduced which cause huge sensitivities to new foods and new environments.  Sounds are his enemy.  Especially if there is no order to it.  He clings to music and melodies because there is consistency and structure to each musical movement.  This is one of the best mechanisms that he learns through.  The world of  imagination and make believe is his reality.  He is a master of that realm.  He can shut off sounds, talking and chaos around him and simply “be” in that world he has created.  It is a reality that he has 100% control over and therefore he prefers to live in that isolated world than in our real world.  A real world that doesn’t understand him, doesn’t openly accept him and would rather he be kept away with other kids like him.

That is a snapshot my Dalton…and of many other children/adults that are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD/ADD.  That is what he is working SO HARD to break out of and what WE and our Brain Balance team are working to break him out of.  That is why he is my hero.  This is his story.  I know that many people get tired of seeing my posts on Facebook, Twitter that illustrate his “tiny progress” when they have no idea what a HUGE step that is for him.  To those of you that feel that way…please don’t feel obligated to read my blog.  I am not writing it for you.  I am writing it for myself as a record of our journey…and it gives me hope and strength moving forward when I need a little extra encouragement after he has had an exceptionally challenging period of regression.  And I am writing it for other parents like me that face the same daily challenges that I face.  That are looking for help that they may not know is out there and available to them.  That may be considering researching this program a bit more but want to hear about an individual journey going through the program instead of just a testimonial letter or video documenting their successes after program completion.  There are parents that travel HOURS…one way…three times a week to get their children to our Brain Balance center in Edwardsville.  It isn’t just working for us…it is working for SO MANY other children/teens/adults…

Another bit of progress to mention…Dalton has never been a child to not have ALL of the buttons on his shirt buttoned.  Even if that top button is going to cut the circulation off at the neck….he will button that top button.  That all stems from his sensory issues.  He also prefers to wear shoes that are too small for him so they feel tighter on his feel.  Helps him feel his feet better.  But I digress…after putting his shirt on this morning he started to button his 3 collar buttons and I said (like I do EVERY SINGLE TIME he wears a shirt with buttons), “Hey buddy, why don’t you leave the top button unbuttoned?  Your shirt looks really cool that way.  It doesn’t need to be buttoned.”  He said, “It does?  Huh.  Ok.  I will leave it unbuttoned.”  And…he…DID!!  He left it that way when he left for school.  Now…that isn’t to say that he won’t come home with it buttoned because he had the need to feel that security during the day…but this morning he was comfortable enough and in touch with himself/his body enough to leave it that way!  Way to go buddy!!!

hero story book read

 

We have made it through 5 weeks!

week5

Can I get an amen?!?!  We have successfully made it through 5 weeks of the Brain Balance program!  Some days it feels like we have been doing this for years…but the rewards are SO fulfilling!!!

Example…yesterday morning we (Jase and I) overslept because our alarms didn’t go off.  We woke up at 7:20am…and Dalton’s transport arrives at 7:10am. #parentingfail  SO…I immediately jump out of bed and rush upstairs panicked of course at the morning that I just KNOW is going to be ahead of me.  But instead of finding Dalton still snoozing away in his bed…he is standing on the front porch in a t-shirt (with no bottoms…which is hilarious in itself)…munching on a banana.  He looks at me and says, “Good morning mom.  You overslept.  And Miss Peggy is already here waiting for me.”  I said, “I know buddy, I’m so sorry.”  He then said, “It’s ok.  I already got my clothes out of my room and is it ok if I eat breakfast at school today?  I won’t have time to eat because I have to go now.”  INTERNAL MONOLOGUE:  Seriously?!?!  Is this my child?!?!  Did some alien invasion happen during the night that I was unaware of???  Because this appears to be a pod person.  This CANNOT be happening right now.  Am I awake?  This has got to be a dream…

He then happily finished getting dressed and bounced out the door with his daddy and had no issues getting into the transport either.  Jasen came back inside and I looked at him and there was absolute, complete disbelief on both of our faces.  Wow….reflecting on it today I have no words to adequately explain how I felt in that moment and have since then.

This morning (we did NOT oversleep) Dalton did his whole morning routine and then came and sat outside on the back porch with me where I was having my morning coffee.  He sat down in the chair next to me and just sat and smiled and looked at the sky and the trees and took some deep breaths and said, “Today is going to be a great day!  What’s the name of that tree?  It’s really old so it should have a name, don’t you think mom?”  LOL!!!  He is SUCH a funny guy!

Jase and I have realized that Dalton reflects much of his progress and successions (more often) in the mornings before he has his medication and when he is well rested.  While we aren’t comfortable taking him off his meds yet (nor would we without the guidance of his pediatrician)…this does show us once again that real change is happening inside Dalton.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.

work-in-progress

Introducing….IRIS;)

Allow me to introduce you all to Iris!  Iris is the latest addition to our family.  She helps Dalton with his eye exercises.  Yes she is a pen and yes she is a watermelon wearing a neon green feather boa…AND our course her name is a BAAAAD pun…but you gotta get the humor in when you can…  

These eye exercises are now being done daily as Dalton’s next step in his Brain Balance journey.  And they are WICKED hard for him…his eye tracking abilities are extremely deficient and Iris helps him get through the exercises with a bit less of a struggle as we work towards improving his abilities in this area.   

What just happened?!?!

Potty training…perhaps some of the most feared words in the world of parenting…BUT…they are hot button words in our house lately.  Part of this is because our mighty QT has been showing an increased interest in using the potty and we have all the tools and “tricks of the trade” ready to go.  

