It has been estimated that 15-20% have some type of learning disability, and that number is only increasing with time. The prevalence of Autism is going up, and for all intents and purposes, the rate of ADHD is staying the same. The increase can be explained by the concept of epigenetics. The term epigenetics refers to changes that occur in a population that change the genetic expression of individuals. The causes of epigenetic changes are environmental factors. Moreover, epigenetic changes seem to increase in intensity with each generation. With most Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders, there is an epigenetic expression that is passed on to our kids. The good news is that expression can change!
At HML our treatments for all types of learning disabilities are based in functional neurology, functional medicine and chiropractic, hence our overall functional approach. Treatments are tailored specifically to engage weakened neurological pathways in the brain, reduce systemic inflammation, and create a more balanced environment for brain development and function.
We do this by first sitting down with the parents and the child to determine what is happening with your child, what has been tried in the past, and most importantly what do you want for the future? A program consisting of functional neurological rehabilitation, nutrition, and or chiropractic care will be devised based on your goals and desires as a parent and what we think is best for your child.
Brain Age and Chronological Age
Whether we are working with learning disabilities, or severe Autism. When your child first comes in to be examined, a brain age will be approximated by the Doctors. For example, your 12-year-old child with Autism has social and emotional issues that you would like improved upon. After consultation and examination, the Doctors determined that the weak areas of the brain (in this case the areas predominantly controlling social and emotional skills) are operating at a neuro-typical six-year old’s function (based on normative data). There is NOTHING wrong with this gap of function, this is your child potential to improve. This allows the Doctors to set up an appropriate treatment plan, and level to start care and track progress!
A note on determining brain age: If your child’s challenges are minimal, determining a brain age may not be warranted, for example if it is a Tic, or a stutter to address and all other functions are intact. Lastly, normative data is taken from government, and non-government agencies. And epidemiological and clinical research from academic, psychological, neurological, exercise, and biological fields of study.
Getting down to the root cause
Addressing the under functioning brain networks and nutrition gets down to the root cause of your child’s issues and can correct it. Function can be nearly entirely brought up to age appropriate and neuro-typical levels. The goal is to close in to a 1.5-year gap from brain age to chronological age. Satisfactory results from parents are reported in 90% of our cases, parents report 80-95% of function “stays” with the child for the LONG TERM when care their care is over.
For children with very unfortunate situations of congenital issues such as cerebral palsy, Turner’s, Fragile X, Down’s or Rhett’s Syndrome, or whom have had brain injuries such as PVL, we have had results with these children. New understanding and clinical technologies are coming out every year giving us a better understanding to treat these children. Results are limited but their brains are still plastic (changeable). We have cases that have done exceptional, and cases that have done as expected.
Depending on the child’s team of people caring for him/her we may do our part and “fill in the holes in their care” as Dr Alex says and apply something as little as specific Chiropractic care, or as much as apply a full-fledged functional neurology program. If parents would like to see if we can do anything for their child, we usually start with a smaller trial of care to see if we get any initial changes and from there the parents decide to move forward or not.