Why did your happy toddler, who so loved to learn, who listened so eagerly to stories, who knew so much about dinosaurs and built wonderful Lego constructions suddenly become this difficult child who can’t sit still, can’t concentrate, can’t follow directions, can’t remember the spelling he seemed to know so well last night…?
The school will probably recommend an assessment to get to the bottom of the problem. Now you start the rounds of Occupational Therapists, Psychological testing, Neurologists and even Psychiatrists. Along the way, it is highly likely that someone will recommend a drug. But nothing seems to really help. What’s going on?
Integrated Learning Therapy (ILT) helps get to the bottom of these problems by considering the child in totality. By means of careful and thorough investigation, ILT practitioners try to unravel the underlying causes of a child’s difficulties.
We have found that there is no ‘silver bullet’ that can promise a quick cure but by tracing aspects of a child’s neurodevelopment within his or her environment, we generally are able to help overcome problems to a significant degree and to prevent problems in pre-school and primary school children.
For more details about ILT, visit the ILT video gallery, where Dr Shirley Kokot explains the approach and ways of helping.
What do we look for?
Our focus is on neurodevelopment and the brain’s ability to learn. The word ‘neuro’ refers to neurons which are the cells that make up our nervous system. Children’s development during the early years is influenced by their neurophysiology, neurochemistry and neuroanatomy. Often the difficulties they experience with school learning and socially accepted behaviours can be traced to some or other irregularities in one or more of these areas.
ILT uses this knowledge to help pinpoint the possible causes of problems associated with the demands of school and society and helps to overcome them. As such, it is a neurodevelopmental, eco-systemic approach. Using information from related fields of study and practice makes it a multi-disciplinary approach as well.
Why is this necessary?
The body functions through a complex interplay of many systems (including the central nervous system, visual system, auditory system, digestive system, sensory-motor system, endocrine system and so on).
In addition, these systems interact with others in one’s environment (living conditions, food habits, allergens, polluted areas, etc.). Attempts to solve problems by addressing them at only one level (for example, labelling symptoms and ‘treating’ them from a single perspective) seldom results in total or lasting success.
Understanding the development and functioning of different systems and the impact on those of environmental factors makes it possible to work holistically with our clients.