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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 Medication, Auditory, Autism, Balance & Coordination, Books, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Food and Drink, Franchised Dyslexia Treatments, Games, Memory, Science, Visual, Web/Tech

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.

ADD / ADHD, Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia

Wynford Dore of the Dore Achievement Centres has responded to the ten questions sent by you the readers.

1) What is the success rate of the treatment? I’ve heard you claim to cure over 90% of people. Does this figure include everyone who comes in for an assessment or only those who complete a year or more of the treatment?

It is only possible to measure the success of a treatment if someone completes the whole prescribed programme.  Our figures show that more than 90% who complete the Dore Programme show a very substantial improvement in their symptoms.  The question mentions the word “cure”  -  you will notice that we never make mention of this in our literature although recently professors carrying out independent research have quite openly used the word to describe the results we are getting with ADHD and the underlying cause of dyslexia. 

2) By claiming dyslexia is personal problem that can be cured are you not devaluing the impact dyslexia has on people’s lives? Doesn’t this just put the blame on the dyslexic for not getting cured?

The popular perception for many is that dyslexia is a gift.  Science as we now understand it which explains the symptoms doesn’t support this view.  Conversely it shows that under-development of the cerebellum constrains the ability of the individual to use all the power of their creative thinking brain.  Thus those who complete our programme have, to our knowledge, never observed any reduction or increase in their creative ability but very substantial improvement in their ability to take information in, retain it and recall it.  Thus our conclusion is that dyslexic and other symptoms of learning difficulties are an impediment  -  when the symptoms are removed their effectiveness and quality of life improves.  We have never had a client that has disagreed with this view to our knowledge. 

 
3) Recently Kenny Logan and Toyah Wilcox have spoken out in support of your treatment programme? What is the financial relationship between them and Dore? Were they paid to go on the programme or did they pay as a normal customer? Are any other celebrities trying Dore?

Both Kenny Logan and Toyah Wilcox came on the programme as ordinary customers  -  when they saw the enormous nature of the improvements in their lives they simply wanted to share it with others.  Their desire is genuine, in both cases they did not enjoy the experience of school despite having great gifts as individuals.  Now they have been freed of the constraints of learning difficulties the quality of their lives has improved dramatically.  A very high proportion of our clients whether celebrities or not are so thrilled with what they see they will do anything to help spread the world.  Other celebrities have and are using the Dore Programme but we would not divulge this until they choose to do so themselves.

4) For some people your system does not work. What have you done to assess and mitigate the psychological impact of a failed treatment on children to whom you have claimed to be able to treat? What advice on other treatments do you give to those for whom the treatment fails?

It is actually very rare that the programme doesn’t work  -  especially if someone completes the programme.  Whenever this is the case we have a full investigation as to what causes it.  The most common cause is that it really is not easy for some families to find the time to ensure that the exercises are done on a regular basis.  We are very well aware of the potential impact of disappointing a child and we are very careful before we take someone on to the programme to make sure that physiologically it is very likely that we will get a positive result. 

With regard to the other treatments that you ask about, I am not aware of any treatments designed to deal specifically with cerebellar developmental delay.

 
5) Many dyslexics demonstrate great ability at balance and hand / eye coordination through their achievements in sports and art. How can the cerebellum be the causes of dyslexia when their cerebellum is clearly working correctly?

This is a very interesting question.  We have had a large number of sportsmen, including gymnasts, who were amazed to find that their balance strategies are far from complete when tested.  Many sports rely on a high level of samatosensory input and hardly requires any vestibular input.  The poor development of the cerebellum is often associated with poor use of vestibular sensory information and this is partly what we work on in our programme.  In fact many sportsmen have reported dramatic improvements in their sporting abilities, their ability to concentrate for long periods, their co-ordination ability is significantly improved after having gone through the programme.  It is also appropriate to point out that different parts of the cerebellum are usually developed to a different extent and of course different parts deal with different aspects of the process of learning and co-ordination.  It is quite feasible for someone to have a high level of learning skills in one area but be weak in others.  This explains the enormous variation in the combination of symptoms that people experience.

