Sunday, 4 October 2009

Graphs etc

The graphs are now in. Those from the Down Study are a bit random in size but the study can also be viewed at The Down Library.
I have included the selection of case studies in order to help people to be aware that the prospects for children are not set in stone. There are improvements that can be made.
To me it is vitally important that we address underachievement as well as the different labels because these children of higher intelligence are vital to the prosperity of the country in the future and they will be the ones with the responsibility for providing for those less able to fend for themselves.
In a letter published in The Times newspaper and also in an article in their debate section a few years ago I suggested that children who cannot succeed in education express their frustration in adverse behaviours both introverted and extroverted, leading to expenditure in the public sector on health, justice and social care to deal with anti social behaviour and other effects of failure to achieve. In some cases the problems are handed down from generation to generation and in others they are emerging anew. When I see a child achieve I see changes in the whole family as a result.
The Government has shown initiative in raising the effectiveness of the teacher and addressing the social side with Sure Start and these are both very important parts of the education system but, results have been seen to plateau. The effectiveness of the child as a learner is the missing link. Learning is not done to the child but the child has to actively participate. They need to be ready for learning. Introducing training earlier does not address the problem of the ineffective learner but rather compounds the problem.
There is much evidence to support developmental intervention but it is ignored and by inference this discredits it. We concentrate on labelling children and coping strategies but we can and should , in my opinion, be doing a lot more.
Want to see a bit about this for yourselves and you could look at Utube, 'Moving Towards Success' which gives a glimpse of what can be done using developmental programmes
illustrated by examples of real people in real schools.

Case studies

I have uploaded my case studies across the labels but still no graphs included. This is in the process of being sorted so hopefully will be done this next week . Apologies.
Even without the graphs the message is that, using Primary Movement and, listening training from ABT, there are improvements for all in the academic area, naming speed etc. whatever the label.
Early intervention using such programmes as EASIE can start remediation from nursery up and avoid children experiencing demoralising failure whilst waiting for that point of assessment for a label, not that a label remediates the problem.

Friday, 18 September 2009

The conference 'Children Matter' went well. It showed overwhelmingly that listening and movement interventions raise achievements and do so much more across the labels, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, autism and underachievement.
I've put my study on autism and the listening programme, showing how auditory skills improve with intervention, on my website. I've also put up the poster on Down Syndrome which was presented at The World Symposium for Down Syndrome 2009 in Dublin. The graphs appear missing on the website though they show on my updater so will have to address that this next week. Have still to put up case studies for different labels.
The idea is to show how integration of reflexes and improving auditory skills help all children , whatever the label. If these were addressed for all it would be possible to look at what else remains. Naming speed improves for all with interventions and labels.
It goes to prove that achievement can be raised through developmental programmes even where there is no extra teaching intervention. Where there is a large deficit in achievement, teaching would help bridge the gap because. the developmental programmes only make the children more effective learners, they do not teach the child.
I came into this work not because we had bad teachers but rather the reverse. We had good teachers but, despite this, some children underachieved.
We can prevent a lot of the problems by putting in developmental programmes in early years. EASIE addresses not only development but listening and it has been useful in nursery, key stage 1 , special schools for autistic and schools catering for traumatised children. OFSTED have approved the use when they have inspected schools using EASIE.
I do not deal with labels as they serve only as an excuse for poor performance. I would far rather see children going through developmental programmes and overcoming their difficulties so they are no longer unable to read at THEIR appropriate level, and can process at an average speed or above , no longer suffer from clumsiness or be derided for their lack of sporting ability. I want them to go on as adults functioning as others , not needing someone at their side to counsel them etc .
Training to cope with reading and number has its place but, after intervention, because it does not increase speed or deal with so many of the other aspects of any label.
I have just taken the Chair of The Developmental Practioners Association . This is a body open to all who work in the developmental field, all allied professions and parents. The aim is to raise the profile of developmental work so all children shall benefit not just those fortunate enough to have parents with the knowledge and the money to go private.
This is something which should be a part of teacher training and should be included in all schools.
There is just no truth in saying that nothing can be done for the children with a variety of labels or otherwise. There may not be a cure for all aspects but with developmental programmes many children would be able to stand unaided when they reach the adult world. With more and more children suffering problems it is a matter of urgency to address the difficulties.
The DPA can be found at

