Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

Wow.

On Friday, at the Institutes of the Achievement of Human Potential, Hector and I attended a lecture on Intelligence and were told that "Veras" kids (that's what they call children with Down Syndrome) are EXTREMELY intelligent. They mentioned that Veras kids are some of the brightest kids they work with and that the professionals have it all wrong. They are NOT mentally retarded. Not at all. They are perhaps too witty at times and this can lead to behavior problems because they are so smart and they know how to manipulate their parents and other adults with their charm or by playing the "baby". And some adults fall for it because they assume the children are "mentally retarded." The staff at the Institutes do not consider children who can read and do math at age 3 and have incredible encyclopedic knowledge to be "mentally retarded", they consider them gifted and talented human beings.

It was Susan Aisen speaking to our group. One of our favorite people at the Institutes that happens to be one of Joaquin's advocates and she has worked with children with DS and other brain injuries for over 30 years in Philly. She has walked the walk so she can talk the talk.

Hearing this was like taking a deep breath of fresh air. I can't tell you how inspiring her words were for us. We needed this lecture series. We needed to be here. We needed to hear those words from a professional. And we know she is telling the truth. Even at 10 months old, I can see the wisdom in my son. I can see he is bright, eager to learn and full of the greatest potential. All we need to do is provide the opportunities for him to learn and more importantly while he is still so young.

We still have two more days in Philly where we will get our new treatment program for Joaquin. It will include a reading program, a math program and an intelligence program in addition to the physical and physiological programs such as crawling, creeping, patterning, masking, etc. After attending these additional lectures, we are even more knowledgeable about the brain and how it works and how it grows. Joaquin is the perfect age to begin all these programs and he is going to LOVE it! We know he loves to learn and he is so eager for it. I just need to figure out how to keep up with him (and his program!!!) I'm going to need a lot of coffee and a much better organizational system at home in order to get it all done. What is also so great about this is that Diego and Mateo will benefit as well. It's a win win for the whole family.

8 comments:

sheree said...

I am so glad to hear you are having a good time out there and learning some awesome new things! I can't wait until you share all of that info with me, haha!

Cleo said...

Excellent post!!!. Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing this wonderful information. You are giving Joaquin exactly what he needs: tons of LOVE and all the tools that will help him reach his fullest potential. It is so inspiring to be able to recognize the wisdom in Joaquin, I feel that planting all these seeds in him is the best thing you can do!!!. I have FAITH in this amazing and proactive approach you are taking with your BEAUTIFUL son. I have faith in our children’s potential. All the Best ~ :)

jennifergrafgroneberg said...

this seems so true to me too...i see a real difference between what others expect of my son, and what i know he can do. i think you're on to something!

thanks for the great post.

xo

sheree said...

oh my that shirt is so cute! Where did you get it?

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

We found it at the Gap outlet in Philly. We HAD to get it :)!!

Laurie said...

This is all so interesting! Can't wait to hear more about it. Thanks for sharing : )

Ruby's Mom said...

Wow!That sounds wonderful! I wish I could have been there!

Trina said...

Susan was our advocate, too -- she's wonderful.