Q: I have recently been feeling that none of the alternative interventions are very successful, Neurofeedback, Neurological Reorganization, diet and biomedical approaches. Nothing seems to work for my child.
I really do hear the pain of trying to make these difficult decisions about how to help your child and what to do next. Sarge Goodchild and I were speaking the other day about how to crack tough cases of autism and he said “You know the saying that if you’ve seen one child with autism you’ve seen one child with autism”. The same could be said for ALL children with neurological and developmental impairments. Each and every one is a puzzle. NO TWO ARE THE SAME. But I will try to add just a few thoughts that may be clarifying.
In general we work for a triad of support to help a child, dealing with any structural issues (spinal misalignment being one of many), Functional issues (I will explain how NeuroFeedBack and Neurological Reorganization work in this area) and nutrition/biomedical. If we are working on these 3 pieces, and I think sometimes we need to do them simultaneously, then we get the best resolution.
The one area of the 3 that I can speak of the most effectively is the Functional change. The way that Neurological Reorganization. and NeuroFeedBacl work together is that Neurological Reorganization (N.R.) helps stimulate the missing connections in the brain. Compared to a household wiring system it would be like plugging a lamp into a socket. You need to make sure the wiring is in place before you get function. For some children N.R. does the whole thing — you plug it in and the function (the lamp) switches ON.
In other children and I never know which children this will be, you have plugged in the function, but if the signal passing through is erratic (think of frayed wiring in the plug to the lamp) then you will not get effective functioning (the light will blink on and off). So then you can use NFB to smooth out the signals across the wiring that was created by the N.R. Sometimes when we see good Neurodevelopmental functioning but really challenged behavior or learning NFB can do the whole job.
The third piece is an areas where I am not as skilled in, but can make a comment. Even in a functioning circuit, you can get an overload or disruption. For example, when the gut is inflamed the brain is inflamed, and no matter how great the wiring, the inflammation will impact behavior and learning. If toxins in your body prevent a good balance of neurotransmitters then you cannot maintain a good mood state. If you are consuming foods that are allergens, if you are a poor methylator.
Fortunately, children’s bodies WANT to go towards balance. But until you get there I think the model of the mobile is a good one — you move one piece and everything else moves in response. Finding the exact and perfect balance would seem impossible, but children especially can find the balance sometimes with just one intervention.
The degree of injury also makes a difference to the degree of healing. A brain can be encouraged to normalize by all of the above methods, but there are some occasions where it cannot be completely healed. Consider by comparison a broken arm: you can have a green stick fracture, a clean break, a compound fracture, or your arm can be run over by a tractor and is in so many pieces that you cannot put it back together.
Are there some people who can never get better? I would say that is rare. With Neurological Reorganization I would say that I have only seen one child who made NO positive changes as a result of the work, and that was due to a chromosomal anomaly that we were not aware of at the beginning of his therapy. This was also before we had any other great interventions like NFB or biomedical work to refer him to. But nonetheless this child had no gains after a year of therapy. But this is a tiny percentage out of the more than 5,000 children I have treated.
I think all children have some capacity to change, some children may not become neurotypical with programs that are done only an hour a day or a few hours a week. Some children may get better only with 8 hours a day of the programs and processes you read about on this list. Intensive work every day may be required and many families cannot do this.
So, when I repeat “You’ve seen one child with a neurological problem, you’ve seen one child with a neurological problem’ it might make more sense once I list all of the variables, and of course there are variables within the variables ad infinitum. Every single child is a puzzle, and the form and degree of their injuries are always unique. The amount of therapy we can provide is all dependent upon the family.
But none of this is meant to discourage you. It is just like life itself. We are always seeking answers; we are always hoping and working towards the best outcomes; and we are all unique. In the end we might see that this child came into the world to take us on a journey and the experience and learning we gain from the therapies may be just as important as the therapy we have done with them. A great vast dance of figuring out the challenges with which we are presented just by being human.