Auditory, Balance & Coordination, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Visual

The Sound Learning Centre is running a one day workshop for parent and carers on how to help children with sensory and learning difficulties.
This groundbreaking course is based on more than ten years of therapeutic work with children and adults with learning and sensory difficulties and incorporates the latest findings in these fields. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how hearing, vision, reflexes and sensori-neural systems impact on healthy child development; learn how to evaluate and track progress yourself; have all the tools to implement an effective home programme to support your child in their further development and learning. The suggested activities and included materials are suitable for children aged three to early teens.
The course takes place on 24th November 2005 in North London, UK and costs £125 per person. I’ve used the treatments provided by the Sound Learning Centre myself and they have also featured on BBC TV.

Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dore Achievement Centres

DDAT  / Dore Centres are running events for teachers and parents in both Edinburgh and Southampton. At the Edinburgh events international rugby player  Kenny Logan will be talking about his experiences with dyslexia and his treatment using the Dore method.

11th October 1.30pm – 4.30 pm Edinburgh – Special Educational Needs Conference.
Open to Heads, Teachers and SENCOs

11th October 7.00pm – 8.30pm Edinburgh – Parents Presentation Evening.
Open to parents and adults that have personal experience of coping with learning difficulties

18th October 1.30pm – 4.30 pm Southampton – Special Educational Needs Conference.
Open to Heads, Teachers and SENCOs

18th October 7.00pm – 8.30pm Southampton – Parents Presentation Evening.
Open to parents and adults that have personal experience of coping with learning difficulties

ADD / ADHD, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments

Combining thought control with video games produces Play Attention. Its a treatment for ADHD that involves using sensors placed on the head to control characters in simple video games. The system costs $1,795 but you won’t find that information on the web site. (I found it in a short, uncritical article on Play Attention). In fact the company’s website is slightly odd. On arrival on their front page it plays a slick video complete with a song that sounds remarkably like The Beautiful South. So turn down your volume if you are checking them whilst at work.
In the company’s FAQ, there is this question and answer: “What studies have been done? This technology has been used and studied for about 25 years. There have been numerous studies conducted within that time. The United States Air Force and NASA both use this technology to train their pilots to attend under various conditions. Unique Logic & Technology is quite proud of the results“. Notice how they give no specific references to the NASA studies nor have they done any studies themselves on their own product. I would expect at least one study on the product from a company that has been “Bringing Life into Focus™Since 1994“.
Play Attention do have customer testimonials on the site and the basic concept of biofeedback is well proven but without any scientific data on the specific treatment system some caution must be exercised.
See Also: Short interview with Peter Freer, CEO of Unique Logic and Technology, makers of Play Attention.

ADD / ADHD, Auditory, Autism, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyslexia, Television

Featured on last night’s Inside Out progam was The Sound Learning Centre. The centre provides a range of light and sound therapies and I have been assessed and received light treatment from them.
In a ten minute segment, the program followed Harry Phillips and his mother Carrie as Harry received treatment for his aspergers syndrome. Harry, about ten years old, was a clever and articulate child but suffered from symptoms common in aspergers such as clumsiness, very fussy eating habits and sensitive hearing. Carrie commented that she couldn’t hoover when he was in the house because of the pain the noise caused him.
The Auditory Integration Training (AIT) was demonstrated to the TV show’s frontman by Pauline Allen who runs the cente and we were treated to a snatch of Fleetwood Mac (from the Rumours album I think) played through the equipment. The treatment works by dropping out certain frequencies and switching ears so it sounds like you are listening to a distant radio station on a hot summer night. The music fading and returning as the signals bounce and distort around the upper atmosphere.
Helen Woods, a highly autistic child, and her mother were also featured. They had received the treatment a year ago and Mrs Woods was delighted with it, commetting “after five days [of treatment] we were able to go in to cafe without Helen screaming, running around and knocking chairs over“. She also commented that Helen had started making more speech like sounds and could begin to communicate but Mrs Woods emphasized that this wasn’t a cure for autism.
The progam returned to Harry and his mother at the end of his AIT treatment. When Carrie was asked had the treatment worked “Absolutely” was the answer. The presenter asked how could be sure that this wasn’t just Harry progressing as he got older? Carrie’s response was the speed of the change is too quick. Harry had been using the hoover yet ten days ago the sound of the Hoover was painful to him. He also seemed more coordinated.
This was an extremely good feature on The Sound Learning Centre with very balanced BBC reporting. A relief after the distortions of ‘The Dyslexia Myth‘. It was a shame they did not feature the assessment stage of the treatment as it is extensive and would of made the process look more creditable. Overall the program did a good job demonstrating the speed and effectiveness of the treatment whilst highlighting the weakness of the science behind it.
The Sound Learning Centre is based in Palmer’s Green, north London, UK. They will be having an open house on the 20th October 2005.
See also: Hyperacusis, Light & Sound Sensitivity Effects Readers, The Senses of Autism,
BBC: Inside Out investigates how sound therapy may be helping some autistic children live with their condition

