Through our work, Charlie and I have the privilege of helping some amazing parents. Many accomplish what some call miracles. From time to time, with their permission, we will celebrate a family by sharing their child’s story with you. We’ll call this our “Family of the Month” post. Charlie and I hope that these families will inspire you, demonstrate the potential of all children and convince you to never accept the status quo!
Today I want to celebrate a family who did REACH’s program for 2 years back in the early 90’s. We had not seen or spoken with them for many years but a couple of weeks ago we ran into dad at our local Grower’s Market. The boy we are featuring is now 25 years old and to protect his privacy, at the family’s request, we are not using their names. However, the father told me that if anyone wants to speak with him directly about his experience to just let us know and he is happy to speak with you.
The reason I chose to feature this family is not only because of their son’s success but also because of their choice to have dad be the one to stay home to raise their son as mom went to work. In our society “stay-at- home” dads are still rare and if “stay-at-home” moms are devalued you can imagine how much worse it is for “stay-at- home” dads! Society often looks down upon them. In two recent blog posts we talked about the importance of good fathering and the negative statistics when fathers don’t do their job. Here we want to celebrate a child’s success thanks to his parents taking parenting seriously and his dad’s extensive involvement with him.
Here is our interview:
How old was your son when you started our program and how long did you do it?
Our son was about six years old when we started the program and we did the program for two years.
What were your son’s difficulties and what was his diagnosis?
Our son’s most apparent difficulty was the presence of absence seizures. That was all that would have been recognized and would constitute his diagnosis. However, intermixed with these seizures, which we called “dazes” were tics and some food sensitivities. Other neurological/developmental issues were less apparent, to an untrained eye, and the full constellation of “symptoms” became clearly evident as we embarked on “the program”.
Why did you choose to do our program?
The program made sense. Its fundamental approach and philosophy was sort of self-evident. In our first discussions with Charles and Conceição our paradigm of thinking dramatically and fundamentally shifted. For instance, our son’s seizures were not the problem, but the “symptom” of the problem. As parents, that essential truth profoundly changed our thinking and has guided us from that day forward in all matters of health. We felt lucky to have Charles and Conceição in our hemisphere, let alone right in our own backyard.
How did the program help your son? How did he change?
We embraced a holistic approach to our son’s health and well-being. We started a diet with an emphasis on organically grown food, embraced homeopathy and pretty much rejected allopathy. We realized from somewhat empirical evidence, that a gluten-free, dairy-free diet might also prove beneficial. We still abide by holistic principles, although diet is much more free now.
Intensity, frequency and duration are the operative words for implementing the neuro-developmental changes we hoped to achieve with our son. The absence seizures responded accordingly. First they were not as intense, then they weren’t as frequent, then they weren’t as long and then they were gone. It was pretty convincing.
How did the program change/affect you and your wife as parents and you particularly as a father?
As parents, we realized the success of the program and the benefits to our son depended on our full 100% commitment. Beyond trying to be good parents, probably nothing else we would be able to do would have potentially such a dramatic influence. Of course, we didn’t know that going in, but as the program developed noticeable developmental changes became obvious. For instance, fine and gross motor skills that were lacking or behind for his age were now taking shape.
As a father, if you are going to talk the talk, you better be prepared to walk the walk, or creep, crawl, wind sprints or whatever we did which made our son more likely to reach his potential.
In a more general sense, why did you decide to be a “stay-at-home” dad? How did that experience enrich your life?
My wife and I already decided that one of us was going to be home full time raising our son. I was really lucky to be the one who got to stay at home. I have experiences that others don’t, including my wife. There’s joy and guilt that I was so fortunate.
What is your son doing today? Can you give some of the highlights of his journey post-program?
He joined the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout; played soccer, violin and piano. He enrolled in a university and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and has a job in his field. When his seizures were the worst, I often wondered if he would ever be able to ride a bike or drive a car. Today, there’s nothing he can’t do. That likely would not have been possible if it were not for the interventions of Charles and Conceição.
Anything else you think parents should know? Any other comments or information you want to share?
You need to have an open mind and be prepared that the world may be different than you believe. The program is not a pill. It takes commitment and hard work. But it’s the only game in town that can potentially pay such powerful dividends.