Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Program Done

One of the biggest challenges to getting a neurodevelopmental (ND) program done is finding the time to get everything accomplished. There have been times when this has been really difficult for us but it is often possible to  incorporate program into daily life. K herself is in dance & downhill skiing, & her sisters are active in several sports as well. It's pretty hectic even without trying to get any program done!

First of all it is important to know that it is okay to take a break if you need to.  There have been times when life has gotten so busy that  we needed to take a short break.  I find it best to plan a set date to start up again though as it's easy to put it off & days turn to weeks or even months. I've heard it said that doing a neurodevelopmental program is not a sprint but a marathon so you need to pace yourself & I think this is very wise advice.

Equally as important, it's okay if you don't accomplish what you want to in a day.  Let it go!  :) Tomorrow is a new day - wipe that slate clean & try again. 

 It's okay to be flexible too. Click here to learn what we are planning to do for the next month or so.

When I went back & read over this list it looks like we are constantly doing ND activities & fitting something in at every moment of the day.  This is not true.  There needs to be balance in life & although ours can be very hectic K gets lots of free time to do her own thing too.

The following list is a work in progress so I'd really appreciate if you can add your ideas to in the comments or by email to jtkkmom@gmail.com & I'll add them to this list so others can benefit.

Some  things can be incredibly simple such as playing audio stories, classical music or other music recommended by your neurodevelopmentalist while your child is playing.

The  biggest thing that helped me was to associate a program activity with some part of our daily routine.  We would not forget to eat a meal or change a diaper so we did a program activity with each of these.

When K was very little, even  before we started an ND program, we tried to expose her to all kinds of sensory input.  Dabbing a little essential oil or her or my clothing was very a very simple way to help accomplish this.

After the bath  was the perfect time to fit in some baby massage.

Potty training is a great time to do some activities while you have a captive audience! Flashcards, encyclopedic knowledge, even eye exercises!

& again with that captive audience............... we've used bath time  to get some of the above program activities done too.

Fitting program in to your daily life can mean simple things like tossing the stroller & letting your child walk even when it mean that a trip to the store takes a bit longer,

Instead of lifting your child up onto the change table, high chair, car seat, etc, have them grasp your thumbs & hold on as you lift them.

Label items in your house so instead of a planned flashcard session, so you & your child can read them as you come across them in your house during regular daily activities.

Our schedule changes but at times I have been able to get oral motor work done as I am making supper.

We  try to combine activities as well & that is how we are accomplishing our oral motor exercises at the moment. K has special glasses that she uses each day while watching TV or playing on the iPad.  While she is doing that I often have her do one of her oral motor exercises.                                                                                                                                                                      
We do digit spans each time K wants the iPad or gets into the vehicle.

Now that K is 6 she can be a little more independent at some activities.  In the morning when I am making breakfast I have her work on her math book as well as do some handwriting practice.  By the time she's done breakfast is usually ready too.

We try to incorporate crawling into other activities too such as crawling while we pick up toys.

 When she has a question we describe things in more detail than I would have thought to explain to my older kids.  Like in Glenn Doman's book where he says Don't tell your child its a doggy.  Tell them it's a breed of dog called a Golden Retriever, etc. etc. Give them  lots of specific information on the breed of dog. It only takes a few seconds longer to give a detailed explanation but the knowledge adds up.

While I'm not a fan of letting your child sit in front of a TV/computer screen all day & I prefer to watch with my child so I can be engaged with them, there were times when I had K watch BrillKids Little Reader to teach her words, concepts, encyclopedic knowledge.  I created my own playlists which had the content I wanted to work on with her.  Here is a link on their program & very generous discount program.

That is all that I can think of at the moment but please remember to share your ideas in the comments or send to my email. I need some new ideas too!


Here are some ideas that some other moms have shared:

Melissa said:
1. Know your program really well so it is easy to include activities when walking on the beach or playing. Just adding some jumping and ball throwing for example if that is a part of your program.
2. I write my program activities up on a big white board or on 4x6 index cards in big letters and place it somewhere I can see it easily. I prefer the index card method as then I can group and arrange and change the orders of the activities. I stick them on the door or wall with blue tack. Then when I am sitting down nursing my youngest I can look over the program and keep myself familiar. I clump them in logical groups to me so that I can remember them more easily when I am out, with the most important at the top so I know to work my way down. As I am doing program with toddlers, I cannot stick to a rigid schedule, so this allows me just to glance at the board and quickly pick the next activity that I think will be accepted well.
3. You mentioned this, but tagging program activities to daily activities is a great idea. Flash cards at the start of a meal time - done. I had trouble encouraging my son to do his processing activities, but he loves his supplements and gets many throughout the day, so now they have become a reward, he does a quick activity and gets his fish oil! It is great as suddenly he has a need to try.


Jennifer posted some great ideas on FaceBook:
We use car rides for a lot of our program. I have my 6 yo and 9 mo on program. We use the car for audiobooks, iPad apps, and audio processing. I also keep a small therapy bag in the car and let my husband drive most of the time (we work together). This allows me to sit in back with my little one and read books, do flashcards and anything else I can do while she's sitting down. Great blog post. Thanks for sharing!

