ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Balance & Coordination, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment, Dyspraxia, Games, Music

West Virginia is putting the computer game Dance Dance Revolution into every one of its public schools. Whilst West Virginia’s aim is to tackle obesity it also has a potential to improve pupils’ coordination and rhythm skills. This could have a significant impact on their academic achievement.

This initiative by West Virginia also signifies a major shift in educational thinking about computer games. Previously the negative effects of video games, lack of physical activity and the possible links to violence, have been the focus of the education establishments. By putting Dance Dance Revolution into schools they are accepting that video games can have a positive effect. It simply depends on the game and the context it which it is played.

There are various games we have featured on Myomancy that can be positive. Ranging from the low-tech Cornhole throwing game, the hand-held electronic game Bop-It, games that measure physiological responds where you have to relax to win and games to help with ADHD. The data on how effective the games are is thin and a great deal more research is need. However there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence such as how surgeons who played more computer games perform better. The skills these games teach include spatial awareness, attention control, problem solving, physical coordination and memory. Many of the skills children with dyslexia and ADHD lack.

Source: Dancing video game helps kids avoid weight gain

See also: Switch on the TV and Dance

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment

The most pleasurable thing about running Myomancy is knowing that what I write helps people to make informed decisions about their and their child’s future treatments. This is especially true when parents email me directly, asking for information or advice on the various movement based therapies. Quite often this focuses around money and what that family can affordable. Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a quick summary of the different treatments I think have merit ranging in cost from £2000 to £20. So I thought I would share it with you.

The Dore Achievement Centres‘ program is expensive but it is the best treatment out there. The big advantage of Dore is the 6 weekly assessments that fine tune the treatment to suit your current stage of development. The machines they use to assess you also allow you to see improvements in your balance etc long before you see any improvements in your spelling, memory etc. This is reassuring as it can take 6 months before any obvious progress is made. This article, Ask Wynford Dore is a good starting place for learning about Dore.

There are several alternatives out there. The best / most scientific is from the INPP and provided by practitioners around the UK and a few in the rest of the world. The underlying difference between Dore and INPP is that Dore focuses on skills such as catching a ball that most people learn at 3 to 4 years old where as INPP focuses on Primitive Reflexes that are key to a baby’s development between 0 – 18 months. See this article on my assessment using the INPP approach for more information.

A third possible approach is Learning Breakthrough. This treatment is fully home based and costs £300 for the instructions and equipment. I’ve reviewed it on a couple of occasions. This treatment should work but I think its 100% DIY aspects means that it is harder, psychologically, to keep at the exercises day after day. I would only really recommend this if either INPP or Dore are not practicable.

A slightly different approach is Interactive Metronome. This is a franchise so there may be one near you but I looked at one in Manchester, UK. This treatment focuses on rhythm training and it can have a surprising effect. Whilst not as broad in scope as the other approaches it may be a good starting point for treatment.

You might want to check out two books that promote movement based treatments both based on Primitive Reflexes. Stopping ADHD and Infinity Walk. Being books they are limited in what they can achieve but they are a good starting point for developing your movement skills.

One thing worth remembering with all these treatments is that they all take time and effort. With most of them you are looking at 20 minutes a day, everyday (and I mean everyday) for at least a year. This requires faith and dedication as it may be six months before you notice any improvements in reading / spelling. If you aren’t motivated enough to put this amount of effort in then none of these treatments will work.

Dyslexia and ADHD are complex problems and not all treatments will work on all people. As each approach focuses on different areas you may find that multiple treatments will be required in order to fill in the gaps in a person’s neurological development. The older the person is, the more this is likely to be true.

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment

Part one of this article, What is Wrong?, looked at how Wynford Dore‘s approach to marketing may be doing his product more harm than good in the conservative and sensitive area of education. In this second and final part we will be looking at how the Dore Achievement Centres can unleash the life changing potential of this treatment.

The Dore Program is a paradigm shift in education. Not only is it the first, widely available, professionally run, treatment for dyslexia and ADHD that works but the science behind it could represent a major change in how we educate all children. Not surprisingly this has upset many people who either have vested interests or are resistant to change. History show’s us that when these great shifts in science are occurring, bitter and often vitriolic attacks are made as careers and professional reputations are at stake. Eventually the dust settles and a new consensus is reached.

With the Dore Program the nature of the attacks is a lot more personal and vindictive than those that occur in abstract scientific journals. There are two reasons for this. One, Wynford Dore has placed himself at the centre of Dore’s marketing approach. Secondly, the Dore Acheivement Centres is a commercial activity with salespeople attracting paying customers. These two issues combine to give Dore’s opponents a large stick with which they attempt to discredit Wynford Dore personally and the science behind the treatment. In order to repulse these attacks and get on with changing as many lives as possible, the commercial activities of the Dore Program need to be not only whiter-than-white but seen to be whiter-than-white. To achieve this is going to take a radical solution.

