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:
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.
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.
I don’t know much about this book. It looks like it might have some information that could contribute to my effort.
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?
With much love,
~ Sugah MUAH!
* For more by Sugah, please click here