ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Diagnosis, ADD / ADHD Medication, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Digital Fitness, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Testing & Diagnosis, Dyslexia Treatment, Dyspraxia, Medication, Memory, Music, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Rhythm Games, Wii Fit

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I was interested in creating a cerebellum training program that was quicker, more effective than Dore. Myomancy was my notebook of interesting technology and relevant science. Over the years I’ve examined many different approaches to the treatment of dyslexia and ADHD. Some were simply nonsense, others had promise but were lacking the scientific, technological or business resources to make them viable. Some lacked the ethical honesty necessary when selling products to parents desperately worried about their children.

Slowly overtime I refined my ideas about how cerebellum training should work and how a independent company without much in the way financial resources could develop and sell such a product in an ethical manner. One main stumbling block has been the cost and availability of the technology necessary to track a user’s limb movements and balance. So I’ve been watching the progress of the Wii and latterly the Wii Fit with interest. The technology needed for cerebellum training was finally cheaply and readily available. What’s more many people already own it.

Originally I intended to make an announcement after slowly develop a proof of concept over the next few months but with the collapse of Dore and the shadow that will cast over the cerebellum training field, I’ve decided to move my plans forward. So I’m pleased to announced the creation of WyyMi, a project to create a free, open-source, open-science cerebellum training program.

What is WyyMi?
WyyMi is a project to develop a cerebellum training program to help people with dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia and similar educational problems.

Project Goals
To develop a system that cost nothing (or as close to nothing as possible) to use; to do it using open-source software; and to make freely available as much scientific evidence on its effectiveness as possible.

How Will It Work?
The idea is to use cheap and easily available computer hardware that can monitor and assess gross motor movements and balance. At the moment the Wii Remote and Wii Fit Balance Board seem the best candidates but they need to be adapted to work on PCs and Macs because the Wii console itself is difficult to develop for.

Using this hardware and software on the website, users will be perform a series of exercises. The amount of time spent training and the accuracy of the user’s movement will be logged on the server so that the user can track their progress and so the server can inform the user which exercises to do next. This data will also be aggregated, made anonymous and published so that it can be analyzed by any interested 3rd party. Ideally, symptom specific measures (e.g. spelling tests) will also be included so that the training programs effectiveness in treating educational problems can be measured.

Other than a broad statement of goals and the planned route for achieving them, there is nothing else on site at the moment. Progress is likely to slow, not least because I am working on another project at the moment as well maintaining my existing portfolio of web sites. If you wish to help in anyway, please see the announcement for ways you can contribute, not matter what your skills are.

Myomancy will be continuing to report on anything and everything I think is relevant to dyslexia, ADHD and autism. Obviously as I am planning to create my own training program, that might create a conflict of interest when discussing other people’s approach. I will try and be as unbiased as possible and make my conflict of interest clear.

Dyslexia

Received this note from Mike:

Devon based painter Mike Juggins launches his new web site www.mikejuggins.com this week.

After eight years of successful work on the issue of dyslexia Mike is focusing on his painting. The web site is full of fab stuff. Videos and drawings, as well as his newly completed collection of vibrant oil paintings – Visual Jazz.

Well known as a community artist, educator and film-maker, Mike has run very many community based projects with people from society’s margins. He has always encouraged others to focus on their abilities.

When you visit the site you will see that he has many talents himself!

Dore Achievement Centres

A quick round-up of developments and links

Brainduck has a good post giving an overview of what happened and has set-up an alternative to the Dore Talk forum to take over when the official Dore Talk forum goes down.
EDIT: Brainduck has handed over control to parents of children who are/were on the Dore program

Bad Science has a predictable take on the situation.

Gimpy is looking at the financial issues and the blame avoiding game Wynford Dore is playing.

The Dore Talk forums are busy including a message to Sit Tight. Dore insiders (e.g. Wynford’s daughter) are still saying that funding may be found to keep the clinics open. The situation in the non-UK clinics is not clear but a message from Barbados states that the clinic there is still open.

Inevitably there is a lot of criticism of Wynford (and I including myself in that) but one key fact should be remembered. It works for some people as this message on Dore Talk makes clear:

I’m in tears here. My son has only been on the programme for just over 3 months and we’ve seen huge improvements. I just can’t tell him what’s happening because he also believes in the programme and it will be a huge blow to him.

I sincerely hope that something can be arranged to allow him to complete the programme. I don’t want to go back to our pre-Dore hell.

Dore Achievement Centres

A week after Dore Australian went into receivership, Dore UK has followed suit. The following has been placed on the UK website.

It is with great regret that we have to announce that Dore has been put into the hands of advisors. As a result Dore is closing all of the UK centres which deliver the Dore Programme with immediate effect.

We are determined to find a way for every client who is on the program to have their treatment completed. We are presently exploring alternative arrangements to ensure every client is cared for.

We will be updating this page of our website every few days with news regarding alternative arrangements for continued programme delivery so please check frequently.

We still want to help people to identify any learning difficulties they may be struggling with, so we are continuing to make our online symptoms test available. We will provide you with a personal report that outlines any learning difficulty and the likely severity.

There will be a great number of anti-Dore people who will be rejoicing at this event, claiming that it is proof that the science behind Dore was rubbish or that Wynford Dore was some sort of con-artist. Neither of these is true, a fact myself and many others who have completed the treatment successful will testify to.

When the dust settles and the administrator reports, I suspect we will see that the real reason for the companies collapse was over-expansion. A symptom of Wynford Dore’s genuine enthusiasm and belief in the treatment. It appears that Dore never established a stable, profitable core business. A major factor in this may be that too many children failed to complete the treatment because the benefits take a long time to appear. A more cautious businessman may of kept the business small until this problem was cracked but not Wynford. I cannot be critical of this. Without him opening up centres across the UK, I would not of been on the treatment and my language, coordination and personal skills would not of improved beyond all recognition.