 
6) You claim the cerebellum is the root of all dyslexia problems. Are you saying that all the research ever done on dyslexia is rubbish and that all other treatments do not work?

You will notice that we don’t at all criticise the work of others  -  we simply focus on trying to solve the problem.  What we know is that we have a programme that is highly effective and reliable with no down side risks.  Up until recently the cerebellum was not usually studied in any of the brain scan research work in dyslexia.  A current project being worked on with the fMRI unit at London University in Queens Square is very exciting indeed.  They have found a direct correlation between density of grey matter in a specific area of the cerebellum and ability to read and spell  -  this research is in the process of being written up for publication now and will open quite a few eyes very wide indeed!

 
7) You have made lots of claims as to the nature and success rate of the treatment. What research has been done by independent scientists and in what peer-reviewed journal has it been published

Our first research paper was peer reviewed and published in Dyslexia in February 2003 and other research is in the process of being peer reviewed at the time of writing.  Other completely independent studies are being carried out by a number of Education Authorities, all with remarkably similar results.

 
8) Why, if it is as successful as you claim, it is not offered to all schools?

Another very interesting question.  Our mission is to get this to everyone whether or not they can afford it.  What we are focussed on in developing this programme is the reverse of what would be done were we trying to create a commercially successful organisation.  We have worked very hard to drive down the cost of the programme so that it is affordable by as many as possible but ultimately we are working on persuading governments to provide this as part of the education process in schools.  The number of people affected is enormous  -  probably one in six  -  and in this society we expect the Government to pay wherever there is an educational medical need.  This falls absolutely into those categories.  Getting governments to listed of course is a challenging problem.  We have conducted a large amount of lobbying and will continue to do so until we get the desired result.

9) The Cost…
9a) The treatment is very expensive, more than $3000 (£2000). Why does it cost so much and what refunds do you offer if it doesn’t work? 

We have subsidised everybody who has gone through the programme around the world  -  had we charged the full cost of providing this service folk would have had to pay substantially more than they have up until now.  If the similar tests were conducted at a private hospital to those we carry out it would cost in excess of £5,000, just for the tests alone.  The best yardstick as to whether or not it is expensive is by the clients who look at the results when they have completed the programme. The typical feedback we get is “I would have paid ten times as much if I realised you were going to change my child to this extent”.  Another yardstick to consider is how much people will spend on braces for teeth, one to one tuition, and so on.  If you think about all the educational, emotional and behavioural changes that are achieved by our programme it is remarkably good value.  In fact, if people complete our programme properly and don’t achieve the physiological changes normally observed we would be quite happy to fully refund the full cost.

9b) Given the success of legal action in forcing the NHS to prescribe expensive and non-approved drugs, do you think there is scope for legal action to force schools to pay for the treatment? 
Another very interesting question indeed  -  you have just given me an idea!  Governments soon will realise that its not only appropriate to provide this treatment because of the improvement in quality of life but at the economic level it makes absolute common sense too.  If anyone wants to start legal action we would gladly provide them the scientific evidence to support their case.  Folk ought to also bear in mind  that a Disability Living Allowance is normally appropriate for folk with learning difficulties  -  this is often enough to cover the cost of the programme.  We are also getting an increasing number of cases where Local Education Authorities and Job Centres will consider funding requests.

9c) We cannot afford the Dore programme, Are there any charities that will assist us? 

As a Dad is really hurts me that some simply cannot afford the programme and I can’t wait for the day when funding will be available for all.  Meanwhile we have just established the Dore Foundation with two very clear intentions  –

Firstly to conduct further scientific research into the cerebellum and the impact it can have on all sorts of conditions  -  not just learning difficulties.

The second intention is that when it has spare funding it will make that available to subsidise or completely pay for those who can’t afford it.  It maybe of interest to your readers to note that when we first started research into this the intention was that we would put all the funding through a charity.  Because the risks we were taking were far greater than could be justified or would be supported by the establishment it is unlikely that had we tried to do it through a charity we would have been able to have thrown enough money to this to get the results we are now getting.  We therefore took the alternative route to fund it through a commercial company that was funded by me personally to the tune of many millions of pounds  -  and still is.  It has, therefore, been a “charitable cause” even though it has been through the vehicle of a commercial organisation. 

