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.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fish oils are believed to provide benefits for a wide range of problems including dyslexia, ADHD and autism. However the many different types of fish oils and seed oils it can get confusing.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and Linoleic Acid (LA)
ALA and LA are the fatty acids generally referred to as Omega 3 and Omega 6. They are found in some seeds and dark leafy vegetables. They are an essential part our diets (and sometimes called essential fatty acids) because we have to get them from an external source as the body cannot create or store them in the body. In scientific literature linoleic acid is referred to as 8:2(n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid as 18:3(n-3)
Stearidonic Acid (SA) and Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
After the linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid enter the body they are converted into SA and GLA. Evening primrose oil naturally contains GLA and GLA is often seen as the best form to take omega-6 fatty acids which is why evening primrose oil is often used in dietary supplements.
Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA) and Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid (DGLA)
Next the body converts SA into ETA and GLA into DGLA . Then its a short, biological step to …
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Arachidonic Acid (AA)
These two fatty acids are critical for the human body. AA plays a role in more than twenty different signalling paths that control a bewildering array of bodily functions, but especially those functions involving inflammation and the central nervous system. EPA softens the inflammatory effects of AA and low dietary intake of EPA is associated with a variety of inflammation-related diseases.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)
The final step in the chain is DHA and DPA. These are the actual substances used in the body and have been linked to mental health problems such as ADHD and depression and also physical problems like heart disease.
Though the body can convert ALA to DHA and LA to DPA, a lot of these fatty acids can be found directly in food. For example oily fish is high in EPA. It is not clear whether it is better to take the ALA or LA and let the body convert it or start as far down the chain as possible with EPA or AA. Arguments can be made for both approaches.
Previously on Myomancy:
ADHD and Omega Fish Oils
The Incredible Brain: A Miner Recovered
Fish Oils Calm ADHD Children?
Omega-3 & 6 Link to Mental and Physical Health Problems
The LCP Solution
The Scotsman newspaper has an article on Sarah Marshal, an INPP trained therapist, who operates out of a GP surgery.
Using a programme based on evidence that dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficiency disorder and under-achievement are linked to a glitch in young children’s reflex development skills, psychologist Sarah Marshall uses a series of simple, repetitive exercises to help her patients learn vital movement skills they should have developed while still in their pram.
Easy does it in quest to conquer dyslexia
The delightful Christiaan contacted me the other day with two links to investigate. The first was a study covered in New Scientist on neurofeedback, autism and mirror neurons. The second was to a video of a presentation made in 2003 on the cognitive neuroscience of ADHD. Unfortunately it would not play on my computer but there was a link to the associated slide show that was very interesting. The slides cover a lot of areas though focus on a study of response inhibition in ADHD sufferers.
What caught my eye was a reference to work showing that the cerebellum is smaller in people with ADHD. The study, Cerebellum in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a morphometric MRI study, found that in boys with ADHD some areas of the cerebellim were significantly smaller than non-sufferers. This is of note because the cerebellum controls motor movement and has a role in memory and cognitive abilities. Treatments such as the Dore Programme (coverage on Myomancy) and Learning Breakthrough are design to train the cerebellum. Their approach is based on the idea that if dyslexia / ADHD is caused by a underdeveloped cerebellum then exercising the cerebellum will relieve the problems of dyslexia and ADHD.
With my curiosity piqued I decide to trawl through Google Scholar looking for research on how the size of the cerebellum affects our abilities.
Top of the pile was another study on ADHD and the cerebellum, Evaluation of cerebellar size in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, that also found it to be smaller in ADHD sufferers.
The second study was more interesting. The study, Cerebellar size and cognition: correlations with IQ, verbal memory and motor dexterity, found that participants’ verbal memory and fine motor skills were directly correlated to the size of the cerebellum. These are key areas of weakness in people with dyslexia. General intelligence was also correlated to cerebellum size but not enough to be statistically significant.
Looking at prematurely born babies, Cognitive and motor function and the size of the cerebellum in adolescents born very pre-term, researchers found that the cerebellum had “significantly reduced cerebellar volume” compared to full term babies. We have previously reported on Myomancy that Premature Babies Have High Chance of Learning Disabilites.
Size does seem to matter but its not 100% clear exactly how. In a study looking at autistic children, An MRI study of autism: the cerebellum revisited, scientists from the University of Iowa discovered that autistics had a larger cerebellum than normal.
