Results in Hurt Kids: Writing
Results: The only thing that matters in the world of hurt kids
In the world of brain-injured children writing is a vital 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 neurological problems in the visual, auditory and tactile pathways that could have put them at risk and ruined their lives. As always, parents, stimulation and opportunity were the answer. If a hurt child can write, he can demonstrate to that world that he is highly intelligent.
Reading is the first step in learning to write. The visual pathway and manual competence are equally important in being able to write. Children who struggle with writing often need improved convergence and better coordination.
Joaquin is from New York; he was born prematurely with the umbilical cord around his neck. At two days, after suffering a stroke he began having seizures and was put on anti-convulsant medication. At age two, Joaquin was developing at half the rate of other children his age. His vision was so poor it limited his mobility and hand function. Joaquin’s mother attended the What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course and began to work intensely with her son at home. By age three Joaquin was understanding equal to his age and beginning to read. By four years, he was running, and speaking in sentences. By age five, Joaquin was reading library books in English and Spanish, and speaking in both languages.
Today, at age eight, Joaquin loves reading non-fiction, he enjoys chemistry and mathematics, and is writing and typing independently, including wonderful letters to his grandfather to be treasured always.
Derion is from Alaska and was delivered by C-section. As an infant, he was delayed in mobility, and had limited vision, including a nystagmus. Testing revealed incomplete myelination in the brain. By age three, Derion was not understanding well and was unable to communicate. By age nine, he had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, and autism. He was on medication for behavior. Derion’s parents attended the What to Do About Your Brain -Injured Child course and began a home program following what they had learned. Within six months, Derion’s understanding, behavior, and speech began progressing towards age level. He was reading at a more advanced level, and was more coordinated. He began to hop for the first time, and button and unbutton. He was no longer chronically congested and his digestion and elimination were greatly improved. He had the focus and energy to enjoy the great outdoors with his family and friends for the first time.
At ten years of age, Derion was able to write in sentences for the first time and he could take dictation as well. By his eleventh birthday, he was reading at age level, with a preference for non-fiction. He has an encyclopedic of his favorite subjects, and now is adept at water-skiing, as well.
Marvella is from Jakarta, Indonesia, and was born after a long labor. At age two, she lacked eye contact, and did not respond to her name or follow instructions. She was a poor sleeper and did not feel pain, she had no words of speech, and was diagnosed as autistic. At age five, Marvella was not accepted in school, her mother attended the What to Do About Your Brain-Injured Child course and began a home treatment program with her. By age seven, Marvella was reading books, and had begun speaking. She was able to follow instructions in swim, ballet, and piano lessons independently, and was riding a bike one kilometer each day. By nine years of age, Marvella was reading and speaking in three languages, and had begun gymnastics lessons, too. Today, at 13 years of age, Marvella is a speed reader of adult level books in three languages on a wide variety of topics including history, science, and business. She runs 5 km regularly and can both write and type independently. She is no longer hyperactive, instead she is looking forward to participating in many activities in her new neighborhood, New York City.
We all like to believe that our children arrive with an equal opportunity to develop and grow but this is not true for brain-injured children. Each of these children began their lives with severe neurological 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. They gave their child a chance, not only to catch up to their peers, but to surpass them.