Having been involved in several failed companies over the years as employee, owner and customer, I appreciate that this is a difficult time for those involved and I wish you all the best. To all the staff who helped me, to those who helped many others and to Wynford Dore: Thank you for everything. You have changed lives in ways you cannot imagine.

Dore Achievement Centres

Wynford Dore has had some problems in the past with the UK and foreign bodies that regulate advertising and TV programs however he is clearly learning from experience. In this case a complaint against Dore was “not upheld” (i.e. no offense had been committed by the company) over an advert for Dore featuring Kenny Logan. The complaint was based on the fact that the advert did not state that Logan was a director of Camden Holdings, the shell that owns DDAT (UK) Ltd.

The ASA’s assessment was:

Not upheld

The ASA noted Kenny Logan had completed the Dore programme in March 2004 and had become a non-executive director of Dores holding company in December 2006, to assist Dores development of relations with the sporting industry. We noted he had no shares in Camden Holdings or Dore and had not received any financial remuneration or related benefit at the time of taking the programme.

We noted the ad referred to Kenny Logan as one of a number of sportsmen who had completed the programme and we considered that, because that was true and because he had not received any financial benefits at the time of taking the programme, readers were unlikely to be misled because the ad did not include a reference to his position as a non-executive director of Dores holding company. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code clause 7.1 (Truthfulness) but did not find it in breach.

The full adjudication

Dore Achievement Centres

As Wynford Dore or Dore UK have not made any statement on the collapse of Dore Australia I’ve been digging into Dore UK’s finances to see how secure the UK company is.

DDAT (UK) Ltd is owned by Camden Holdings Ltd (company No 04371455). The directors of this company are Wynford Dore (who also the company secretary), Dr Roy Rutherford and Kenneth Mckerrow Logan since 22/12/2006. A total of 150,000 shares have been issued; 125,000 are owned by Wynford Dore, 1500 by Dr Rutherford and 10,000 by trust funds in the name of Dore family members.

The account reveal little except that the holding company owns DDAT (UK). There is no mention of the overseas companies so they are presumably owned directly by Wynford or another holding company. One item of note is that there was a Mortgage Charge registered with against the company on the 18/10/2007 for the Bank of Scotland PLC. This implies that a loan has been taken out using Camden Holdings as capital.

Somewhere in the mix of UK and overseas companies is Convex Capital who have been appointed to the board of ‘Dore’ as CEO and Financial Director. Their statement does not identify which they mean by ‘Dore’. Is it DDAT (UK) Ltd, Camden Holdings or another company?

ADD / ADHD

Creative thinker and business man Roger von Oech has had a letter from a school scoial worker about using his Ball of Whacks with ADHD sufferers. The Ball of Whacks is somewhere between a magnetic lego set and an executive toy. Here is a video:

Monica writes:

I am a school social worker and have used the Ball of Whacks to demonstrate the ability to re-organize, calm, increase self-esteem and cope with difficulties.

In teaching re-organization to students with ADHD, I’ve found the Ball of Whacks to be a good teaching tool. You break the ball down, and then you put it together one piece at a time, just as you would complete one problem at a time on a worksheet. And before you know it it’s put together or done.

There is more on Using the Ball of Whacks With ADHD Students

Dore Achievement Centres

Over on the Dore Talk forum there is some heated discussion about the collapse and Dore Australia. To be fair, most of the anti-Dore people such as PsyDuck, Gimpy and Podblack have been making useful and positive comments. It is the pro-Dore parents who are being rude and reactionary though there are exceptions on both sides.

The reason for much of this heated discussion is simply because Wynford Dore is not giving out any information. As the very public face of his company, he should have a made clear statement back on Friday when this all kicked off. The situation can be improved if he could answer these nine questions. I know staff at Dore read this and I suspect you have a list of questions very similar to this one so please let Wynford and the senior managers know about this post.

  • 1) Why did Dore Australia close so suddenly?

    The statement given out on the Dore Talk forum said that Dore Austrialia went into voluntary receivership so that the management could “evaluate different options for setting up a sustainable model for the delivery of the Dore Program”. This makes it sound like a carefully planned business move rather than something forced on the company. If the situation was not serious and urgent, why are clients being turned away and staff laid off?

  • 2) Will clients get their money back?

    If Dore Australia’s collapse was planned and not a financial crisis, will you, either personally or via the Dore companies around the world, refund Australian clients who have lost money?

  • 3) When, if ever, do you expect the Australian clinic to reopen?

  • 4) What impact will this have on other clinics around the world?

    There has been speculation that the New Zealand clinics will also close. What other closures can we expect?

  • 5) How secure financially is the whole organisation?

  • 6) Is it true that you subsidize each client by £1000?

    If this is true, how many more clients can you afford?

  • 7) Why is the Dore Australia web site still trying to recruit new customers?

    If the company has closed down, shouldn’t the web site be informing people of this fact?

  • 8) Why have you and the company failed to make a clear statement answering these issues before now?

    There is no mention of the Dore Australia bankruptcy on the Dore UK web page or on your own blog.

  • 9) Where does Dore the company and Dore the man go from here?

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Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit

As a follow up The Future of Cerebellum Training here some links on hacking the Wii, the Wiimote and the Wii balance board. These are mostly for my own interest so feel free to ignore them.

Wiimote + Flash (using GlovePie) video; Wiiflash – the PC only way of integrating the Wiimote into Flash applications; video of someone using the balance board and PC to surf the net; WiiUse is a C library for interfacing with Wiimotes; GlovePie, another way of interfacing; MoteDaemon is a Flash interface for OSX; DarwiinRemote, another interface for the Mac.