New light on learning and behavioural difficulties promises lasting and non-invasive treatment; Lisa Salmon discovers a new approach to children with learning difficulties suchas dyslexia and behaviour problems.
Childhood learning difficulty disorders including dyslexia and ADHD do not exist, according to a controversial new book.
In the groundbreaking work Is That My Child?, Dr Robin Pauc claims that dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, childhood Tourette's syndrome, ADD and OCD are in fact part of one syndrome, which he has named Developmental Delay Syndrome (DDS).
But far from undermining the plight of the one in five British children who have learning difficulties, Pauc's work gives them and their parents fresh hope - for his research shows that a special diet and brain-stimulating exercise programme can treat them.
Pauc, a functional neurologist based at Tinsley House Clinic in Hampshire, says: "Dyslexia, ADHD etc do not exist as conditions - they are just symptoms, and symptoms which always appear together."
The symptoms come from a specific part of the brain, and are caused because nerve cells which should develop there when a baby is four months old have failed to do so, he believes.
The reasons for this brain immaturity may be linked to a genetic predisposition - if there is a history of any type of developmental delay on the father's side, there is at least a 70 per cent chance of his children developing a delay syndrome, and at least a 30 per cent chance if there's a developmental delay history on the mother's side.
Pauc says that birth trauma such as an emergency caesarian, ventouse or forceps delivery, may also be linked to DDS.
But the reality is that if the cause is genetic or due to birth trauma, there's no avoiding it. Instead, what parents of children with DDS can do, says Pauc, is easily treat the syndrome.
"The most exciting part of all this new light on learning and behavioural difficulties is that we offer an effective, lasting and non-invasive treatment."
The treatment is offered at Tinsley House Clinic and a number of other clinics around the country, as well as being detailed in his book.
Exercises include the child walking up and down three stairs, with their hands by their side, head in a neutral position and eyes closed, or cleaning their teeth standing on the left leg and using the left hand.
There are also computer-generated exercises, specifically designed to target the child's eye control.
The nutrition side of the programme includes avoiding E-numbers and artificial sweeteners, reducing carbohydrates and taking Omega 3 and 6 oils.
Pauc says the resulting improvements, which can start within four to six weeks, include better eye movements, improved concentration and reading and writing ages, and a huge reduction in silly behaviour. Schools notice a "remarkable difference", he says.
As well as hoping parents will try the programme with their children, Pauc also hopes that geneticists will start looking in a different area, for the genes that control the development of new brain cells when a baby is four months old.
He says: "I try to be modest, but this is probably the biggest breakthrough in neuroscience this decade."
Is That My Child? by Dr Robin Pauc is published by Virgin Books, pounds 10.99.
For more information about Dr Pauc, visit www.tinsleyhouseclinic.com
One in five British children have some form of learning difficulty which can leave them on the outside if not handled properly
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|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Apr 22, 2006|
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