Watching a child struggle in school because of a reading disorder, Dyslexia or another learning disability can be frustrating for a parent. Parents want the best for their child and most will do whatever it takes to help them overcome their struggles so they can succeed. The majority of these children have individualized educational plans in place at school as well as special academic tutoring to help them.
When the extra help at school and tutoring does not produce the improvement desired most students and parents become frustrated because they feel they have exhausted all approaches to improve the situation.
I can tell you there is hope. There are brain based and ocular-motor strategies that have been highly successful in improving the underlying neurological problems causing these issues.
Hello my name is Dr. Joseph Childs and I am a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist. I am fellowship trained in Functional Neurology and Childhood Neuro-Developmental disorders. I have been practicing in Chester County since 1999. Based on my extensive knowledge of Functional Neurology, I use a different approach in addressing the underlying neurologic and metabolic components of these neurodevelopmental disorders that affect reading and learning.
We combine the following therapies to help children with these academic concerns:
- Brain hemisphere therapeutic exercises or stimulations to improve the function of the weak side of the brain, which in reading disorders and dyslexia is most commonly the left side.
- Ocular-motor retraining exercises to improve eye movements essential for reading
- Cerebellar and vestibular therapies to improve the motor control used for the articulation of speech as well as phonological processing
- Metabolic and nutritional care to improve brain health and development
- Interactive Metronome to improve cognitive and motor skills
Recent research has shown that the underlying neurological issue occurring in these problems is an imbalance of electrical activity between areas of the brain. For many years neuroscience researchers and clinicians have understood that for a brain to function as a whole there needs to be balanced development and function of the two hemispheres. When the two sides of the brain are balanced they can communicate and connect electrically with one another. This under-connectivity between the left and right hemisphere causes one side of the brain to be out of sync with the other side. This imbalance is known as a Functional Disconnection Syndrome and is caused when one side of the brain develops slower than the other.
A functional disconnection syndrome will create unevenness in academic ability commonly seen in dyslexia and reading disorders. The side of the brain that is usually underdeveloped in these cases is the left side.
Some of the functions of the left brain are small detailed thinking, verbal communication, small muscle control, word reading, receiving auditory input, linear and logical thinking and processing information.
When this side of the brain is weak a child can be slow to start speaking, have poor language skills, problems with reading, problems with spelling, problems with identifying sounds of letters and trouble with handwriting.
To understand more about how the brain functions and how a functional disconnection syndrome may be affecting your child, I recommend reading the information on this website and watching the videos. They will be eye opening and potentially life changing for your child or teenager.
We also look very closely at the quality of your child's eye movements. Evidence now exists that links dysfunction in eye movement with dyslexia and reading disorders such as difficulty with visual search, skipping letters in words, changing initial and middle letters of words and losing place while reading.
It is essential to diagnose eye movement abnormalities in children with reading disorders, particularly if they are not progressing in school with the typical extra reading instruction and tutoring.
At our office we use advanced computerized neurological testing such as video nystagmography and saccadometry to evaluate the specific eye movements that may be affecting your child's ability to read and learn. See the section called Advanced Neurological Testing to learn more.
We evaluate saccades (the fast eye movements used to move the eyes from word to word while reading), pursuits (smooth tracking), convergence and gaze stability or binocular fixation. All these eye movements have been shown to be faulty in children with learning and reading disorders
We also use cerebellar and vestibular exercises in our program. The cerebellar theory is considered one of the three main theories of what causes dyslexia. This is based largely on the association of dyslexia with lack of balance, coordination, and time estimation as well as the cerebellum's role in controlling and modulating concentration, cognition, communication skills and sensory processing. We use specific vestibular and cerebellar therapies and exercises based on abnormalities discovered in our neurological examination.
We also use Interactive Metronome (IM) which is an evidence-based and engaging computer based therapeutic modality that improves cognitive and motor skills. See the interactive metronome link:
We also do COMPLETE AND THOROUGH METABOLIC TESTING to support nutritional care:
For example has your doctor specifically checked your child for:
- Low blood sugar?
- Food sensitivities
- Leaky gut?
- Vitamin or fatty acid deficiencies?
- Intestinal infections and dysbiosis (abnormal levels of beneficial healthy gut bacteria)
These all can have a big effect on brain inflammation which then affects development and function.
The most important thing you need to know is there is a healthy neurologic approach to stimulate and improve the development of the deficient brain areas to help kids with these issues.
You can learn more about this right here. This website has been designed to educate you and give you hope that there is a better way to help your child or teenager!
You will be amazed to learn that there are MANY different neurological tests and metabolic tests that can be analyzed in order to determine exactly how your child's brain and body are functioning. Watch the video on this site and read about our unique approach to learn more about this.
You will find out that we do COMPLETE NEUROLOGIC TESTING to determine what side of your child's brain is underdeveloped as well as what areas need to be stimulated
Please watch our video and read the section called our unique solution to learn more. The Dyslexia and Reading Disorders video on this site will explain our drug-free approach in detail.
If after reading the information on the site and watching my video you have questions about our program, or your individual child please set up a free consultation with me by filling out the box on this site. I would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
If you are ready to finally see if your child can be helped right away call our office at 610-518-3370 so we can schedule a free consultation.
Joseph Childs DC, DACNB
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Corrective Chiropractic Neurology & Functional Medicine Center