Why Aren’t I learning?

Informed parents want the answer
By Rafaele Joudry

Children build their sense of the world, contact, meaning and love from listening to their mother’s voice in the womb. Through the miracle of life, the baby’s brain is formed out of neurons, axons and dendrites; patterns and meanings are created as the mother’s voice lays down an imprint of order. No wonder, then, that sound has such a powerful capacity to heal. This was the basis of Dr Tomatis’ remarkable discoveries which launched the field of Sound Therapy.

Sound Therapy works on the whole being by retraining the ear—activating and building brain pathways so the child’s ability to learn is dramatically enhanced. Connections between the two hemispheres of the brain are strengthened so that thinking and co-ordination improve in many areas. The child’s equilibrium, sense of self-control and self-esteem develop, so naturally, behaviour also improves.

Successful listening and learning depend on good auditory processing, which means the ability to translate the stream of vocal speech sounds into words and meaning, and then recreate those sounds as speech.

Sensory Integration

Research in a number of fields indicates that inadequate sensory integration is a key to most learning disorders. Several modalities including Sound Therapy, behavioural optometry and physical therapy can help to remedy this issue through the different senses.

As well as the five main senses there are some little known senses, which respond only to internal stimuli. These include the vestibular sense, which informs us of movement and balance, and the sense of proprioception, which tells us the position of our joints and limbs.

These internal senses should operate automatically, so that the child can turn his or her attention to the outside world. If they do not, it is very difficult to direct the attention outwards. Inefficient sensory integration is like a traffic jam in the brain.

Children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction are likely to become abnormally upset by loud sounds or bright lights, or by being touched or moved unexpectedly.
Sound Therapy is particularly powerful tool for sensory integration as it works specifically on both the auditory and the vestibular sense.

The vestibular system in the inner ear provides our sense of balance and movement, and tells us where our body is in space. One easy way of testing your vestibular and proprioceptive acuity, is to stand on one foot and have someone observe how much you wobble. Then stand on one foot with your eyes closed. Do you wobble more? Can your vestibular system work well without visual assistance?

As the child grows, he develops reflexes gradually as the brain matures. The brain learns to distinguish vestibular sensations, so that the baby can feel himself move, he becomes self-aware, he understands and learns to manipulate his position in space. He is able to manipulate his motor responses.

He learns to enjoy all kinds of movement. There is linear movement: up and down, or side to side, or back and forth. This back and forth movement is very soothing and has been used since time immemorial to rock the baby to sleep.
Many individual therapists and centres are beginning to offer programs which address sensory integration disorders. Sound Therapy is probably the easiest type of sensory integration therapy to apply as it can be done at home with portable equipment.

What causes Sensory Integration problems?
Far from these problems being of random nature or hereditary causes, as most doctors will postulate, for those who wish to look there is substantial evidence that the causes are environmental.

Those with sensitivities may be exhibiting the ‘canary principle’. They are the first to go down, but we should all heed the warning that our environment is becoming unsafe to live in.

Environmental medicine is a new and rapidly growing field in response to the proliferation of environmentally related diseases, which include ADHD, autism, asthma, arthritis, cancer and diabetes.
Environmental medicine examines the impact not only of chemical toxins added to food, air and water, but also the cumulative effect of these on the immune system in combination with viruses and immune compromising diseases such as giardia, glandular fever, tick bites, et cetera.

Diet and nutrition
Due to many added toxins and stresses in today’s environment, food intolerance, commonly associated with ADHD, is becoming more prevalent. Children with sleeping difficulties and allergic type food reactions have been found to respond well to diet. If there is a family history of eczema, or any recognised response to foods, it is likely that diet will help. It is essential to follow an elimination diet to determine which foods your child is sensitive to, and this should be done under the supervision of a qualified dietician experienced in this field.

Also be aware that many ingredients used in personal care products, skin care products, and standard bathroom and cleaning products, may contain harmful chemicals. Most commercial bathroom products contain sodium laryl sulfate and propylene glycol. These chemicals denature protein, so they are not suitable for use by humans. There is evidence that these chemicals often cause skin reactions; and also that they accumulate in the organs, affecting the liver, kidneys and possibly eyesight, over the long term.

