Norman Doidge

Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, on faculty at the University of Toronto. His book, The Brain That Changes Itself, was described by neurologist Oliver Sacks as “Fascinating...a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.” The London Times has written, “Brilliant...Doidge has identified a tidal shift in basic science...the implications are monumental.” It was chosen by the Dana Brain Foundation USA’s journal, Cerebrum, from the 30,000 books written on the brain, as the best general book on the brain. Both it, and his second book, The Brain’s Way of Healing, are international and New York Times bestsellers. See: normandoidge.com.

The Brain’s Way of Healing

The discovery of neuroplasticity—that thought and mental experience can change brain structure and function—is the most important change in our understanding of the brain in 400 years.

For centuries the brain has been seen either as a kind of machine that, when damaged, cannot “grow new parts” or more recently, as having evolved to become so specialized in order to produce consciousness, that it lost the ability that other organs have, such as skin, bone, blood and liver, to heal. This gave rise to a neurological nihilism about many brain or psychiatric conditions.

This lecture will explain the basics of neuroplasticity, illustrate core experiments that originally demonstrated it, and discuss the three factors that enable progress in many conditions generally thought, until now, to be beyond help. It will show that the brain has its own unique way of healing, which is different from that of other organs, and review the five stages of the brain’s way of healing.  These stages are: correcting general neuronal and cellular health, neurostimulation, neuromodulation, neurorelaxation, and neurodifferentiation.

A number of inspiring films will be shown illustrating how the five stages, all of which are non-invasive, can be used to help people with what were thought to be incurable conditions. We will explore the range of conditions that can be helped, including forms of chronic pain, learning disorders, ADHD, autism, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and time permitting, movement disorders.

Sally Goddard Blythe

Sally Goddard Blythe MSc. is Director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology. She is the author of 8 books and has been instrumental in carrying out research and post graduate training in the INPP method to 14 other countries. She is also the author of books and papers on child development and neuro-developmental factors in specific learning difficulties, as: Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning; The INPP Developmental Screening Test and School Intervention Programme and Neuromotor Immaturity in Children and Adults; The INPP Screening Test for Clinicians and Health Practitioners. Sally has lectured on the role of infant reflexes in development and learning problems throughout Europe and in the United States.

Learning to Move; Moving to Learn. How physical development lays the foundations for learning.

Primitive and postural reflexes at key stages development provide indicators of maturity in development and functioning of the central nervous system (CNS).  The INPP method uses the presence of primitive and postural reflexes in school aged children and adults as tools with which to: a) assess functioning of the CNS; b) provide indicators as to the developmental level from which remediation intervention is started; c) measure progress.

Use of the INPP Screening Test in schools has revealed immature reflexes are not confined to neurological impairment but are present to a lesser degree in a percentage of the general population of school children in the United Kingdom, and that there is a correlation between immature motor skills and lower educational performance.

Introduction of the INPP school program showed that neuroplasticity enables physical intervention regimes to affect more than simply physical skills as statistically significant reduction in signs of neuromotor immaturity were accompanied by reduction in poverty related levels of dysfunction.

Sally will also provide a rationale as to why, if issues related to neuromotor immaturity are not identified in childhood they can lead to problems in adult life including agoraphobia and panic disorder.

Manuel Dominguez Alcon

Manolo runs his private Istituto Fay Onlus rehabilitation center in Quercy, Lucca Province, Italy, where he works as a therapist for neuro-developmental delay. He practices INPP therapy as well as Johansen Auditory Stimulation (JIAS) and is the national principal for both of these methods in Italy. Manuel and his team deal with the following areas: treatment of autism and pervasive developmental disorders, cerebral palsy, genetic syndromes, learning difficulties. They also provide courses for family members of persons with developmental disabilities, service providers and volunteers taking care of them. They develop a comprehensive development counselling and learning disability counselling programme for their clients.

Can we understand neurodevelopment as a continuum? Experiences about the role of an immature reflex system in severe neurodevelopmental disorders.