Drifting off topic onto one final study, Relative Volume of the Cerebellum in Dolphins and Comparison with Anthropoid Primates, asks the question “How large are dolphin cerebellum compared to primates?”. A reasonable question given that dolphins and apes are believed to have relatively high intelligence. It turns out that dolphins have a significantly larger cerebellum than both apes and humans. What this tells us about the cerebellum and intelligence I’m not sure.
I’m please to announce a major expansion of Myomancy.
On the Myomancy Treatment Database you will find a list of ninety different treatments available for ADHD, dyslexia and autism. These range from mainstream reading programs to fringe treatments such as NeuroCranial Restructuring. Visitors to the Treatment Database can comment on treatments they have tried so that other parents can find the right treatment for their child.
Everything is brand new so if you find anything that doesn’t work or any typos then please let me know by commenting here or emailing me.
And please tell your friends about it. If you have your own blog or are on any email lists or forums, please mention the treatment database. It can only help dyslexics and sufferers of ADHD if people know about it.
I’m currently using the Exercise Your Eyes device to improve my visual skills such as tracking. Its been about two months since I gave you my first impressions and its seems to be going well. I’ll post more soon but I am noticing a difference.
This got me more interested in vision therapy and the role it plays in children’s academic, sporting and social development. Digging around a bit I’ve found PAVE, Parents Active for Vision Education, an organisation campaigning for better recognition of the role undetected visual problem plays in children’s lives. It also promotes practical advice for preventing eye problems information on vision therapy.
See also this article in the Pioneer Press entitled Can vision therapy help kids learn?. It provides a balanced round up of the debate over the effectiveness of visual therapy.
Previously on Myomancy: Visual Problems Equals Learning Problems?
Here in the UK, Dr Robin Pauc is making a splash with his new book and his claim for cures for ADHD, dyslexia and most other developmental problems. His book, Is That my Child?, has received coverage in the Daily Mail and on GMTV. Dr Pauc belives that all the ‘conditions’ can be dramatically improved if the child is put on a junk-free healthy diet high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and follows a pattern of tailor-made exercises to stimulate the brain.
This is hardly a breakthrough. Fish oils with Omega 3 & 6 have been recommended for sometime, cutting out junk food will make anyone feel and perform better, and right type of exercise will stimulate the cerebellum.
At one level Dr Pauc is promoting the right approach to developmental problems. I’ve not read the book but I doubt there is anything in it I would disagree with. The problem is that he is making claims he cannot justify. Where are the peer-reviewed results of his double blind trials of his treatment? They simply don’t exist.
More worrying is that Dr Pauc is not a medical doctor or neurologist. He is a chiropractor. Ben Goldacre on Bad Science has a good piece on Dr Pauc qualifications in When in doubt, call yourself a doctor.
“An innovative study just published in the open-access science journal PLoS Biology provides intriguing evidence that the brain dedicates a region to understanding maths by as early as four years-old.
The researchers, led by neuroscientist Jessica Cantlon, used fMRI to brain-scan adults and four year-old children while they watched collections of shapes flash up in front of them.”
When does the brain develop maths?
Professor Butterworth from University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience has published a paper that may lead to a better understanding of dyscalculia. Where as dyslexia is a problem with words and letters, dyscalculia is a problem with understanding and manipulating numbers. Symptoms include the inability to say which of two numbers is the larger and a reliance on ‘counting-on’ strategies, often using fingers, rather than any more efficient mental arithmetic strategies.
The paper, due to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences isn’t available online yet but according to the press release two separate numerical areas have been found in the brain. Using fMRI to study the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), the area known to be involved in processing number information they found an area responsible for counting and another for assessing quantities. In the experiment subjects had to first count how many blue and green squares were displayed and secondly assess whether which colour was dominate when shown a continuously changing square or as one cloudy coloured rectangle. The two tasks lit up different parts on the fMRI scan
There is now quite a lot of evidence that premature or low birth weight children have a greater risk of learning and physical disabilities and this is further supported by a new Finish study. Looking at children born between 1996 and 1997 with Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBA), e.g. birth weight below 1000g or 2.2lbs, the study assessed the children at the age of five.
CONCLUSIONS: Only one fourth of the ELBW infants were classified as normally developed at age 5. The high rate of cognitive dysfunction suggests an increased risk for learning difficulties that needs to be evaluated at a later age. Extended follow-up should be the rule in outcome studies of ELBW infant cohorts to elucidate the impact of immaturity on school achievement and social behavior later in life
Neurodevelopmental outcome at 5 years of age of a national cohort of extremely low birth weight infants who were born in 1996-1997
Previously on Myomancy:
Premature Babies Have High Chance of Learning Disabilites
World of Psychology
Cerebellum More Than Just a Motor