Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sometimes I Get Torn

In my practice, I see children of all levels of function.  I have evaluated some children who are actually OVER 100% by 20-30%.  I see many children in the 90-ish percentile.  Many children begin their programs in the 70-ish percentile.  And yet, sometimes when I make my recommendations about how to help these children, I see parents complain and even cry because they will need to change their diet or incorporate creeping/crawling into their day.  And somehow doing some portion of program ten times a day can push them right over the edge.

And then I meet with mothers whose children are functioning below 10-15%.  And they must CONSTANTLY be suctioning trachs, watching for aspiration.  Feeding can take an hour or more and must be done 4-5 times a days.  They would be delighted if their child could make sounds at all, much less talk too much----if their child could lift their head, much less run on the track team in high school.  They are perhaps the ONLY person in the world who believes their child is a person worth the investment of time and resources.  And yet, when I give recommendations to the mothers of these children they say, "Bring it!"  They are in a battle to save their child and they are absolutely ready to do whatever it takes.  And believe me when I say my recommendations are as extreme as the problem we're trying to solve---they always are.

So, sometimes I get torn when I see the divergent reactions.  The mothers of children who are profoundly affected would be prostrate on the ground with tears of joy to only need to make moderate changes in their life for a couple of years.  They would praise God with ever fiber of their being if they had to do things only 10 times a day instead of around the clock.

I'm sure there are lots of reasons for the different reactions, and I am NOT trying to condemn anyone.  But sometimes I get torn---especially if I meet with the opposite ends of the spectrum on the same day.  I wish parents with very hurt children could understand that "almost well" kids are still a big challenge and it's not easy---EVER.  And I wish parents of "almost well" children could understand how much they have and what a small thing they are asked to do in order to allow that child to really soar.  Both ends of this spectrum tear at my heart----a lot.  And I wish I could help them all see the whole vista.  I am torn.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Calendar Time

The road trips continue!  

March 18-21 in Seattle, Washington---Evaluations only      ONE evaluation spot open---contact donna@parentswithpurpose.com  if you would like to schedule

March 24--- Brain Development 101 in the Portland Oregon area (Aloha, OR)  contact Erika Glancy at erika.glancy@gmail.com or register online at http://www.parentswithpurpose.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16

March 23, March 25-28---Evaluations---contact donna@parentswithpurpose.com to schedule

Looking forward to working with more great families and seeing the wonderful progress in their children!

Parents With Purpose On the Road

I wanted to share some of the wonderful adventures of February!  It was a jam-packed month both personally and professionally.  Personally, my son Kent left home on February 13 to begin serving a full-time two-year mission for our Church.  We have planned for this moment his entire life, but it is always an emotional moment when you say that final goodbye for two years.

There were parties and many visitors dropping in to say farewell---it was a week of intense love and EXHAUSTING! (Yes, that is Dawson photo-bombing my "moment"!) Immediately following Kent's departure,  Callie was playing the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical.  I don't have the pictures from Seussical back yet (had to order them from a service), but she was fabulous.  Another very fun and EXHAUSTING experience.  The last day of musical performance, I hopped on a plane to San Jose.  What a GREAT trip!

I saw one child who began program 18 months ago at 54.9% and is now 92.8%!!  They have eliminated Concerta and Prozac and now have a wonderful goofy kid to enjoy.  Another family with three children saw all three of them having moved from the 70's to the 90's in percentage of expected function.  The family of another child who was diagnosed by a medical doctor as being autistic, greeted me with "Hi, Donna" and a look square in the eye as he was running through his home with a buddy over for a playdate.  I giggled with delight at seeing the transformation---three and a half years ago, this child never made eye contact, mainly jargoned for language, never interacted with friends and didn't have that glint in his eye.  I also saw several clients for their initial evaluation---it's so exciting to see the relief on the mother's face.  One mother hugged me and said, "Thank you for proving that I'm not crazy.  Now I know that I was right---and exactly what to do about it."

It was a GREAT trip to lovely San Jose!  I also was able to accomplish the goal of having Brain Development 101 professionally filmed.  Stay tuned to hear when it will be available online!  New testimonial videos from moms whose kids are soaring---they'll be online under "Our Approach" then "Testimonials" at www.parentswithpurpose.com .

Exciting times!  How are your children doing on program these days???

Jammin' Minute

There is progress happening in the Mesquite ISD here in Texas.  They are using a program called "Jammin' Minutes" in grades K-8.  These are one-minute exercise sessions that can be done standing beside a desk or even sitting in a desk.  The story I read about the local school district using this program doesn't give a lot of information (which is honestly pertinent to the story) such as:
1.  Are teachers required to use these sessions in their classroom?
2.  How many times per day are the sessions recommended?  Is there a minimum or a maximum?
3.  Do the sessions HAVE to be limited to one minute?
4.  Is anyone keeping data on classroom performance before the program compared to after the program?
5.  Have teachers received any training on the importance of and implementation of this program?

All that aside---this is GOOD news!  Educators are understanding the role of movement in brain function---at least for one minute.  I hope they are keeping some data so it will spur them on to further changes incorporating movement into the classroom.  I would honestly recommend 15 minutes out of every hour be spent moving---it is an investment that would pay nearly immediate benefits---but I emphasize that one minute is a big start!

The Fort Worth ISD is using this program and report that tardies have gone down 30% because they "jam" immediately after the bell every morning.  Students report they don't want to miss the jam so they make extra effort to be punctual.

If your school district isn't doing SOMETHING to incorporate movement into the classroom, please encourage them to do so.  The particular program I'm referring to is free to school districts---the ever-present money issue should not stop this from moving forward.  

Do NOT, however, think this is the solution.  It's not.  It's a starting point from which there needs to be a LOT of progress going forward.  But starting points are GREAT and I wanted to celebrate a move in the right direction!

These "jammin' minutes" are the product of a California non-profit which you can read about at www.jamschool.com .   The original story by Janet St. James can be seen/read here: http://www.wfaa.com/news/health/Jammin-Minutes-141186803.html