ADD / ADHD, Autism, Autism Tests & Diagnosis, Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyslexia, Television

BBC television will feature The Sound Learning Centre on its ‘Inside Out’ regional current affairs programme, to be broadcast by BBC ONE (London region) on Monday evening 19 September from 7.30 till 8.00pm.  Viewers outside the London Region can see this programme on SKY channel 944 [NTL 926].  The programme will follow clients from first contact with the Centre, during 10 days of Sound and Light treatment, right through to the final day of treatment and includes interviews with the children, their parents and Pauline Allen, the principal of The Sound Learning Centre“.
The Sound Learning Centre provides a range of visual and audio based treatments for a dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other developmental problems. Read my account my assessment and light therapy treatment and watch the show. It will be an interesting contrast to the ‘The Dyslexia Myth‘.

Commercial Dyslexia Centres & Treatments, Dyslexia, Franchised Dyslexia Treatments, Television

Much of what was covered in The Dyslexia Myth was good and raised important points about the UK education system, a lot of which I suspect applies to other countries as well. However in some places it made factual errors, in other places the logic of its argument was weak and the whole tone of the program was designed to cause controversy. My main criticism are:

Why entitle the program ‘The Dyslexia Myth’ and feature Professor Elliott dismissing dyslexia in quite an aggressive manner when this will inevitably upset diagnosed children and their parents? The program could of been more constructive, framing exactly the same content in positive terms. Rather than call dyslexia a myth it should of focused how science has enabled us to expand the usage of the term dyslexia to all people with reading problems. This would of been non-confrontational and yet still reflect the dire need we have to improve education for those with reading problems.

The program claimed the cause of reading problems was solely down to an inability to hear or decipher the phonetics in speech. Yet the program also comments that dyslexic’s handwriting, like their reading, is equivalent to an average child several years younger. Why would handwriting be effected by the ability to hear phonetics? Spelling obviously would suffer but even if the child is writing letters backward, why do they not have the same neatness and control? This high correlation between poor handwriting / penmanship and dyslexia suggests that there is a wider problem than poor hearing.

The program attacked the use of coloured lenses on the basis that there is no evidence and presumably because they do not improve the ability hear though it did grudgingly admit that tints can relieve eye-strain and migraines. Isn’t it obvious that if a child suffers from eye-strain or migraines when trying to read then this might restrict their ability and desire to read?

The program also attacked the DDAT / Dore exercise program saying that its study was ‘panned’ by the scientific community. Firstly DDAT / Dore have done several studies and whilst they all have flaws they have been improving. Secondly the criticism is not about whether the treatment works but if you can prove to a scientific standard that it can work. There are a lot children and adults who have been through the DDAT / Dore programme and found it has changed their lives, myself included. However the DDAT / Dore programme doesn’t work for everyone but it should be noted that The Dyslexia Myth did not claim that the Cumbrian scheme would be successful for everyone.

The program was overall negative about commercial or semi-commercial treatments for dyslexia including the Dyslexia Institute. Yet until our schools have the resources and ability to provide high quality one-to-one tuition for dyslexics then parents will be forced to pay money for treatments to help their child. Without doubt some of the claims made by commercial companies are overly ambitious but that is the nature of businesses in a competitive market.

It claimed the Cumbrian reading program was the best way helping those with reading problem yet also highlighted the amount of training and monitoring staff need to implement the program. The program even highlighted the problems of rolling it out it on a nationwide scale. The results of the Cumbrian reading program are impressive but if we cannot implement it into our schools within realistic time-scales and budgets then what use is it? Other programs based on movement such as that developed by INPP produce similar results over a longer time frame but may be easier to implement.