Case Study: Jordan
Jordan a twelve year old boy was brought to me with a classic history of “Dyslexia”. Along with the classic history came the “classic” bundle of documentation including the inevitable Psychological Assessment. Although such assessments are valuable and provide much detail as to the childhood development, they do not in of themselves provide an understanding of the underlying problems and therefore treatment modalities that are desperately needed.
The report on Jordan included the comments that he did not crawl, was slightly myopic, had poor concentration, was often moody, anxious, had poor personal hygiene and would respond aggressively by biting when frustrated.
Reading and writing were major problems putting him way behind his peers. He was unable to verbalise his needs, gave indications of having a very low level of self-esteem and when falling over as he frequently did, could not tolerate his classmates laughing at him.
Along with so many other children Jordan had suffered from eczema most of his life and was prone to catch anything going.
On examination Jordan failed the standard hearing tests, sat or stood with his head tilted to the left, was totally dyspraxic, had marked weakness of the right little finger in abduction and had a positive Babinski sign on the right ( a retained primitive reflex).
Crawling is a very important aspect of development as it promotes learning of cross-cord reflexes essential to the development of postural reflexes. Many children by-pass this important developmental stage, either bottom shuffling instead, combat-crawling or not crawling at all and going on to walk prematurely.
Although Jordan arrived with a label of Dyslexia it was apparent from the start that he was also Dyspraxic, had signs of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and a few Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) traits. Once we realise that these labels are not diseases but merely signs and symptoms of an underlying problem then we can start to make sense of just what is happening.
Virtually all children present with aspects of all the so-called Developmental Delay conditions only the degree to which they are present varies. This means that a child may be 40% dyslexic, 30% dyspraxic, 20% ADD and 10% obsessional. Each child will have their own unique blend of symptoms which together constitute their own expression of the underlying neurodevelopmental delay. This is fundamental not only to the diagnosis of the presenting condition but essential if an effective treatment protocol is to be designed specifically for that child.
With this in mind Jordan was sent home with a set of exercises to perform specifically designed to meet his unique needs. Two weeks later he was again seen, reassessed and treated at the clinic. This time he was sent home with a computer program that can be modified to meet the individual needs of the patient. In this particular case Jordan had to use the program daily for two sessions of just six minutes.
After two weeks the clumsiness had gone, his confidence was rocketing and his school teachers had reported back to his parents the remarkable changes they had noticed in him. They were unaware at that time that he had had any treatment.
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