In our Institute we have been working for the last 20 years in the evaluation and use of neurodevelopmental programs in kids with severe neurodevelopmental diseases (cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and genetic conditions such as down syndrome). We will show our experiences directly from clinical practise and observation, and with the help of three pilot studies, we will present data about different group diagnosis related to the INPP Questionnaire and the assessment of primitive and postural reflexes. Our aim is to observe the incidence of neuro-motor immaturity in complex neurodevelopmental diseases, in order to better understand how to assess and improve their presenting symptoms. 

Roksana Malak

Her passion is the therapy of children with developmental delay. She is an author of many articles. She is a physiotherapist and osteopath in early intervention and scientist at the Poznan University of Medical Science Poland. She completed courses: Brazelton's Neonatal Behaviour Assessment Scale, Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale, Cambridge; NDT Bobath; Bobath Baby, General Movements (basic, advanced); Sensory Integration, FITS, PNF, Halliwick. She is one of the six member of the National Team of Experts on Quality and Monitoring of the Physiotherapy Process at the National Chamber of Physiotherapists.

The role of Tomatis therapy as a component of the treatment in children with developmental disorders

Children with developmental disorders need complex therapy. Music may be used as therapeutic interventions. Tomatis method is used in the treatment of children with developmental delays, brain injury, multiple sensory system dysfunctions. The study has confirmed, that Tomatis therapy can affect developmental reading skills. 

Susanne Codoni

Susanne has a degree as Teacher for special education, hard hearing and deaf children and Speech therapy. She is certified specialist in Craniosacral therapy, Myofascial release and several interdisciplinary approaches. She is a certified NLP-trainer, trainer for dysfunctional therapy, senior consultant clinic for cranio-maxillo-facial surgery and has developed k-o-s-t concept. Susanne, as Honorary doctor of medicine at the Medical faculty of University of Basel, teaches a MAS Course Craniofacial Kinetic Science. She works for years with mentally and motor handicapped children and adults with dysfunction and face malformations face after accident, trauma or disease.

The Concept of the Body orientated Speech Therapy (k-o-s-t)

Language and Speech disorders with functional components are very common and numerous in the daily work of a Speech pathologist. They often ask a multi purposed approach. The majority of these speech-handicapped patients show dysfunction in the orofacial System as well as other functional problems in their body.  Muscle dysfunction in the face, bad body posture, delay in the psychomotoric development, poor perception, fluctuation in concentration and learning deficits go hand to hand and vice versa.

k-o-s-t® is a pragmatic and active concept based on many years of practical experience and development, and it is also based on multidisciplinary school and medical diagnosis. It is guided by considering the well-being and functional process of the whole body, the compliance and creative dialogue between the client and his surroundings.

Maria Matuszkiewicz

Maria Matuszkiewicz, MA, is a PhD student at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw (Poland), a psychologist, and speech therapist, INPP and SI neurodevelopmental therapist, Johansen IAS hearing therapist, EMDR therapist. The principal of INPP Poland, where she is responsible, among others, for conducting the INPP one year course for therapists. Member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Her main research and therapeutic interests are the relationship between neuromotor immaturity and impaired speech development and anxiety.

Specific language impairment and the level of persistent primitive reflexes in young children

Specific language impairment (SLI) is observed in children who – for no specific reason and without any serious cognitive, auditory, environmental or neurological deficits – develop their language skills in an inappropriate way. The aim of research was to determine if the level of uninhibited primitive reflexes is increased in the group of SLI children compare to typical development (TD) children.  The conclusion was that persistence of primitive reflexes is an important factor of SLI. Children with impaired speech and language development tend to undergo a slower development of the nervous system. 

