In April one of my daughters and I were planning to go to a training at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (Glenn Doman’s method of teaching). Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Institutes had to cancel their class. In 65 years of teaching classes to parents they have never had to cancel. For the first time ever they hosted it on-line, which was ideal for us, as I did not want to leave my little love for a week. I went into this on-line training with high expectations. All of them were exceeded. This was an extraordinary time of learning how to help our sweet Melody progress. And progressing she is doing!
We learned that the highest priorities for Melody in this season is patterning and crawling. Both patterning and crawling are remarkable for healing the brain and making connections. We now pattern Melody five times a day (see video above). Melody knew how to crawl (on her belly) before this class, but we were inspired to exponentially increase the amount of crawling she is doing. Crawling has countless benefits, one of which could be to help her to have the balance for walking independently some day.
One morning during the training I sat down to write out our goals for how far Melody should crawl (on her belly) each day. I decided to start with seven meters a day. The following day we got creative on how to get Melody motivated to crawl, and she crawled 14 meters by 10:00 a.m. I assessed that my goals for her were entirely too low! Now she crawls about 20-24 meters a day and it keeps increasing.
We had to figure out what would motivate her to move. Her pink Porsche has been a significant motivator, but we needed to add in other things. This has required substantial creativity on our part. We pray for wisdom, and God keeps giving it.
Melody loves to jump on her Cellerciser. She will crawl for that. Her faithful little duck is also a substantial incentive.
She loves music. When one of her sisters plays guitar, she will sometimes move for that.
Her favorite doll can get her to move at times.
Her lion can sometimes entice her.
Sometimes a ball is the ticket.
We have found that what motivates her more than anything is me. She, like all children, loves one-on-one attention from her mom. In her mind, love, attention, encouragement, and kisses, are definitely crawl-worthy. I spend quite a bit of time on the floor these days.😉
To be inspired by our little determined one click on her video at the top of this post.
All of this crawling is certainly paying off. The physical movement helps her respiration, which in turn helps her eating. Her progress with eating has been remarkable!
As I mentioned in the last post, she went from taking five and a half hours a day to eat down to two hours as a result of the amount of crawling she was doing just for her car. Now things are going to a whole new level with the consistency of her food. She is eating some non-pureed food in every meal. Prior to her recent increase in movement she was eating some non-pureed food, but the frequency, amount, and variety of textures has increased considerably since taking the class. In addition to that she is chewing her food in a way she has never done before! That may seem like minor progress, but for Melody it is profoundly significant.
In addition to her eating improvements, her vocalizations are more varied now. She is making new sounds, and they seem to be more purposeful. The other day I asked her if she wanted to eat. She responded with, “eeee”. This could have been coincidence. On the other hand, it could indicate that she is starting to attach meaning to certain sounds that she says.
Melody loves learning time! She has given us remarkable indicators that she is soaking it all in.
Melody works diligently every day, but she does get breaks. The other day I looked in the family room and saw that she was “playing” Uno with her siblings. I won’t claim she understands how to play, but she sure likes to be included!
The Institutes is offering another on-line course in June. (www.iahp.org) If you have a child with any sort of developmental challenges, I cannot recommend this enough. It is incredible! They strive to get to the root issue and help the brain to heal rather than shooting at symptoms. Once that happens, all kinds of magnificent outcomes can ensue. In working with the parents of tens of thousands of children over the years they have sought results. And results they get.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I give a distinctive salute to all the moms of little ones who have special needs. It is no easy undertaking to continually love, give, and serve our vulnerable ones, yet it is an honor and a high calling indeed.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.