by Ellen Doman
How many times have family members, neighbors, church members, and friends asked you why you are doing program with your child? It happens a lot, doesn’t it? Sometimes you even wonder why you are making such a big effort. You are certainly surrounded by parents that are going along with the status quo. Why don’t you?
Many of you know that I have a new grandson. His name is Corbin, and he is, of course, the most beautiful child ever. When I am with Corbin, I wish with all my being that this child has the very best life possible, that he grow up to become everything that he can possibly be. I want no doors closing on this child. He looks up at me full of happiness and interest. He is amazed by moving leaves, ceiling fans, and other stimmy things in his environment. He is amazed by his toes, my voice, his dad’s face, and his Aunt Tanyshia’s smile.
I know that you can remember these feelings watching your child. Nothing is more precious than your child or your grandchild. That’s why you are doing program. You are doing program so that your child can think more complex thought. You are doing program so that your child is more coordinated. You are doing program so that your child can take any coursework that he or she wants to take. You are doing program so that your child can communicate with others, move freely in the world, solve problems, help others, and lead a fulfilling life.
It would, for some people, be easy to just take little Corbin as he is and enjoy him. I do enjoy him tremendously. Of course, I am also doing deep pressure, arm brushing, pursuits, some leg unlocking, some sound CDs, some mouth stimulation, some trigeminal stimulation, some showing and naming, some face-to-face alphabet (which he adores), and a few other things. He deserves the very best future that I can give him. Your child deserves the very best future that you can give him or her.
If you have a teen or you are an adult on program, you have already seen the impact that neurological issues can have. Whether it is difficulty with coursework, difficulty communicating, or difficulty staying on task, your adult life can rapidly be defined by what you have avoided in order to be able to function well. What professions did you rule out? What projects did you not even try? What impact did poor grades have on your self- esteem?
We do program with our teens or we do it as adults to fix problems that have already arisen. We want to be more organized, feel and act in a more competent way, stay on tasks until they are completed well. We want to pursue our goals in careers that we value and not be stopped by inability to learn and retain information. We want our teens to be and feel competent, to self-manage well and thrive in academic and work environments without needing constant supervision and external motivation.
This is why you are doing program. It’s important.