A mother’s perspective: April 2010

Brainjogging affects real children and real families.  Brainjogging has one particular student, N., that began Brainjogging in April 2010.  N. attends Brainjogging sessions with a Brainjogging cognitive therapist from 9 am – 3 pm, with a one hour lunch break, one week each month; she Brainjogs at least twice daily at home with her mother the other three weeks of the month. Directly following N.’s week of Brainjogging session, her mother, J., writes Brainjogging a letter about N. and the progress she made over that week in relation to her state prior to the week’s therapy.

N., who began Brainjogging in April 2010, poses during her week of sessions in August, 2010.

The following is the first letter J. wrote Brainjogging, from April 2010.  Over the coming days, you’ll be able to read J.’s letters from May, June, July and August and watch N.’s progress from her mother’s perspective.  *Please note that each letter reads exactly as it was written by J., the exception being the presence of initials instead of names, which Brainjogging did with the intention of protecting this family’s identity; the completion of abbreviated terms OT for Occupational Therapy; and the grammatical errors.  All changes are bracketed.

April 15, 2010
Dear Brainjogging,

Hello, this is J., N.’s mother, and I am writing this letter filled with Hope as we approach the end of our first week of Brainjogging.

I’ll start with telling you a little about N..  She is our middle child after years of infertility.  Her older sister, A., was born via gestational surrogate.  She has been working very hard from day one.  My pregnancy was wonderful, but N.’s delivery was traumatic.  She was so beaten up that a geneticist saw her right away.  We have a slew of physicians and have run every test possible.  Fortunately, everything has come back normal.  However, this is frustrating in the sense you want something definitive so it can just be fixed!

N. came into this world with that sparkle and a smile that melts anyone.  She was born with Torticollis and low muscle tone.  C. and I have been very proactive from the beginning.  N. started P[hysical] T[herapy] at 4 months and began S[peech] T[herapy] and O[ccupational] T[herapy] during her first year.  From the beginning she has been on the upward curve of progress, and we’ve been told that is the best sign possible.

N. has a doting family that will continue to do anything we can to help her have a happy life.  N. is an appendage to A., and she is a little Mommy to her younger brother W..  N. feels like 2 children at times because she requires a little more with her delays; however, I cannot imagine the three without each other.  N.’s siblings challenge her; she must keep up with them.

Physically, N. has seemed to be about a year behind.  She was slow to sit, speak, run.  She has been diagnosed with Apraxia and Dyspraxia/SPD … all that said, it has been indicated with therapies and work she will be fine and live a productive life.  Now what exactly that means is unclear to me J. All I know is that I feel so much is in N. that she just can’t get out.  She is intelligent; her body just won’t sync with her brain … but it is getting better!  It can be heartbreaking to watch her attempt a normal activity and realize she is trying but can’t do how all the “typical” children are doing it.

N. does tire easily, especially with all the effort she has to use to function.  She eats well; we call her Swiper because she easily takes others’ food.  We’ve had IgG allergy test, and N. is highly sensitive to rice and shrimp.  We did attempt a gluten-free diet, but no difference was noted.  N. always walked on her toes; A[nkle] F[oot] O[rthoses] corrected that.  N. has a need to chew or teethe items/things.  She is very clumsy and unbalanced, but we are improving.  N. started jumping with 2 feet off the ground 5 months ago!!  Because speech is limited, N. does show frustration more because she is telling us something in N. language but no one understands.  N. is very social and happy.  She can be very stubborn and strong willed.  She is tough as nails given everything she has been through.

At this time, N. is a student at CC & F.  It is a fabulous school and worth my drive.  She gets ST, OT, and PT at school.  We have a private therapist once a week, and I think she complements Brainjogging very well.  N. takes dance and will resume Hippotherapy in the summer.  N. loves taking care of her babies, water, bubbles, music; she is busy and known for her quick and sneaky nature.

I was apprehensive to start Brainjogging because we really did not have our ABCs.  I am thrilled at the progress N. has made in learning the ABCs and how her speed has improved.  When I speak of speed that crosses over to when you ask her to repeat a letter or random word; her answer is coming out quicker.  It is amazing (with some prompting) how many words N. can say clearly!  I do realize we as a family will have some work in making sure we get the words out.  Since we started this week, N. obviously showed great improvement on the Brainjogging program.  She is catching a ball!  Throwing with some umph!  N. is saying more two word phrases.  She said, “I love Jelly Bean!” [the office dog] – one for the books.  The use of the potty has improved!  She is telling me she “has to go” at times!!  I’ve noted less tongue protrusion and mouth opening.  I have truly loved seeing improvement in N.’s eye contact.  Tonight we had a chat and she did so well with keeping eye contact!!  I am thrilled about the week … a great sense of hope.  I realize it is a huge commitment, but how can N.’s parents not do anything they could to help her?  I’m a little anxious about getting Brainjogging settled into our daily routine, but I know it will just take some practice.  I’m even more excited to see what will come.  N. has given me the gift of relaxing into the moment and enjoying the journey (of course with a lot of prayers, too ).  I know we can get those ABCs!!  It is fantastic to [hear] her improvement in enunciation; she can say those letters!  It is unbelievable how she has improved on Brainjogging from Monday!

Thank you so much!  It has been a productive and fun week – fun in the sense that N. has done so well.


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