 
9d) I’m writing on behalf of my partner who is desperate to find help and feels like his dyslexia is always holding him back. As you will appreciate it can be very depressing for us both. Unfortunately we cannot afford your treatment. From a personal point of view what else could we try? 
My suggestions would be that they should consider getting Disability Living Allowance  -  we have some useful paperwork that might help with the completion of these forms. Secondly it would be worth asking their local Area Health Authority if they would consider funding the treatment  -  after all, cerebellar developmental delay is a condition we can prove using neurological tests.

10) A great deal has been made about the treatment programme being created to help your daughter. When did she do the programme and what were the effects? 

Susie was, indeed, our first guinea pig and, therefore, started the programme during early 2000.  Of all the people we have helped, Susie probably had some of the most serious conditions.  She has gone from not being able to read to reading constantly, her concentration has gone from almost zero to endless, she could not write a sentence before whereas now she can effortless write pages, her ability to maintain eye contact and develop a conversation was negligible  -  now you can’t shut her up!  She could hardly speak to you on a one to one basis whereas now she will confidently address hundreds of people at a time.  She was completely unable to hold a job down for more than a few weeks  -  she has now been in the same job for some three years.  Most importantly of all she was desperately depressed and unhappy  -  now she seems emotionally bomb-proof, thus as a Dad I used to worry about her endlessly  -  now I know she can and will cope with life.

ADD / ADHD, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyslexia, Franchised Dyslexia Treatments, Web/Tech

If you could make a magic pill that cured dyslexia or ADHD how do you go about getting it to the most number of people who need it? You can’t just give it away. Even magic pills cost money to make and they certainly cost money to post. Giving the recipe to the Government with their track record would not get the pill to the people who desperately need it. It seems that in order to help the most number of people you need to be a commercial company, competing in what Professor Elliot calls the ‘Dyslexia Industry’.
However this raises all sorts of ethical issues such as how much money can a commercial company make before its taking advantage of its customers? You have the right to some reward for your effort because everyone needs to pay their mortgage and build up their retirement plan. Companies also need to make a profit to reward their employees’ hard work, repay their investors and to build savings so that they can help more people in the future.
To generate this money companies need to advertise and here it becomes very hard. You want to get your magic pill to as many people as need it but in a TV advert you have 30 seconds to explain your magic pill. On a web-page such as this one, adverts have to be 25 words long. Creating an advert that is truthful and will catch the viewer’s eye is very difficult in 30 seconds or 25 words.
Have a look at the adverts on the left of this web-site. Are they truthful? Are the ethical? Here is one for Dore / DDAT that has appeared on Myomancy:
ADHD Tests and Treatment: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Proven, drug free remedy. www.dorecentres.co.uk
Dore certainly do ADHD tests and offer a drug free treatment but what about the word “Proven“. From my own experience I know its proven. I know that Mr Dore and his research team believe its proven but other people disagree. So is this advert ethical and truthful?
What about when to advertise? On Google and Yahoo adverts are displayed according to what you are searching for. Over on I Speak of Dreams, Liz is highlighting a company called Sylvan which offers tuition suitable for normal children but its adverts appear when people search for dyslexia tutors. Is this ethical?
Most companies involved in the ‘dyslexia industry’ are genuinely trying to help children and adults with learning difficulties but even these companies make mistakes with their adverts. The way to tell between a company that is genuinely trying to help people and those that are not is how they respond to complaints. A good company publicly acknowledges their mistakes and ensures the problem never repeats itself. A bad company ignores the complaint or tries to suppress the dissenting voices.

Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia

Take a close look at the screen shot below.

Its the results from a Yahoo search on the term British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and the first of the results, in the light grey box, is an advert. By the way is says ‘British Dyslexia Association’ in big letters you might think that its an advert for the BDA. Look closer and you will see its an advert for Dore / DDAT.
Thats right. Dore is trying to trick people into clicking the link to his company.
This is an appalling piece of deceptive advertising and for Dore to take advantage of people in such a manner is an abuse of his company’s wealth. It is also, I believe, illegeal under UK law. Dore have been in trouble over advertising before but these have been technical slips or live interviews where some allowances can be made for off-the-cuff remarks. This however is a premeditated deception. It is a marketing technique best reserved for spammers trying to sell penis extensions or fake rolex watches.
I will be forwarding a copy of this post to Wynford Dore and I encourage everyone to email with a complaint.

