Hurt Kid Victories: Understanding
Results: The only thing that matters in the world of hurt kids
In the world of brain-injured children understanding is a critical issue. It can be a life and death issue. When the world sees a hurt child it often decides his fate based upon the assumption that he is not intelligent. Once he is assigned this lower condition, he is seen as less deserving and less worthwhile. How else can we explain the places where hurt kids are routinely warehoused, medicated and forgotten? The children included here had significant problems in the auditory pathway that could have put them at risk and ruined their lives. Parents, and stimulation, as always, were the answer.
At birth, a newborn baby is deaf: the baby has a startle reflex. This is the first stage of beginning to hear.
A newborn baby needs strong contrast: White dots on a black background provides appropriate visual contrast Mother will also provide auditory contrast for the newborn– sound and silence.
As the baby matures, the baby begins to hear loud threatening sounds. This is the second stage of differentiating mere sound from potentially threatening sound.
When a baby begins to be able to perceive meaningful sounds this means the baby is beginning to have useful hearing.
Injury to the brain either before, during or after delivery can result in poor or inconsistent hearing. This is because of injury to the auditory pathway, not injury to the ear. It is essential to differentiate these two very different problems otherwise inappropriate treatments can be prescribed that permanently damage an otherwise healthy auditory pathway that could have been treated.
After stimulation, the same baby only, weeks later is ready to hear the meaningful sound that matches that visual stimulation “Zebra”.
Appropriate stimulation and opportunity are the answer when a sensory pathway is in trouble. When the auditory pathway is provided with stimulation with increased frequency, intensity, and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the brain develops, the auditory pathway will grow. The child will begin to understand meaningful sounds and then words. Once a child begins to respond consistently to words then we can begin to evaluate the child’s understanding. Once a child can understand at least as well as a three-year-old an understanding victory is awarded.
Preemies Exceeding their Peers
Brody loves his books
Born 17 weeks premature, Brody weighed one pound, two ounces. On the fourth day he was diagnosed with a Grade IV brain hemorrhage in both ventricles. Brody stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 148 days. Parents began their own treatment 12 to 14 hours daily. They attended the What to Do About Your Brain-injured Child course when Brody was 19 months and started an intensive program at home. Eight weeks later his understanding was at age level. Three months before his third birthday his understanding was evaluated again it was as good as a three-year old and in some areas better. He received an understanding victory at that time. He also was enjoying reading hundreds single words and large print books with sophisticated content – well above his peers.
Ava answers her mother’s questions using a choice board
Ava was born 14 weeks premature by a C-section, she weighed 2 pounds and 11 ounces. She had jaundice and respiratory distress and was put on a series of ventilators. All together she had seven surgeries on the brain in the first 9 months of life. Additional diagnoses as Cerebral Palsy, Epileptic. Parents attended the What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child course when Ava was 31 months. She understood at about an 18-month-old level at that time. Parents provided a home program of maximum stimulation and optimum opportunity and Ava progressed rapidly. She understands more than 3 years old level before she became 3 years old. At 41 months of age Ava understands at age level or above. She readily makes deals with others, follows 2-step instructions consistently, and reads large print books at a 6 to 7-year-old level with full comprehension.
It is now clear that Yuma is extremely intelligent – Mother’s biggest problem is keeping up with him!
Yuma is a twin born 13 weeks premature by an emergency C-section due to a breech presentation. He weighed one kilogram. Yuma was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Periventricular Leukomalacia due to prematurity. When Yuma was two years old his parents attended the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured course and immediately started their own home program. When he started Yuma understood at about the level of a seven month old. After having a program of maximum stimulation and optimum opportunity his progress was remarkable. By 38 months of age he understood well above his age level. He now understands sophisticated expressions in both Japanese and English. He has received an understanding victory. He also uses more than 1,000 words of speech and can use a letterboard to write his more sophisticated ideas and comments. He is also walking independently now as means of transportation.
Each of these children had a very rough start in life. Neonatal care now saves the lives of thousands of preemies who even a decade ago might not have survived. But all too often preemies have very significant neurological problems, as these three children did. These parents did not accept the conventional thinking that their babies would not have a full life. Instead, these children are getting a fighting chance to have a full life thanks to the hard work and dedication of their mothers and fathers.