Dx Language Developmental Delay: Sebastian’s Story

Sebastian proves that the brain really does grow by use

Sebastian at eight, hitting his stride and ready to attend school with his peers

Beautiful baby Sebastian, propped up with pillows so he could sit he also needed a monitor for his breathing

Sebastian was born in Brussels, Belgium. His Father is Colombian, and I am Mexican. He was born by caesarean section. At the precise moment of his birth, the paediatrician told us that Sebastian had noisy breathing.  He recommended observing him in the neonatal service and performing a series of exams. The baby was in the hospital in Brussels for almost a month. The paediatrician diagnosed a laryngomalacia a “weakness of the larynx”.

“At three years Sebastian had a vocabulary of ten words.”

When he turned eight months, Sebastian could not sit without the support of pillows. From that moment on, the paediatrician suggested starting psychomotor stimulation therapies. He had an apnea monitor at home for his first year.

He began walking by himself at 22 months old. At three years Sebastian had a vocabulary of about ten words. After various neurological exams and without a clear diagnosis, a psychologist, who knew the work of The Institutes, suggested we start a program to help Sebastian’s language development.

Older sister and Sebastian celebrate Christmas but he still has almost no speech.

We attended the What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child course in Mexico City and took Sebastian for his first visit to Philadelphia shortly thereafter.

“It was a time of important challenges that helped us strengthen our family.”

At that time, we still lived in Brussels. Our apartment was located about 70 m from one of the largest forests in a city in Europe. That forest became our second home: we walked, ran, rode bicycles, and skated.  Yes, it was a time of important challenges and tests that helped us strengthen ourselves as a family, where Sebastian’s older sister, showed her strength, support and love by creeping, crawling, running and accompanying her younger brother through much of the program activities.

Sebastian with his second mother – his older sister who was always there for him

“Grandmother at age 70 crawled with him, dad did his program during the weekends.”

As did his grandmother at age 70 crawling with him and his dad doing program during the weekends, after long hours of work during the week, so that I could prepare the intellectual program.

We worked very hard on our home treatment program until he was seven years old. He reached the top of The Institutes Developmental Profile in all areas. By that time, he was a great reader, mathematician, and tennis player.

Sebastian entered school to study with his peers for the first time.

Sebastian was home schooled until he was eight years old when we felt he was ready to stop The Institutes home program. We continue our journey by using what we had learned. At that time Sebastian entered the third year of primary school to study with his peers in a Belgian school for the first time.

High School at the French Lyceum

Four years later he began high school at the French Lyceum Jeanne Monet of Brussels and when we moved to Mexico a year later, he continued his high school studies at the French Lyceum of Mexico.

Experienced and very successful high school student ready for anything

Although his elocution was not entirely fluid, he decided to join the theatre group, and for the final performance of high school last year he successfully did a fifteen minute monologue.

Sebastian and mother graciously join the staff answering questions for parents attending the What To Do About Your brain-injured Child course in Mexico City last month.

Sebastian prepares for the University of Leiden

Thanks to his perseverance and discipline and his understanding of the clear goals set by The Institutes, Sebastian is fulfilling his dreams. Recently, he returned from Canada where he studied English in order to begin his studies at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. He will start his studies in archaeology there next year.

Two Directors of The Institutes: Susan Aisen and Dr. Ernesto Vasquez congratulate Sebastian and his mother at the course in Mexico City last August.

I thank The Institutes for what they have done for Sebastian. The young boy who did not speak at three years of age is now trilingual. Today he is an independent young adult ready to become an archaeologist!


Get More Help

Talk To Us