I forgot to mention it in my post but we like to do program in the vehicle too.  Oral motor, eye exercises, & now that she is older I can hand K her math book or some handwriting sheets to do. 

13 comments:

  1. Laura, thank you so much for this post! As a mom who doesn't do an ND program but wishes I had the finances to, I often feel I must be depriving my child of all these mysterious activities that I'm not doing (because I don't know what they are!) that will enhance his development. I'm sure there's a lot more involved than the general points you shared, but it was nice to see how many of them we're doing.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that Avivah. Your are right too - these are pretty commonly known concepts & not specific program activities. Do you have the Doman books? That's how we made our first home program.

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    2. I got the HSIYB and the Physically Superb books when Y was a small infant (now almost 20 months old) - I've integrated some ideas but am not nearly as scheduled and systematic as what Doman recommends. It's not really my nature and with ten kids life is busy, but I do what I can and Y. is doing great! One day I look forward to being able to afford an ND program that is tailored to his needs.

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  2. Thank you a bunch. I was needing you savy words today. Because I got a little overwhelmed by working full time, doing MendAbility and ND. We have seeing real progress combining both approaches. So deeply in my heart, I know I cannot quick. But I have to recharge my batteries. Thank you so much, I feel a lot better.

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    1. You inspire me Rosa! Mendability is lot less work than ND but to be doing both is amazing!

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  3. It is so very nice to read your article, as it does helps with different aspects of learning and development. I am a single mother of my soon to be 29 year old daughter with D.S. She is not a work program and trying to keep her busy and mentally stimulated can be challenging at times. I am excited to read more about what and how are set up. :-)

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    1. Thanks did your reply - I love hearing from parents of adults!

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  4. Hi Laura! Great post, thanks! Other tricks that help me include:
    1. Know your program really well so it is easy to include activities when walking on the beach or playing. Just adding some jumping and ball throwing for example if that is a part of your program.
    2. I write my program activities up on a big white board or on 4x6 index cards in big letters and place it somewhere I can see it easily. I prefer the index card method as then I can group and arrange and change the orders of the activities. Then when I am sitting down nursing my youngest I can look over the program and keep myself familiar. I clump them in logical groups to me so that I can remember them more easily when I am out, with the most important at the top so I know to work my way down. As I am doing program with toddlers, I cannot stick to a rigid schedule, so this allows me just to glance at the board and quickly pick the next activity that I think will be accepted well.
    3. You mentioned this, but tagging program activities to daily activities is a great idea. Flash cards at the start of a meal time - done. I had trouble encouraging my son to do his processing activities, but he loves his supplements and gets many throughout the day, so now they have become a reward, he does a quick activity and gets his fish oil! It is great as suddenly he has a need to try.

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    Replies
    1. Lol! I bow to you! If only I could get my kid to think fish was a reward!

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  5. Laura,

    I found your blog after our son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth in April of 2013. We became convinced very early on that a neurodevelopment approach was the way to go in order for Addison to reach his greatest potential. We read and have worked the Doman's program on our own pretty much since he was born. However, we feel as if we could get greater benefit with some guidance. I would be very grateful for some input as we are really unsure what the difference is between various programs and what makes one better than the other. How did you choose Glenn Doman's program over NACD or The Family Hope Center? What, in your opinion, makes IAHP better than the others? Did you go to a clinic or seminar or have you simply made your own program based on reading the books? I am really just feeling overwhelmed by the decision right now. For the first six months our son was doing great. He reached all his early milestones right on target with his typically developing peers. Around six months his progress seemed to stop. At that time we became aware that he could not hear. He underwent ear surgery in January (8 months of age) but we have seen little to any improvement in hearing or development since then. We can not get on the schedule for a hearing revaluation until the end of March so we honestly don't even know if the precious boy is even hearing anything at this point. We really feel like we need to make a decision and get going but we can't decide which way to go. We have nine children and limited resources both in time and money so we want to make sure we are putting it where it is going to have the best impact. Please advise! I have read large portions of your blog but have not gotten to these answers yet. If you have covered them would you mind directing me to those posts to save us both time? As much as I have on my plate right now, Addison might be 8 before I read everything that might answer my questions. My direct email is ArtsChiliPepper@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    kathleen

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    1. Oh, & in case you're curious our program is with ICAN.

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    2. We started out for the first few years doing a home program using the Doman books before we started with ICAN so maybe that's what is confusing.

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  6. Kathleen - I'll email so we can chat a little better since I can only seem to comment on my blog through my phone not my computer.

    Just for the record though. I don't think IAHP is the best. I think each family needs to find the program that suits their needs best. Sometimes that can mean closing the program that you feel is superior. Other times it means choosing one in your area or one that suits your financial needs or perhaps the one that gives you the right amount of support for your needs.

    I'll email & we can chat some more.

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