These seminars aim to provide an as-evidence-based-as-possible approach for manual therapists working with primary school children who have neurodevelopmental disorders leading to ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, Tourettes, Anxiety, OCD and various behavioural adaptations.
The information is an amalgamation of what Darren has learned from various clinicians, research studies and his 18 years experience working in this field, including anecdotes and case histories from this. Darren has been fortunate to teach these seminars to Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists and Educational Specialists throughout Europe over the last 5 years. They cover:
- Functional Neurology the physiology of nerve activation and adaptation to stimuli, how this can be used clinically through different receptors and neural pathways.
- Brain development; which areas and of the brain have been shown to be affected in the various conditions and what studies tell us about the factors that hinder brain development.
- Demonstrations and practical training to assess brain function in these children and localise any areas affected occur in each seminar.
- What can manual therapy and exercises achieve? Studies showing effects of primitive reflexes, eye, balance, coordination and sensory exercises for specific regions or networks plus the effects of manual therapy are reviewed.
- Diet and nutrition; research into the effects of diet, supplements, the relationship between gut health and learning disorders, autoimmunity and toxicity are discussed with pragmatic procedures to make simple, cheap changes first resorting to lab tests for more information when the commonly useful changes don’t work.
- The evidence for various brain rehabilitation devices, helping attention, coordination, auditory processing, visual processing and reading, what is likely to help, what has been shown not to help and for who?
As Director of Academic Affairs for the Paediatric Faculty Of the Royal College of Chiropractors he has been invited to speak at professional conferences and provides training.
Teaching a group of chiropractors recently in Johannesburg, South Africa Darren received excellent feedback after one attendee put his learning into action with an autistic child who usually found it difficult to maintain hand contact for more than 10 seconds, now able to tolerate the interaction for up to 3 minutes. On this course the group who already work with children with developmental delay and conditions such as cerebral palsy and autism found it helped them to understand the effects these conditions have on different areas of the brain and how to target those areas through sensor and muscle work such as vestibular spinning and rocking exercises.
Darren said “it felt good to introduce the concept of functional neurology based chiropractic to a new audience, which I believe is the way forward” A feeling which is mirrored by the attendees, two of which were lecturers at Johannesburg University and said they would be changing parts of their teaching and course to include Darren’s work.