Sunday, 23 August 2009

World Down Symposium - Dublin

What a wonderful event. People came half way across the world to exhibit posters and tell people of their research experiences. There were experts from every corner of the earth sharing knowledge.
I went with Caroline Newton from Orston and Marie Nicholson from Flintham. They head up the Nottinghamshire Down Support Group and are co workers in speech and language therapy with Symbol UK. Together we put in The Listening training Programme with nine Down children and saw them all improve in speech, listening and communication. We went to disseminate that information to other parents so their children could benefit. There is no cash benefit in doing this for any of us but, it helps the children, so we wanted to get it out there to people and a lot of people showed interest.
Early intervention in all areas, medical, speech and language, motor skills plus and so many people are working to bring this about. They are looking to realise the potential of these children because lifespan has increased to 66 years plus. The message was clear that these children have potential but, it takes more effort for them to realise it.
Most of the people there had connection or family with Down Syndrome so they think in terms of this group but, I deal with all children and I found so much which was applicable to children generally if they are to go on to achieve what they should.
One lecture I was especially keen to get to was that of David Hingsburger, an extra included by request, on Bullying. This is a problem throughout schools and our strategies do not seem to work even if we pretend that they do. We tell children to ignore bullies and quote the old adage 'sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me' but words do hurt and damage the recepient. He advocated honouring children who came with their tales of bullying and giving some little insight into a personal experience of their own, so children did not see it as just an attack on them due to their disability . He then got them to chant and clap a saying 'I am OK , they are mean' as a way of coping with the experience so they were not damaged by it inside themselves. He is working on strategies to help with this. This man describes himself as 'a fat guy in a wheelchair' but he speaks with passion , in down to earth terms, dealing with problems that most shy away from. It is a pity his lecture is not a compulsory constituent of teacher television because no words from me can adequately convey his message.
I met so many wonderful people out there , who are working to benefit children so they can cope in the outside world. One had a kinaesthetic method for children to use with mathematics and another had a solution to handling cash. All good to know about.
The UN are bringing out a policy to outlaw discrimation against the intellectually disabled and apparently the UK has already signed up for this. Ways have to be found so that we are a more inclusive society to improve the quality of life all round. Personally I took the son of one of my colleagues to a pub for chicken nuggetes and chips. They wanted us to go in the lounge but he wanted to be by the TV screen so they let us be in the bar with the screen. They were just ordinary guys out for a pint at their local but they could not have been kinder. They gave him a drink with ice but as soon as they realised he did not want ice it was gone. They came over to chat with him and asked about the football gear he was wearing. All of the men there were attentive to him. There are a lot of good people about.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Glad to have people coming to conference 'Children matter' from as far away as Edinburgh, Southport, Swansea, London, Bournemouth. Leicestershire is sending quite a number including mentor for Early Years. The conference was arranged to enable people from this area to benefit too. Hopefully there will be a surge of interest in the neighbourhood in next few days.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Signed up in support of Gary McKinnon. Why did it take publicity of case for recognition to be gained of his Asperger syndrome. It has been around since 1944. Illustrates the time lag between knowledge gained and actually incorporating it in the system
I deal with all children with or without labels.
I've seen developmental problems escalate in last few years amongs my 11+ candidates. 25% are on developmental programmes to address difficulties which make them too slow to pass. One of my earlier students with problems, that meant before intervention he might only do 50% of test paper, is now top of his year at grammar school. One from an independent, selective prep school, struggling to cope, has just won the academic award as top of his class. These children are just as special as those labelled but in the system they are not even picked up.
I aim for excellence for all. Do wish I was not on my own.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Altruism is something I was brought up with - you take some but you give back a lot more.
I've seen developmental delay increase exponentially over last few years. Parents have come up with ideas- pressure in pregnancy over future, early start to nursery, increase of mobile phone use. One has connected increase in delay with increase of breast cancer in younger women. I have no idea which is right. However developmental programmes can help children whatever cause.
I am funding a conference in September so schools and other services can be aware of ways to bridge the gap. It is to spread information.No one involved is going to make money out of it. This may be hard to understand but reducing difficulties in learning makes for less anti social activity later on and, so builds a better world for everyone to enjoy. Who can have a problem with that?

