Published on February 20, 2014
The Institutes is a group of nonprofit institutes founded by Glenn Doman in 1955. The Institutes is internationally known for its pioneering work in child brain development and for its programs to help brain-injured children achieve wellness and well children achieve excellence.
Historically, children diagnosed with developmental delay, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, learning problems, dyslexia and a host of other symptomatic diagnoses have been considered hopeless. • Thousands of parents have come to The Institutes to learn how to help their children at home. Those parents have proven beyond any doubt that brain-injured children are not hopeless, but instead have tremendous potential. The Institutes exists to insure that all brain-injured children have a fighting chance to be well. Glenn Doman, Founder 2
The objective of The Institutes is to take brain-injured children, however severely hurt, and help them to achieve normality physically, intellectually, physiologically, and socially. The Institutes serves children from all over the world. • The majority of children achieve one of these goals, and many children achieve two of these goals. Some children achieve all of these goals, and some children achieve none of these goals. 3
Evaluation • When The Institutes began there was no reliable evaluation procedure for hurt children. Glenn Doman and the staff developed the first reliable set of procedures to evaluate children with neurological problems. The Institutes Developmental Profile measures the growth and development of the brain. This Profile allows us to evaluate a child and make an exact comparison between the hurt child and his well peers. This provides an accurate rate of growth for the child and establishes a baseline against which each child can be evaluated to determine his progress. Each time a child returns to The Institutes, a new Developmental Profile is done and a new program is created based upon that Profile. 4
Treatment • When The Institutes began more than half a century ago there was no effective treatment for children with neurological problems. Instead hurt children were often medicated, warehoused, and forgotten. Glenn Doman and his early team wanted to give every child a chance to be well no matter how severely injured a child might be. After each child was carefully evaluated and a functional diagnosis was made, the staff designed an individual program that would provide the appropriate sensory stimulation and to give the maximum motor opportunity to use the new information so gained. 5
Fifty years ago each child lived at The Institutes and did the program there, but the staff quickly realized that parents could be taught how to do each part of the program. This permitted the child to remain at home. Today all our children do their program at home and return to The Institutes periodically to be reevaluated and to receive a new program. The program is designed to treat the brain injury, not the symptoms of the injury. Treating the brain is effective - treating the symptoms simply does not work. 6
About Brain Injury • When the brain is injured the child will either have a problem with the incoming sensory pathways or the outgoing motor pathways or both. When a child cannot see, hear or feel properly he cannot respond to the world around him appropriately. This may be a severe problem, as it is with the child who is functionally blind, deaf, insensate, paralyzed and speechless. This may be a moderate problem, as it is with a child who can not use both eyes together properly, lacks the fine tuning to handle the common sounds in the environment or is too sensitive or not sensitive enough to touch and may not yet be able to move or talk or use his hands at age level. This may be a mild problem, as it is with a child who cannot read, write or do math at age level and who may lack the balance, coordination, language and manual competence of his peers. 7
About the Brain • For too long brain growth was thought to be a static and irrevocable fact. Instead brain growth and development are a dynamic and ever-changing process. This is a process that can be stopped, as it is in profound brain injury. This is a process that can be slowed, as it is in moderate brain injury but most significantly this is a process that can bespeeded. 8
• All that we do to speed the process is to provide visual, auditory and tactile stimulation with increased frequency, intensity and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the human brain grows. We then arrange for the child to have the maximum opportunity in an ideal environment to use and develop the motor pathways. For more than a half a century, the heart of The Institutes program has been based upon the fact that the brain grows by use. Scientists now recognize the plasticity of the human brain and new research in neuroplasticity confirms that the brain is incredibly capable of recovery and rehabilitation. The old notion that once the brain is injured there is no means of recovery has been discarded. 9
• Unfortunately there are many ways that a good brain can get hurt. We see the child who is hurt in utero because of some injury or illness that mother may have experienced as the baby was developing (trauma, Rh incompatibility, German measles, hydrocephaly, drugs, alcohol). Sometimes mother is aware of an injury or illness but often problems may occur in the first nine months that are not apparent to mother or her physician (hydrocephaly, oxygen deprivation). Sometimes an injury may occur immediately before delivery (premature, postmature), during delivery (compression of the umbilical cord, placenta previa, placenta abruptia, prolonged, precipitous, or delayed, C-section), or right after the delivery (respiratory distress, jaundice, seizures, cardiac arrest, stroke) of the baby. 10
Some children may have an illness that injures the brain. • (encephalitis, meningitis, Lyme disease, chicken pox, measles), surgical complications (cardiac arrest, oxygen deprivation, blood loss, septic shock), reaction to medication (antibiotics, vaccines, anticonvulsants, aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents) or a head-injury (falls, car accidents, sports concussions, near drownings, gun shots, explosions), or an adult illness (stroke, Parkinson’s disease) 11
Some genetic problems cause injury to the brain • (Down syndrome, Angleman syndrome, Cri de Chat, WolfHirchhorn, Miller-Dieker syndrome, Pallister-Killian syndrome, Dandy-Walker syndrome, etc). The Institutes does not treat genetic problems, but children who have such problems are also brain-injured. They have the same chance of improvement that other hurt children have. For many of these children their neurological problems are more significant than their genetic differences. 12