This has also caused increased conversation with Dalton about making it through the night and keeping his pull-up dry.  He never wears one during the day…hasn’t for about 4 years now.  So…I talked at length to him last night at bedtime about getting up to use the bathroom and then getting back in bed.  He was so proud of himself…but not nearly as proud as I was of him!!  Major accomplishment for him!  This achievement also happens to coincide with his mastery of one of his Brain Balance primitive reflex suppression exercises!!  Woot woot!!!  We had JUST discussed this exact thing during his progress report on Wednesday evening!  WOW!!!  

And then…Jasen put him on the transport for school this morning…and he came back inside with a perplexed look on his face.  I asked him what was on his mind…and he told me that Dalton didn’t have his regular driver or his regular van…and he didn’t outwardly react to it.  He just got in and buckled up…IN A DIFFERENT SEAT!!  Now…I know that some of you reading my blog are probably like…”Yeah, and???”  But our history with this type of “change” has been nightmarish to say the least.  This type of change typically results in throwing himself down on the pavement, banging his head on the ground and on the van, screaming, hitting and kicking, biting and ultimately leads to him not being able to ride the transport to school and sometimes not being able to recover enough to be able to handle school that day.  Hence the title of this blog…WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!  Those were Jasen’s exact words as he started to tell me what happened and marked 3 new HUGE marks of progress for Dalton!!  
Will NEVER be able to say this enough…BRAIN BALANCE IS LIFE CHANGING and the program really works!!  Individual results may vary…but we give it 220%…EVERY…SINGLE…DAY…  So…OUR results are helping to change his life for the better and the lives of everyone he touches.  

Round 1 results are in!!

We had our first Brain Balance progress report tonight and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results!!  Dalton has shown significant, measurable progress in almost every category that he is working in at Brain Balance.  They were so impressed with how far he has come so quickly that they filmed a video testimonial of what we have seen in our 4 short weeks in program!! #hisfuturessobrightwegottawearshades

So proud of how hard Dalton is working and incredibly blessed with our Brain Balance family!!  We truly see a different future ahead for Dalton and the sky is the limit for him!!  #oursonisourhero

4 down with a holiday to boot!

Four weeks in and still going strong!  This past week added the additional stress of a holiday…EASTER!!!  Which not only celebrates the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…but also brings the extra bonus of CANDY, CHOCOLATE and STRESSFUL EGG HUNTS!! Holy…Shit… It is for me by far the most dreaded holiday of the year.  Not even Halloween or Christmas brings me this much stress and anxiety. Coupled by, of course, the fact that I work at my church; so my work load and mental capacity are already pinging at an 11 out of 10… #someoneshootmenow. 

Did my best to plan ahead and bought little trinkets and “tiny” toys to fill Easter eggs with…didn’t plan to load the Easter baskets up with candy, chocolate and sugary treats (and I didn’t).  First test of the day was when pastor handed out baggies of jelly beans to all the kids during children’s time.  After church he immediately gave them to me and said, “these aren’t healthy for me mom”.  What?!?!  What just happened there?!?  Is he making the conscious choice to not eat candy?!?  On Easter?!?  Maybe today is going to be better than expected!! Woot!!!  Especially since he sat still and behaved almost perfectly during Easter Family Worship!!

After church he waited patiently for Easter Baskets to be handed out at home, ate all of his Easter dinner with modifications, and was BEYOND belief amazing during our Easter Egg hunt….I started to finally breathe a bit easier and enjoy my day a bit more fully.  #thankyoujesus

Things continued to chug along but then he got very distracted, very non-compliant and very tantrummy (yes I know that isn’t a word…but I don’t care).  Screaming for screen time, screaming and throwing himself around like a 3 year old… #regression #itswhatsfordinner.   Regression coupled with the Skittles filled Easter egg that he found and chowed down the entire thing down in about 30 seconds before I discovered it.  #prepareforhellonearth

Things escalated and escalated more as the sugar started to work through his system…until he finally crashed and was I told him he was ready for bed…which brought an additional unnecessary layer of stress to both of us because lo and behold…he was out of melatonin. At the same time his MiMi had to go to the ER to have 2 severely infected cat bites treated…which completely sent him into an heightened anxious and worried state.  

Lots of talking, lots of essential oils and bedtime stories later…he fell asleep peacefully.  #whatarollercoaster. Keep in mind that I have 2 other kiddoes…one that ran an unexplained fever and was lethargic, clingy amd whiney all afternoon and into the night…AND the other was breaking out into her typical hive like rash from stress and anxiety and was going back and forth from pinging like a drop of water on a hot skillet to being a “i dont want to anything i dont want to do” uncompliant, teenage drama queen self… #ineedjesusandabottleofwine

In all seriousness though…still seeing strides and progress in Dalton.  More consistency of the same types of behaviors I have previously mentioned in earlier blogs.  I think the most notable for this past week is his increased interaction with his little brother QT and has been sharing more, playing more and being more affectionate with him. 

We have our first progress report with Brain Balance this Wednesday night…hoping for good news beyond expectations!!

Three weeks down…

We think we can, we think we can…still chugging along full steam in our Brain Balance program.  Dalton is continuing to blow us away with his progress. 

  1. Dalton’s fine motor skills are continuing to improve.  Much more control when writing and coloring. 
  2. The restricted diet has caused a slow and steady weight loss for him that he is truly benefitting from.  Not sure what his total weight loss is so far, but it’s physically evident.
  3. His desire to read ON HIS OWN is increasing.  He read 10 pages of “Pete the Cat” last night at bedtime and only needed help with a few words.  But he tried to sound them out on his own before asking for my help.  

We are tired but we press on.  We do everything in our power to help create a brighter future for all our children…and Dalton’s gets brighter every day!!!