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Just watched DVD of educational changes announced by Ed Balls. Look at the black guy at the end. Whatever he is achieving could be improved upon. Obvious developmental delay. Poor lad cannot hold a pen correctly - note pressure applied , see knuckles. Too close to paper- developmental problems. If we addressed such issues across population we would see improvements in individual performance, less adverse behaviours, more contented children. Such programmes exist and research has been paid for by education bodies. Why do we not use what is known? We can put in individual reading programmes but it reaches only a very few and is expensive. We could get the same improvement for a much larger number by early developmental intervention.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Just back from seeing brother . He and his wife are back from Thailand for a couple of months. He is going on Mongolia Charity rally July 11th with long time friend Meurig Jones. Hope to see them off from London. Good luck to them both.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Good to hear from past EASIE trainees and to know that the programme is helping them help children. Especially glad that children who have had a poor start in life can be helped. All children deserve the best chance to succeed.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Been to Listening update and it was great to hear how well the Listening Program has been received in some areas and the excellent results they are getting over a whole range of labels. They are now starting to get it in for whole classes. This work started in Nottinghamshire nearly ten years ago and similarly they are seeing improvements.
There were reports on effects with autism and connecting it with the work of Stephen Porges and studies of the vagus nerve. As a result of some findings there is now a study ongoing on continence.
It is not one programme to cure all but has been combined with movement for best effect in many cases.
The need of the children is ever growing so I hope the news will be spread for their benefit, at the September conference in Newark.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Off to the update meeting for the listening Training programme from ABT. There are more studies being presented which show the improvements that can be made with the input. The programme is expensive for individuals to purchase but it makes a worthwhile difference. It would be even better if it could be brought into schools for all, and that is being done in some places. Input of developmental programmes is complementary to teaching and allows the children to benefit far more from the teaching they receive because, they are more effective learners.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Just received update from . There is some interesting information on their website. Deals with children under 3 years. Looks at emotions in particular. All things help to complete the puzzle of child development. Worth a look.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Been to Newark Business meeting today. Trying to expand publicity for conference September 12th 'Children Matter'. Details on website under events
It seems an uphill struggle sometimes but just retested 2 children on autistic spectrum today , after input of Listening Training Programme. To use a standardised test and see such improvement in results for auditory skills makes it worthwhile. It may not solve all their problems but it will make a real difference by reducing their difficulties in this area.
It raises a smile from the boys when they look at the results charts and see the difference.
Parent reports: child stringing more words together into sentences more often, mixing with other children more easily and more willing to accept changes to routine.
It all helps make life easier overall.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Seem to be more and more children struggling with developmental difficulties. Schools can train them up well for reading and spelling but the effort the children have to make in school is too much and it leaves them fatigued. Some children can let it all wash over them but others become sad or angry. Some children get help with a label, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum etc but there are lots who do not fit in to a specific label and get nothing. If we put in a structured developmental programme in early years for all children, then these children would be helped too. It would also benefit those from disadvantaged situations and those where english is not the first language. A lot of the more severe problems of the secondary sector would be removed by early intervention. Makes sense to do that and financially beneficial too.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Quite an interesting week. Good to know one of the children I helped with developmental programmes is now top of his year at the Grammar school. Seeing the children succeed makes the job worthwhile.

Sunday, 31 May 2009


Just spent this last weekend completing the second part of the Brain Gym course with Buffy McClelland at Oxford. Did this to learn more about Educational Kinesiology. I think it is better to be informed about all the different approaches so you can begin to see how they all fit together in the jigsaw of learning. The programmes may approach areas differently but they all work to the same end ie. to benefit the children.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Learning follow on

Allergies can have an effect on learning.
Listening as well as hearing needs to be honed for good communication, and so much more, concerned with learning.
Reflexes, balance and coordination are all part of the system relating to cognition.
The ability to learn can be improved and it is complementary to teaching.

My allergy to dairy caused me to fail at school

My allergy to dairy caused me to fail at school and it wasn't until I was in my late teens that I was aware that the migranes I suffered, were linked to milk products.

See my website for more details