Based on the length and frequency of my posts this week, it seems a little obvious that I am more than impressed with what I’ve been learning. I also think it is obvious, to my close friends and family, that I haven’t been this passionate about something in. . . well, I don’t think I’ve EVER been this passionate about anything.
It is confusing because there are so many reading and early education companies and programs, and it seems like everyone is selling the same thing. If you look closely, almost everyone is selling a variation on Doman’s programs. Some people may skip over Doman’s book because it isn’t as glossy or nicely packaged as some of the other books and programs.
I was drawn to Doman’s program not only because he was the innovator in the field, but because he didn’t develop the program to make money and capitalize on our desires for our children. He developed the program to help kids who were hurt. It just so happened the same programs worked on well kids too.
IAHP is a non-profit organization. Just like the American Cancer Society, or the ASPCA, they have a mission to make a better world. I borrowed the following statements from their website to summarize what they are about:
The goal of The Institutes is to raise significantly the intellectual, physical, and social abilities of all children.
It is the mission of The Institutes to give parents the knowledge they need so that their brain-injured children may have that fighting chance.
Further, The Institutes proposes that every child born has a right to be intellectually, physically, and socially excellent.
The Institutes recognizes that parents are the most important teachers that their children will ever have. When parents know how the brain grows and why it grows the way it does, they are the very best teachers their children will ever have.
Glenn Doman knew Dr. Jonas Salk, the man who created the polio vaccine. Because of Dr. Salk, our children today will never know polio, they will only read about the children who once suffered from this terrible disease. Glenn’s dream is to do the same thing for brain injuries in children – so maybe our grandchildren may someday only read about kids with brain injuries (or, as the Institutes explain, kids known as Brain-damaged, Mentally Retarded, Mentally Deficient, Cerebral-palsied, Epileptic, Autistic, Athetoid, Hyperactive, Attention Deficit Disordered, Developmentally Delayed, Downs Child).
Some fellow classmates and I have been contemplating how to get the word out, and how we can share this amazing gift with the world. Janet Doman told us if they had their way, they would have titled the books, “Owner’s Manual for Your Newborn Baby”, because that is the depth of information they are giving. Some people read the owner’s manual to their car cover to cover because they want to keep it in top running condition. Don’t we owe our babies the same dedication?
One of the girls (from another country) wondered why there weren’t more people giving to this group, given the importance of what they are doing. I told her about how easily we all give to the ASPCA, even if we don’t have pets, or the American Cancer Society, even if we don’t know anyone with cancer. And maybe, if Doman’s group only worked with brain-injured kids, people would easily give because it is such a great cause. But since Doman is now also affiliated with such a powerful learning program for well kids, people might be a little reluctant.
I get emails from friends asking for money to help great causes – world disasters, veterans, diseases, pets. Now it is my turn to ask my friends and family to help a great cause. You can visit their website, www.iahp.org, to donate to this amazing group. If you don’t choose to give, I urge you to visit the site anyway. You might know someone with a brain-injured child who might benefit from the program.
One last note – When you look at pictures of the Institute and it all seems so picture perfect. Yes, the campus is nestled in an affluent area right outside of Philadelphia. It seems like it would be a little stuffy, that there should be classical music piping in the background. Far from it. The campus is filled with people who work with hurt and well kids. They are the most inspiring people I have ever met because they are so passionate about the work they do.
And Glenn Doman, the sweet old gentleman in the pictures, with the smile and face that just makes you want to hug him? In person, he is even more sweet, kind and gentle. And yes, you want to just hug him and thank him. This morning, I happened to be in the hall during a break from lectures. He had just finished speaking when he exited the room. As he walked by (being helped by a staff member, this man is 90 years old), I turned to face him. He smiled and reached out his hand to shake. I was so emotional in that moment – here is the man who is going to change the life of my child forever. And yet, it was he who kissed the back of my hand and said, “Thank you, it is all so wonderful, isn’t it?” You see, he believes, despite all of the great work and research they do, they aren’t the ones who can take credit for healing children and making smarter kids. All they do is teach parents the techniques. The parents then go home and teach their children. In the amazing stories of kids getting better and smarter, the parents are the heroes.
I was so choked up after he did that, I think I sputtered out a quick, no, thank you! Here is what I really want to say to Glenn Doman and the staff at the Institutes: Thank you for your dedication to the children all these years. Thank you for having the bravery to say what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. Thank you for bringing so many brilliant people together and using their knowledge for the betterment of this world. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.