A New Journey

Sugah is about to embark on a new journey.  I’m about to walk a new path.  I haven’t started the journey yet. No, I’m in the trip-planning phase.

Anybody care to join me?

As I’ve said before, we’ve been working on recovery for more than three years.  We are close.  Some days it feels like we are really far away, but at other times it feels like recovery is in our midst.  Either way there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Go big or don’t go at all.

Yes, that’s one of my mantra’s.  And just so you’ll understand my expectations…I want my son to be indiscernible from his peers.  I don’t want just a little recovery.  I want it all.

My two children and I are all working on recovery together.  We have a handful of practitioners helping us heal.  There is one in particular that has sparked my desire to embark on this new journey.  She has a college-age son who is recovered from autism.  Since she has travelled the path before me and with great success, I value her opinion.  When I started working with her I asked her many questions.  I wanted to know if her detox protocol would get us to recovery.

Her answer was ‘No’.

I was sad.  Not what I wanted to hear.  But I was also encouraged by her honesty.  I’ve been told ‘Yes’ by many practitioners who never delivered.

She explained that her detox protocol would remove the toxins, metals, parasites from my children’s bodies and brains.  She said she could fix my son’s moodiness and tendency to complain a lot.  She could improve his gross motor skills.  And many more things.  But she could not fix everything.  What would be left behind would be any neurological pathways that didn’t develop correctly during early childhood.

I think this is going to be a challenge for many of us on this recovery journey.  For those of us whose children regressed very early…or perhaps gained much of their toxicity in utero.  Those children whose neurological pathways were blocked very early on in life by toxins…their brain connections may very well have to be rebuilt.

The good news is that it has been proven possible.  Neuroplasticity.

So this is my journey.  I would like to develop a set of exercises that can be done at home to forge new connections in my children’s brains.  The good news is that a lot of work has already been done.  It will be a matter of piecing it together.

I’ve got A LOT of reading to do.  Here’s my reading list so far:

1)   The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.

My practitioner turned me on to this book.  I am particularly eager to read it because she has already done all my work for me.  In her book you see that she has identified, categorized and described 19 different types of cognitive deficits that might need to be addressed.  You also learn that she has developed exercises to address all 19 of the deficits.

The problem is that you can only get access to them if you are a student at her private school or at any of the affiliate schools.  My husband and I have actually entertained, devised scenarios where we would live separately for a time in order for our more affected son to gain access to her program.  But the biggest challenge in making all this happen is to actually gain entrance to the school.  Your child would have to be of average or above average intelligence and –wait for it—NOT be on the autism spectrum.

If nothing else reading her book and understanding the 19 different categories can further streamline future research.

2)   The Man With a Shattered World by A.R. Luria

According to the articles I’ve read, the subject matter of this book serves as a significant inspiration to Barbara Arrowsmith-Young in the development of her cognitive training program.  In this book Luria presents the story of a Russian soldier who sustained a bullet wound to his brain in World War II.  He lost much of his memory, had difficulty speaking, reading and writing.  He battled to regain his mental faculties and eventually wrote a 3,000 page journal detailing his journey.

3)   Kids Beyond Limits by Anat Baniel

I don’t know much about this book.  It looks like it might have some information that could contribute to my effort.

4)   Train the Brain to Hear by Jennifer L Holland

This book focuses on the singular issue of auditory processing and provides specific, actionable things you can do at home.

Another resource for brain training are the many programs available like Learning RX, Brain Balance, neurofeedback etc.  I am not ruling these out, but they can be expensive.  And my very quick and informal poll of TMR’s and other autism parents I know did not show favorable results.  More often than not the response was something like, “We spent $$$ and saw nothing.”  I think once a child is ready that one of these programs (if you can afford it) combined with an intensive home program could be just what a child needs to cross the finish line.

Once a child is ready.

It is this writers opinion that the above mentioned programs, The Arrowsmith School program, or any program I could come up with…it is this writers opinion that none of these programs will do much for a child whose brain is impaired with toxins.  I believe that you have to get the junk out first, then and only then attempt to create the new pathways.

So what am I missing?  What other books, websites should I include on my reading list?  Has anyone developed any exercises for brain training that they’d like to share?

You can read more about The Arrowsmith school here and read more about it here.

With much love,

~ Sugah MUAH!

* For more by Sugah, please click here

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33 Responses to A New Journey

  1. Pingback: The Next Step in the Journey | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  2. Jesse Gonzales says:

    Sugah, you did not reveal the detox protocol that was used, is that some thing you would like to share? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  3. Pingback: Brain Function Deficits | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  4. Pingback: The Journey Continues | The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  5. LR says:

    Great post. I recommend that you check into HANDLE.org which has helped my son immensely while we are detoxing.