Nothing sells like a personal recommendation. If a friend recommends a product, you are far more likely to buy it. In Dore’s case this should make the program easy to sell. Any parent who’s child has been freed from the horrors of dyslexia and ADHD should be expected to be shouting it from the rooftops. This may be happening whilst parents are hanging around the school gates waiting to pick their kids up but it isn’t happening online.

On the Myomancy Treatment Database parents are encouraged to post reviews about different dyselxia and ADHD treatments. For the Dore Program‘s entry just four people have posted reviews (all very positive). On various dyslexia and ADHD forums I rarely encountered anyone else who has been through the treatment. And its not just me. A parent considering using the Dore Progam emailed me to ask why she could only find so few first-hand accounts online? With all the variety of ways of communicating online it becomes a real puzzle as to why so little is written about the Dore Program.

The solution to the negative image of Dore’s marketing and to the shortage of online information about the Dore Progam can be solved in one easy act. Set up a forum about Dore online and make it the centerpiece of their marketing strategy.

It is January 2010 and DoreTalk.com is celebrating its third birthday but just like every other day, hundreds of people are posting on the forums and thousands are reading it. Some are potential buyers interested in the treatment but are unsure what it is all about. They might lurk, not posting, just reading some of the tens of thousands of posts that have accumulated over the years. Other interested parents will post questions that are answered not by Dore staff but by people who are currently on the program and are keen to share their experiences with others. Some of the people posting to the forums will be struggling with the program. Those unable to find the time to do the exercises or who are losing motivation during those long months before any of the improvements appear. Those who have already been though this respond with messages of support and good practical advice. The grandees of the forum are those who have finished the treatment but stay active because of the friendships they have established via DoreTalk. They give up some of their own time to moderate the forums as a way of staying involved with a company that has changed their children’s lives.

Building a community like DoreTalk.com is not easy but it will pay for itself many times over. By creating a public space that anyone can post to, Dore is saying to the world that they don’t need to sell the product because it is so good it sells itself. Those scientists and others who attack Dore for bad science or for being overly commercial will have to explain why so many customers are writing about how it helped them. By placing everything in the public domain, by allowing potential customers to decide for themselves, Dore could do away with his sales people, saving Dore hundreds of thousands a year, allowing him to reduce his prices and making the Dore Program even more popular.

A public forum for Dore customers is the cheapest and most effective way of marketing this product. Nothing is hidden from the potential customers and there are no sales staff on commission. The Dore Program will not only be whiter-than-white but will be seen to be whiter-than-white.

Postscript

The use of online forums and communities to promote a product and build customer loyalty is a growing area of internet based marketing. Seth Godin writes a lot about customer led marketing. This post on reversing the funnel is a good starting point.

My article is also heavily influence by the idea of passionate users. The concept that getting your customers to emotionally care and connect with your product is vital to a products success. Kathy Sierra and her blog, Creating Passionate Users is always entertaining. Her article on building a community is a good place to start.

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Diagnosis, ADD / ADHD Medication, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Auditory, Autism, Autism and Mercury, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Autism Treatment, Balance & Coordination, Books, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Testing & Diagnosis, Dyslexia Treatment, Dyspraxia, Food and Drink, Franchised Dyslexia Treatments, Games, History, Medication, Memory, Music, Science, Sports, Television, Visual, Web/Tech

Over the last few weeks this website has been attracting comments from various members and ex-members of staff of the Dore Achievement Centres. This has come to the attention of the CEO of UK branch, Bob Clarke, who has posted comments on Myomancy and also to Wynford Dore himself who has phoned me. Conversations with Wynford are always enjoyable but challenging because Wynford believes so passionately about what he does. So when Myomancy runs a negative story about the Dore Program he tends to forget all the places on Myomancy where I’ve said the Dore Program works and that it changes lives.

In light of all this I thought it wise to make a clear statement to all my readers about why I devote a considerable amount of time and money to running Myomancy.

  • The goal of Myomancy is to provide independent information on treatments for dyslexia, ADHD and autism so that parents and sufferers can make an informed choice about what is the best approach for them.
  • Myomancy is a blog, a personal web site. It represents my views and my views alone on all things connected with ADHD, dyslexia and Autism.
  • These views are researched and expressed on Myomancy to the best of my abilities but I am not a scientist, teacher or a professional writer. I am just someone who’s life was changed by the Dore Program and felt a need to express myself.
  • I believe in free speech which is why I allow anyone to post comments on the articles regardless of whether they are for or against my views. Only post that are illegal or purely offensive are removed.
  • Myomancy generates a small amount of income for advertising. I would like it to be more so that I can afford to spend more time on Myomancy. It is up to the reader to decide what, if any, impact that has on the independence of Myomancy.