Ted Pawloff

Ted Pawloff investigated a variety of spiritual paths as a young man. He lived in the UK from age 14, where he later founded a successful business. Aged 45, he obtained a degree in Psychology, being drawn to the neuropsychology of emotion, embodiment and consciousness. For many years, he also ran workshops and taught voicework. He trained in Neurodevelopmental Delay Therapy with Peter Blythe. He has been practicing in Austria, his home of 20 years, frequently working with adults. He also works as a psychotherapist and trained in Imago Couples Therapy. His interest in embodiment led him to become an Alexander Teacher and TRE (Trauma Releasing Exercises) provider.

Key factors in supporting adult clients through their neurodevelopmental change process

Starting with the effects of retained withdrawal and/or Moro reflexes, we will consider some maps and models which will help us understand their long-term impact on adult clients. These include Attachment Theory, the Polyvagal Theory and Psychodynamic development theory.

The consequences of neuromotor immaturity may have a pervasive negative influence on adult clients’ life. Attachment Theory, Polyvagal Theory and Psychodynamic development theory explain in detail how their self-experience, their experience of social interactions and their perception of the world are affected. In this way, we can make sense of the variety and depth of presenting problems. These include recurring and/or pervasive negative feeling states ranging from depression to unmanageable aggression, poor self-esteem, maladaptive behaviours disrupting both personal relationships and career as well as ill-health and reduced longevity resulting from long-term stress.

We will look at examples of how these models provide practical guidance in the therapeutic relationship. This will illuminate the crucial role of the therapist: his core function is to facilitate a safe relationship. This enables the client to open step by step and to understand himself and her struggles in a deep and compassionate way.

When states of safety and well-being recur with increasing reliability, the adult client progressively engages the world around himself with positive feelings and acceptance. As his new understanding transforms his view of himself and his world, it becomes internalised and begins to shine out of him towards others.

Marina de Santiago Buey

Marina de Santiago has a degree in Speech Therapy, continuing her studies in further research on the neurological basis of learning, reading and behavioural problems. In her work, she became familiar with the special needs of adopted children, which seem different from those of other children. Due to the knowledge she acquired in the INPP training, she was able to understand some of these difficulties and how they were caused. Motivated by the difficulties encountered, she decided to deepen her knowledge on the electrical functioning of the brain, especially interested in the QEEG as a measure of normal or pathological functioning of the brain and on Neurofeedback as a therapeutic tool.

The complicated symptomatology of adopted children. The value of QEEG as a complementary tool to develop a treatment profile combining INPP and Neurofeedback (Biofeedback).

Because of the great deficiencies that adopted and institutionalised children have suffered in their childhood, we find, among this population, individuals who present very important problems not usually found in other groups. Recent studies show that prevalence of ADHD, learning problems and psychiatric disorders is much higher among this group. 

Therapists who work with these children implementing the INPP therapy face some additional difficulties such as: the enormous possibility of causing side effects at the beginning of the treatment: challenging, irritable and sometimes even aggressive personalities, as well as symptoms such as hyperkinesia or impulsivity that do not seem to evolve positively with treatment. 

The QEEG or Brain Mapping is a non-invasive technique that allows therapists to examine brain activity by measuring the electrical activity of each area of the brain and comparing it with a normative database according to age and sex. This test allows to start investigation on the reason why these added difficulties occur in adopted children population. Neurofeedback as an effective technique to modulate this brain activity in combination with the INPP therapy can help in the process of overcoming these difficulties. 

MUDr. Ivan Juráš

Ivan Juráš, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, worked at pediatric clinic in Bratislava, completed The Postgradual training course on neurodevelopmental delay in The Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP) International, Chester, UK. Founder and advisor of Maria Montessori's Private Elementary School with Kindergarten in Bratislava. Former member of the executive board and vicepresident of Montessori Europe. Served as director general of Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family and external advisor of Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic for preparation of National program for the development of education and training. Co-author of reform document "Učiace sa Slovensko" (Learning Slovakia) and Founder and manager of several commercial and service companies in fields of medicine, chemistry, medical research and goods distribution. Recently working as chief operational officer and chief scientific officer in Lambda Life, Bratislava, active member of NGOs "Institute of Psychotherapy and Sociotherapy". Acting as person centered approach (PCA) encounter groups facilitator and facilitator of family systems harmonisation, professional guarantor for INPP method of the INPP national principal for Slovak and Czech Republics. Lecturing on neurophysiology, different fields of medicine, education, inclusion and personal development.

