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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Wish I Was A Neurologist

     I think everyone who has a child with a brain injury be in prior to birth or after, should be able to  have an immediate understanding of neurology. Last night I told Dean, "I am going to become a Neurologist." He just smiled and said, "Great!" I have laid aside the book I was so excited about the other day and picked this one up instead. You can order it here.
    We are still awaiting an appointment at the Kennedy Kreiger Center and in the meantime I am learning all I can about FASD, thus all the new reading material. The other day there was a comic on my special needs FB page. It read, "Don't you just hate it when you are the smartest person in the room.....and you are in a doctors office?" Understand, I am not bashing doctors, nor am I boasting my knowledge because it is far below what I should have to parent my children successfully. Just ask them.:) The person who posted the comic was trying to portray how parents who have a child with FASD feel in a doctors office. The brain is the "New Frontier of the 21st century" and doctors and scientists are constantly learning knew things about the human brain. What a doctor learns in medical school may well have changed by the time they licensed. Of course they don't go to medical school and then stop studying but my point is, our brain knowledge is constantly changing. Add brain damage to the mix and the fact that no two people with FASD present exactly the same and it becomes a complicated issue. 
     More and more in this huge learning curve called FASD, I am learning that I know my child best and I am his advocate. Doctors and therapists will share their opinions and treatments but the parents are ultimately the ones who have to decide which treatment path to take. This book lays everything out very plainly. It explains all the basic "brain stuff" such as which parts of the brain do what and what will be affected when each part is damaged. It also goes into the child's metabolism and how it can be affected, what happens then and it isn't as simple as weight gain or weight loss as I once thought. There are lot's of resources in the back of the book as well. I am making myself read the book from front to back instead of reading what I think pertains to my family. 
   The more I read and learn the more amazed I am that we are even alive! So many things attribute to the developing brain, where a child is born, prenatal and post natal health, food, water, maternal mental health, living conditions, stress, illness...everything we experience in life affects the size, shape and health of our brains.

                         

This book talks quite a bit about our reflexes. We are born with some such as grasping a finger. When you place your finger in a baby's hand he will curl his fingers around it. There are some reflexes a baby develops at periodic times as he grows. At the same time, he will lose some of his newborn reflexes. The author shares what it was like raising her daughter who has FASD. The daughter was missing some reflexes and still had some "baby reflexes" at 12 years of age. One of the reflexes she mentioned was when you sense you are going to fall, you automatically put your hands out in front of yourself to break the fall. Joseph doesn't do that. I never thought about it before but that partly explains why he gets hurt so often. The reflexes he does have are delayed and he has a very poor sense of balance which also attribute to his many tumble's, as does his perception of where he is in space. 
   Another intriguing thing the author mentioned was nose breathing. Her daughter didn't know how to breathe through her nose, this in turn deprived her already struggling brain of oxygen. 
   At the bottom of one of the pages of this book was this quote: "If you have told your child a thousand times, who is the slow learner?" Ouch! 


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