Down Syndrome: Suri and Dad Get The Job Done
Proving that Fathers, like Mothers, are the best teachers
Suri in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit soon after birth with her sister Lila.
No tears, no hiding, no fear - the decision to accept this child and our new path had been made.
Suri arrived by water birth at the Mullumbimby Hospital. As the midwife pulled Suri out of the water and handed her to me, the first thing I saw were these beautiful eyes. And I knew they looked different. But I was fine. The decision to accept this child and our new path had already been made 7 months before. There were no more tears from that point on. No hiding. No fear.
Immediately after birth Suri was taken by ambulance to a big city hospital as her oxygen saturation was low. The hospital became our home. Watching Suri hooked up to machines with tubes running everywhere was not good. I remember calling another Naturopath who recommended some supplements that would be good for the heart and thyroid. If I took the supplements the baby could get them through my breast milk. I had a plan.
We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I made a promise to one day return and help all the ladies and babies we left behind.
I stayed on a really clean diet, took my supplements diligently and visualized us leaving. Two weeks later we were on our way home. No heart surgery necessary. No thyroid drugs. Check up with cardiologist in 6 weeks. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. And I made a promise to one day return and help all the ladies and babies we left behind. After a chaotic start to life at home we eventually found our rhythm.
Suri’s parents gave her maximum opportunity on the floor for her mobility development.
At one month of age Suri was strong and had good reflexes. I took dandelion capsules which worked through the breastmilk and cleared up the pimples on her skin. At 6 weeks of age I started reading ‘How Smart is Your Baby” by Glenn and Janet Doman. One week later I began the Neurodevelopment program called ‘Your Smart Baby’s Newborn Program’ from The Institutes.
At 6 months of age Suri was gorgeous and healthy…I felt we were on top of everything.
In no time Suri was crawling
I started Suri on The Institutes “Smart Baby Program”. She continued to develop into a strong, healthy baby over the following months. We had developed a regular home program of crawling track first thing in the morning, followed by outline cards, visual stimulation with a flashlight, hanging and speech development activities, described in “How Smart is Your Baby?” In no time she was crawling. I ordered Bits of Intelligence cards and “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence” from the Gentle Revolution Press. We were doing Balance Development activities twice daily, after reading “Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!”. A healthy feeding pattern was well established.
Much to our delight when Suri had her 12 month check up with the cardiologist he said her heart pressures were fine and she didn’t need surgery. A huge relief and near miss for heart surgery.
Suri began taking precise amounts of green tea, resveratrol, curcumin and all other supplements suggested to specifically down regulate Down Syndrome genes.
Suri started walking independently just before 17 months of age.
We made Suri a brachiation ladder. We start hanging Suri from the brachiation ladder at 12 months of age. After a few weeks of practise she was hanging for up to 18 seconds independently. She then began to brachiate, with assistance, up and down the ladder.
Suri hangs from an overhead bar for manual development.
Following several months of crawling 400 metres daily, Suri started walking independently just before 17 months of age. We filmed her and put the video on Facebook for relatives and friends to see.
When Suri was eighteen months old we began a serious home program. We started with a full balance program twice a day. We used sophisticated and simple detail Bit of Intelligence cards. We began showing her 5 categories of single words, three times a day, starting with the prepared cards from the Gentle Revolution Press. We soon started making our own cards using red marker on white card. I gave Suri peas and blueberries to practice cortical opposition after each meal. She did this very easily. I used hot and cold tactile stimulation. I began singing nursery rhymes and leaving the last word off, for language development. I started playing animal sounds to Suri, using an air horn and musical instruments daily.
Suri enjoys learning with her sister.
When Suri was two years old, I attended the “What to do about your Brain Injured Child” Course in Philadelphia, USA and my husband did it soon after. For twelve months we have been on the Intensive Treatment Program and haven’t looked back. Suri has her own program now and we are in a routine of working twelve hours a day, seven days a week on her program. Suri is almost three years old and she walks 1,300 meters every day. She sprints 40 meters, five times a day and is almost running. Suri can do forward and horizontal rolls independently.
A great team: Dad and Suri do the program together everyday.
We are so proud of our daughter - she understands over 2000 words and sentences and she has started to speak words that she uses meaningfully.
Suri loves doing her Running Program with her older sister.
She understands over 2000 words and sentences. She has started to speak words that she uses meaningfully. We are so proud of our daughter and we look forward to watching her develop over the following years on the program. Thanks to her Dad, her hero and her coach, who has sacrificed his own career to do the program fulltime with her.
This was written by Gabi Giacomin, Suri’s mom, who is a naturopath and professional mother. You can follow her blog at www.theconsciouspod.com