Respiratory Distress and Failure to Thrive
Fumio almost didn’t make it.
At birth, Fumio lacked the basic reflexes a newborn baby should have and was not expected to live. Too weak to suck and swallow, he was hospitalized and tube fed for the first three months of life. As his parents watched their little boy struggle to breathe and do what other kids did effortlessly, they began to search for help that would lead them to The Institutes.
Upon learning about The Institutes, Fumio’s parents made plans to bring him to be evaluated by the staff and prescribed an intensive treatment program at home.
At his initial evaluation he could not walk across the room without falling down, he could not talk, and he had significant respiratory problems. Parents did an intensive home program with Fumio daily. He began a physical program of crawling and creeping to provide better neurological organization.
Fumio’s parents were taught how to design a very stimulating intellectual program – he loved it.
He was also given a nutritional program to insure he was healthy enough to do his program and to provide a better physiological environment for the brain. Fumio’s parents were taught how to design a very stimulating intellectual program for him. This included teaching little Fumio to read, to write, to learn mathematics, and to gain encyclopedic knowledge of the world around him. Fumio loved all of it.
The program that was originally developed for Fumio is today a life-saving program for hurt kids around the world.
Fumio, like most brain-injured children, had severe breathing problems. These breathing problems lead to the brain not receiving enough oxygen, which is vital for brain growth and development. Glenn Doman and the staff of The Institutes searched for new ways that would help Fumio be able to breathe better. The program that was originally developed for Fumio is today a life-saving program for hurt kids around the world.
Fumio thrived on his new program. His breathing improved, and with it he progressed physiologically, intellectually, and physically. This little boy began to live, breathe, and function normally. When Fumio was five years old, he wrote Glenn Doman a letter.
In that letter he said he thought he was ready to graduate. Glenn and the staff evaluated Fumio and they agreed that he was now well and ready to graduate from his home treatment program and go to school with his peers.
While Fumio was only five, he was smart and mature. He made a special graduation request. He asked his parents and the staff to allow him to attend the Evan Thomas Institute International School, on The Institutes campus in Philadelphia.
His wish was granted.
By age five Fumio was headed back to Philadelphia, but this time all by himself to attend school.
At age five he applied for and was issued a student visa. At that time the State Department of the United States said he was the youngest student ever to receive a student visa. He then traveled, by himself, from Tokyo to Philadelphia to attend The International School. He spoke no English and had never attended school of any kind – and he was eight thousand miles away from his home.
We expected he might want to stay 8 to 12 weeks if all went well. Instead Fumio spent the next three years as an exchange student in the school.
In the Evan Thomas Institute, Fumio made friends with every student and lived with each family so he could get to know everyone. His classmates had also been raised on The Institutes program for well children; they were early readers, writers, and mathematicians, as he was.
The Children’s Center is not far from the Evan Thomas Institute, a short pathway on The Institutes campus will take you from one to the other. However, it can also be a very long road. Fumio, and now many others, have made the full journey, paving their own pathway to wellness.
After his wonderful time in the Evan Thomas Institute, Fumio returned home to Japan to continue his education. After graduating from university, he went on to become an engineer, just like his dad. He has created a wonderful life for himself. He is happily married, and now has two children – a son and daughter. Glenn Doman always believed that children should stand on their parents shoulders, and Fumio believes the same for his children.
In 2012, Fumio returned to Philadelphia to attend Glenn Doman’s 93rd birthday. Both Glenn and Fumio were reunited for the celebration.
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