.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The latest from the Adairs

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bear with me because this first post is kind of long but the following posts won't be as long to read. And thanks for reading! :-)

I want to start posting a daily or weekly update of Kayla's progress with Little Giant Steps. I realized that when I talked to friends, family or acquaintances about what is going on I get "wind in my sails" because by talking about it I realize how this neurodevelopmental therapy is really working! Otherwise I am not thinking about the changes because it is very time consuming and can be a burden mentally and emotionally. But it is a worth while investment in your child's life! So I think that by posting daily or weekly I will be keeping everyone updated, I will try to share with others what neurodevelopmental therapy is and I will continue to feel wind in my sails! :-) Praise God there has been wind for my sails!

OK so where do I start? I felt God leading me to do this "therapy" for Kayla about a year ago. But honestly I was a little worried about testing this theory on my child with a chunk of our wallet and my time (which as a homeschooler I already felt very pinched for time and money!). So with the blessings of my husband Brian I started Kayla in therapy in the wings of a good friend of mine Lori Huntley. Lori and I had attended a Little Giant Steps (www.littlegiantsteps.com) seminar together over a year ago and had talked about the possibility of this helping our 2 oldest children. Lori had very similar issues with Allison (her oldest) as I did with Kayla; we felt each others pain in our struggle to educate our children and to understand their issues. In the mean time I had sent in an application to Scottish Rite Hospital for Kayla to be treated for dyslexia. They turned my application down because "we don't treat ADD children". I was truly devastated but I trusted that God had a bigger and better plan for her! (Kayla was diagnosed with "ADD" at the age of 8 then the public school system wanted to test her for special education at age 10. Instead I pulled her out to homeschool her but I knew that there had to be a root to the cause of the problem instead of saying that she is "ADD".) So on to how I actually got Kayla started in the program; Lori's daughter Allison had been on the program since the beginning of the year and Allison had results in about 2 months. So this was my reassurance from the Lord that this is what I needed to do for Kayla because if it was working for Allison than surely it would work for Kayla. (Yes I know, shame on me for having little faith!)

Kayla's first evaluation was on May 31, 2005 and Jan Bedell, a certified neurodevelopmentalist, went through all of the testing with Kayla. She gave me a "Weekly Activity Plan Tracking Sheet", instructions that were recorded on a tape and sent us on our way to start the real work. And work it is! We have approximately 2 hours of work to complete a day but typically it takes us up to 3 hours per day to complete the work.

First of all I'll talk about the issues that Kayla had that we needed to address. Her audio memory was at a 4 and should be at a 7; that means that she could only recall a sequence of 4 different numbers at one time and for her age she should be recalling a 7 digit span. That also means that she was able to carry on a conversation in the same ability as that of a 4 year old (developmentally). A lot of this stemmed from all of her ear infections before she was 2 years old not to mention being in a daycare setting 9 hours a day with very little one on one interaction with adults to help "grow" her auditory ability. She was also having trouble with her inner ear balance. If Kayla turned around suddenly or stopped to turn she would get very dizzy and often times she would fall over because lack of balance and coordination. Along those lines she would often hit her little brother with her arm or hand accidentally because she wasn't able to sense where she was in "space". No she wasn't doing that on purpose but she would swing her arms sporadically while walking and therefore contact would come between her and her brother! Kayla also had a very sporadic memory, one day she would remember a spelling word and the very next day she would forget it completely no matter how long she had studied that word. Her memory struggles were across the board in all academics. She was behind about 3 or 4 grade levels in math and her phonics and decoding ability was also behind. Now I've never been all that concerned about "being right along with her peers" but the closer we got to high school age the more concerned I became for her ability to perform and about her ability to actually cope in the outside world. Her vocabulary was tested at a 2nd grade level which was severely limiting her social interactions. Basically those are the main things that brought us to seek Little Giant Steps help.

Within a month of starting the program I saw dramatic results. The first month we had 70 percent completion of the daily program so I was very happy with the results. Her digit spans had gone from a 4 to a 5, she was no longer dizzy while turning around and she was able to remember verbal directions given to her by myself or my husband. One of the other more important issues in this therapy is ear and eye occlusion. If you are right handed you function much better using your right eye, your right ear and your right leg dominantly. She was using her left ear and left eye about 50% of the time which causes the left and right hemisphere of the brain to not be functioning optimally. It's very complicated and hard to explain but if you go to the a seminar by Jan Bedell or to the Little Giant Steps website you could probably understand it better than I am able to explain. Whatever the occlusion is doing it is definitely getting to the root of the cause and we are seeing results because of it!

Anyway, I know that there is definitely more changes that I haven't listed here but this is just a tip of the iceberg and there is more to come for our story. Or should I say more of God's hand in our lives.

Thanks for reading and I will be back soon and hopefully with pictures.