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!!!