I took James* for a haircut before the holidays. Our hairdresser said, ‘Who is this kid?’ Previously it was very difficult to get through a haircut. This day James was much more tolerant… he exhibited self-control, sat still and was compliant.”
Does the challenge of haircut day sound familiar? Many parents of children with sensory issues have related to us how difficult this common task is for their child. So how did James’ mom come to the place of a happy haircut day? Less than a month before Marty* brought James to Brain Solutions. In this short time frame, with a passive program, we were able to impact haircut day and so much more.
Here is a brief description written by Marty prior to starting with us: James wants to jump off everything – tables, chairs and the couch. He can say the sounds of all the letters, but is mostly non-verbal or speaks gibberish. He has poor eye contact. Even as his mother I have to ask him to look at me when I am asking him to speak. When he does look, he cannot hold eye contact for more a couple of seconds. I have to repeat myself over and over to get him to follow simple instructions.
We first started work with James at the end of November 2015. At Christmas his uncle came for a visit and saw significant changes. He told Marty that 5 year old James was engaging with him for the first time ever. They played with a car set for 2 hours on Christmas morning. In the past James would have been a spectator for few minutes before heading off to another activity.
While working with us, James began to engage with other children. His jumping off furniture became a rare occurrence and the adults in his life could increase their demands on him to use words, clean up after himself and follow a routine. He no longer required someone following close behind him every moment.
James has gone from needing extensive prompting to occasionally uttering one syllable words to having spontaneous speech using multi-syllable words and some sentences. His days are marked with much more purpose rather than just tumbling though. His affection with his mom now comes without prompting and often has a delightful playfulness to it. James responds to his name and his eye contact also comes unprompted most of the time. He has developed a relationship with the dad of another client, a local lawyer, who has also expressed his joy at James’ progress at Brain Solutions. “In less than a week he was talking and now he can say the name of an animal and the sound it makes. It is just amazing. Another day he had a tiger and elephant and took the letters “T” and “E” from his alphabet puzzle and matched them correctly with the animals.”
His babysitter and teacher have also seen the improvements. At school he can match puzzle pieces that show an animal and the corresponding word for that animal. In the first week of working with us, the babysitter could tell his eye contact was improving. Overall, the changes mentioned in this article, and more, happened in 9 weeks or less. Moreover, such results are typical among similar clients that we serve.
The programs we use at Brain Solutions are brain-based and offer foundational help that endures over time without medications. We have consistently brought language online for those who come to us with little or no language. The program we used with James also impacts focus, coordination and sensory issues.
And James’ mom, Marty, echoed what we hear from many parents we work with, “Since coming to Brain Solutions, I have hope again!” Call us today to learn more.
Kirsten Lopez, MA is the founder and executive director of Brain Solutions Inc. She has a background in psychology, special education and educational consulting, as well as having been a program director in a neuropsychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. Learn more at BrainSolutionsInc.com or call 702-340-2248.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.