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.
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 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, 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.
DEVELOPMENTAL LANGUAGE DISORDER AND THE LEVEL OF PERSISTENT PRIMITIVE REFLEXES IN YOUNG CHILDREN
Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) 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 DLD children compare to typical development (TD) children. The conclusion was that persistence of primitive reflexes is an important factor of DLD. Children with impaired speech and language development tend to undergo a slower development of the nervous system.
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 Buey 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.
Ivan worked as a physician at a paediatric clinic. He completed a postgraduate training course on neurodevelopmental delay at the Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology, Chester, UK. He is also a founder of and an advisor to a private Montessori kindergarten and primary school in Bratislava. He used to be a member of the Executive Committee of Montessori Europe. He also worked as the general director of the Centre for Labour, Social Affairs, and the Family, and he was an external advisor to two ministers of education. Since 1990 he has founded and managed a number of companies in various industries (such as in medicine, chemistry, goods distribution, and services). Presently he works as a chief scientific officer at Lambda Life, a.s., and he is an active member of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Sociotherapy as well as a facilitator of encounter groups and of family system harmonization. He is the expert sponsor of the INPP method for the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. He gives talks on neurophysiology, various fields of medicine, education, inclusion, and personal development.
Human Biology vs. Technology (Impact of the digital age)
Human learning is a lifelong process. It happens in parallel with human development. It is a result of developmental processes in the functioning organism and its nervous system, including the brain. Recent findings suggest that the development of the nervous system, and especially the brain, is also a lifelong process. It is the basis of human adaptation. These processes are affected by the environment and our lifestyle. Neurophysiological and neuropsychological research suggests that technological progress often has a negative, sometimes even destructive, effect on various functions of our organism and consequently on the society at large. This is mainly due to the discrepancy between the the pace of technological progress and the phylogenetic adaptation of living organisms. We are going to discuss various aspects of this issue and try to explain why and how technology sometimes harms human biology.
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 is a licensed INPP specialist. As a former teacher, she was motivated to find out the causes behind learning disorders. She completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Malaga and at the International University of La Rioja in applied cognitive sciences, paediatric clinical neuropsychology, and neuropsychology and education. At one London school, she discovered an INPP school intervention programme and saw its effects. She was later approached by the headmaster of the Montessori International School in Malaga. Since then, Beatriz has been running an INPP school intervention programme with the school's students. In addition, she also works on reflex inhibition in her own Neuroaprende practice. At the University of Malaga, she studies how reflexes affect children's learning processes.
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.
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.
In her private counselling center for speech therapy, developmental therapy, and psychotherapy in Buchholz in der Nordheide, Sigrid works with people of all ages. Clients come to see her with a wide variety of disorders. After completing a further education course with Thake Hansen-Lauff, aspects of neurophysiological development became an indispensable part of her holistically-oriented diagnosis and therapy. This allowed her to expand and improve her existing therapeutic concepts. She is a speech therapy teacher and psychologist specializing in test design and basic research. In her papers and lectures she covers various aspects of child development.
The diagnosis of persisting primitive reflexes in the framework of holistically orientated speech therapy – four case studies
It is usually children or adolescents who come to specialized practices for the treatment of persistent primitive neonatal reflexes. In psychotherapy, speech therapy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy, the situation is different. The primary reasons the clients seek therapeutic help is not the persistence of their primitive neonatal reflexes. Nonetheless, as part of holistic diagnostics it is often detected that these remnants from early childhood are still present and are often a part of existing problems. Together, they form a complex of disorders that are difficult to recognize. If we consider what we know about the nature of neonatal reflexes, we can realize that this is more than just another partial aspect. These disorders from the early stages of life have a lifelong impact on overall development and can have extremely serious consequences.
The fact is that we cannot simply disregard problems that result from persistent neonatal reflex reactions in therapy, and this is for much more than just ethical reasons. The consequences of such disorders are often so interwoven with the core of the problem that, if they are ignored, we run the risk of encouraging the development of various forms of compensation.
This issue affects the very principles of therapeutic work in terms of content and the professional aspect. There are two possible ways to approach this: by involving a specialist in addition to ongoing therapy, or by involving therapists with additional skills in this area. To see how this can affect the structure of speech therapy diagnostics, we will present four case studies. In these studies, the holistic speech therapy included the remnants of persistent primitive reflex responses. Such a holistic approach is the best basis for considering these responses in diagnostics and therapy.