So I have been wanting to write a blog for a while but not sure what I should write about. I’m passionate about so many things… I love to travel. I love holistic living. I love to run and workout. But what I love the most, are God’s gifts from above: my three children. So why not start my first blog sharing my experiences with my middle child Kethan (pronounced like “Ethan”) and give you a glimpse of the last six months with Brain Balance Center.
I first need to give you a back drop of my son. When he was about two years old, I noticed he was not talking very much, nor socializing with his sister; so he started Early Intervention and it was at the moment they told me: “your child is showing signs of a child under the spectrum.” At that time I didn’t even know what all of that really meant. In the following school year he started the Preschool program, and boy!, was I glad I enrolled him. He was so blessed to have Mrs. Hauser, a teacher of 35 years of experience in Special Education, whom my son made an instant connection with. It was because of her dedication, and patience, my son made so much growth in speech and following directions. He discovered his passion for reading and always had a book in his hand (still does today.) Actually he started reading before he even started verbally communicating. I would be driving down the road, and he would shout “STOP.” I remember as if it were yesterday. But even though academically we had no concerns, behaviorally, and socially we did. He didn’t behaved at the same level as he peers, he was constantly distracted, and frequent tantrums when transitioning from one activity to another were a norm. One of my biggest concerns was his lack of interest to have new friends. When people asked him, who were his friends in school, he would reply: “Neíma and Alvyn.” (his siblings)
Years went by and now he has started second grade and I still see did not see or hear Kethan interacting with classmates, nor a request to have a playdate. He mainly liked to play alone in his room, or with his sis and bro (and I usually prompted him) So one day, after a check up, I asked his pediatrician, “Doctor, do you know of a place I can take my son for Behavioral Therapy, or like a social group?” Her answer was: “did you read the book Disconnected Kids?” “Nope. I never heard of it,” I said. “It’s a book about a functional doctor that created a holistic program that has proven to achieve amazing changes in behavior and academic performance. “What is this program called?” I asked desperately. “Brain Balance.”
That same day I called and made an appointment and never looked back. For those of you who never heard of this type of center, Brain Balance is a program that believes that neurological disorders (ADHD, LD, Dyslexia, ASD symptoms) are primarily a result of environmental factors, and hence, is correctable. It is a hemispheric based program: since brain in balance is the core problem, (where one side of the brain is weaker than the other) then what they do is stimulate one side more than the other. Some activities include sensory, motor, academic, biochemical modalities, and behavioral. In my son’s case we discovered he is right brain weak (immature social behavior, lack of emotional control are some examples.)
So I can go and on about how the program works, but the positive changes I have seen in him socially, and his behaviors for the last six months is what made me want to write this blog. One particular case where I visually noticed was at the Christmas play at school last year. He so excited to be one of the many students singing and dancing to perform for the parents. When he came out with his class in his homemade red costume as an elf, he spotted my dad from afar and shouted with excitement “Abuelo, you’re here!” And to my surprise he sang along to ALL of the songs, did the motions with no problems, clapped on beat and was engaged the whole 35 minutes of the show. At the end of the show he did something humorous and unexpected to everyone. He grabbed the mic and did a solo for the last ten seconds of the finale. I was literally in tears. And of course the battery on my phone died at that instant (what are the chances, right!) Side note, DO NOT buy BLU phones.
Some slight changes were happening at home as well. Kethan was interacting more with his sister and brother than he ever did before. They now play tag outside, he loves to play hide and seek with “abuelo”, and fights over Lego pieces with his brother and says things like: “Alvyn you are not being fair, and you are making me mad when you steal my blue Lego piece from my room.” This is NOT something he would have said months ago.
Even though all the things I mentioned above are clearly signs that the program is working for my son’s needs, nothing left me more in awe than what happened two weeks ago. Remember when I said he didn’t develop any friendships yet, which is something that around five or six you start to see in children. Then one day I hear the bell ring. “Kethan, go open the door please. See who it is” I told him. He opens the white glass door and says with a grin of surprise: “Hi Joe, how did you find my house. Come on in.” I was sitting in the kitchen finishing my dinner as my son had this conversation, and my daughter and I exchanged looks and we smiled, because we couldn’t believe what was happening at that moment. “How cool to able to witness this” I thought. A few minutes later, Kethan laced his shoes and joined his friend Joe from school and (neighbor) and played outside on the trampoline all while laughing and chatting like a typical 7 year-old knows best…until the sun went down.
Fast forward time and yesterday we received his report card and his teacher comments said “We have seen great improvement with Kethan’s social skills, making new friends, and his ability to regroup after getting upset.” To read these words mean the world to me, and to my family. It has not been easy driving almost 1 hour (one way!) three times a week to the center, keeping up with the exercises at home, and changing the way we eat to ONLY clean eating (I can talk about this in another blog.) To see everything my son has accomplished in such a little bit of time in the program, it makes me think that the sacrifices in the last six months have all been well worth it.
I have no doubt that my son will strive to his full potential, and one day become the best scientist I have ever known, as he constantly reminds me. Brain Balance Achievement Center was the answer I was looking for my son. Gracias papa Dios our paths crossed, for the future looks brighter now…