Overcoming Learning Difficulties: How to Discuss Treatment with Children

“Harry is a different child - I can’t thank you enough.”

“After only eight weeks of treatment our son has made improvements in both his reading and writing skills, he has gone from not being very engaged in reading to actually wanting to pick up a books and read and is growing in confidence”

Every year we treat hundreds of children and receive wonderful testimonials from parents and children themselves who have found their lives transformed from the constraints of neurodevelopment delay, auditory anomalies and biomedical imbalances, all of which affect the ability to learn.

Image of child overcoming learning difficulties
Neurodevelopment delay, auditory anomalies and biomedical imbalances all affect the ability to learn.

However before a child and their parents embark upon a programme it is important to prepare them and ensure they understand what is involved in the treatment, so that the parents can also speak from a place of knowledge. The retained ‘primitive reflexes’ that we assess for in a neurodevelopment assessment act as physical blocks within the central nervous system, holding a child back from their full potential. The retained primitive reflexes affect eye tracking - needed to easily read and write, spatial awareness and coordination needed for sports and ease in everyday life. The neurodevelopmental programme works towards removing these blockages, which can often be most effective alongside biomedical intervention and auditory therapy.

Preparing a child for overcoming learning difficulties

The anagram ‘DR SPECS’ explains how to envisage the neurodevelopment programme to prepare a child and parents:

Through the eyes of DR SPECS:

D AILY exercises: Either once or twice a day, exercises are practised for 20-30 minutes. The more you practise, the quicker the programme can be undertaken. We can never predict exactly how long a programme is going to take but generally it takes 12 weeks to 6 months.

R EPETITION: You repeat the exercises every day, this creates the wiring and new neural pathways in the brain through the movement. Then at each scheduled review, the retained primitive reflexes are retested with a Key Clinic practitioner, and the exercise programme is revised depending on the findings.

S LOWLY: The exercises have to be carried out slowly. So the brain rewires through the body’s movement, and effective transformation can take place.

P RECISE movement: When a child starts a programme our practitioners ensure the exercises are being carried out exactly how they should be. Clear video guidance is also provided.

E XERCISES: The body teaches the brain. The precise exercises mimic the movement patterns a baby carries out in the first year of life.

C ONSISTENCY: Is key. Consistency creates the new neural pathways in the brain through the movement from the body.

S UPPORTED: The child is supported during the programme by their parents who do the exercises with them via a system called ‘touch-count’. This is an important part of the exercise and develops proprioception (the knowledge of where one’s body is).

The parents need to apply this hands-on approach. For many children with dyspraxia this is an important part of maturing the central nervous system. The child counts at the same time as the parent touches a part of the body, crossing the midline each time.

It is important that the child understands how this is going to benefit them, to keep them engaged with the daily practice. We look to what challenges they are initially experiencing before starting a programme and explain to them that their difficulties are not because they are not clever or are not trying hard enough to learn, but that the primitive reflexes are creating the ‘blocks’ to learning, making everyday life more difficult such as the ability to read, write and play sports. By practising the exercises, life will become easier and therefore more enjoyable!

For example, many children with a retained A.T.N.R. reflex find it hard to ride a bike. So we explain that after practising the exercises, riding a bike will become so much easier with their friends!

Explaining overcoming learning difficulties to children

We encourage and empower the child by explaining that through the series of exercises they practise they can actively make things easier for themselves. We look to more examples that they enjoy but find difficult. More examples could be swimming, running and the ability to focus and understand what the teacher is explaining in the classroom.

Our practitioners have many different ways to explain the neurodevelopmental programme, depending on the age of the client. For the little ones, we explain that when they move their muscles in the exercises, it releases a message to their brain. When the arms are extended in an exercise such as ‘chicken’, the message is sent to the brain, creating a new signalling for the brain.

Image illustrating a child swimming
We encourage and empower the child by explaining that exercises can make activities easier.

For teenage boys, we engage them with the practice by explaining that through the exercises, their brain will become as smooth and effortless as an automatic car, rather than a clunky gear shifting manual car, holding them back from their true potential. By practising the series of exercises and using their body to stimulate the lower part of the brain called the cerebellum, (which stores the primitive reflexes), their system is completely matured, so that everything automatically becomes easier and the autopilot is turned on.

We also use the analogy of comparing a brain to a ‘WIFI ‘router’, explaining the neurodevelopmental programme supercharges and strengthens your body, teaching your brain to become as fast as a super- speedy wifi - with no delays or transmission problems!

For the brain to be stimulated well (neurostimulation) it is important for the body to be relaxed (neurorelaxation). We advise a parent to limit exterior stimulation and practise the exercises with their child: away from other members of the family, pets, anything that may prove to be a distraction. Aromatherapy can be beneficial - burning calming essential oils in a diffuser. Soft lighting and playing baroque music and Mozart in the background can also aid neurorelaxation.

Even though the neurodevelopmental programme involves discipline and commitment, the results are lasting. Even though it can take time to reach that destination, we equally know, time and time again that parents feel the 3-6 month journey was worth it, as they see their child starting to flourish sometimes even within weeks of starting a programme.

From an early age, through the act of daily practice, the rewards of discipline are created and your child will learn to fly with their own wings.

To find out how we can help your child overcome learning difficulties, give our friendly team a call on 01635 761565 or email us here to discuss your situation and the options available to you.

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