Breakthrough for Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities

Dr John B. Dunphy

One of the most frustrating, and in many cases, debilitating conditions (both emotionally and socially) that has plagued mankind, is a condition known as Dyslexia. Dyslexia is the best known terminology for a group of conditions dealing with the inability to properly process language, be it written, spoken or symbolic (numbers, for example). It does not manifest solely in the academic world of school, but involves every part of our existence. Just consider the following possibilities:

  • Difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Difficulty in understanding words in normal conversation.
  • Poor or non-existent sense of direction.
  • Little or no concept of time.
  • Inability to concentrate, even when involved in a particular activity, such as a game.
  • Disequilibrium (balance dysfunction).
  • Poor motor co-ordination.
  • Constantly bumping into things or dropping things.
  • Stuttering, hesitant speech, poor word recall.
  • Inability to remember names.
  • Sharp emotional or mood swings.
  • Need to reread the same word or phrase to get any meaning out of it.
  • Difficulty following sequential instructions or events.
  • Difficulty in following motion or moving things (balls, people, traffic).
  • Various phobias including height, motion-related (escalators, elevators, bridges, etc.).
  • Gets lost easily or all the time.
  • Unable to, or unsure in making decisions.
  • Feelings of inferiority, stupidity or clumsiness.
  • Inability to organise daily activities, particularly in allotting proper time.
  • Doing opposite of what was told.
  • Get drowsy, or tend to fall asleep while driving on a highway or open road.
  • Any many, many more. This is a multifaceted condition, which escapes detection many times because of its diverse symptomatology.

Unfortunately, until recently, Dyslexia was not recognised as a specific problem, but was labelled Minimal Brain Damage, Psychosis of one sort or another, Inferior Mentality, Dumb, Lazy, Inattentive, etc. Some ideas die slowly. The concept that the various problems found in our school systems and society in general, are indeed Dyslexia in origin, has been ignored in many educational, law enforcement and other circles. Parents were told by paediatricians and educators alike that nothing was wrong. “He’s just immature.” “She’s not trying hard enough.” “He’s not paying attention.”  Parents were confused, teachers were frustrated and the child was tormented by failure, isolation, and the knowledge of being different. Nowhere was any help available.

Eye-tracking problems were recognised, and eye exercises, and/or special lenses were tried. Equilibrium faults were recognised, and various drugs were used to suppress these symptoms, and hyperactivity and attention deficits. Co-ordination faults were noticed and special exercises were devised. Allergies were finally recognised as contributory factors, and modified diets have been prescribed. Special educational protocols have been instituted with very limited success, in most cases. Any gain was considered a major breakthrough, and was hailed as a ‘cure’. For some it seemed to be, but nothing to date has been of any meaningful or lasting benefit. As soon as the special activity or drug was stopped, the symptoms returned with a vengeance. The child or adult always had to modify or over-compensate his or her lifestyle, to accommodate the limits imposed by this disability.

The majority of the investigators have determined that this complex disability is a bewildering combination of disorganisation within the nervous system.

Neurological Kinesiology…A Neural Organisation Technique

Applied Kinesiology, a speciality within Chiropractic, was discovered, researched, and developed by Rd. George Goodheart, D.C. et al., since 1964. It specifically deals with the integration of the nervous system and the body functions. It is ideally suited to give the best answer to this perplexing problem. Researchers have taken a giant step beyond the medical and other professionals involved in this and other conditions (Scoliosis, T.M.J, etc).

In 1982, Dr. Carl Ferrari, D.C., in researching the Applied Kinesiology concepts in relation to the survival mechanisms of the human species, recognised the relationship between his Neural Organisation Techniques, and the symptomatology of Dyslexia and all learning disabilities. Combining the organizational effects of the centering and righting reflex systems of the Cloacal, Labyrinthine and Ocular reflex mechanisms; the specific cranial faults found in all dyslexics and learning disabled; and a unique eye muscle fault found only in Dyslexics and the learning disabled, has led to an astounding reversal of all the problems  found in the Dyslexic and learning disability condition (to further confound the experts, as early as the first or second treatment, patients often report selective results).

Of course, in most cases, a series of treatments is necessary to refine and stabilise the initial corrections. However, no one has to wait a long time to know that changes have been made, and normal function is being, or has been established. The number of treatments varies with the individual patient. It is important to note that this procedure is done by hand, and no drugs or other foreign substances are ever used.

