Our Family’s Journey
A Moment of Insight and Realization Changed Our Lives
When my wife was pregnant with our third child, our obstetrician recommended a study that she considered “routine,” called nuchal translucency. Basically this is an ultrasound that measures the amount of liquid in the back of the neck of the growing baby. An average fetus should be within a certain “normal” range. A reading beyond this range implies an increased probability that the baby will have some kind of problem, the more the deviation from “normal” the larger the probability of a problem.
Clara’s results showed that she had a nine-fold greater probability of having a problem as compared to the average child born to parents of the age we were at that time. That probability, however, was still around 1%.
We immediately began to find out about brain development programs.
We refused the amniocentesis suggested by the doctor, and immediately began to find out about brain development programs that could eventually help our child. I had already searched for early development programs for children in the past. I had lived surrounded by children in my house – my parents had a private academic institution – and I had always intuitively felt that the potential of young children is mostly wasted because of inaction from parents during the first four years of life. Now we felt compelled to find the answers we could need if our daughter indeed was going to have a problem.
We wanted a holistic program.
During this research, we found several isolated initiatives that we could undertake, but we could not find any holistic program that would work on the entire brain.
Shortly before Clara was born, my wife casually met an acquaintance that she had not seen in many years. This lady mentioned to my wife that she had just come back from Philadelphia, where she had attended a course called “How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence.” My wife politely requested more information about the course, and in three days we had videos and books in our hands.
A feeling of “Eureka” and a surge of excitement.
I have had very few moments in my life when a special realization – a feeling of “Eureka!” – invaded me so completely. It was like a sudden realization of a revealed truth accompanied by a surge of excitement.
My wife and I devoured the materials. Our excitement was well beyond the relief that we could feel for being armed with the right tools to work with our daughter if she was going to have any problem. It was the realization of something profound that can affect a child’s life forever.
A healthy princess arrives and the program begins!
Clara was born two months later, and to our immense happiness and joy, she was born a healthy princess.
Even though the Marty’s were thousands of miles away, The Institutes website provided the information they needed to get started.
My wife and I were already “armed” by that moment. We had visited The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential’s website and had bought books, materials for the Reading Program, and DVDs for the Encyclopedic Knowledge Program, and we were ready to go.
The reality is that with our jobs and time constraints, we were not be able to achieve a program as full, in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration, as we would have wished.
We began a Reading Program as soon as Clara had detailed vision, at about 4 months, and 2 months later we started the Encyclopedic Knowledge Program.
Clara’s older brothers, Francisco and Agustin were 8 and 6 when she was born, were indirect beneficiaries of the program, although, unfortunately, they were a little too “old” and were already engaged in a normal school setting to reap the full benefits of the program. However, they were perhaps the first ones to notice how attentive, engaged, and interested their sister was growing day after day after we started the program.
By age two Clara was clearly reading.
Clara was reading at age 2, and had a ton of information at that age, around 10,000 facts from the Encyclopedic Knowledge Program.
Such was our enthusiasm with the new knowledge we had acquired that I felt compelled to visit The Institutes in Philadelphia, not a short trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A one-way trip to Philadelphia
A year later my wife and my children were sitting next to me on a plane that would take us on a one-way trip to Philadelphia, where after years of instruction and hands-on experience, I became a Child Brain Developmentalist.
Our program with Clara continued. She became an avid reader, way above her age level (did I mention she was reading at 2?), a runner, a violinist, a Swimathon swimmer, a writer, an artist, a gymnast, but more importantly, she became a lover of learning for the rest of her life.
Clara’s brothers immediately joined The Evan Thomas Institute. Although did not begin on the program at the early age Clara had done, the results they obtained were outstanding. They both became excellent students and athletes – they especially enjoyed swimming (when they arrived in Philadelphia they could barely swim).
It was easy, when my wife and I were working and in the midst of the logistics involved in doing the program, to lose track of what we were actually doing, which was no more and no less than growing our daughter’s brain. Growing her brain, literally.
After years of home schooling and attending The Evan Thomas Institute in Philadelphia, our daughter enrolled in a prestigious high school, where she is currently a junior. She has earned a scholarship to attend the school (to the joy of her parents); she has straight A’s, is a music scholar, and is among the top three students of her class. She keeps reading (2 years ago, she read nearly 150 books in 12 months), enjoys writing novels and playing the violin, and is a science enthusiast. For her future, she says she would love to work in a place like CERN in Geneva. But who knows? She has all the doors open to her to decide what the best path for self-realization and happiness will be for her.
Our two sons have succeeded as well. Francisco became an excellent student. He enrolled in Villanova University’s School of Business and graduated with a major in Management and Finance, and also was awarded a full scholarship for his studies. He studied for a semester in Hong Kong University, and developed an interest in Mandarin and Chinese culture. Since then, he taught himself Mandarin with a software system. Since the day he began studying Mandarin, he did not skip a single day of studying it, and he has now mastered the language, nearly at the level of his native Spanish and English. He currently works for an investment bank in New York.
In high school, Agustin was a member of the swim team that won the State Championship. He was an outstanding student and an accomplished violinist, and he was admitted with a full scholarship to Swarthmore College, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. He recently graduated with a major in Economics, and is currently taking graduate courses in Science to go into medical school. He is also working at a research lab in the University of Pennsylvania to pay for his studies.
Never could my wife and I have imagined when we met our doctor after an ultrasound that brought bad news to us, that that event could have such a dramatic and beautiful impact in all of our lives.