In 2014, a Case Study about the effects of Natural Therapy Interventions for children with Down syndrome was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. This Study was performed by obstetrician/gynecologists Patrick James (“Paddy Jim”) Baggot and Rocel Medina Baggot and was the first of its kind. My book – Naturally Better – was referenced in this Case Study along with approaches we have used with success, including nutritional intervention, Yoga for the Special Child and The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential.
This week, in the June / summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Drs Patrick Baggott & Rocel Medina Baggot, have published a Pilot Study, analysing a 25-year data base containing 248 children with Down syndrome showing that special training – from The Institutes (IAHP) – could double the rate of intellectual development.
This method, developed by IAHP, includes movement exercises, “patterning,” early reading and mathematical education, and athletic activities. Baggot explains that physical exercise promotes brain development in several ways.
IAHP staff train parents and caregivers to perform the therapy. The staff performs a standardized developmental assessment before initiation of therapy and at a follow-up visit an average of 13 months later.
The rate of change of the neurological age vs. change in chronological age was compared for the two assessments. The authors explain that the speed of development approximately doubled after therapy began. For example, a child with a neurologic age of about 8 months at age 13 months was making about 6 months of neurologic progress in a 10-month interval. That child at his first follow-up might have made 13 months of neurologic progress over 7.5 months, a rate of 17 months neurologic progress per 10 months, or nearly twice as fast as before treatment.
The authors state that these results, which show strong positive effects from environmental enrichment, are consistent with findings of animal research, as well as studies of children adopted from deprived circumstances.
Combined mental and physical training stimulate nerve cell growth. “Development is a physiologic process, and can be manipulated, just like pulse or blood pressure,” they write.
“Down syndrome children have much greater potential for development than many realize. Methods discussed here for environmental enrichment should be studied for their potential to enhance brain development in other conditions, and in normal children as well,” they conclude.
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.
The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential travel the world teaching parents to do this therapy work at home with their own children – children with all kinds of neurological compromise including Cerebral Palsy, Brain Trauma and Autism – not just those with Down syndrome.
Visit the IAHP website for upcoming dates of courses in your area.