After receiving many questions lately about Books Neural Therapy™, I thought I would invite you into my office for a peek at what I do, and I’ll show you a few things I do to assess patients.
This is the process I would follow with your child, should you bring him or her in for an evaluation. These tests are quick, non-invasive, and will tell us the same things that $1,200 worth of neuropsychological or educational testing would reveal.
The first thing I do is look at the face and check for symmetry. Are the eyes even, and do both sides of the mouth match up? Asymmetrical faces often indicate awkwardness, clumsiness, and lack of energy. More often than not, children with asymmetrical faces have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
I ask the child to take off his shoes and lie down on his back on my exam table. I first do muscle monitoring to check whether his muscles are working properly, as they would serve as my monitoring device. The body only knows how to tell the truth, and it communicates in its own language. There are ways of asking direct questions to which the body gives direct answers, just bypassing verbal language. One of the ways the body answers is through the muscles.
Muscle monitoring is like checking an electrical outlet or circuit. When a tested muscle remains strong, there is no break in the continuity of the circuit. When a tested muscle goes weak, this indicates a break in the neurological circuit. In a way, muscle monitoring functions like a polygraph test. The kids call it a lie detector test.
I use one of the body’s “indicator muscles”—typically one from an arm or a leg, and I ask a series of yes or no questions focused on the suspected problem areas. When I’m using the indicator muscle, the muscle will go weak (which means there is a problem) or stay strong (which means everything is coherent with no problem). If there is resistance as I gently push down on the arm or leg—that is, the muscle stays strong—then there is no problem with the question.
After checking the muscles, I tap the top of the child’s head gently several times and wink as I say, “Okay, I’m going to wake up your brain now.”
I begin by asking the child to put both of his thumbs into the roof of his mouth. If he doesn’t have his thumbs back far enough, I say, “You know, where the peanut butter gets stuck.” I ask questions about reading, such as, “Do you find that you can read, but you’re not the fastest reader in your class?” and “Do you ever rub your eyes or feel sleepy after you’ve been reading for a little while?”
When I ask the child to put his thumbs in his mouth, literally over part of the base of the eye socket, I’m doing a quick check for eye tracking. If the bones in the eye socket aren’t symmetrical, the muscles guiding the eyes during reading can’t work together. One eye might be doing more of the work, almost dragging the other eye along. The muscles on one side of the eye may be tighter than on the other side—an uneven distribution of strength that allows for weakness or instability of the eye muscles.
I now ask the child to keep the head perfectly still and follow my finger only with the eyes. I move my fingers from right to left in front of his face. People who read easily have eyes that move fluidly and rhythmically from one side to the other as they follow my finger.
If the eyes dart around, make jerky movements, or move erratically and irregularly, the eyes are not teaming and the brain has a lot of extra work to do. No wonder the child is sleepy after reading for just a little while!
The technical terms for this kind of eye movement is nystagmus or saccadic movements. What it means for your child’s eyes is that the rhythm and flow are disturbed, so reading becomes slow and laborious. It’s like trying to dance with a partner whose movements are awkward. It’s frustrating and makes children not want to read.
Isn’t it fascinating how much we can learn from such simple actions? The next blog will discuss two more tests I use in my initial assessment. If you have any questions, please comment below, and if you’d like to set up a consultation for your child, contact me.