  6. Erin Gamez says:


    Yes, this is where we are as well. The detox stage. I have read “The brain that changes itself” The doctor I used to work with said this is what I needed and then recommended Brain Pro. It is an online course for children like ours. I have been debating when to start it and if it is the best choice as we are going through the detox. My Colon Hydrotherapist just gave me the book “Gut and Psychology syndrome” By Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride. She is a Neurologist and is right on at healing the gut. I am now going to read the Arrowsmith book as well and I think Brain Pro will be around the corner for my child. I love the Thinking Moms!!

    Thank you

  7. Kelly S. says:

    Thanks for writing this. The Brain Balance program was absolutely amazing for us. My daughter went from unable to handle a mainstream classroom at all due to sensory overload and auditory processing difficulties, to being fully mainstreamed without an aid with 6 months of the program. However…I will say, that she was ready. We had spent YEARS healing her GI tract which was a mess and years filling her nutritional deficits. We had detoxed with mHBOT, far infred sauna & foot baths for years. So she was ready….and the results we saw were nothing short of miraculous. Her school is shocked by the uneventful transition she has had to a mainstream classroom. I still think she needs more detox…and we will continue to work on that but thank you so much for bringing neuroplasticity to everyone’s attention!

  8. Barbara DelDonna says:

    I have to tell you I was at my wit’s end yesterday trying to figure out how to help my son and I just feel like I am spinning my wheels all the time! Then I read your and looked up Kids Beyond Limits and it looks amazing! You can go on their website and read the first 2 chapters for free…I’m going to order the book now. It’s time for me to shift gears… Thank you for the list!

  9. Verna Fawcett says:

    My 15 yr old uses Lumosity.com and believes it has helped him, especially with processing speed. I find generally programs targeted at NTs are less expensive than ones targeting kids on the spectrum, and many are just as effective.

  10. Janna Bee says:

    Have you looked at BrainGym exercises? Have heard great things about their program!

  11. Julie says:

    Oh yes, and RDI should help too…my daughter is very delayed because of her dual diagnosis, but just framing things in the way RDI has you do it seems to make those wheels turn, and that’s what we want. We want them to learn to think creatively. I have a L.O.N.G. way to go with her…..gotta fix the faulty biochemistry with the Down Syndrome too, but I believe it can be done.

  12. Julie says:

    The Masgutova method, which is geared towards getting the brain to “remember” the primitive reflexes. I have been given homework to do, but there are not enough hours in the day to do everything, so I will have to start small and work up. The good thing is, your child will want to do the things that he or she needs, so it shouldn’t end up feeling like work or therapy.


  13. Nicholas Glenski says:

    How would someone get a hold of a brain training program and How do i build my own brain training program????

  14. nran says:

    The Brain That Changes Itself

  15. Happy says:

    Thanks for a great list of books to look into. After you have read all these, I’d love to hear what you thought of them. A review as such would be great! No pressure.
    I feel that you may not have to be totally detoxed to start learning/brain training. I think there is a threshold and once they meet that, then you can start working on both. We found RDI helped a lot with all sorts of stuff, not just strictly social.
    All the best on your quest.

    • Sugah says:

      I will plan on doing some sort of review. Good idea! I will look into RDI. Thanks for the tip!

      • BlazeTMR says:

        We had a hard time sticking with RDI (75-85% parent-driven), but we learned so much from it. One of the biggest things was to quit asking Patrick questions and to start framing our communication with him in statements. “How was your day at school?” turned into “I wonder how your day was.” (lots of questions can be reframed by using “I wonder…”). It took the pressure of him and allowed him to decide if he wanted to answer (which he did! for the first time!). I have often said, in our journey that RDI and SCD are 2 things I dropped that I shouldn’t have.

      • BlazeTMR says:

        Also, I have heard that many RDI therapists are trained in HANDLE now. Double bang for your big bucks.

  16. Ruth Setlak says:

    Oh – and look into reflex integration. Neuro-fit in CA is awesome! Otherwise there are exercises you can do at home. Builds communication through midbrain to the frontal cortex. Necessary for strong executive function.

  17. Ruth Setlak says:

    Start doing DIR/Floortime. It is specifically geared to build neurological pathways of development. In speech. In relatedness. In cognition. In sensory processing and motor planning. It builds developmentally critical foundations.

  18. Robyn says:

    Its so frustrating that they won’t take children with autism! I also read about changing the brain, and even found an Arrowsmith school in the city we plan to move to, just to read on the website that they don’t take kids with autism. I would imagine these kids really could benefit from such a place. Its a shame. I’m all for including them with other neurotypical kids, but are they really getting enough one on one attention and the therapy they need being in a public school classroom? I wish we had more options.

    • Sugah says:

      If your child is recovered enough/high functioning enough….you could always apply and omit the autism diagnosis when you are exchanging information. It has been done before.

      Of course you have to meet all the other criteria.

      Best of luck to you! I wish we lived close to one of those schools!

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