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Many clients that contact The Sound Learning Centre have volumes of reports detailing the diagnoses by health and educational professionals or authorities. These diagnoses will often be one or more ‘labels’, such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Hyperactive, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (ASD) or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) or Developmental Delay to suggest just a few.
Many people will have multiple (co-morbid) diagnosis or labels. There seems to be a whole industry in generating new ones. However, these all-encompassing catch-all diagnoses can never adequately describe the way a person experiences day-to-day life. Whilst many of these conditions have been classified as ‘life-long’ and ‘incurable’, this should not be interpreted as ‘cannot be helped’. The concepts behind ‘Brain Plasticity’ provide strong support for techniques and therapies to retrain the brain to improve performance. Unfortunately it is rare that practical ways forward are suggested when a diagnosis is made, so that people are often left on their own to find ways to cope better in life.
For many people it can be a blow to come home with such a diagnosis, thinking that they suddenly have been ‘re-classified’ as being disabled in some way. An official diagnosis, however, may provide some clarity and form the basis of obtaining additional support from health, educational or local authorities.
At The Sound Learning Centre we do not diagnose such conditions, but we do test and observe actual behaviour and sensory responses. Sensory problems result from the inability to balance the senses appropriately. Many individuals with functional difficulties are highly attuned or even painfully sensitive to certain sounds, textures, tastes, and smells. We look in great detail at the hearing, vision and developmental maturity of a person and suggest ways in which specific areas can be helped or developed further. From personal experience we know that changes in the way the senses receive and process external stimuli often lead to significant improvements and through this novel approach, ability, behaviour and performance can be changed. Thus we bypass the official diagnosis and tackle measurable and observable elements of the sensory systems in order to affect change beyond the label.
On the pages in this “Diagnosis” section of the website you will find links to more information on a number of key conditions such as Dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism which limit performance and quality of life together with guidance on the sensory difficulties and behaviours that lie behind these particular conditions.
Inform yourself and learn as much as you can about the particular condition that has been diagnosed. Prepare yourself prior to seeing a professional by making a list of questions. If you come across jargon you do not understand, insist on a clear explanation in language you do understand. Ask for copies of test results. Compile a dossier with all notes and reports.
Most importantly, do not accept just a diagnosis, as that by itself does not help. It may help you identify the help needed but can also limit peoples expectations. Ask what can be done practically to improve daily life, what support they can offer and how to go about getting it.
For more information about how we may help,
please see the Treatment section of our website