Lyn Waldeck discovered NACD in 1992 when seeking help for her severely brain-injured child. Now, fourteen years later, she is a senior staff member who views working for NACD as a privilege more than a job.
Prior to NACD, with an education background in Real Estate/Finance, Lyn first managed the acquisition, development and disposition of property for a Texas Land Development Company and later was the Branch Manager for a successful mortgage lending company based in Fort Worth. When Lyn became a mother, she left the mortgage business and devoted her time to raising and educating her children at home.
After her first two boys were born, Lyn learned of a two-year-old Romanian orphan who needed a loving home. During the time it took to process the adoption, Lyn could never have imagined what was taking place with the child. As the adoption was proceeding the child suffered a tremendous amount of abuse that left him brain-injured, blind, and close to death. Upon completing the adoption process, Lyn and her husband name him Evan and brought him home. Evan’s initial medical reports from the specialist were grim, and the Waldecks were told it was doubtful he would learn to walk, talk or see due to the amount of brain damage. Their family physician, however, was a dear friend who comforted them by saying that children are sometimes more resilient than expected. He cautioned them that if this was the prognosis they accepted then this would be the future to expect; however, the more work done with the child, the more there would be a possibility of change. The unanswered question, though, was what “work” would bring about the greatest opportunity for their child?
They enrolled Evan in a unique program where he went four days a week to a special private school and received in-home visits one day a week. This program offered the very best traditional therapies. Evan received Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Orientation and Mobility, and Speech and Language Therapy, along with instruction for visually impaired children. After two-years of consistent intervention, however, the amount of improvement Evan displayed beyond his initial recovery from injury was nominal at best.
At this point Lyn learned of NACD. She took Evan for his initial evaluation with Bob Doman and realized afterward that the previous therapeutic interventions had failed because they were not addressing the brain directly, and totally missed seeing the child as a whole. Eager to make up for lost time, Lyn dedicated herself to implementing one hundred percent of Evan’s first NACD home program. Over the next three months, Evan made far more progress on his NACD program than he had in the two years of therapies he received at the private school. Evan responded well to his individualized program and made wonderful gains in every area of development. The first year was phenomenal. The next thirteen years have had times of gigantic leaps and times of going forward at a slower pace. To Lyn, the most important thing is that NACD never stops at any point but continues to utilize every possibility to help Evan move forward.
Evan’s remarkable progress in those first three months inspired Lyn to begin volunteering with NACD. She was trained as a Parent-Trainer and became a Branch Manager for the Dallas Chapter. As time passed, Lyn continued to train with NACD and started conducting local seminars. The Dallas area clientele grew quickly to the point where NACD opened a Texas office, and this allowed Lyn to study regularly under Bob Doman’s mentorship. In 1997, Lyn became an NACD Neurodevelopmentalist as well as the Regional Director. Throughout the years, Lyn has continued to participate in NACD training programs and has become an integral part of the NACD staff.
Since Evan’s first evaluation with Bob Doman in 1992, Lyn has continued Evan on NACD programs and also obtained NACD programs for her four other boys as well, using NACD guidelines to structure her homeschooling program for all five children. In addition to transforming Evan’s life, NACD has spared two other Waldeck boys from very frustrating educational experiences. Lyn says, “One of my sons could have been the ‘Ritalin Poster-Child’ if it weren’t for NACD. Today these issues are resolved and each of my boys have been spared the heartache from the road that labels and limitations have to offer.” Evan has come a long way from the original medical reports predicting he “would never walk, talk, or see.” Now an active teenager, Evan shows no traces of the emotional scarring one would expect from his early experiences. Lyn says, “He’s probably the most well adjusted child I have of the five. He’s very sweet natured, compassionate, and discerning. His academics are not where they would be without brain damage, and his vision is limited compared to ours, but he can see, he is extremely witty, and his language is very good.” As for her other children, Lyn says, “My children don’t see anything as impossible. They have an “Ah, that’s nothin’!” attitude. They’ve seen what their brother has been able to do and what kid after kid in the NACD waiting room has been able to accomplish, and now they don’t see anything as impossible.”
In 2003, Lyn and family moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where Lyn conducts evaluations in the NACD office there and continues to teach three of her children at home. Still inspired by the work being accomplished by NACD, she is grateful for the opportunity to share it with the families on her caseload. She says, “NACD is an ever-evolving organization utilizing a tremendous Brain Trust from a deep foundation of experience and success. Bob Doman’s dedication to continue to improve upon what we do—combined with the determination of the most magnificent families in the world—makes dreams a possibility and potential a reality.”