Human Biology vs. Technology  (Impact of the digital age) 

Mgr. et Mgr. Viera Lutherová

Psychologist and teacher that has long term experience of work with children with special needs. She works in private praxis. She is INPP practitioner and also a coordinator for INPP method in Slovakia. She uses also methods of Bilateral Integration, HANDLE and auditive stimulation (JIAS and Tomatis). She specializes on individual neurodevelopmental therapy for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, mental and school problems. She lectures programs for helping professions, regularly publishes articles for professionals from various fields. She is a member of Institute of Psychotherapy and Sociotherapy.

Connection between physical activity, cognitive functions and academic performance

Humankind has dramatically reduced the amount of physical activity and expenditure of energy needed for survival under influence of civilization achievement. The development of digital technologies has accelerated this trend in last decades. At the same time we have been witnessing growth of developmental disorders related to poor school performance in last 20 years. The growing number of studies refer that physical activity and fitness abilities correlate with the quality of academic performance in all age categories. Experimental studies suggest, that increasing physical activity in daily routine positively influences the quality of attention, academic performance and reduces the behavioural problems in all school age categories. This effect is stronger on school children with school related problems. There is a body sitting at school and at work not the brain itself. Through body we perceive all the information, through physical movement the neuronal networks processing them are built and through body we carry out (implement) the obtained knowledge. The body is not the rail for the head, but the strong tool for cognitive development.  

Beatriz Aguilar Guerrero

Beatriz Aguilar-Guerrero, INPP Licensed, is a Teacher that soon discovered her motivation: finding out the obstacles that could be blocking her pupil´s learning. With this purpose, she studied a Máster in Neuropsychology and Education where she discovers the importance of primitive reflexes for the learning process in children. In 2011, she discovers the INPP and their School Program in a London school. Back to her city, the International Montessori School director, ask her about working on the INPP school program. Nowadays she is working with reflexes inhibition in her own center, Neuroaprende, and investigating how reflexes affect children learning process.

INPP School Program applied to a International Montessori School in Málaga

International Montessori School in Málaga works on their student’s education as a natural process based on the natural and spontaneous development of the child, taking advantage of the experience provided by the environment. Children learns freely, being respectful with their internal development, surrounded by an organized classroom where children find their own motivation to organize their own learning and show their capacities.

In this context, we have introduced the INPP School Program to see if we can help Montessori student to develop better their learning capacities. The program was developed from 30th October 2017 to 14th June 2019, eighty-five students accepted to participate in the program, 44 boys and 41 girls from 4 to 11 years old.

We had expected to observe an evident presence of primitive reflexes in the pre-program evaluation, both in the investigation group and the control group. We also had expected to see how primitive reflexes had improved at the end of the program as well as neuromotor capacities, and if the children had improved their learning capacities in opinion of their teachers and parents.

The results had manifested that both groups had a significant improvement in general, but the investigation group had a significantly higher mean level than the control Group.

Tatjana Hošková

She graduated on the Fachhochschule für Optik und Optometrie in Cologne, Germany, with a degree in optometry. She passed the behavioural optometry tests at the WVAO (Scientific Association of Opticians and Optometrists). She had her own practice in Germany and since 2012 she has also worked in the Optics Fokus in Bratislava, where she performs visual training. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Optical Union in Slovakia and teaches the study field Optician on Secondary Health School in Bratislava.

Functional optometry – a dynamic vision process

Functional (or behavioural) optometry deals with functional disorders of the visual system, ie. not only the vision itself, but also the overall perception in response to the surroundings. The lecture will provide an introduction to various visual disorders and developmental defects in childhood, their identification and proposed therapy and interdisciplinary care.