With reference to the above I have removed one comment from the website that is highly critical of the Dore Program and, based on additional evidence I have at my disposal, is completely false.

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment

The Dore Program is the perfect human interest story. Retired millionaire living on yacht gives it all up to help his suicidal dyslexic daughter. Spending his millions liberally he speaks to scientists around the world and creates a new treatment that cures his daughter. Persevering despite the scorn and criticism of almost all the world’s dyslexia experts he markets the new treatment and heralds a new world where dyslexia and ADHD are 100% curable.

To a magazine or news editor this story is gold dust which is one of the reasons why Wynford Dore has been so successful about getting his story on TV shows and in the papers. The other reason why the Dore Program has achieved such a high profile is Wynford Dore himself. He is a man driven with an idea. He has a sharp eye for when opportunity comes along and he is a natural salesman able to sell ideas through sheer enthusiasm and belief. These skills made him a millionaire and it these skill that have propelled the Dore Achievement Centers along. It is also the exactly the same skills that have made the Dore Program so controversial and now may be doing more damage than good.

The educational market place in which the Dore Program operates is a difficult one to work in. It is dominated by the billions the government spends on it. Careers are built gradually overtime and change comes slowly. Ethics also play a large part with protecting the child from harm being the overriding concern and as with anything involving children, it is a highly emotively charged. With children’s futures, careers and billions in funding at stake, the market becomes conservative and skeptical of new ideas.

In to this environment bursts Wynford Dore and his Dore Program. An entrepreneur with a background in the tough, nonsense world of industrial paints. Its not surprising his brash claims of being able to treat dyslexia generated so much antipathy and skepticism amongst the dyslexia establishment.

Since its foundation the Dore Program has been funded by Wynford’s millions but over the last two years, that supply of money has come to an end. This begins a process that happens to all start-up companies when their investor’s money runs out. The previously generous and relaxed environment becomes more stressed as belts are tighten and the sale team comes under enormous pressure to do their job. This is make-or-break time for a company and it is this change that is driving the employee dissatisfaction self-evident in the recent controversy about its sales tactics. Much of that debate focuses on what is appropriate behavior for the salesmen to use in order to close the sale.

Two central claims have been made. Firstly that Dore’s sales staff are encourage to use methods first developed by door-to-door encyclopedia salesmen such as the adjournment close. The other allegation is more serious, that customers are being deliberately deceived. No one has put forward any evidence that this happens but several current or ex-Dore Program staff have suggested it in comments left on this web site. These allegations come at a bad time for the Dore Program. As the company changes internally and increases the pressure on the sales force, a lot of the negativity generated by Wynford Dore is coming to the boil as scientists resign in protest over Dore scientific research.

This long running antagonism towards Dore held by many people in the marketplace is amplifying people’s natural distrust of salesmen. In this environment the press, once so keen to show Dore’s miracle cure, will sense blood. All it will take is one photogenic little girl, a number of angry parents £2000 out of pocket and a slow news day. Then Dore will receive a lot more free publicity then he bargained for.

The fundamental problem in marketing the Dore Program is Wynford Dore himself. It is time to move on from a marketing strategy based on a human interest story and a mantra that ‘any publicity is good publicity’. Wynford is the lightning rod for much of the discontent in the industry. Dealing with the lightning distracts everyone in the company and harms the Dore Program’s image worldwide.

Part 2 of this article focuses on how Wynford Dore could not have any sales staff and still make a profit.

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Balance & Coordination, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment

The Dore Program has been coming under a lot of fire over the last few days with complaints about the way its sold and strong criticism of the scientific research. Now, five board members of the scientific journal Dyslexia that published the study have resigned in protest.

According to a Sunday Times article there was great concern over the validity of the research and the close links between the journal’s editor and one of the authors of the study.

Several academics raised concerns over apparent conflicts of interest. Reynolds was paid £30,000 in expenses by Dore to carry out the study, and was formerly a paid director in a company run by the businessman. Three quarters of the screening tests on the children were carried out by researchers from DDAT, a Dore firm.

Professor Rod Nicolson, a psychologist at Sheffield University and the study’s co-author, supervises the postgraduate study of Dore’s business partner, Dr Roy Rutherford.