• Other children may have excess fluid in the brain (hydrocephaly), a brain tumor or a blood clot (hematoma) or craniostenosis. These conditions require neurosurgical intervention. Commonly these conditions will be handled before a child is seen at The Institutes. If these conditions have not yet been discovered, or diagnosed before a child comes to The Institutes, such intervention will be recommended. • Sometimes a child may have a progressive deterioration of the brain. The Institutes does not have a treatment program for progressive brain disease. The case of each of these children is reviewed with great care to determine if The Institutes can offer help to improve the quality of the child’s life. 13
Injury To the Brain • Some children may have diseases that do not originate in the central nervous system but instead originate in the peripheral nervous system (spinal cord injuries, polio, muscular dystrophy). The program of Institutes can not help children with these problems. • It matters not what may be the initial insult which begins the process of injury to the brain the penultimate fact will be a decrease of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is the primary food of the brain. If oxygen is cut off or decreased for any reason the brain will suffer. 14
When the brain is injured there may be dozens of symptoms of that injury. This makes sense because the brain runs everything. When the brain is disorganized this may result in symptoms which range from frightening (seizures, rigidity, serious illness, failure to thrive) to bizarre (screaming, repetitive actions, biting, smelling and tasting inappropriately) to a hundred other symptoms which may seem odd, funny or simply inexplicable. Many brain-injured children are given a diagnosis based upon these frightening or bizarre symptoms rather than a diagnosis based upon a careful evaluation of the brain. A symptomatic diagnosis can lead to the attempt to treat the symptom while ignoring the underlying problem that resides in the brain itself. No matter how strange or hard to fathom a symptom may be there is always a reason for that symptom. Once parents know how to evaluate their own child and they understand their child’s Developmental Profile many of these inexplicable symptoms make sense. When the brain is provided with appropriate stimulation and opportunity these symptoms start to lessen or even disappear. 15
About Results • There is nothing more important in the life of the hurt child than seeing that child get better every day. It is often said that there are no “cures” for brain injury and, of course, this is true. The word “cure” is not appropriate in the context of brain injury. For the vast majority of children brain-injury is not a progressive disease, but instead the incident that caused the injury is over and what is left is a good brain that has gotten hurt and needs help. Our job is to take each child no matter how injured the brain may be and to move that child to the highest level of function that our present knowledge of brain growth and development will permit. The results of The Institutes treatment program are published in its journal, The InReport, every six months. A 12 year summary of those results can be viewed on this site. 16
About Our Children • Profound children may be blind, or deaf, or insensate, or paralyzed, or speechless. They may have significant problems with food absorption, respiration and even survival. They may have all these problems. Severe children may have serious visual, auditory, tactile, mobility, speech, or manual problems. They may have all these problems. Moderate children may have significant problems in one or all of the sensory and motor pathways. Mild children may have reading, learning, behavior, balance, coordination, speech or writing problems. They may have all these problems. Most of these children will have significant health issues ranging from failure to thrive, to chronic upper respiratory illness, reflux, asthma, nutritional problems, food intolerance, and allergies. The brain-injured children admitted to The Institutes program range in age from newborn to adults. No child or adult is ever refused admission to the program because of the severity of his or her brain injury. 17
About Adults • While the primary focus has been on children, The Institutes began their work a half a century ago with adults. These early patients were primarily seniors who had had strokes or younger adults with traumatic brain injuries. The Institutes continues to offer help to any adult who has lost abilities because of an injury to the brain. 18
About the Families of The Institutes • For over a half-century, families have found their way to The Institutes from more than 120 nations. The families of The Institutes represent virtually every race, religion, and creed on earth. While there is a great diversity of background, language, and culture among the families, they have in common an extraordinary devotion to their children. Their children are their first priority in life. They are committed to doing everything in their power to help their children realize their full potential or to restoring their adult loved one’s abilities after an injury to the brain. 19
• To learn more about our work with children diagnosed withTrisomy 21, or Down syndrome, call 215-233-2050, ext. 2868 20
• To learn more about our work with children diagnosed withautism or austism spectrum disorders (ASD), or Asperger syndrome, Classic Autism, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), call 215-233-2050, ext. 2868 21
• To learn more about our work with children diagnosed withautism or austism spectrum disorders (ASD), or Asperger syndrome, Classic Autism, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), call 215-233-2050, ext. 2868 22
• To learn more about our work with children diagnosed as having cerebral palsy, call 215233-2050, ext. 2868 23
• To learn more about our work with children diagnosed with developmental delay or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), call 215-233-2050, ext. 2868 24
• The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential serves children from all over the world. The international headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Qualified branches of The Institutes are the European Institute in Fauglia, Italy, and The Doman Kenkyusho in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan. The Institutes have offices in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Madrid, and Spain. The Institutes presents courses for parents in Philadelphia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Russia and Australia. 8801 Stenton Avenue Wyndmoor, PA 19038 USA Telephone: (215) 233-2050 Fax: 215-233-9312 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 25
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