From Hemiplegia and Learning Problems to Running a Marathon and School

Hemiplegia and Learning Problems

Nihad crosses the finish line

Nihad was born a well child. At 5 months of age, he suddenly became very ill. He became very irritable and lethargic, developed a fever and began projectile vomiting. At first, doctors thought it might just be a product of teething, but it became obvious that Nihad was suffering from something far more serious. When he was finally admitted to the hospital, it was discovered that he was suffering from tuberculous meningitis, which had caused increased intracranial pressure and hydrocephalus. Doctors needed to perform emergency surgery to install a shunt and reduce the pressure. While the doctors were able to save his life, the meningitis and resulting pressure on his brain had left him completed paralyzed on the left side of his body. He had hemiplegia and learning problems from the surgery.


His parents started looking for treatment. They tried many conventional therapies during the early years of his life. However, they found that the therapies they used yielded poor results. Nihad says, “Unfortunately for us, these did little to alleviate our problems. My parents eventually attended a course called “ What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. I was only 10 at the time.”

Nihad was a slow reader. He read below age level and disliked reading because it required so much effort.

When Nihad began his new program, his left arm was rigid and always held close to his body. He was able to walk and run short distances, but with poor coordination. He could not keep up with other kids when they played sports. Intellectually, he was a slow reader who read below age level and disliked reading because it required so much effort. On the left side of his body, his tactile sensation was poor. Nihad was able to write, but greatly disliked doing it and resisted it. He was having difficulties in many areas – all caused by the hemiplegia and learning problems.


Nihad Responds to Hemiplegia and Learning Problems Program

Parents immediately began a physical program that consisted of crawling and creeping to improve his overall mobility. Parents also started an intense Intelligence Program, which included reading, mathematics and giving him more knowledge about the world with Bits of Intelligence. Nihad remembers that he felt nearly an immediate change, within the first two weeks. He said, “In contrast to the frustration I encountered with the conventional therapy, I was motivated by the IAHP program.”

“I suddenly noticed that his left hand was open. I could not believe my eyes! For 10 years Nihad’s fist remained tightly closed…We were so excited!

Nihad’s mother also remembers a great improvement in just the first weeks of starting the program: “Nihad was lying on my shoulder on the bed after an exhausting day and I suddenly noticed that his left hand was relaxed and open. For a moment I could not believe my eyes! For 10 years Nihad’s fist remained tightly closed…We were so excited! Here was proof that the program was indeed workin,g and this remained our motivation to work at the program for a long, long time to come.”

“My balance, stamina, strength, coordination, vision, sensory faculties; they all improved considerably.”

Nihad continued to improve. He was given a carefully designed nutritional program to help brain growth and development. He comments, “The program focused on physical, intellectual, nutritional, and physiological well being. My balance, stamina, strength, coordination, vision, and sensory faculties–they all improved considerably.”


To continue to improve his physical abilities, Nihad was given a running program. This included daily aerobic running, which improved Nihad’s neurological function by increasing the oxygenation of the brain. Running was essential for him to be fit and to improve his mobility. It was during this time that Nihad developed a life-long love of running.


Nihad also improved intellectually. In fact, the child who used to despise reading and writing found that he loved his Intelligence Program. His reading improved in speed and, of course, so did his comprehension. This became the favorite part of his daily program – his reward for all the hard work he was doing.

Nihad was a different boy: He scored 90-100% on age-level standardized tests.

After four years on the program, Nihad was a different boy. He read age-level books for pleasure daily. He scored 90-100% on age-level standardized tests. He began to study algebra like other children his age. The tactile sensation on the left side of his body was significantly improved. He could now hop across a room independently. He could run for 45 minutes nonstop with ease. Adults would comment on his maturity and his ability to carry on sophisticated conversations. His writing was very good.

“He rejoined school in grade 8 and completed his IGCSE exams two years later.”

Nihad was confident that he was now ready for school. Parents were apprehensive, but looking back at it now, mother writes, “We were very worried but Nihad was determined. He rejoined school in grade 8 and completed his IGCSE exams two years later. He went on to join Raffles Design Institute and completed his bachelor’s degree in Interactive Multimedia Design.”

While at university, Nihad decided to begin running again, and to continue to run longer and longer distances. He set his sights on a new goal – running a marathon. He decided to make the goal of running marathons to raise money for cancer. He achieved that goal and has now completed multiple marathons, and all for a good cause.


Nihad’s fundraising for cancer has gained attention. An article about his incredible journey was recently published on a sporting news website. You can read his article here:

Looking back at his experience on the program, Nihad summarizes, The program works holistically, and each part of it is vital to neurological organization. I enjoyed the intellectual program most, though what has impacted my life most today has been the physical program. I was too young to really be able to reflect… Now when I reflect about it, I’m a normal person only thanks to Glenn Doman and the other Institutes staff.”

A heart-warming story of how this young man overcame hemiplegia and learning problems to succeed in his life!

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