Tag Archives: brain injury

Learning Problems and Developmental Delay: German Continues to Go to the Top of His Class


German age 15, paying a visit to The Institutes in 2016

The tall young man with the engaging smile stepped forth in the Valentine Auditorium to speak with the parents attending the What To do About Your Brain-Injured Child course. German and his parents had arrived on a hot June day to visit the staff and see the families.

Fifteen year-old German lights up when describing his life and his love of math, languages, athletics and spending time with his friends. Five years after graduating from the Intensive Treatment Program, German continues to be an outstanding student at a challenging school. His parents are extremely proud of his achievements and are confident that he will succeed in life. But German’s life did not begin on such a happy note.

One day prior to his delivery, the baby had an irregular heart beat and fetal distress. At birth, German had the umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck. He was a small and quiet baby. Mother was advised to place the baby on his back, and for months he lay immobile.

When German was 7 months of age, Mother attended The Institutes How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course. She learned the great value of placing her baby on his belly, and soon he was crawling and creeping, and then, walking.

At three years of age in pre-school, he stood apart from the other children. He played alone and did not respond to verbal directions.

German arrived at The Institutes ready to get started on his new program

“I was in denial about my child. He could speak German, Spanish, and English but he was absent from life. When other children tried to hit the piñata at a party German did not participate. It broke my heart to watch.”

At seven years of age, his mother describes her son: “It is difficult for him to follow orders and to pay attention to the teacher’s instructions. When the other children are writing or drawing, his paper is blank. While the other children are paying attention to the teacher, he switches off. When the teacher asks questions, he never answers. He avoids any kind of manual activity, he hates writing. He has problems understanding numbers and mathematics. He fails at games due to his inability to concentrate, and he tires very easily. It is very difficult for the teachers to understand his problems.”

“He is hypersensitive to touch, smell, and taste. Sounds bother him and he complains about voices, and crowds, and covers his ears. He sleeps poorly, and is very irritable. He does not chew well, even at his age. He often covers one eye, and he cannot decide which hand to use to eat or use scissors.”

“For me, it is as if the sun were totally eclipsed by the moon, his capability is blocked. He is interested in many things and wants to learn them but he cannot get focused. Our son needs help desperately.”

After attending The Institutes What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child course, parents learned their son had a moderate, diffuse, bilateral, cortex and midbrain injury. The family immediately embarked upon the Intensive Treatment Program with their boy.

After one year of his home program German was a different boy

German brachiates as part of his physical program at home

After one year of home treatment, their son was enjoying perfect health. He followed a highly nutritious diet very responsibly, and no longer had stomach problems or frequent respiratory infections.

He was crawling in a perfect cross pattern, running three kilometers daily, and had learned to brachiate independently. He had become proficient in gymnastics.

Now he was a full year ahead of his peers in mathematics, reading books for ten-year-olds, interacting well with his peers, and becoming an outstanding violin student

His learning problems were gone and he was advanced in most areas. A year previously, he had trouble counting in sequence, now he was a full year ahead of his peers in mathematics. At eight years of age, he was reading books for ten-year-olds. He was interacting well with his peers, and had become an outstanding violin student.

A year earlier, he wrote slowly and illegibly, and hated to write. Now he was carrying a notebook throughout the day to jot down ideas for his creative writing. He wrote, typed and edited a book of science fiction ten chapters long completely independently. He greatly enjoyed every minute of doing so.

Soon he was ready to return to the private school for advanced studies

He graduated from his home program and re-entered his challenging private school for advanced studies.

A proud day: Mother, Father, Grandparents and Susan Aisen, German’s advocate and the Director of The Institute for Intellectual Excellence, congratulate German on his graduation from the program

The young student who could not focus, did not answer, could not count, and hated to write had become a bright, enthusiastic, and highly successful student, the same boy but now able to use his abilities to their fullest.

Click to read the full story of German and find out where he is today at age 18.


Premature Babies: Are They Destined To Have Problems or Can We Make a Difference with Stimulation and Opportunity?

One father updates us about the challenges that he and his wife faced when their son was born 14 weeks before his due date. Now Koa finally comes home!  

Koa 8 weeks after coming home
One day at a time. We did this 122 times as this is how many days it took for Koa to finally come home to us from the NICU.

On the morning of the 12th November, we called the hospital at 5:55 am in the morning (as 6:00 am was the time they would decide he was all clear to come home subject to his sleep apnea). We were like kids the night before Christmas. We couldn’t sleep knowing that tomorrow could be the day Koa is coming home.

Koa needed to go 7 days straight without stopping breathing once to be able to come home. The month or two prior he would go up to 6 days without stopping and then would stop for a micro second, but that “stop” would reset the count back to day 1. This was absolutely frustrating but we had faith in the universe that when Koa was ready, he would do the 7 days.

That first moment when they saw each other was magical

He was finally ready to come home. Skyy (his older brother) was just as excited as we were. As Skyy wasn’t permitted in the NICU, it was his first time to even see his little brother Koa in person. That first moment when they saw each other was magical. The uncontainable excitement, Skyy ran from the sofa we were waiting on to his mum who was walking down the hall carrying Koa. The love Skyy has for his brother who he had just met for the first time. It was instantaneous. He was checking all his fingers, all his toes, his ears, his eyes. It was like he was checking that everything was there. This brotherly bond that would be with them forever. This was a very special moment. It was a privilege and so beautiful to stand back and witness.

Skyy and Koa meet for the first time.
Our first week or so was filled with sleepless nights. It wasn’t from Koa crying, Koa slept like a baby, it was us that were constantly watching him and not sleeping. We were constantly checking on him, making sure he was still breathing, watching for any slight movement in his chest or back. Just the slightest twitch or movement in his nostrils, eyes, mouth or cheeks all so we could relax for another few minutes where one of us would check again. It was terrifying… but he was fine. Never stopped once.

Now the real work would begin. We had made a plan and while he was in the NICU, we had started preparing all the bits we wanted to show him. We also had the crawling track ready to go.

Koa loves Bits of Intelligence

His eyes watch us intensely; he searches for things and finds new things in the house every day.
My wife went straight to work with him. The bits were in Japanese and English – why  wouldn’t you start teaching a second language immediately? She started doing the crawling track 10 times a day. She was very consistent. A natural mother. A natural teacher. Doing everything she knew, everything she had learned, all to give Koa the best possible start. He was already very used to our voices. He loves listening to us speak. When we speak, he actually started to really watch our mouths move from a few weeks ago and he tries to copy the movement of our mouths and he talks a lot. Yes, TALKS. (some people call it making lots of baby sounds). The early morning is my favorite time of day, when it’s “Dada time” and we get to have a great conversation about what he dreamt about and what we should do today. It also gives mum a chance to get a little more sleep.

His eyes watch us intensely, basically saying, “what are you going to teach me next?” He searches for things. He finds new things in the house every day. We carry him around the house and show him paintings on the walls and little statues. I suppose it’s like showing 3D bits. We talk about them to him and he looks for these things now when we say “Koa, where’s the __________?” His eyesight is brilliant. He will look at my wife and smile at her from about 3 meters away. This week my wife noticed him moving his head in the direction she was walking and he was smiling at her all the way – right until she came up close and said, “Are you watching me? Can you see me all the way over there?” This is all thanks to the black and white bits, the detailed Bits and also now the Bits of Intelligence.

Koa learning Bits of Intelligence

Watch the Video
Brotherly love
“One day at time” we are still living by it but now, it is more, enjoying one day at a time.