Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kevin's New Program (Spring/Summer 2010)

Nutrition Program
Kevin is to avoid most of the same foods; wheat, dairy, soy, corn, legumes, nuts, yeast, chocolate, sugars, and processed foods, most of which he has a true allergy to. Kevin experienced a severe allergy outbreak during our visit when his skin was accidentally exposed to some food crumbs that really made him miserable. We are hoping that this will also be healed after we clear his digestive problems first. We will be using a Food Combining program that helps kids with digestive system problems like constipation. This means that starchy carbohydrates (grains, potatoes, winter squash, etc) cannot be eaten with animal protein. But we are able to discontinue the rotation diet Kevin has been on for the last three years.

Physiological Program
• Passive Deep Breathing Program/ Reflex Bags – The purpose of this program is to increase blood flow to the brain thereby enriching the brain with nutrients and oxygen. This program is very similar to the “masking” that we were doing but significantly less frequent throughout the day.
• The Oxygen Enhancement Program/Carbogen Therapy – The purpose of this program is to increase blood flow to the brain thereby enriching the brain with nutrients and oxygen. This program is very similar to the “tank” that we were doing but the mixture is 95% Oxygen and 5% Carbon Dioxide.
• Hyperbaric Therapy Program – To increase partial pressure which increases oxygen uptake in the brain and body, improving overall brain and body function. Yes, we will need to purchase a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber for our house!!!

Intellectual Program
For the last four years our number one focus has been on Kevin’s mobility. Now that Kevin is walking our focus is changing to his Language and Intelligence. Our goal is for Kevin to begin to communicate with signs. We have also discovered some understanding barriers in Kevin’s intelligence. The 13,000 Bits of Intelligence that Kevin has seen and read have done their job. It has increased the growth of Kevin’s brain which helps all areas of his brain, and gives him the information he needs. But because Kevin does not use all this knowledge in daily life, we have to create ways for his brain to readily access all this information. Also, we will begin preparing Kevin for homeschooling by insisting upon a consistent response of pointing during testing.

Social/Emotional Program
Developing Self and Self Control – our goal is to get Kevin to imitate, interact, experiment, and play purposefully. So this means that we actually get to take time to play and interact with Kevin. WOW!!! And most importantly, for Kevin to accept boundaries for acceptable behavior. No more time outs but a new approach that seems to be a more effective way of helping him organize and learn appropriate and social behavior.

I know many of you were probably thinking these were areas we needed to work on with Kevin all along. But as we stated mobility was Kevin’s number one goal and now we will concentrate on these skills to help him get well.

Sensory Program
• Olfactory & Gustatory Sensory Integration Program – Presenting smells and tastes
• Auditory Training – To be comfortable in noisy situations, to not be upset by sounds and to not be easily distracted. To hear sounds at the appropriate volume. To hear all sounds well in daily life and speech.
• Sensation Level 2 – Create the ability to feel pain instantly, consistently, and with the full intensity all over the body.
• Sensation Level 3 – Create the ability to feel pleasurable and un-pleasurable sensation in the appropriate length of time consistently all over the body, with contrasting textures.

Physical Program
This is probably the biggest change to our lives as we have known it for the last four years. We are discontinuing patterning! Yes, friends and dedicated patterners…I said no more patterning (I personally had to repeat it out loud three times before it registered). I guess there could be a chance later but at this point no more patterns. AND no more ladders!

The Basic Brain Organization Program is to organize the lower levels of the brain in particular the Pons and Midbrain. It is also an important program to develop visual tracking, convergence, organization, focus, language, establish dominance and improve breathing. So this means is that we are going back to crawling (on belly) and creeping (on knees). We’ll be crawling up to a total of 200 meters a day and creeping up to a total of 1200 meters a day.

The Reflex Integration Program is to support the organization of the Medulla Oblongata and to pattern and integrate pathological and dysfunctional reflexes into higher level brain stages.

For instance, Kevin still has the Babinski reflex. This is found in babies when the toes flare up as the bottom of the foot is stroked. This response should disappear after they enter the crawling stage because when done correctly they use their toes to dig into the floor to push off. Kevin did not crawl completely correctly because he used his knees more than his toes, hence the need to repeat crawling with our help as we pattern in the toe dig. But fortunately, thanks to our patterners, he does crawl, creep, and walk in a cross pattern which is why we can discontinue the patterning.

You will notice that distance walking is not even a part of our program. Of course, as time permits during our day we will continue our walks outside, especially during the increasingly nice weather. Fortunately, we did have another big concern of ours addressed at FHC. Kevin (and even Karen) will be receiving orthotics to place in the shoes. Orthotics are not a brace but a shoe insert that will slowly help Kevin to walk correctly on his feet. Currently, Kevin turns his left foot in and he walks on his left toes. The inserts will help correct this.

Patterners & Volunteers
As I said, I had to repeat it three times that we were not to continue patterning Kevin. After realizing what this meant I felt sad that we would not have our friend’s daily visits anymore. We have been so blessed to have you in our lives to help us and encourage us along the way. I do not think we could have continued this long on the program without each of your contributions that you bring with you when you visit. We would still appreciate your help in a new way with some of Kevin’s new programs, if you are able and interested.

Thank You
Jon’s parents were Kevin’s caregivers at home while Jon and I were in Philadelphia at FHC for the seminar. Karen’s parents drove up to Cuyahoga Falls on Friday (with snow and ice on the roads) and drove Kevin to Philadelphia on Sunday for his two day visit at FHC. And Jon and I snuck in a weekend getaway in New York City with Karen’s sister Marcia and her husband Brad, between our FHC seminar and Kevin’s visit. A good time was had by everyone!

