Ian turned 4 just before the start of HBOT. His diagnosis is microcephaly, seizure disorder, developmental delays & verbal apraxia due to a brain injury at birth.
Week 1: After school this morning Ian said “bye bye” to two of his teachers and used their names. He then said it to his classmate and used her name as well. Before we started HBOT this past week Ian rarely told people goodbye and rarely responded to people when they said “hi” to him. Ian has never used people’s names (outside of his family) before now.
Ian put two hats on his head last night and said, “Mommy, two red hats on head”. This is his longest sentence to date. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his talking has improved. Ian’s dad thinks it’s too soon to see results but can’t explain why he is talking so much more and responding to people more appropriately.
Ian’s physical therapist was beside herself today. She noticed
- Ian’s running was more in a straight line
- Ian followed 3 step directions for the first time
- Pedaled the tricycle one rotation for the first time
Weeks 2-3: I have seen a reduction in Ian’s hand flapping during these weeks by 50%. Ian is starting to become very affectionate. He is showing true concern for hurt feelings. He has started cuddling his brother when he is sad.
The most dramatic change I have seen during the past two weeks is in how Ian plays with others. On Thanksgiving Day Ian and his cousin played together non-stop. He is starting to play with others on the playground at school. Ian’s dad can no longer deny the fact that Ian is changing.
Weeks 4-5: Took Ian and his brother and cousin to see Santa. I was very impressed with Ian because he:
- Sat at the table for 30 min. and worked on a picture (stickers, coloring). He did not pronate his hand when he was coloring!!
- Ian ate a plate full of pancakes and sausage without any assistance and very little mess.
Today Ian “ran” up the stairs while alternating his feet! We were so excited! Ian is adding new words to his vocabulary every day. Today he said “bigger”. Ian’s language development in the past had been quite slow so this is a treat for us! Ian has started holding his crayon correctly most of the time (no more pronating).
Week 6-7: Ian “remembers” who gave him each of his Christmas gifts. He runs around to all of his toys and says, “thank you Santa”, “Thank you Daddy” etc… Ian is absolutely more aware of his surroundings. He has noticed traffic lights for the first time. When the light turns green he shouts “Go!” Ian is starting to add some pronouns into his sentences. Ian’s hand flapping has almost disappeared. I would say it has reduced by 90%.
Today Ian’s PT couldn’t believe what an amazing day he had. She put a vest and light ankle weights on him and completely let go of him. He started “scissoring” his legs (appropriate response) in the water. He stayed vertical in the pool for 20 minutes.
Today in the car Ian said, “You being silly mom”. Ian’s length of sentences is getting longer which is difficult for him because of his verbal apraxia. Ian’s teachers have commented that his eye contact has improved and that he is easily redirected when he gets upset.
Week 8: Ian has started using lots of sound effects. He pretends like he is different animals and makes appropriate train and car noises. Ian’s apraxia is still a problem but his vocabulary is increasing every day. Some of Ian’s new words/phrases this week are: “go away” and “cool”. Ian understands a lot more “opposites” than before. He is also better able to describe the usage of some objects than he wasn’t able to before. During PT Ian is starting to catch balls of various sizes from just a few feet away.
Observations 4 months post HBOT: Today Ian can tell me what he had for snack at school and recall other things that happened. Before HBOT we would ask him questions and get nothing in response.
Ian is significantly more aware of his surroundings and is constantly commenting about objects. Ian can name all of the characters he likes on TV and if I hum a song from a show he likes he can tell me which show it is. Ian is MUCH more affectionate than before. We have seen an improvement is Ian’s ability to communicate with us and others thus reducing his frustration level. This has decreased the amount of “time-outs” at school.
Ian’s head grew 3 cm this past year. I cannot say whether or not this was due to HBOT but I thought it was noteworthy.
Ian’s frequency of hand flapping came back a bit after HBOT but overall, it is much less than before HBOT (about 50% less). HBOT did not improve or make worse Ian’s seizure disorder.
Ian still has the same diagnosis as before HBOT. Nothing has been “cured”. However, he is doing most everything better. Ian is happier and can tell me so. The improvements have been remarkable in my opinion and I recommend this therapy highly.