I was thrilled to stumble across another mom’s blog article about the work of IAHP this weekend. I know there are so many other families out there, but since the goal of IAHP is to help as many children around the world, not just in the US, it is a treat to find a family who has done the work and reaped the rewards right around the corner.
We see amazing progress in Jacob every day, but we still have a long way to go. However, we know we will get there. Jacob does things on his schedule…he always has. In the meantime, we will enjoy the smiles, laughter and ever increasing chatter!! He is so amazing!!
We are not the only ones that know about IAHP. Adrian knows about them and you do too. Do you know someone who needs to know about them? Please enjoy my first guest post from Adrian!
I know some people who can do some pretty amazing things. Seriously, amazing things. Like making blind children see. Making children walk who had never walked before. You know, boring, everyday stuff like that.
Take this man. Looks a little like Santa Claus, doesn’t he? But he gives kids a gift that is much better than mere toys. His name is Glenn Doman and he has devoted his entire adult life to the treatment of brain injured children. Not just his own life, but his wife and at least two of his children have followed him into this field – (maybe all three, I can’t remember). That’s a rare level of dedication. He’s in his 90’s now and I haven’t seen him in a decade or so, but if I know him, he’s still going – as much as he can do. You can’t retire when you’ve got so many injured kids and their parents who need you.
I’m sure you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of this program. I am too. Isn’t it funny that we live in a world where everyone knows everything there is to know about Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Brittney Spears, but you don’t hear about a tiny little place in Philadelphia called the Institute of the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP.org) that is doing these wonderful things. Although they aren’t just in Philadelphia any more. They are in Japan and Spain, and about 5 other countries.
Here are some actual numbers from their most recent report – out of 278 blind kids that were seen in a 2 year period, 236 of them are now able to see and 194 of them can see well enough to read. That’s an 85% success rate. Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not a hoax, or a gimmick, or a scam. What is it? It’s a lot of hard work, mostly by the parents of the kids.
To get a child to see, the parents do something very simple – they take the child into a dark room and they take a $2 flashlight and they turn it on and off. And on and off. For about five minutes out of every hour. For 10-12 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days of the year. Plus a bunch of other exercises – all day, every day. Yes, it is a drastic amount of work. But if your child is facing a lifetime of blindness, how much is too much?
Seems completely bizarre doesn’t it? No one ever thought to shine a flashlight at a blind child. Why bother if they can’t see? But that’s just the point. There’s a natural law about the body – form follows function.
If you run long enough and hard enough, you’ll have the body of a runner. Seen Biggest Loser lately? If you do ballet for enough hours of the days for enough years, you’ll develop the body of a ballerina. If your brain senses a light shining in your eyes hundreds of thousands of times, it will slowly, gradually build a new pathway to the optic nerves. Weird, huh? But it’s worked for all these hundreds of kids. And not just blind kids – autistic kids, ADHD kids, children with Downs system, and disabled adults as well. They have done some groundbreaking work with stroke and epilepsy victims. It is a rare child they are not able to help in some way.
Check them out – I guarantee they are MUCH more interesting than Lindsay Lohan! Their books are in every bookstore, just search for Glenn or Janet Doman, and their website is IAHP.org. If you are the parent of any child – healthy or not healthy, I guarantee you will learn some things that will amaze you and might change the course of your life.