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..

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  • Lee November 14, 2014   Reply →

    You guys are amazing and Chiara “the cherub” WILL astound every one. My love & positve energy is with you and your magic family. Love you lots ???

  • dhawxhurst October 5, 2015   Reply →

    Hi Natalie! I remember my first visit to IAHP and what that felt like…the relief, gratitude, hope…like a homecoming….so I really resonate with what you write here. Big hugs to you and your girl (and your whole family) for making miracles happen. My daughter also overcame some big problems on that program. You can do it. Never give up. I look forward to watching Chiara’s progress and reading your lovely stories!

    • Natalie October 7, 2015   Reply →

      Hi Darci,
      So good to hear from you!
      I’m looking forward to your book coming out – love hearing other people’s journeys.
      Thank you for your message – it means a lot to me to connect with other Iahp mums ❤️❤️

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