Dore has also sponsored three PhD students in Nicolson’s department. Questions have also been raised over Nicolson’s working relationship with Angela Fawcett, editor of Dyslexia. They have written 30 articles and three books together.

Wynford Dore, the man behind the Dore Program, has attracted criticism ever since he started his approach to dyslexia and ADHD. He brought the skills he learnt as an successful entrepreneur in the hard and gritty industrial paint business to the more refined and cultured areas of science and education. His knack for self-publicity and willingness to take chances were always going to annoy many people and calling his new book The Miracle Cure was just pouring petrol onto an already large fire.

Central to this argument is an ethical question about commercial interests and science. This debate has raged in the pharmaceutical business for years. There is no doubt that drug companies have pushed the boundaries of science along and through their drugs helped many people. But the drug companies are also aggressive in selling their product and part of this is presenting favourable research in the best possible light. When does good marketing step over the line and become deception? This question is more complicated in Dore’s case because no one else is willing to research the Dore Program so the only research being done has to be funded by Dore, automatically creating a conflict of interest.

The criticism of Dore should be seen in a healthy light. It is a debate and most significant advances in science have been accompanied by long and often bitter debates. This is science in action and all parties deserve credit for their role in it.

ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Balance & Coordination, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Treatment

The Dore Program has had a controversial history when it comes to its sales and marketing. Complaints have been made about its TV advertising and its online advertising has on one occasion been deceptive. Unhappy customers for whom the treatment didn’t work have been vocal on bulletin boards and on the radio. Much of the science used by the Dore Program to promote has been heavily criticized.

About two years ago I wrote an brief piece called Aggressive Marketing Tarnishing Cerebellum Based Treatments? Over the last few weeks this article has gathered almost thirty comments and become the center of a debate and criticism about the Dore Program’s selling methods. Many of these comments claim to come from members or ex-members of Dore’s staff, others claim to be from customers. There is no way of validating who these people are. They may be genuine or they may be people with malicious intent towards Dore for other reasons. However many of the comments talk about the new sales management brought in over the last 12 months and talk about the sales technique in some detail so I believe at least some of the comments are genuine.

Here is a representative selection of quotes from the comments.

“I am an ex Dore employee and can confirm that Dore have the hard sell approach…” – JackDore

“I have first hand experience of how [Dore’s] sale team works…. Their strategies and tactics are underhanded and deceitful. They are wolves in sheeps clothing beware!” – Oxy

“I then recived a phone call and was offered a home visit to explain what Dore did. I found it really useful and not in the slightest ‘salesy’ … Had it not been for [the Dore salesman] my son would have been starting the Senior school with his normal dose of ritalin” – olwen

“…just be aware that the person who visits you is not medically trained and working on commission.Thats not to say the program doesn’t work it does…..I too am an ex employee, loved the product hated the politics….I’m not sure Wynford actually knows whats going on” – Graham

“I think its a well known fact that this business has cost Wynford a lot of money and he is passionate about reaching all in need, for him its not about making more money…” – Mark

“I do believe Wynford’s sincerity and commitment.” – David

“I have been here 2 months as a Programme Advisor and can honestly say it’s the best job i have ever had. At no time have i been put under pressure to sell.” – current employee

“I am an ex Dore Programme Adviser and what can i say i have wasted over a year of my life with that company. The programme does work for many and that cannot be taken away however the underhand sales team does put a big black cloud over the programme.” – truth

“I genuinely believe Wynford has a passion about the program and is trying to do good, he has put in place a sales management team that has delivered good figures for the first time, however the sales management style is not in keeping with a caring company and they have ruffled a few feathers with the traditional Dore staff that helped build the company” – Bob

“The [Programme Advisors] are pushed and pushed to the limit you need to work 7 days a week late nights weekends etc in order to obtain the 16 a month target that you have.” – worried

“I too worked for Dore for some time and its so sad to see that all the good that wynford has done over the years being pulled from under his feet by the simple fact that the sales so called management are just conserned about the about of money” – mug

“Looks to me that this is just sour grapes by people who are no good at sales so get moved on. ” – steve

“The introduction of a new sales operation last year was initially viewed with scepticism but is now welcomed with joy. They are professional and informed and our clients certainly do not complain of under hand sales tactics.” – Annoyed and angry

I have asked Wynford Dore for an official response on these comments three times over the last few weeks. I have not received any response apart from a message from his secretary saying he is busy.

The marketing of the Dore Program has always been very effective at getting TV and press coverage by making claims that may be true but cannot be backed up by independent research. The Dore Program works. This blog would not exist if it hadn’t worked on me but the reputation of Wynford Dore, the Dore Prorgam and the science behind it is being seriously damaged by Dore’s approach to marketing.