Results: The only thing that matters in the world of hurt kids
In the world of brain-injured children language is a critical issue. It can be a life and death issue. When the world sees a hurt child, if he cannot speak or speaks poorly, it is often assumed that the child is not intelligent. His fate is often based upon that assumption. Once he is assigned this lower condition, he is seen as less deserving and less worthwhile. How else can we explain the places where hurt kids are routinely warehoused, medicated and forgotten?
The children included here have significant problems in language development that could put them at risk and possibly ruin their lives. Parents, and stimulation, as always, are the answer.
At birth a newborn baby has a birth cry. That cry is used to call mother and to keep her on alert. This is the first stage of language development.
A newborn baby uses his strong cry to keep mother close.
As the baby matures, the baby understands threatening situations and that cry becomes a vital cry. This is the second stage the baby is not merely saying “I am here, I need something” but rather “I am in danger help me.”
When the baby begins to make meaningful sounds real communication starts with Mother.
Next a baby begins to be able to make happy sounds, sad sounds, angry sounds - these are meaningful sounds. This is a much more sophisticated point where Mother and baby begin to get into real communication.
Injury to the brain either before, during or after delivery can result in poor or inconsistent ability to make sounds or speak. This is because of injury to the brain not injury to the tongue or the mouth.
When language development is compromised, appropriate stimulation and opportunity are the answer. When the child is given stimulation with increased frequency, intensity and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the brain grows, and his breathing and oxygen needs are addressed, the language pathway will grow. The child will begin to make meaningful sounds and then use words. Once a child can say at least 10 words and is beginning to use couplets, then a Language Victory is awarded. The following children have received Language Victories.
Catherine is now beginning to talk for the first time
Catherine and her twin sister were 75 days premature. Catherine was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She was 9 months old, when she was first evaluated at The Institutes. She could hear threatening sounds and she could use loud crying to indicate something was threatening her. However, she was not able to understand meaningful sounds or make meaningful sounds consistently. After 48 months of a program of stimulation and opportunity she now has ten words of speech and she is beginning to use short sentences, such as “I love you.” She has now earned a Language Victory. Even though she is not yet five years old, she is reading books with full comprehension at a twelve-year-old level.
Catherine with her great team: Mother, Father and twin sister.
Alice was a beautiful baby but she could only make meaningful sounds at first.
Alice was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 at birth. Alice was 8 months old when she was first evaluated at The Institutes. She was able to her emotions through meaningful sounds but she had no words of speech. She also had a moderate ventricular septic defect which affected feeding and mobility. Twenty months later at the age of 28 months, after receiving a program of stimulation and opportunity, Alice now uses single words and she is beginning to use couplets. She can also walk one kilometer in 20 minutes and she is reading at a six-year-old level.
Poor girl! As part of her program, Alice walks and runs daily on the beach in Rio de Janiero.
Mateo was clearly a very bright little boy but his poor language made it difficult for him to show off that intelligence.
Mateo was 21 days premature and delivered via Cesarean section. His initial diagnosis was autism. Parents were told he might be “educable”. Mateo was first evaluated at The Institutes when he was 35 months old. He had a full range of meaning sounds and one word of speech. After only nine months of stimulation and opportunity, Mateo now uses over 200 single words, 50 couplets and he is beginning to speak in sentences such as “Here is the paper!”. He is not yet four years old but he also enjoys reading and, at times, enjoys reading his books aloud. Not bad for a little boy who a year ago could barely talk.
Mateo enjoys reading independently – it’s a great way to learn new words. Now Parents no longer worry about whether he is “educable” because he is ahead of his peers.
These wonderful results were brought about by the efforts of each family. Mother and Father, brothers and sisters and the child – all working together to give each child a fighting chance for a much better life.