Case Study – boy, aged 9 years (depressed, frustrated and behind in his work)

R’s frustration at not being able to do school tasks often resulted in him slamming out of classrooms and getting into trouble with his behaviour. He needed instructions broken down into small steps otherwise he was easily confused. Although he enjoyed and was good at Maths, R struggled with spelling and written tasks and was prone to bouts of depression. He had also developed some facial tics which were putting him under the spotlight with his peers.

The key findings from his diagnostic assessment showed a homolateral pattern of movement, dysdiadochokinesia (difficulty with rapid alternate movements), two residual primitive reflexes and mildly under-developed postural reflexes.

For his treatment programme, R was given an INPP exercise which worked on his vestibular system, to aid sensory processing that coordinates sight and balance. At his first review, his mother reported improvements in motion sickness, reading and football skills. As R progressed through other exercises aimed at inhibiting those primitive reflexes which were preventing his postural reflexes from developing correctly, his interest in literacy grew to such a point that he would start his homework without fuss; he started writing a chapter story for fun at home and took on more challenging novels to read.

R is currently midway through the Johansen Individualised Auditory Stimulation programme to aid stronger hemispheric integration for his sensory processing and to improve his comprehension levels when listening to instructions.

A message from his mother

Finally, in year six, and after working with Julia for just over a year, I have come away from a parents evening where there were no behaviour issues to discuss at all.  When discussing my son’s school performance, I was advised that his test SATs results indicate his grammar is meeting the age expectation and in literature and in maths he is exceeding his age expectation.  I couldn’t believe his literature book.  His writing is neat, there is plenty of it and if you compare it to previous years, it doesn’t look like the same child’s work.

This is a complete turnaround.  Through years 3 and 4, school has only wanted to talk to me about behavioural issues, and when I pressed for school performance, I was told he was a year behind in literature and grammar and spelling, although his maths has always been good.  I was told that he just didn’t like written work, and would get angry and misbehave and storm out of class.

The INPP assessment identified underlying issues, and we started to see improvements in his writing and reading confidence through year 5 as we started to do the nightly exercises.  Some of the exercises my son resisted.  If he really pushed back, we worked with Julia and changed them.  It has taken patience and persistence but the results and the turnaround in confidence and behaviour are marked.

We are currently working on the Johansen IAS Listening programme, and that work is resulting in my enjoying a stronger line of communication with my son.  He is hearing instructions and is far less distracted.  My son is still behind in spelling, and Julia has given us some tools to help.

I have also noticed an improvement in his co-ordination.  His football skills have improved and he pays a lot more attention to the coach’s instruction.  I was amazed at the tumbles he performed, the first time we went to a trampoline park.  His spatial awareness is now superb.  Generally, he seems to stand taller, is full of confidence and resilience too, having worked through these difficulties and seeing a change.  He is a much happier and more relaxed child.