Our 1st visit to IAHP Philadelphia!
We had our first visit to The Institutes of the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia last week! One word: inspiring! We were welcomed with so much love and care, especially for Chiara. The team at IAHP believe these brain-injured children to be so intelligent just like all children are (brain-injured or not), these kids just have problems in expressing their intelligence. Thus, often thought to be permanently brain-damaged with very little hope in reaching their full potential.
I first heard the word “full potential” in relation to Chiara’s brain-injury not long after her initial grim diagnosis. At the time it was suggested that I re-frame my questions, rather than asking the medical team “will my daughter walk”, “will my daughter ever speak a word”, “will my daughter be able to toilet train” etc… more so “what is needed for Chiara to reach her full potential?” – whatever that may be. So this “Full Potential” got me thinking.. and I wondered if I have reached my full potential? What would each of us do different, to truly reach our full human potential in this lifetime? I can’t answer this now, but Chiara is certainly providing an opportunity for those around to her to reach theirs..
So back to the IAHP visit:
Chiara had her full medical history review, including all the blood test results, neurological evaluations, anthropological measurements and a lot of time spent with each doctor. As I sat in the office of one of the doctor’s around 9.30pm, I felt an overwhelming sense of immense gratitude – there are not many medical specialists I know who would take such time and care in covering Chiara’s brain-injury and subsequent areas for growth.
Chiara’s program covers nutrition, mobility, sensory, oxygenation, and intelligence areas. Already we have seen a marked improvement in the past 6 months, where Chiara has grown neurologically from 3 months to 8 months. Her chronological age is 18 months.
We still have a massive job ahead, but with a full force behind her we hope that in the 6 months, Chiara will gain a lot more in her visual, auditory, tactile, mobility, language and manual competence. Through starting the journey with IAHP, it has given both Mauro and I a good understanding and appreciation of the natural evolution of life after birth, and the important milestones required to move through each stage of development. The brain is indeed a mysterious and miraculous part of the human body, and slowly we are unlocking areas that may indeed change the direction of Chiara’s future..