Language Development Results
Results: The only thing that matters in the world of hurt kids
In the world of brain-injured children language is a critical issue. It can be a life and death issue. When the world sees a hurt child, if he cannot speak or speaks poorly, it is often assumed that the child is not intelligent. His fate is often based upon that assumption. 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 have significant problems in language development that could put them at risk and possibly ruin their lives. Parents, and stimulation, as always, are the answer.
At birth a newborn baby has a birth cry. That cry is used to call mother and to keep her on alert. This is the first stage of language development.
As the baby matures, the baby understands threatening situations and that cry becomes a vital cry. This is the second stage the baby is not merely saying “I am here, I need something” but rather “I am in danger help me.”
Next a baby begins to be able to make happy sounds, sad sounds, angry sounds – these are meaningful sounds. This is a much more sophisticated point where Mother and baby begin to get into real communication.
Injury to the brain either before, during or after delivery can result in poor or inconsistent ability to make sounds or speak. This is because of injury to the brain not injury to the tongue or the mouth.
When language development is compromised, appropriate stimulation and opportunity are the answer. When the child is given stimulation with increased frequency, intensity and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the brain grows, and his breathing and oxygen needs are addressed, the language pathway will grow. The child will begin to make meaningful sounds and then use words. Once a child can say at least 10 words and is beginning to use couplets, then a Language Victory is awarded. The following children have received Language Victories.
Catherine and her twin sister were 75 days premature. Catherine was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She was 9 months old, when she was first evaluated at The Institutes. She could hear threatening sounds and she could use loud crying to indicate something was threatening her. However, she was not able to understand meaningful sounds or make meaningful sounds consistently. After 48 months of a program of stimulation and opportunity she now has ten words of speech and she is beginning to use short sentences, such as “I love you.” She has now earned a Language Victory. Even though she is not yet five years old, she is reading books with full comprehension at a twelve-year-old level.
Alice was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 at birth. Alice was 8 months old when she was first evaluated at The Institutes. She was able to her emotions through meaningful sounds but she had no words of speech. She also had a moderate ventricular septic defect which affected feeding and mobility. Twenty months later at the age of 28 months, after receiving a program of stimulation and opportunity, Alice now uses single words and she is beginning to use couplets. She can also walk one kilometer in 20 minutes and she is reading at a six-year-old level.
Mateo was 21 days premature and delivered via Cesarean section. His initial diagnosis was autism. Parents were told he might be “educable”. Mateo was first evaluated at The Institutes when he was 35 months old. He had a full range of meaning sounds and one word of speech. After only nine months of stimulation and opportunity, Mateo now uses over 200 single words, 50 couplets and he is beginning to speak in sentences such as “Here is the paper!”. He is not yet four years old but he also enjoys reading and, at times, enjoys reading his books aloud. Not bad for a little boy who a year ago could barely talk.
Emma was delivered by emergency c-section as she was in fetal distress. She had difficulty breathing at birth and was carefully monitored. She was diagnosed with Trisomy 21. Emma had difficulties sucking, and swallowing, and at 6 months of age was still immobile. Emma’s parents read the books What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child, and How Smart Is Your Baby? and then attended the What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course. They began to use all they had learned. Emma began crawling for the first time and was beginning to creep. After an inoculation at 20 months, she stopped creeping. It took six months to regain this function. At twenty-six months of age, Emma had her first visit to The Institutes. She was crawling 100 meters daily and creeping 800 meters daily. She was even beginning to take her first steps, say her first words, and learning to read, and loving it!
Just before Emma’s third birthday, she walked 1,300 meters daily, and talked all day and used hundreds of words and phrases. She is now more advanced in reading and understanding than other children her age. She is speaking and reading in both Spanish and English.
Agnira was born 17 days post maturely and stopped breathing twenty hours after her birth. She was resuscitated after 18 minutes, intubated, tube fed, and monitored. She was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and later with epilepsy, spasticity, microcephaly, cortical visual impairment, and quadriplegia. At three years of age, Agnira had limited vision, hearing, understanding, and she was unable to move. Her parents attended the What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course, and started a home program using what they had learned. Within six months, she was smiling back at her parents, seeing across the room, saying her first words, and seizure-free.
A year later, at 4 ½ years of age, Agnira achieved three Victories: Reading, Understanding, and Language. She had had no seizures for more than a year. Agnira loves her reading program. She has been taught more than 500 words. Now she is using single words and couplets to express herself. She loves information about nature, a favorite topic is gemstones and where they are to be found around the world.
After a stressful pregnancy, Theo was delivered by c-section. For the first three months he slept constantly and had feeding problems when awake. At six months of age, Theo did not look at faces or respond to his name. He slept poorly and was very sensitive to sounds and textures. His arms and legs were flaccid, and he flapped his hands frequently. Over time, he developed severe eczema and asthma.
At one year of age, Theo began walking on his toes. He began saying a few words, and then lost those words. By age three, he had been diagnosed as autistic, and he had a small number of words that only mother could understand. He had frequent temper tantrums, and he was hyperactive and fearful.
Mother attended the What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course at this time, and immediately began a home program.
She started a carefully planned nutritional program and improved the air and water quality in the home. Theo had a physical program that he did daily and a tactile stimulation program. He also began learning to read.
Eighteen months after beginning, Theo is reading library books independently, and he is now above age level in understanding. He is bilingual, and he is speaking in full sentences conversationally which can be understood by all. He is running as well as other little boys his age, and his behavior is friendly and outgoing. He is no longer sensitive to sounds and can navigate crowds without any problems. He is sleeping well all night.
We all like to think that babies arrive with an equal opportunity to develop and grow but this is not true for brain-injured children. Each of these children were born with life-threatening problems that could have made their lives a tragedy. But their parents used their energy and their understanding of how the brain grows and develops to provide stimulation and opportunity to give their children a chance, not only to catch up to their peers, but hopefully to exceed them.
These wonderful results were brought about by the efforts of each family. Mother and Father, brothers and sisters and the child – all working together to give each child a fighting chance for a much better life.