“I attempted suicide five times. I tried slashing my wrists and taking ant poison.”
Dr. Books called me one day to tell me about Dennis, a patient who needed help. We decided he would stay with me and she would come out to treat him because he couldn’t drive.
When Dennis got off the bus, I brought him home and made him comfortable in his room. Then I asked him to fill in the application form that Dr. Books asks of all of her clients. He was able to fill in only a few of the blanks, so I helped him fill in the rest of the form.
After that, I had him read and do some math. He read very slowly, with much difficulty. I had him read a Dr. Seuss book, which is usually easy for children, but he struggled with many of the words. Then I had him try to read the Reader’s Digest. He would get frustrated and skip the difficult words.
When Dennis talked about his problems in reading, hand-eye coordination, math, and writing (he was still printing and not writing cursive), his frustration was evident. Dennis told how he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and was in special education all through school for his learning disability. He was teased and called names by other children.
He knew how to add and subtract but not how to multiply or divide. When I asked him to multiply 3 x 7, he answered, “23”. Asked to add 7 + 7, his first answer was “18,” then he tried it on his fingers and got 14. So I said, “Add 7 more,” and he came up with 20. We finally got to 3 x 7 = 21. When I told him to take 80 from 100, he asked, “Is that minus?” It took him quite a while to figure out the answer.
Putting large numbers into words was impossible. Words like four, ten, or seven, he was able to spell, but he could not spell amounts in dollars or numbers in the thousands or millions. He didn’t know how to write the symbol for division. We continued to do a little exploring until I could see where he was academically.
When Dennis talked about his problems in reading, eye-hand coordination, math, writing (he was still printing and not writing cursive), his frustration and depression were evident. Dennis told how he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and was in special education all through school. Other children teased him and called him names.
Dennis was determined that his learning disability was not going to keep him from doing what he wanted to do. He took all the after-school activities and programs available. He helped with younger children after school and at summer camps. Even though he could not do the schoolwork himself, he encouraged the children to do their work just by his presence, smile, and kind words.
While Dennis’ math and reading skills weren’t where he wanted them to be, he had a passion: building homes for the poor. He told me about helping to build a small house in Mexico for a mother, father, and three children who had been living in three panels of wood nailed together. The new three-room house with a cement floor, roof, and four walls seemed like a palace for this Mexican family. That experience gave Dennis a lot of self-esteem and helped him to appreciate what he had in his life.
Before Dr. Books started treating him, Dennis was five feet ten and one-eighth inch tall. When he walked, his right hip was lower than his left, his shoulders were not balanced, his hands hung at different lengths, and he had that slight tilt to his walk that many people with a learning disability have. He read at about a third-grade level, doing pretty well on one-syllable words. But when he came to longer words, he couldn’t figure out, he would get disgusted and skip them.
Dr. Books began her work on him by feeling his neck and shoulders and seeing where his imbalances were. She started on the foundation of the body, his feet. Dennis had unusual feet. He did not have arches as most people do. The arch actually extended outward rather than inward, and Dennis’s toe muscles were very stiff.
Remember the rhyme you say when you play with a child’s toes?
This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none, this little piggy cried ‘wee, wee, wee’ all the way home.
Wiggling those little toes on babies and children helps stimulate brain activity. It’s important that the toes be able to wiggle and move, which is why it’s important that children’s shoes allow them to grow. When you buy shoes for your children, you should allow a thumb’s width at the front of the shoe to allow for growth. Cramping the toes in shoes that are too small can cause misshapen feet and other problems.
Dr. Books continued from Dennis’s toes to his ankles and Achilles tendons, to his legs, hips, and pelvis. The hips and pelvic area are the framework of the body. You cannot put a roof on a house until the foundation and framework are finished; structure and function go together.
As Dr. Books’ hands moved gently up the spine, she found that Dennis had very slight scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Then she moved on to the scapula (the shoulder blades) and to the tender spots on his neck. Join us on the next blog to see how Dennis’ life changed after treatment.
To find out more about how Dr. Books can help your child with a learning disability such as Attention Deficit Disorder,
call us today.