Dx Down Syndrome: Nico’s Success Story

His Family Creates a Life of
Stimulation and Opportunity

 

Nico’s family is from the Dominican Republic, they read What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child soon after their son was born ten years ago. Both parents attended the What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child course a year later and he had his first and only appointment at that time. They were unable to make another visit, but they never gave up instead they continued to work every day. Ten years have passed since we have seen Nico. What an incredible job this family has done based on attending the course and one visit. Father tells the story. 

Nico was born with Down Syndrome but without other major issues or health problems. At age 9 months he traveled to Philadelphia with us to start the program of The Institutes.

After the appointment, we started with sensory stimulation and opportunity to move on the

floor all the time. We substituted his crib with a puzzle mat on the floor first and with a mattress on the floor later. He used to “explore” the whole surface of his room during his sleep, and he is still sleeping in that way.

We built his own home gym with all the equipment and devices that he needed to explore and challenge himself daily.

 

Nico doesn’t know what sugar, salt, flour, and dairy are.

Since he was 9 months old, he no longer had milk, instead of that we started to use gluten free oat milk. Nowadays, at almost 10 years of age, he doesn’t know what sugar, salt, flour, and dairy are. All his food is prepared fresh, with fresh ingredients, no salt or sugar added, nothing pre-packed or with additives. No junk food or sodas or artificial beverages – he doesn’t like them. He eats a lot, but he has an athletic body and never-ending energy.

He is in regular school now

He speaks Spanish quite clearly and with a wide vocabulary. He understands Italian well and speaks some Italian. He is having English classes at school. He is in a regular school with an assistant teacher to help him catch up with everything.

 

Today an athlete enjoying his life

He is in competitive bicycle motocross

Nico loves sports. He is very good in bicycle motocross, and he has had terrific growth since he started eight months ago. He is practicing three days a week and competing every couple of months. He placed fifth in his second competition in his life. He can swim perfectly and, in every style, in a pool or open water – he loves waves. On Saturday mornings he attends gymnastic class and the other days of the week he switches between soccer lessons and swimming lessons. Sunday is his resting day.

 

The keys – nutrition, physical activities, and stimulation

We think that the keys for his development have been his nutritional habits, lots of sports and stimulation, and the fact that we “forgot” that he has Down Syndrome. We treat him like any other child his age without any kind of overprotection. We give him the same (or more) opportunity to challenge himself that other children have.

Nico loves sports. He is very good in bicycle motocross, and he has had terrific growth since he started eight months ago. He is practicing three days a week and competing every couple of months. He placed fifth in his second competition in his life. He can swim perfectly and, in every style, in a pool or open water – he loves waves. On Saturday mornings he attends gymnastic class and the other days of the week he switches between soccer lessons and swimming lessons. Sunday is his resting day.

 

Healthy, happy and capable with a good life ahead

The Institutes has been our university to understand what Down Syndrome really was and what we had to do with our brain-injured child. At the same time, it made us understand that we could help him to recover from his brain injury or make it possible to bypass his brain injury through high intensity stimulation of his brain.

The other major thing has been his nutrition, I firmly believe that is the key. Maybe, if we have not been to The Institutes, like many other parents of special needs children, we would have provided “happiness” to our child through candies, sweets, and junk food.

It is almost impossible for us not think about The Institutes – we are so grateful!

 

 

 

 

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