The support of a properly balanced diet can be greatly enhanced with good quality nutritional supplements. There are sixty minerals which the body needs to support optimum immunity, digestion, respiration, lymphatic drainage, and sensory integration. These are best accessed in the form of a colloidal mineral supplement which is derived from plant matter and comes in a liquid form that is easily absorbed by the body. In addition, a growing child needs high levels of antioxidants and the right mix of vitamins. A high quality, chewable children’s multivitamin tablet will provide the right proportions.

Could Ultrasound be harmful?

Ultrasound technology is based upon ultra high-frequency sound waves, which bombard the child in the womb at an extremely high rate of speed. To get an idea of what this may do, think of the situation where a woman with an extremely high voice can break a glass by singing an extremely high-pitched note. That is an example of what just ONE relatively slow sound wave can do. Ultrasound is super high frequency, which may have more detrimental effects. Ultrasound waves in laboratory experiments have been known to damage chromosomes, produce internal cellular heat which damages cells, retard the normal development of cells, and many other phenomena.

According to the World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Report, ‘It is not clear at this time whether ultrasound foetal monitoring is beneficial to the mother or foetus in terms of pregnancy outcome…If there is no generally acknowledged benefit to the monitoring, there is no reason to expose patients to increased cost and risk. The question of benefit has not yet been resolved…and the potential for delayed effects has been virtually ignored.’

Before you allow an ultrasound to be done on you, do some research, thoroughly question your healthcare provider about safety as well as the value of the information which would be received from doing the procedure. Don’t be afraid to refuse the test if you are not comfortable with the information you have discovered. It is your legal right to refuse any tests you do not want.

Vaccination and learning difficulties
Vaccination is a complex and emotion-fraught question which all parents must address. To learn more about it, I went to visit one of Australia’s leading authorities on the subject of vaccination, Dr Viera Scheibner, who lives in the Blue Mountains.

Of Slavic origin, Dr Scheibner holds a PhD in Natural Sciences. After an eminent scientific career, during which she published three books and some ninety scientific papers in refereed scientific journals in Australia and overseas, her study of babies’ breathing patterns and cot death in the mid 1980s clearly pointed to vaccines as being behind the majority of cot deaths. Together with Leif Karlsson, an electronics engineer, she developed Cotwatch, a breathing monitor to be used for babies thought to be at risk of cot death or ‘sudden infant death syndrome’ (SIDS). In her own words, ‘It took over three years of research before we looked at each other and said, “Vaccines are killing babies”’. This introduced her to the subject of vaccination, which she has, as a result, been avidly studying ever since.

Despite extensive examination of orthodox medical research published on vaccines over the past one hundred years, Dr Scheibner told me she could find no scientific evidence that these injections of highly noxious substances prevent diseases. To the contrary, she found that they increase susceptibility to them, in addition to causing a host of immune disorders and other damage to the body, including the brain. She was therefore forced to conclude that they represent nothing but a medical assault on the immune system. Having vaccinated her own two daughters when she was a young mother (and also, more recently, having insisted on being given a tetanus vaccine herself) this was not easy to come to terms with.

Dr Scheibner believes in having full knowledge, and insists that it is imperative that parents educate themselves about the whole issue, because, as she says: ‘Some of them may continue vaccinating their children. Or the other children in the family, thinking that it only happens to one in a million, which is not true. Every child is affected. Vaccinated children are not the same as unvaccinated. There is some damage in all of them. Allergies are number one. Or eating problems, mild digestive problems, it still is totally unnecessary.’

For more information on this subject read the very informative article, ‘Do vaccines protect against diseases at all?’ by Bronwyn Hancock 1999 found on www.vaccination.inoz.com

This information about the potentially damaging effects of chemical toxins, ultrasound and vaccination, will inevitably bring grief, remorse and anger to parents who find out too late what they might have avoided. However, it is better to be informed than not. On the encouraging side, we continue to receive remarkable reports from parents about the positive changes which can be achieved in healing children with sensory integration therapies.

Rafaele Joudry is the founder and director of Sound Therapy International and the author of three books on Sound Therapy, including, Why aren’t I learning? Listening is the key to overcoming learning difficulties. Contact: Sound Therapy International, phone 1300 55 77 96.

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