Trisomy 21: Sofia’s Story – A real life, not a life sentence
Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) Children Can Be Helped
When Sofia was born, the doctor noted that her facial features resembled traits for Downs syndrome (Trisomy 21). She was 2 weeks premature, and had a low birth weight, and required incubation and monitoring. The diagnosis of Trisomy 21 was confirmed soon after.
Parents started immediately to look for answers. They found Glenn Doman’s book What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child and learned about The Institutes work with brain-injured children. This work embraced children with Trisomy 21. They decided that this was the best option to help their Sofia. They learned that The Institutes had a course for parents twice a year at The Institutes campus in Fauglia, Italy.
When Sofia’s mother attended the What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child Course, Sofia was 12 months old. She was far behind other children her age. She had not started to crawl on her belly when she should have been walking. She was behind her peers in mobility, language and manual ability.
Sofia’s Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21) Program Helps
By the time Sofia was two years old. She had made some incredible improvements.
Parents wasted no time in starting a home program, as taught to them by staff at The Institutes. They began a robust program that included nearly unlimited time on the floor for Sofia to give her the maximum opportunity to learn to crawl on her belly as quickly as possible. They began tactile stimulation so Sofia could learn how it feels to crawl. They understood the importance of intellectual stimulation at an early age. They began an early reading program, as taught in the book How To Teach Your Baby to Read by Glenn Doman. They also began offering Sofia a program of encyclopedic knowledge using Bits of Intelligence cards.
By the time parents brought Sofia to The Institutes for the first time to be evaluated, Sofia was two years old. She had made some incredible improvements. She was crawling all over the house and had started to get up onto her hands and knees to creep. They had made much headway with her in spite of the label Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21).
She had even learned to walk independently, and was walking as much as 1.6km, or 1 mile, in a day. Her language had greatly improved from a only a few words to over 60 words, including couplets like “Want more”, “Hi mom” and “Hi dad”, as well as one sentence: “Grandfather, where are you?” She was able to pick up tiny objects using just her index finger and thumb. She was catching up with other kids her age.
Sofia is reading books well above her age level.
Sofia’s program was modified once she was evaluated at The Institutes, and the staff prescribed a new program for her to do at home daily. She was given a physical program to enable her to run. She had a careful nutrition program that included eliminating certain foods from her diet that were problematic for Sofia, like gluten and dairy. She was given a more sophisticated intellectual program, which included reading 6- to 8-year-old level books.
She began hanging from a dowel to improve her manual development. Her arms grew stronger until she could hang for nearly a minute! This improved her manual ability, and she began to be able to screw and unscrew bottle caps. She was ready to learn how to move hand-over-hand on an overhead ladder. This ability has proved very important for her continued manual development.
Sofia’s mobility continued to improve. She began to walk faster until she began to run. Her running has continued to improve – Sofia now walks and runs 3.2 km daily (2 miles).
At age 4 her understanding is now clearly above age level, and she has over 1,500 words of speech.
Sofia is not only physically excellent, but she is also highly intelligent. She is shown many large-print books with sophisticated subjects and content carefully created by her mother. She will very often read the names of her favorite homemade books, and spot familiar words through out her books. She has seen thousands of Bits of Intelligence cards, which she adores. Mother reports that her recall for her Bits is incredible. Her understanding is now clearly above her age level. She is 4 years old, and parents estimate she has over 1,500 words of language, and is saying short sentences consistently, such as “Dad, come with me!” and “Mom, how are you?” Her health is nearly perfect.
Sophia has come a long way. She and her family continue to work every day. The goal is that Sophia will have every opportunity to live a full life and achieve her own goals and purposes along her pathway to wellness. Congratulations to Sophia and her wonderful family for everything they have already achieved! They have overcome Sofia’s Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21) label admirably!