Reading, writing, arithmetic…are extremely complex processes that can develop only upon a strong foundation…
– A Jean Ayres, Ph. D.
I’m about to engage in a journey of discovery that will show you how we can best understand and help those children (and adults) who face the growing array of developmental and other neuro-physiological challenges.
If you join me you may be fascinated by the wisdom and insight of some of the greatest minds of the last several decades; you may nod in agreement or open your eyes wide to new concepts; and you may be gratified (or relieved) to know that every issue we raise will have a corresponding treatment.
Somewhere towards the end of my essays you will understand and appreciate the power and effectiveness of finding and treating root causes.
Treat the Child Not the Diagnosis
– Patricia Lemer
In the poignant book Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior the authors (and brothers) Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman present a cautionary description of a medical tragedy stemming from Diagnosis Bias. The latter is the prejudicial and incorrect treatment of a client based on an unwavering and unjustified assumption of what is wrong and thus the (treatable) cause of the disorder.
While the hindsight seems obvious, the doctors in question were well meaning and were certain that they were helping. Their blind spot was the mental quirk that equates diagnoses that are categorizations of symptoms to treatable causes of those symptoms.
The way to avoid such errors is to explicitly and thoroughly determine root causes–what we call foundational issues. In pediatric special needs the diagnoses are typically descriptions of symptoms and rarely explanation of causes.
When I activate clients I try to convey this understanding, and because the root causes are usually (very) treatable, I encourage my clients to be cautiously optimistic.
Since co-founding Creative, I’ve been studying the findings of some of the greatest scientists and practitioners of the last several decades and I’ve come to appreciate the power and beauty of finding and treating the root causes–the foundational issues.
Indeed, as you learn about the foundational elements, a fascinating world reveals itself. I want to introduce that world to you.
Any child, no matter the diagnosis, should be seen as an integrated whole in terms of the many facets we as humans hold dear.
– Maude Le Roux
I offer you a journey of discovery of human development that begins prior to the fourth month of conception and persists throughout life. I will show you a vista of concepts including primitive reflex integration, sensory processing, brain rhythm and timing, the role of emotion in human develop, praxis (how we learn), the power of music, the visual-vestibular-auditory triad, the role and importance of self-regulation, and perhaps more.
We live in a time of unprecedented challenges, perhaps the most important are the epidemic of childhood issues–autism, attention deficits, autoimmune disorders such as asthma, learning differences, attachment disorders, premature births, seizures, and on and on.
We live also in a time of unprecedented insight and capability. The people I’ve previously mentioned have provided us the insight and tools to prevail over those challenges. They include Doidge, Greenspan, Ayres, Kawar, Frick, Feldenkrais, Tomatis, Le Roux, May-Benson, Masgutova, and others. They have provided the foundational elements, the insights, and the modalities and methodologies.
We have the tools. Once we determine the underlying issues and causes, we can apply the tools appropriately and most effectively.
Thus begins our journey, a series of essays identifying foundational issues and the treatments to address them.
— Richard Feingold, Co-founder