Outlook And Follow-Up….What To Expect

Although in most cases, once the corrections are made and stabilised, further treatment is rarely necessary. There are things that may cause loss in stabilisation and return of some symptoms. Any condition which is accompanied by high fever may cause destabilisation, as may allergies which were not stabilised. Emotional and physical trauma, particularly head injuries, should always be a reason for a complete re-evaluation. It is also recommended that after the initial treatment protocol has been completed, the patient returns every month or two for the first year, to make sure that all procedures were completed. Another consideration is that research is on-going, and since the original protocol was devised, many refinements have been added in an effort to make this procedure as complete as possible for every nuance the patient may present.

Catch-Up…How You Can Help

Once the proper neurological and structural corrections are made, the patient is able to learn what he or she was not able to learn before. Therefore, ‘catch-up’ is the name of the game.  It seems that approximately 10 hours of activity (reading, writing, speaking, etc.) are necessary to “programme the computer” for each function.

Because disorganisation and easy distraction have been part of their problem, the patient does not know how to study and learn. Structured time for studying and learning must be provided by the parents, or set aside by the adult to learn. There is no radio, TV, eating, going to the bathroom, etc. JUST LEARNING TIME. The family must co-operate . Cross pattern exercises, either in place, or as a march-type activity (right arm-left leg, left arm-right leg) are extremely beneficial, and in the beginning should be done 20 minutes per day. Because diaphragm control is usually weak, blowing balloons is a good exercise. Buy 100 balloons, blow one up, then blow it up again until it breaks; do one a day for 100 days.

With some effort and proper treatment, dyslexia and learning disabilities are treatable.

The Cranial or Head Injury

The Cranial or Head Injury

The Problem:

You may have any number of chronic health, emotional or structural problems that could be the result of a cranial injury that has gone undetected. The injury to your skull may have occurred long ago or very recently, but the symptoms you are now experiencing have not been associated with it. Cranial or head injury is probably the single most undiagnosed, and therefore untreated physical problem on the face of this earth. That may sound like an overstatement of fact, but lets look at the record.

You hit, or were hit on the head. You were in an accident or fell and struck your head. Whatever the circumstances, the bruise or laceration healed and it was assumed that everything was then all right. But since then, has your overall function been as it was before? Think about it.

Except for the more severe head injuries, the obvious problems of cranial injury go undetected. There is little real information in the literature on the after-care of a head injured person, and almost no discussion on the lesser injuries. There are almost no examination procedures available to determine if a deficit exists in relation to the injury and there is no treatment protocol for resulting problems. You have to know there is a problem before you can treat the problem. With the exception of some Cranial Osteopaths and Cranial Chiropractors, no noe is even attempting correction of the many problems. The Cranial Injury Complex is essentially an unknown entity.

Some of the Known Facts…

When the skull is injured there may be – unconsciousness, disorientation, memory loss or lapses, confusion, motor dysfunction or disorganisation, alterations in speech patterns, the sense of taste or smell changed or lost, and disturbance of gait, balance, equilibrium, and postural functions. There may be mood and personality changes; concentration and decision-making may become difficult; the person is easily distracted, and time awareness is lost. The list could go on for pages. All these are known to be some of the results of injury to the skull, to a greater or lesser degree, when obvious damage has occurred.

In the book Total Recall by Joan Miniger, Ph.D., a report of a study done at the University of Virginia Medical Centre revealed some startling statistics. Of the 424 post-traumatic cranial injury patients released as neurologically normal, a survey indicated that within 3 months 79% had daily headaches, 54% suffered memory loss and 34% could no longer maintain their jobs.

The Lesser Injury

What about the average person with a lesser variety of injury? Most people hit their head on something or were hit on the head at least once in their lifetime. They did nothing about it because it wasn’t considered important at the time. If we “see it coming” so to speak, our defence system can be somewhat prepared to lesson the effect of the blow, and depending on the extent of the injury, may have no permanent effect on us. In more primitive times, this injury would most likely during a fight/flight situation. The ensuing physical activity would have probably cleared the circuits, and if no severe damage was done to the head, no residual effects would have prevailed. Today, this does not happen and the effects from these so-called minor injuries can imprint in the nervous system and go totally undetected. Any deficiency is usually attributed to something else, or accepted as a chronic condition one has to live with.

Cranial Bones Move

It is now accepted in many scientific circles that cranial bones move, in specific and synchronous respiratory motion. This movement is essential for the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid which nourishes and cushion the brain in the skull. It is also responsible for the balanced circulation of blood in the skull and the drainage of blood and lymph from the skull. Any disturbance to that rhythm can cause either neurological or physiological dysfunction. If the bones DO move – then they can be moved, either by a blow to the skull to DISRUPT the harmony, or a corrective force of a doctors hand to RESTORE the harmony. The fact is dramatically important in the understanding of and treatment of any cranial or skull injury.