UPDATE: I’ve received personal communication from Wynford Dore in which he has disavowed the advert and some hours later the advert is no longer appearing. Myomancy offered Wynford Dore the opportunity to publish a statement or comment on this incident but none has been received.

Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Web/Tech

Another famous dyslexic has popped up talking about how the Dore treatment programme has helped them. A few months ago it was the rugby player Kenny Logan. Now its 80’s singer and 90’s teletubby Toyah Wilcox. It suspicious that two public figures have spoken up for the programme recently. Is this a new, subtler form of marketting or is it simply that like myself, Dore has change their lives and they want to tell people about it?

Daily Mail (London)
December 27, 2005 Tuesday

HOW I BROKE FREE;
As a successful singer and actress Toyah had to learn many lines. But secretly, she was battling dyslexia and it was ruining her life. In an inspirational interview, she reveals how pioneering exercises freed her from misery

POP star and TV presenter Toyah Willcox, 47, suffered humiliation and deep depression because of her severe dyslexia and learning difficulties.

Then a revolutionary treatment changed her life. Here, Toyah who is married to musician Robert Fripp but has no children, tells LISA SEWARDS her compelling story. . .

Continue Reading

Auditory, Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments

NeuroNet is a treatment centre based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA run by Nancy Rowe. There are few details on the website of what the treatment entails but its clear its a combination of auditory, balance and sensory integration training.
In the NeuroNet evaluation we look at auditory and vestibular behaviors, and how these behaviors affect a child’s ability to learn basic skills. All behaviors are assessed in a low-level multi-tasking context. The five areas addressed by the NeuroNet evaluation include:
1. vestibular control of body centering (attention);
2. vestibular control of body differentiation (speech and handwriting);
3. visual/verbal integration (communication and language);
4. auditory processing (reading decoding and reading comprehension); and
5. visual processing (spatial relationships and mathematical reasoning).

Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres

Dore / DDAT‘s treatment for dyslexia and ADHD focuses heavily on balance training. In order to monitor how well the treatment is going they use a Posture graph like the one shown here. Your balance is checked every time you attend a Dore centre, normally every six weeks. Detailed below are my results for my visits and an explanation of what they mean.

There are six tests as part of the assessment:

  • Eyes Open
  • Eyes Closed
  • Eyes Open + Screen Moves (this confuses the eyes)
  • Eyes Open + Platform moves (this makes the feet unstable)
  • Eyes Closed + Platform Moves
  • Eyes Open + Platform and Screen Moves.

The Equilibrium Score (left hand side), shows my six test scores as the green bars. The pink area represents what constitutes below average ability. The black rods at the end of the green bars show the spread of results for that test. The higher the scores and smaller the spread the better.

The Strategy Analysis (top right) shows what I was moving to keep balance, hip at the top and ankle at the bottom. The various coloured dots mark my results with each colour representing one test (i.e. the same tests indicated by the green bars on the Equilibrium Score). The ideal is a straight line of dots equidistant between the hip and ankle. This indicates that the subject is using both joints to maintain balance. In those results I favour moving the hips on the easier tests and shift towards the ankle on the harder tests.

The Centre of Gravity (COG) Alignment (middle right) measures how well my weight was distributed during the tests. Again the different coloured dots represents the different tests. The ideal is a small, tight cluster of marks dead centre of the white box. This would indicate that my centre of gravity didn’t move much, i.e. I was balanced.

I forget exactly how the Sensory Analysis is calculated. I think its extracted statistically from the other results (but don’t quote me on that). It gives a indication of how the subject is maintaining their balance, e.g. using visual or vestibular systems. Again green bars indicate my score, the pink areas indicate the level of score that would be below average. The four categories are Somatosensory (proprioception / touch), Visual, Vestibular (inner ear) and Composite (an average I think).