Don’t forget to check out videos of Kevin and lots of pictures on our blog at www.hudakfamily.blogspot.com. Be sure to click on the Blog Archive in the right column or click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page to view Kevin’s full journey.

Kevin's FHC Evaluation (March 29 & 30 2010)

For Kevin’s first evaluation by the FHC he is chronologically, 66 months old (5 ½ years) and his neurological age is 17.6 months old. This number is actually lower than the neurological age he received last fall from IAHP (29.98), but like I said the FHC’s developmental chart is much more detailed and we found some holes in previous areas that we will have to perfect in Kevin. This will ultimately help him achieve healing and wellness in all areas.

Kevin’s evaluation initially did not begin very well. We did not get started with the evaluation until nearly noon, Kevin was hungry, tired, and the rainy weather was causing his eyes to itch. I was getting very stressed due to this situation. Although, it was a good opportunity for them to see Kevin at his worst, we still wanted to have a true evaluation done. We did break for lunch about an hour later and picked back up after lunch where Kevin began performing and behaving much better.

Kevin’s behavior and attitude improved even more after receiving a Craniosacral Fascial Therapy session. The first day his brain was not breathing at all, this is typical for brain-injured kids. The brain expands and contracts in a rhythm. The bigger the expansion the better, for example 60 seconds is good. Kevin’s brain was at 0, after the first session it was at 40 seconds and after the next day’s session at 80 seconds. So the necessary fluids are now traveling effectively through his spinal cord and central nervous system.

We also met with a medical doctor/homeopathic who recommended the use of a couple remedies to also help in Kevin’s wellness.

My Mom & Dad attended this visit with us. While Jon & I were meeting with the various team members for Kevin’s various programs, my Mom got to experience the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber with Kevin.

A New Chapter at the Family Hope Center

We have begun a new chapter in our lives as we have just had our first visit with the Family Hope Center in Philadelphia. We are 100% positive that we made the right decision to switch from The Institutes (IAHP) to The Family Hope Center (FHC), and we are especially thankful that we did not wait any longer. Make no mistake though, that we are extremely thankful to Glenn Doman and his staff at IAHP for getting Kevin where he is today. In fact, Matthew & Carol Newell and most of their staff at FHC started out at IAHP but wanted to branch out into some new progressive areas. We have known about FHC for the last two years, through a Denmark family we met at IAHP, but because Kevin was making progress at IAHP and since we had no real complaints we thought we would finish out IAHP’s eight lectures. But after our visit last fall for lecture seven we decided to go ahead and check out the FHC and we are really glad we did, especially since we’ve been recommending FHC to other families interested in Kevin’s program.

Jon and I had to complete a three day seminar on Child Brain Development called How to Help Your Child with Special Needs with Matthew and Carol Newell at the Family Hope Center. Since we had already completed the five day course at IAHP in 2006 and had been on their program for three and half years we felt we knew quite a bit. I thought we might be bored during the seminar, but that was not the case. The FHC has many programs that are the same or similar to IAHP but they have updated those programs and have added so many more which makes it a much better program overall. One of the biggest changes to their program is the addition of the Emotional/Social component to their Integrative and Developmental Progression Chart and the fact that this area of the Limbic Brain (Frontal Lobe) can be stimulated by olfactory pathway (smell) among various other ways. Overall we feel their Developmental Chart is more thorough and detailed to help Kevin get well.

A couple other new therapies to us are the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber and Craniosacral Fascial Therapy for the brain. Craniosacral fascial therapy increases the flow of nourishing cerebrospinal fluid to the central nervous system. Trauma to the craniosacral fascial system is a primary factor for children with brain injuries. Trauma can create pressure and strain on the brain and cranial nerves which can restrict the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

During the seminar they also were very clear to state that the brain needs a day off to help itself heal. YEAH! One of the things that I personally learned was that I am allowed to take time for myself and that it is important to do so. I know, sad but true. I think I vaguely remember Jon, family, and friends telling me this.

No matter if it’s IAHP or the FHC, their treatment makes sense. Anyone that would take the time to sit through their lectures could not deny it. It is so frustrating to me that many professionals still don’t get it, because until they do, it seems it will continue to be a struggle for parents to find the answers to help their hurt kids get well.

Another difference is that the FHC seems to be a bit more aggressive in trying to get insurance companies to understand that the traditional treatments that they cover are not ultimately going to get these kids well…the treatments offered by FHC will, with the added benefit of no medications or wheelchairs, etc costs.

We met a lot of great parents from around the world at FHC. We were one of three families attending FHC from IAHP. I give a lot of credit to the parents that come for help with their “a little bit hurt” kids; i.e. ADD, ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities because until you learn about the brain and the developmental progression you can find a lot of ways to help kids that are struggling in school from reading to behavior.

But probably the biggest difference we noticed in the FHC compared to IAHP was that at IAHP, they feel their way is the only way, and when we pushed or questioned a bit too much their response was basically “it’s our way or the highway”. At FHC they don’t claim to have all the answers, but they are constantly branching out and learning new ways to help our hurt kids. In fact, Matthew & Carol had two hurt kids (now well) and they feel that if they knew then (when helping their hurt kids) what they know now they could have gotten their kids well in three years as opposed to nine years. Another welcome difference is that the FHC understands that we are the parents that we are ultimately in charge of our child. We can decide as a family how intense we want our program to be.