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The Sound Learning Centre, 12 The Rise, London, N13 5LE, UK, +44 (0)20 8882 1060, Contact us

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The Problem with Labels

“Giving someone a label does not tell you what’s wrong”

Pauline Allen, Principal of The Sound Learning Centre

The problem with labels

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 a ‘label’, such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. Often there will be more than one label. However, these all-encompassing catch-all diagnoses can never adequately describe the way a person experiences day-to-day life. Furthermore, many of these conditions have been classified as ‘incurable’ disabilities.  Following a diagnosis it is rare that practical ways forward are suggested, so that people are often left on their own to find ways to cope better in life. The importance of properly functioning and integrated sensory systems is often ignored.

Importance of the sensory systems

“Sensory problems = poor function = observed behaviours = labels or diagnosis”

How the sensory systems function and integrate will determine how well you or your child functions. For instance poor auditory processing, visual perceptual anomalies or poor muscle tone can all contribute to problems with attention, concentration, motor skills or  balance.  How well you function will clearly affect a whole range of  your behaviours. Your observed behaviours  will determine the diagnosis or label that is applied. It should be easy to recognise that if you can improve sensory functioning and integration then social, emotional and physical behaviours, can improve.

Can sensory performance be changed and improved?

“We believe the answer is yes”

The theory of Brain Plasticity very strongly suggests the answer is yes and so does our 20 years experience of using soundlight and reflex developmental therapies to help with many of the behaviours associated with a whole range of learning and sensory difficulties including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Hyperactivity, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism.

What can you do to help?

“Inform yourself, ask questions, challenge opinions and then make up your own mind”

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 in itself does not help. Ask what can be done to practically improve daily life, what support can be offered and how to go about getting it.

On the pages in this website you will find more information on a number of key conditions which limit performance and quality of life together with guidance on what may lie behind particular conditions including DyslexiaDyspraxiaADD, ADHDHyperactivityCentral Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)Asperger’s Syndrome  or  Autism.

Don’t give up.

“If you have an instinctive feeling that things are not right, then trust your instinct”

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 may provide some clarity and form the basis of obtaining additional support from health, educational or local authorities however, for many it will often immediately limit peoples expectations of what can be achieved in life. Do not allow this to happen. You may know know that life will be harder but nothing has actually changed once the diagnosis has been made from before it was given. You or your child  is still the same. You already knew there was a difficulty, you just did not have a name to use or perhaps which direction to look for help.

At The Sound Learning Centre we do not diagnose conditions, but we do assess and observe actual behaviour and sensory responses. We look in great detail at the hearing, vision and developmental maturity and the sensory integration of a person. We then 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, process and integrate external stimuli often lead to significant improvements and through this novel approach know that ability, behaviour and performance can be changed. Thus we bypass the ‘official diagnosis’ and offer practical ways to help tackle measurable and observable elements of the sensory systems in order to effect change beyond the label.

“Giving someone a label does not tell you what’s wrong”

Pauline Allen, Principal of The Sound Learning Centre

 

“Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ‘crackpot’ than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost” Thomas J. Watson