John, aged 8 years and 4 months, is a delightful child who cooperated willingly during the evaluation. However, he was having problems paying attention at school and at home. He experiences difficulties completing tasks in class and his parents and teacher are concerned about the poor progress he is making at school.
He suffered from high fevers between the ages of 2 – 6 years, experiences headaches and has to be encouraged to make his bowels work. His mother describes him as being ‘too lazy’ to go to the toilet.
The pregnancy and birth were uneventful and he was born by normal vaginal delivery without any assistance from drugs or instruments. He settled well and was breastfed for six months.
He met his earliest milestones but was delayed in terms of walking, talking, dressing and feeding himself. He was also delayed in drawing and writing. The evaluation showed up several sensory motor areas that were not functioning regularly and that he had not integrated certain primary reflexes that should no longer be operative after a very early age.
The evaluation confirmed that the delayed milestones as well as the behaviours he was showing at school and at home were symptoms of developmental delay. By school-going age, he struggled to cope because of an immature Central Nervous System.
This means that the ‘primitive’ areas of the brain had not had a chance to develop completely, which in turn led to underdevelopment of higher brain levels needed for school related tasks. This child was simply not learning ready.
His diet is limited as he dislikes many foods and juices due to texture. He eats a lot of sweets, margarine, mayonnaise and fried foods.
He was given a programme of activities aimed at helping to integrate the aberrant reflexes as well as to help his neurological organisation. He and his parents promised to try and adjust his diet to include more fruits and vegetables (by making ‘Smoothies’ to help avoid the textures) and to cut down on the fried foods.
When John returned for the second session after two weeks, his ILT practitioner remarked on how exceptionally well he had responded to the programme. She believed that this was largely due to the dedication of his mother, who had made all recommended changes to his diet and who was participating enthusiastically in the activities.
John’s teacher reported that he was a different child in the classroom. He was sitting still and completing his work within the given time. This is a remarkable difference in such a short period, and a good example of how diet, combined with certain, focused movements can bring about positive changes.