The Defence System for Survival

We were created to survive in a primitive and hostile environment. When a dangerous situation or possible injury presents itself, the body’s reflex system must react to protect it from serious injury, if it can. The first order of business is to protect it from serious injury, if it can. The first order of business is to protect the central nervous system from damage and to hold the head on the body. The nervous system is what makes the body work, and in a sense is “us”.

The nervous system is encased in a movable body housing called the skull and spine. Being movable, this body protection mechanism is subject to damage or derangement.

The body has three primal defence systems designed to hold it together and to minimise damage as much as possible.

  1. The reactive muscle system of survival; this system in defence situations, is designed to hold the bones of the skull and spine together, and to literally hold the head on the body. The extensor muscle groups which are our fight/flight muscles – particularly those in the neck – contract to muscularly hold the head in place. If the rhythm of the cranial bones signal a dysfunction, this system remains in place until signalled otherwise. The combination of the labyrinthine and ocular righting reflex systems and the vestibulo-ocular righting reflex system, and their relation to the tonic neck righting reflex system, are the neurological mechanisms involved in this signalling phenomenon. This results in a chronic reactive muscle system imbalance if these reflex systems are not corrected and balanced. The first symptoms noticed are usually chronic posterior neck tension. This causes headaches, eye and special senses problems and chronic weakness of the flexor muscle groups including the anterior support muscles of the neck and abdomen. If a muscle is in a chronic hypertensive state, it cannot rest properly and fatigues easily on stress. The support muscles of the spine, both internal and external, are extensor in nature. If they are compromised by hypertension we lose the stability of the spine on activity.
  2. (a) The defence system of the TMJ – the muscles of mastication (chewing) particularly the masseter muscles in this case, lock the jaw externally to prevent dislocation if struck. The temporalis muscle contraction holds the side joints (sutures) of the skull together. The buccinator muscles tighten over the teeth for protection. Both sets of the pterygoid (internal muscles) are activated to lock the jaw on the inside and to stabilise the sphenoid (centre bone of the skull) on the inside. This muscle action mechanically stabilises and holds the skull together if stuck. The pulling action of the pterygoid muscles flexes the bone causing an increase of tension of the stabilisation to this most vital organ and a resilient wall to facial and dental pains, scalp and head pains, ringing in the ears, dizziness or loss of equilibrium, and a host of other symptoms may be present.

(b) The contraction of the ptygeroid muscles activates the coccyxegeal group muscles on the outer end of the spine. These muscles contract pulling the sacrum and coccyx forward. This action, because of the way the dura is attached, increases the tension of the spinal dura (covering the cord) which stabilised the cord in the canal, pulls the spine together for structural integrity, and again because of the way the dura attaches, holds the head to the body and specifically stabilises the upper neck (cervical) bones. This is the Dural Defence System.

(c) The Facial Defence System…When danger is imminent the muscles of the skin and body fascia contract to hold the body and the joints together, restrict peripheral blood flow, and hold the head on the body. If this system is not released, circulation, joint problems and endocrine problems may ensue. If the defence system is not neutralised because of the continued cranial distress signals – bowel, digestive and sexual problems will become chronic health problems which no one will place in proper perspective.

Successful Treatment

The cranial injury disrupts the synchronous motion of the cranial function, activating the reactive muscle and the dural and facial defence systems to protect the body. The motion and balance of the cranial bones and the balance of the reactive muscle system is restored through proper treatment of the labyrinthine and ocular righting reflex systems of the skull itself, along with the neck righting reflex system which will stabilise the head on the neck.

The muscles of the Temporo-Mandibular System and their reactive Coccygeal Muscle system, if treated properly, will release the dural tension.

The fascia at the base of the skull, if reset and stretched, will release the fascial and skin reflex.

This treatment protocol, researched at the Ferrai Institute, will clear the defence system and restore the structural and functional integrity of the skull, neck, spine and pelvis. With the correction of the confusing signalling from these structural and functional problems, neurological integrity can be restored and most if not all of the chronic problems related to cranial injury can be eliminated. This is particularly true of the subtle head injury, which for the most part is unrecognised and therefore untreated. If there is profound head injury without brain damage, the process is slower but most function will eventually be restored. In the case of brain damage, there are additional cranial and other protocols which can be employed to enhance and/or restore normal neural function.