|The Australian Institute teaches parents how to enhance their
child's development through home-based programs. After an initial
assessment, parents are given a program to be carried out at
home, with the assistance of family, friends and volunteers.
The program involves working with the child for anywhere from
one to four hours per day (depending on the family's ability
to do so). The specialised techniques that parents practice
target physical, spatial, tactile, auditory, visual and intellectual
Therapy through Neurological Stimulation
To many parents, the terms Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome,
autistic, mentally retarded, coma-accident, stroke victims,
hyperactive, dislexic, epileptic, ADD, ADHD, poorly coordinated
and traumatically brain injured, along with a host of others,
are simply terms that have little meaning, except as labels,
marking their child as being 'different'. The real problem
behind the many confusing labels is that the child has a brain-injury.
Although the child may look forward to a reasonable life span,
the parents are usually told not to expect any real improvement
and to accept them the way they are.
The Institute, having spent 30 years working with brain-injured
children, believes that it is possible to improve a child's
performance, despite his or her often severe brain injury.
As the brain itself, that most complex of all human organs,
is never fully utilised in any human being, it is often possible
to stimulate dormant cells to create or re-create function.
Based on the Doman-Delacato theories and with some new inclusions,
the Australian Institute has created a therapy to encourage
brain development, increasing the frequency, the intensity
and duration of stimuli through the five senses: sight, hearing,
touch, taste and smell. No child is ever refused help because
of the severity of his or her problem, unless the child has
an ongoing pathological condition.
Every child who follows the program is carefully assessed
on his or her ability to see, hear, feel, move, communicate
and use his or her hands, compared with a normal child of
the same age. Wherever an absence of function is discovered,
or the child has not reached the level of skills of his or
her peer group, special techniques are included in the program
to create or strengthen this ability. As every child is different,
every program has to be tailored individually, and the various
techniques differ from one child to another.
There is often concern from parents about the amount of time
required to carry out therapy programs based on the Doman-Delacato
methods. The Institute has developed ways to incorporate the
therapy into a family's life to whatever level they wish.
This allows families to tailor the program around their lives
and needs. This could be as little as one hour per day spent
doing therapy, or up to four or five hours per day, if the
parents wish and the child permits.
The programs developed by the Institute and by Keith Pennock's
staff at the Brain-Net Institute (Britain) are designed to
be carried out by the parents of the children and supported
by volunteer helpers and friends.