This is an interview Dr. Muriel Poli recently gave:
Usually children are given Psycho-stimulant medications and or Behavioral Therapy or Speech Therapy. At least 50% of children, after 2 years of a combination of medication and psychotherapy, still test positive for ADHD with no improvement, according to the MTA study, performed by the US National Institute of Mental Health. Clearly better results need to be achieved.
Over the last decade, a growing number of scientific studies have shown that ADHD and Learning Disabilities have a biological basis in the brain.
The current breakthroughs in neuroscience have identified “weaker” brain areas to be involved. The treatment alternative I offer to parents, is to first evaluate and determine where these weaker areas are, and then to rehabilitate and strengthen the brain areas, which are responsible for producing many of the symptoms in the first place.
2. What do you think constitutes a child with a learning difficulty? What should parents do if they are concerned their child may have one?
Typically learning disabilities symptoms are a combination of any of the following: dyslexia, problems reading, writing, speaking, concentrating, comprehension, memory, with math…
I recommend the child be evaluated by a pycho-education specialist center such as “Education plus” founded by Denise Marmelstein, and testing the child’s IQ may be useful to determine the child’s strengths. The Neuro-evaluation testing I perform looks at special senses and brain areas the child uses to learn such as: ocular muscles, hearing, testing the Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia, the Spinal Cord and muscle strength throughout the body, which will help me to determine the brain areas that need “strengthening”.
The neurological tests I select and the method I utilize to test are unique in Spain.
3. You are qualified in the ‘natural management’ of ADHD and learning difficulties, how long has this approach been around and what exactly does ‘natural management’ mean?
Natural management means no drugs or surgery are used.
The brain rehabilitation methods I employ have been around for about 10 years and are the “brain child” of Dr. Frederick Carrick,DC a Chiropractic neurologist, who is accomplishing a small revolution in the field of neurology. His results are so astounding that some high profile neurologists, even though they are skeptical of his methodologies, are forced to recognize his results. The latest case in point is that of Sydney Crosby, considered to be the best hockey player of his generation (Pittsburgh Penguins team), and who had suffered from a concussion in 2011. He was plagued with symptoms of mental fogginess, light-headedness and nausea so paralyzing he couldn’t drive or watch TV. For 8 months he was treated with the “rest and wait” approach and with some physical therapy.
He was then treated by Dr. Fred Carrick for a few weeks. After which, his treating neurologist Kevin Gordon,MD acknowledged, regarding Crosby’s progress : “You’re dealing with a remarkable case report that says this holistic approach with multiple interventions has made somebody with a severe concussion improve on a time course which would seem remarkable compared to how they were recovering before.” Sydney Crosby is currently playing again. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Frederick Carrick,DC gained attention for bringing comatose patients out of their vegetative states using manual stimulation.
4. What is your background?
I have received my post graduate training in functional neurology through leading Chiropractors who have been personally trained by Dr. Frederick Carrick, such as Dr Walter Schmitt,DC the foremost Applied Kinesiologist in the world, Dr. Peter Jaillet,DC founder of Eyelights inc. Dr. Yannick Pauli,DC, president of the Swiss Chiropractic Pediatric Association, trained me in the ADHD and LD treatment protocol established by Dr. Robert Melillo,DC author of “ Disconnected Kids” . I have extensive training in the use of Orthomolecular therapy for the natural management of Allergies, Toxicity, Inflammation, Neuro-endocrine balancing and Neurotransmitter balancing. I have 26 years of clinical experience as a family Chiropractor. You can refer to my website for a more detailed list of my postgraduate education.
5. How do you assess whether a child suffers from ADHD or learning difficulties?
They have similar neurological characteristics and the distinctions of the brain areas affected are very blurry, which means that from a treatment and results point of view, looking for the differences is not very useful, meaning that you treat what you find needs rehabilitation.
6. How do you go about helping children overcome the condition?
It is really a detective’s work, during my initial examination and the course of care, I attempt to leave no stones unturned. I apply specific individualized rhythmic exercises and sensory-motor stimulations to trigger the neuroplasticity of the brain, in target specific areas, known to be affected in these conditions. Furthermore, normalizing the spine and postural muscles is key to jumpstarting the “weaker” brain areas. You also need to feed the brain and prevent inflammation, which implies looking at the nutritional building blocks, allergies, blood sugar levels, digestion, absorption and much more...
7. What is the ‘Happy Focused Kids’ program?
It consists of ten key treatment tools: Gentle Chiropractic (NSA method, to synchronizes brain waves & releases spinal blockages), Region specific rhythmic brain strengthening & synchronizing exercises,
Cranial nerve rehabilitation, Orthomolecular therapy (special supplement formulations), Brain Support Diet, Allergy Resolution, Detoxification (heavy metals & food additives), Home Exercises (to accelerate learning integration), Somato-respiratory Integration (to promote greater specificity in body connection) and Healthy Lifestyle recommendations.
The power of the 10 Keys lies in the specificity of the brain areas strengthened to ensure that the child attains the progress that he/she deserves.
8. Is this approach widely accepted among the medical community?
The medical community by in large is not aware that this brain based therapy exists. They also do not know what causes ADHD or Learning Disabilities other than to state that 45-60% is caused by defective genes, which implies no cure for the time being, and controlling symptoms primarily through medication. This is probably why ADHD and LD are only diagnosed on the basis of symptoms, because they currently do not know where to look, other than the genetic route, which is right now, a therapeutic dead-end.
9. How does Spain rate compared to other countries in its approach towards ADHD and learning difficulties?
In Spain they seem to be more diligent and thorough when it comes to the comprehensive neuro-behavioral questionnaire testing of ADHD, than in most instances in the United-States.
In the US assessment might be limited to an 18 question questionnaire, and if there are 6 to 12 yes answered, that is enough to put a child on powerful psychotropic medications for years, (70% of the time Ritalin is prescribed).
10. How common is ADHD among adults?
About 5% of the adult population is affected, although that number is due to dramatically rise in the future, given the growing number of children, (2/3 of which are boys), who are currently being diagnosed with ADHD.
11. Do you think that ADHD and learning difficulties can be fully overcome?
Yes and no, and I am speaking from personal experience having been ADHD and Dyslexic myself. It really depends on the questions you ask. If the question is, “do you still meet the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of ADHD or LD”, then I would say yes. If you ask instead, “are there still some lingering symptoms or challenges that arise when you are tired or under emotional stress”, then I would answer no. But on a daily basis the children, teenagers or adults that have received appropriate care can function to the fullest of their potential.
12 . If a parent is interested in the Happy Focused Kids program, how can they contact you?
By calling my office at 34-93 414 22 49 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also regularly give presentations on the new neuroscientific discoveries related to ADHD and LD, and the treatment solutions I offer. You can also visit my website and read more about my approach. I will soon be posting a video on my “Happy Focused Kids” treatment program on my Youtube channel: Vitalia Quiropractica.