When is it too late for the brain to recover?

At age 25 Joshua starts the journey that will change his life

Joshua and Mother

Following a difficult birth, with no detectable heartbeat prior to delivery, Joshua was incubated and given oxygen to survive.


Mom stays in close communication with baby Joshua to encourage him to keep fighting

Parents were told there was little hope their baby would ever develop normally.

In the first year of his life, Joshua was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, thyroid deficiency and atrophy of the pituitary gland. He cried continually, Mother remembers, “His father and I ate dinner separately for a year, so Joshua could always be held while crying.”

The little boy was evaluated by doctor after doctor and always the prognosis was poor. Parents were told that there was little hope their baby would ever develop normally. Joshua was diagnosed as having mental retardation.

“No doctor, no teacher, no psychologist was able to tell me what was wrong.”

Joshua’s mobility development was very slow

He did not walk until he was four years old. And, when he did start to walk he repeatedly walked into walls due to his visual problems which were diagnosed as “uncorrectable.”“He felt like a ragdoll sometimes for days on end, and no one – no doctor, no teacher, no psychologist was able to tell me what was wrong,” mother recalls.  Later, mother learned her son was having absence seizures.

They said he was a “vegetable” and should be put away in an institution.

Joshua attended special schools where he struggled to read and write and speak clearly. He could not use his hands well and he could barely run. Crowds bothered him. He was not safe outdoors by himself.
Parents were told that he was mentally retarded, mentally deficient, emotionally disturbed and dyslexic. They said he was a “vegetable” and should be put away in an institution.

Joshua was 25 years old before mother and father learned about the work of The Institutes. 

Finally, at 25 years of age, Mother writes “Joshua was going to a special school where he would spend half a week in the dorm, and then come home. We had just decided to take him out of this school which taught him nothing and to teach at home ourselves. Then, we learned of The Institutes”.

Joshua’s parents attended the What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child  course and began their new journey. They were well armed with love, determination and a lot of hope.

After one year of a program at home Joshua was undeniably better.


Joshua and Glenn Doman have time together when he visits The Institutes

After one year of a neurological program at home Joshua was undeniably better. Mother describes her “new son”:

He significantly changed physically, he has a strong and muscular body now, whereas before he could not sit up straight or run for more than a short distance. He is beginning to run one kilometer non stop uphill! He has established eye contact, and is much more self-confident. He can be left alone safely and he is able to follow multiple-step instructions easily. His speech is clearer and his vocabulary richer. He is calmer, and enjoying both reading and writing in English and French. He has written two original stories for the first time in his life.”

Today Joshua is an athlete enjoying a wide range of sports. He enjoys studying history, geography, science, math, art, and learning computer problem solving skills.

By the time Joshua was 30 years old, his mother said, “He is doing fantastically – he is running 5 kilometers non-stop and preparing for a regional race. At least once a week, he does a 3-hour marathon of physical activities, and he swims and dives for pleasure. Joshua is now doing many physical activities, including swimming, diving and skiing.

Joshua becomes fit and athletic

He is reading adult books, and studying history, geography, science, math, art, and learning computer problem solving skills and touch typing along the way.  Overall, he tells people not to help him but to let him figure things out for himself – this is much different from the boy who used to try without really trying, constantly looking to others for help, and not believing he could do anything.” Joshua enjoys writing whenever he has time

Mother adds, “Joshua is volunteering to help others in our community, as he is full of compassion for those who struggle as he once did.”In a recent update on how Joshua is currently doing, his mother writes, “He travels now independently in both Europe and the United States to see family and friends. We are all investing more time in our passion for art and painting, and participating more in cultural events in our region. Joshua’s paintings are attracting much attention, and even some sales, following his exhibitions.”

Today Joshua is an established artist.

Works on paper: Joshua’s work is colorful and dynamic

Today, Joshua is an established artist, living a rich life with family and friends. He has come a long way from the dependent child and adult he once was with only the prospect of a limited future ahead. “Village” – Work on canvas: Powder paints mixed with an acrylic medium on paper then cut up to create the collage. This work was done in July 2015

After a quarter of a century of spinning his wheels and going nowhere Joshua and his parents took a chance and fought for a real life.  He has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that it is never too late.The indomitable human spirit and the superb human brain make a formidable and often unbeatable combination. It is a simple yet profound lesson for everyone who fights for brain-injured children to be well  –  never give up.

Read more about Joshua’s story

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