We are adding a new intervention, BrainHighways. This helps integrate primitive reflexes so that the big brain will be more dominant. The big brain (Cortex) is responsible for advance skills like speech and social interaction, but is overpowered by the baby brain (midbrain and pons) if the baby brain was not integrated. The baby brain matures, or is integrated, when baby creeps and crawls. Nathan missed out on much of these on because of his cerebral palsy (limited ability to move his limbs). We were also in a hurry to get him to walk, not knowing how important creeping and crawling was to brain development. But anyways, we’re making up for the lost creeping and crawling time.
As a result of hours and hours of creeping floor time, I’ve notice Nathan’s ability to answer my questions or respond to my commands have shortened.
I realised how challenging it is to ask Nathan to do something super hard for him. My fears and frustration crept in again. I was crying all over again wondering how I could get Nathan to do, and like, exercises that I know will change his life. Maybe as a direct response to my frustrations, Nathan started hating creeping and crawling. He started to bang his head on the floor as a violent protest and be excused from the exercises. Even I wanted to stop the program. But I know I would hate myself for not continuing with one of the few programs that have great results for children and adults with special needs.
In have been blessed with The Son-Rise Program(r), which helped my find my way out of this dilemma. These are the changes I made:
1. Change my belief that the exercise was hard for Nathan and it was hard for me to motivate him.
2. Let go of the times when he does not want to exercise….until the next invitation to creep again.
3. Think of each exercise as an investment for tomorrow’s exercise, instead of a task that just has to be done today. During the exercises allowed him to rest, to make his mind drift and return before asking him to move again. In other words I allowed him to simply enjoy the exercise and not be pressured to do it. I used to pull and tug him to get his creeping laps done until the 30minute time was up. That led to so much resistance, eventually whining/crying and then head banging.
4. Be present with every creep or crawl. I tuned in with my attitude of enjoying the songs I sang while creeping and crawling, instead of constantly looking at the clock asking “when will this finally be over?”
5. And of course, I said my prayers whenever I was emotional too weak to keep trying. Those really have the best results!
Amor, by they way, also benefits from BH, but really enjoys it and even asks me to creep and crawl with her.
In the photo: L to R: Amor, Ian and Nathan creeping to build their Brainhighways.