Friday, July 01, 2011

Jett Lukas Durkin: CMF Success Story

Jett is the latest Success Story for the Changing Minds Foundation!
Jett just turned 16 months old and has been on the Changing Minds protocol for most of his life. The tireless work by his mommy has made him a thriving, healthy, beautiful child. The Changing Minds Foundation has chosen Jett to be featured as their latest Success Story.

I've copied and pasted an excerpt from his story here:

When we found out that our sweet two-week-old baby, Jett Lukas, definitely had T21, I was devastated. Between the diagnosis and struggles with breastfeeding, I cried for about three weeks straight. But when he was three months old, I discovered the CMF website. What a revelation!

Finally, I found what I was looking for: real answers to treat and possibly cure my baby. Jett has been taking ginkgo consistently since he was 4 months old. (It took me a month to work up the courage to give it to him.) I slowly introduced all items of the CMF protocol, introducing Prozac last at 12 months old. At 16 months, he's on all of the protocol for a child his age, but we have just recently stopped Prozac.

I am quite pleased with the results. At 5 months, Jett first rolled over and was on target as far as milestones. He drank from a straw at almost 6 months, the day before his heart surgery. Because of surgery, his physical progress took a major set back. So, with a lot of neurodevelopmental therapy, he was army crawling by 10 months, creeping and pulling himself to stand at 13 months and beginning to cruise at 14 months.

Cognitively, he's been going strong. He randomly said clear words and phrases off and on starting with "Daddy" at 6 months. (And said "okay", "alright", "go' boy", "oh boy", and "hey" all the time.) At 8 months, he spoke his first word of intention: "water." At 10 months, he used, "ilk" (for milk) regularly.

He consistently uses his potty for "number two" since at least 10 months old and has been letting us know when he needs to go since he was at least 6 months old.

At 11 months, he had his first speech evaluation with Renee Hill of Talk Tools. She was amazed! She said that she had to evaluate him using the typical scale, not the one for children with DS. She said he was on par and above the typical child. He has no tongue protrusion, great lip closure, strong jaw muscles, etc. She said it was the easiest evaluation she'd ever done and had the least amount of suggestions.

She was blown away by his cognitive ability. She was showing me how to teach him to blow and pop bubbles. She said it may only take me a day to teach him although it takes most kids with DS much longer. Then she said, "Oh, well, he just got it! That took two minutes." She then spent the last hour of the evaluation asking me what all I was doing with him. She was very interested in the CMF protocol. She commented that even with great oral motor skills, our children can't communicate very well without cognitive ability.

At 15 months, he first enjoyed cruising around the bathtub, nested cups together and putting items into boxes. He just turned 16 months old and he interactively enjoys books with you by pointing to pictures and text (with his thumb) and having you name objects and reread text. (His favorite book at the moment is Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee.) Although he's not talking, he babbles all the time and tries out about 3-4 new words a week.

He is alert and curious. He can play ball with you, open drawers and take out the contents, can follow simple, one-step directions (no kick, sit up, get ball, come here, let go, etc.)

At his last meeting with Jett's neurodevelopmentalist, Kay Ness of SENC, she said he had gained 12 months of improvement in the 3 months since she had seen last evaluated him.

I think the great research and suggestions provided by the CMF have been instrumental to his success. The elements of the protocol work together very well (along with the additional items Jett gets) to provide him with the tools he needs to generate new brain cells, to fortify his short-term memory, to transfer memories to long-term storage and to prevent degeneration. So when I do therapy with Jett, I feel confident that he is actually learning, retaining and building on his knowledge. I can see him playing with more creativity and independence every day. It's a joy to witness his daily progress. I am grateful for Teresa Cody's hard work and determination in helping our children through CMF. I am happy to share with you what is working so well for Jett and wish you equal success with your loved one!

For the rest of Jett's story, and to read other Success Stories, click the link here.

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