Below is the full range of reports I can find but I seem to be missing two or three including my very first set of results. So the report dated 26/11/2002 is after 6 weeks of treatment. If you compare it with the last one you will see a significant improvement in in tests 5 & 6 on the Equilibrium Scores and notable closer to the ideal on Strategy Analysis and COG Alignment.

For more on balance have a look at Dizziness and Balance.com

ADD / ADHD, Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyspraxia, Franchised Dyslexia Treatments, Music, Web/Tech

Bramhall is a small suburb of Stockport in the north-west of the UK and is home to the Bramhall Neuro-Developmental Therapy Practice. The practice is run by Lyn Wells who uses a variety of techniques to help children and adults with learning difficulties. I travelled up to Bramhall to see first-hand a treatment that intrigued me.
Interactive Metronome is a treatment for ADHD and other learning difficulties that involves developing the child’s or adult’s  sense of rhythm. This connection between learning problems and poor rhythm is strong but not obvious.
fMRI studies are used to show what areas of the brain are working the hardest when performing specific task. This technology was used to study the brains of music professions whilst they played various pieces of music and scales on the piano. One of the areas of the brain strongly linked to rhythm is the cerebellum, an area of the brain that has been repeatedly linked with learning difficulties.  Several treatment programs such as DDAT and Brain Gym focus on training the cerebellum through physical activity to improve academic performance. This approach seems to work, at least for some people with learning difficulties. Interactive Metronome attacks problems with the cerebellum with a double-whammy. Physical movements such as clapping train up the areas of the cerebellum the control the gross-motor skills whilst simultaneously the rhythmic aspect train the self-control and timing area of the cerebellum. These in turn have an impact on general coordination, mental processing speed and the ability to focus your attention.
The Interactive Metronome system consists of two sensors, one for the hands and one for the feet, headphones and a computer. The computer plays via the headphones a regular beat, sounding rather like a cow-bell. The user claps their hands or taps their feet in time with the beat. The sensors detect this and feed the information into the computer which analyses whether the clapping or foot-tapping was early, late or spot on.
The first step of any treatment is an assessment of your current capabilities. This included fourteen different tests including simple hand clapping, clapping whilst balancing on one leg, and alternating clapping with one hand on the thigh whilst tapping the opposite foot. This last one is a real test of cross-lateral ability.  For each test the average number of milli-seconds between when the beat was and when you reacted was reported. Anything within 15 milli-seconds is counted as spot-on.
My results showed an average inaccuracy of 90.1 milliseconds across all the tests. This places me in a below-average category. I’m sure a few years ago I would have been much worse but my DDAT treatment and subsequent practice with Bop-It and various Playstation games such as Eye-Toy Groove have helped.
The treatment process with Interactive Metronome is adapted to the individual but will generally consists of fifteen hours using the equipment split into three sessions a week over a number of weeks. In total a treatment program will consist of approximately 35,000 claps.
A training session is very similar to the assessment process except the user gets feedback through the headphones and visually. When you hit a beat spot-on a sound plays in both ears. If you are early a different sound is played into the left ear only and if it is late, another sound is played into the right ear. These sounds are matched by visual feedback on the computer monitor. The feedback guides the user so that their claps or toe-tapping gets closer to the metronone’s beat. This feedback is introduced slowly and learning to integrate it is important in developing concentration, sensory integration and focusing attention.
Unfortunately there are relatively few practitioners around (the Interactive Metronome web site has a list) so finding one may be pot luck. The practitioners also have to be good because the basic mechanics of the training, e.g. clapping, could be dull. So its important, especially for children with attention difficulties, for the practitioner to engage the child and keep their attention. 
Overall Interactive Metronome is a treatment well worth considering. It is not silver bullet to education and behavioral problems but it can help. If you are in the UK then Bramhall NDT can provide a friendly and effective centre for treatment. 

Research: Neural Basis of the Comprehension of Musical Harmony, Melody, and Rhythm [ PDF ].
Also on Myomancy:  Rhythm and Dyslexia, Cerebellum More Than Just a Motor, The Cerebellum and ADHD