following is the history of our son James.
James was diagnosed dyslexic at the age of eight. He has, all his life
caused us great concern and on occasions driven us and his teachers to the
point of desperation. His failure to achieve at school was only part of
the problem. Living with his frustration another. Despite his lack of
academic success, he had moments of original thought which convinced me
that one day he would learn and achieve. To find the help we needed for
James took thirteen years of knocking on the 'experts' doors and came from
a totally unexpected source - Sean Adam and the Alphalearning Institute.
James was born in 1982. A normal pregnancy followed by a normal birth. For
the first two years of his life, following a bout of influenza at the age
of two weeks, he had a miserable time. He rarely slept and when he did, he
would snore like a train and then there was silence. A silence which
scared us so much we would wake him from this unnatural state of sleep. He
could not suckle and we fed him milk from a teaspoon until he was old
enough to eat solid foods. He developed slowly and was small for his age.
He cried constantly. He was always sick and although he walked, he did not
we received little help from our local doctors, we took James to see David
Morris, a London pediatrician. He diagnosed Apnea sleep syndrome -
condition where during sleep, the brain can forget to tell the body to
breathe and unconsciousness (sometimes death) results. It became clear to
us that on many occasions over the preceding two years, we had revived
James and avoided a tragedy. He recommended James' enlarged tonsils and
adenoids should be removed immediately to improve his breathing and we
were to continue to monitor his sleep. James began to grow and started to
talk when he was three, but he was six before he would take a full nights
sleep and we could relax.
our problems were far from over. James was always overactive and would
never concentrate for long. He started school when he was four, but was
slow to learn. He was always in a high state of tension when he came home
and would slam doors, beat his head on the wall, shout and drive everyone
crazy. We tested his tolerance to food additives and allergies, but always
had a negative result.
James was not achieving at his local primary school, we decided to send
him to join his sister at prep school. He was now 8 1/2. He took to the
boarding and social life immediately, but failed miserably in the
classroom and began to be very disruptive. After the first term, we took
James to see Anthony Glasberg, an educational psychologist at the Beve
Hornsby Institute. He diagnosed dyslexia, but said that James was very
bright. His IQ was 132 - non verbal, 103 - verbal and 119 - overall, but
because of the wide variations, he would have major difficulties to
overcome. I always associated his learning difficulties with the Apnea,
but we were told it was a hereditary condition.
continued at prep school with the help of a remedial teacher, but his work
did not progress and his behaviour rapidly deteriorated. In 1991, we sent
James to another prep school with a reputation of having the best dyslexic
unit in the country. The tutors were highly trained and were very
sympathetic to his needs. James, with expert tuition began to read and
write, but his behaviour was intolerable and he was very unhappy. By now
he was very aware of how much he was failing and he wrote, "My brain is
like a bucket with holes in the bottom. Everything I put in drains out".
James' tutor admitted defeat. He had seen a string of pediatricians,
psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, etc., but with no results. We
decided to bring James home to the local high school so we could help him
on a daily basis.
James did not achieve very much over the next two years and continued to
be very disruptive. He is a bright child who was totally frustrated in his
inability to learn and he used his temper to release this frustration. He
was like a foreigner who was not totally fluent with our language. His
concepts were different. I was often tempted to translate for him as he
could sound foolish, although he would occasionally display wisdom beyond
his years. He was always tense and could never keep a steady gaze.
asked to read, his eyes would flicker all over the page. It was obviously
painful for him. Although James was very difficult to live with, I have
failed to say he is very loving and kind. He is wonderful with small
children, but fails to maintain friendships with children of his own age.
He is big and strong and a talented artist.
were told there was someone who might help James. With a very sketchy
knowledge and no literature of the Alphalearning Institutes' work (it all
was arranged so quickly), we took James to meet Sean with little idea of
what to expect. Naturally, we were rather skeptical, but what followed was
After giving Sean some background information into James problem, he was
given a reading test. It was painfully slow. All the time Sean was
observing him. He noted the tension in James shoulders, neck and head and
after asking James to swing his arms around, Sean released all the
tension. James took on a whole new posture and looked relaxed. He then
asked James to stand up and touch the tip of his nose with the middle
finger. As he slowly brought his right arm across, he missed the tip of
his nose by two inches and had to bring his finger back. A simple
neurological test, indicating damage in the left back of his brain, but
one which, to the best of my knowledge, had not been performed before. The
damage was to be seen on the EEG which followed. There was very little
activity in the left brain. I began to feel rather alarmed. It would
appear James was starved of oxygen at some point when he had Apnea.
James then sat by the Brainwave 1 machine and was asked to put on glasses
and earphones. For the next twelve minutes James heard sounds synchronised
with flashing lights. Although Sean was careful to explain, we were not at
all sure what was happening. It was all very new to us. He was then given
a second EEG and asked to read again. He increased his reading speed.
There was much more activity on the monitor, the left and right brain
balanced and we could see the Alpha waves. We left uncertain of the
significance of what had happened. Three hours later we asked James what
he had been reading. He could not remember the first piece he had read
prior to the treatment, but quoted the second piece. We were astonished as
he had never been able to remember so much as a nursery rhyme.
During the following week we noticed many changes. He maintains his
relaxed posture and he can hold a steady gaze. Each day he increases his
reading speed and his eyes no longer flicker. He has produced essays for
school which bear no resemblance to his previous work. He is making sense
and, as his sister remarked, is "Coming out with all these big words"! He
says he feel more coordinated and can concentrate much longer.
days after his first experience with Brainwave 1, James was given another
EEG and further tests before more Brainwave 1 and another EEG. I was able
to see the remarkable improvements myself and the speed at which James'
brain is adjusting. He can put himself into Alpha - what an achievement!
is very early days and James has a lot to learn and will have to change
the habits of a life time. But he has already grown six foot in confidence
knowing he can now make the grades and will no longer be regarded as
"bottom of the heap" at school.
personally will always be more than grateful to Sean and the Alphalearning
Institute for, literally, giving James a life.
Mrs. P. Douglas