As I reflect on this thought, that there are no coincidences... I realize that God called us to move 1,100 miles across the country a year and a half ago for many reasons. It just so happens that Brain Balance is one of them. In 2009, I found and read "Disconnected Kids" for the first time. This was when Taz was in First Grade, and had begun to have challenges in the classroom. His teacher was often absent, and the class was lead for the first semester primarily by an inexperienced Student Teacher.
Many bad habits developed, and Taz became a "problem" in the classroom. He was unafraid of the Teacher, and as a result, she displayed anger towards him, often sending him to the Principal's office, or out in the hallway, or to the Guidance Counselor's Office. He began to see himself as "the bad kid" in the class. Other kids made fun of him, and one day, a larger boy from his class was found on top of him at recess, holding Taz down while another boy kicked him. I am sure he gave them reason to dislike him, but to abuse in this way was unacceptable. The three boys were called into the office, and all 3 were punished equally. I began to look for a way out for Taz, a new school, or perhaps homeschooling. We received no encouragement or help from the private school he was attending, only words such as, "He is manipulative, he is too loud, he won't sit still, he is difficult." It still makes me sick to remember this horrible time in our lives.
The first medication (Focalin 20 mgs) caused Taz to stay awake for 36 hours straight. It's true, he was incredibly focused during those hours, but his emotions were a wreck, with bouts of laughing and then crying, cutting up every piece of paper in the house into small pieces, then crafting them into large mosaics. I remember it like a Nightmare just happening. It was physically and emotionally painful to have to experience it with him. I still wonder what it might have done to the poor child's brain.
As a result of this reaction to the medication, we were instructed to slowly & methodically try medication after medication, so after 5 different meds, the Pediatrician finally decided that simply Ritalin 10 mg with 5mg "bolus" 12 noon would do the trick to get him through school.
I learned to dread the 4:00 crash that was routinely experienced around 4pm every day, and we would skip the meds on the weekends, avoiding the "Tazmania-crash" that occurred about 4 hours after the last dose.
And so began my plan, to move closer to my parents home, where there was a Brain Balance Center close by. I had read of mothers bringing their children from as far as Australia and England to the USA to be treated, and other mothers had rented apartments and relocated to Atlanta to put their children into Brain Balance Programs. I will never regret moving. I only wish I had removed Taz from the uneducated school system earlier.
He went to public school for one semester before we moved (fall of second grade), and, surprisingly, he was selected to be "Student of the Month" the second month he was enrolled.
This was eye opening, the teacher seemed to adore him, and he had NO academic problems, followed the rules well, and never was sent out into the hallway, let alone sent to the principal's office! It was the difference between night and day from his previous school experience.
This photo is of a Science Event we hosted, inviting any kid in Taz's Second Grade Class to come to our home to perform Science Experiments. It was a huge hit... Every boy in the class came, as well as some of the girls. I was happy! What a difference! But Taz still was having meltdowns, and temper tantrums that made me think he acted as though he was 2 years old.
But thankfully, Taz's fellow students seemed to like him, he was invited to everyone's Birthday Parties, and had quite a few play dates during the first semester here in our new school (after moving). I began to feel more confident as a Mother, like maybe I did have some clue, unlike my insecure thoughts everytime I was even near the old, Private School he had attended in K and first grade.
Looking back, I remember, there really are NO COINCIDENCES! "Disconnected Kids" really made lots of sense to me, so I decided to pursue the opportunity to participate in the program. We scraped and saved every dime, and it took a year. Taz had come so far, but we wanted to give him EVERY chance... to balance his brain. And that is our story, how we came to enroll in the Brain Balance Program. With tears and smiles and fears and hopes, we are confidently moving onward with this opportunity! And we thank God for bringing us this far!