About The Institutes


Table of Contents

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential

 Hurt Kids

 Early Development

 Introduction

 Introduction

 Evaluation

 About the Brain

 Treatment

 Evaluation

 About Brain Injury

 About Our Program

 About the Brain

 The Reading Program

The Causes of Brain Injury

 The Math Program

The Symptoms of Brain Injury

The Encyclopedic Knowledge Program

About Results

The Physical Program

About Our Children

Social Growth

About Adults

Other Programs

About the Families of The Institutes

About the Families of The Institutes

THE INSTITUTES FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF HUMAN POTENTIAL

The Institutes is a group of nonprofit institutes founded by Glenn Doman in 1955. The Institutes is internationally known for its pioneering work in child brain development and for its programs to help brain-injured children achieve wellness and well children achieve excellence.

Historically, children diagnosed with developmental delay, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, learning problems, dyslexia, and a host of other symptomatic diagnoses have been considered hopeless.

Glenn Doman, Founder of The Institutes

Glenn Doman, Founder of The Institutes

Thousands of parents have come to The Institutes to learn how to help their children at home. Those parents have proven beyond any doubt that brain-injured children are not hopeless, but instead have tremendous potential. The Institutes exists to insure that all brain-injured children have a fighting chance to be well.

The objective of The Institutes is to take brain-injured children, however severely hurt, and help them to achieve normality physically, intellectually, physiologically, and socially.

The majority of children achieve one of these goals, and many children achieve two of these goals. Some children achieve all of these goals, and some children achieve none of these goals.

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential serves children from all over the world. The international headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Qualified branches of The Institutes are the European Institute in Fauglia, Italy, and The Doman Kenkyusho in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan. The Institutes have offices in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and Madrid Spain. The Institutes presents courses for parents in Philadelphia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Russia, and Australia.

Evaluation

When The Institutes began there was no reliable evaluation procedure for hurt children. Glenn Doman and the staff developed the first reliable set of procedures to evaluate children with neurological problems. The Institutes Developmental Profile™ measures the growth and development of the brain. This Profile allows us to evaluate a child and make an exact comparison between the hurt child and his well peers. This provides an accurate rate of growth for the child and establishes a baseline against which each child can be evaluated to determine his progress. Each time a child returns to The Institutes, a new Developmental Profile is done and a new program is created based upon that Profile.

Evaluation

 

Treatment

When The Institutes began more than a half-century ago there was no effective treatment for children with neurological problems. Instead hurt children were often medicated, warehoused, and forgotten. Glenn Doman and his early team wanted to give every child a chance to be well, no matter how severely injured a child might be.

After each child was carefully evaluated and a functional diagnosis was made, the staff designed an individual program that would provide the appropriate sensory stimulation and give the maximum motor opportunity to use the new information so gained.

Fifty years ago each child lived at The Institutes and did the program there, but the staff quickly realized that parents could be taught how to do each part of the program.

This permitted the child to remain at home. Children at home with mother and father made even more significant gains. Today all our children do their program at home and return to The Institutes periodically to be re-evaluated and to receive a new program. The program is designed to treat the brain injury, not the symptoms of the injury. Treating the brain is effective—treating the symptoms simply does not work.

Patterning

 

About Brain Injury

When the brain is injured, the child will either have a problem with the incoming sensory pathways or the outgoing motor pathways or both. When a child cannot see, hear, or feel properly, he cannot respond to the world around him appropriately. This may be a severe problem, as it is with the child who is functionally blind, deaf, insensate, paralyzed, and speechless. This may be a moderate problem, as it is with a child who can not use both eyes together properly, lacks the fine tuning to handle the common sounds in the environment, or is too sensitive or not sensitive enough to touch and may not yet be able to move or talk or use his hands at age level. This may be a mild problem, as it is with a child who cannot read, write, or do math at age level and who may lack the balance, coordination, language, and manual competence of his peers.

Evaluation 2

About the Brain

For too long brain growth was thought to be a static and irrevocable fact. Instead brain growth and development are a dynamic and ever-changing process.

This is a process that can be stopped, as it is in profound brain injury. This is a process that can be slowed, as it is in moderate brain injury but most significantly this is a process that can be speeded.

All that we do to speed the process is to provide visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation with increased frequency, intensity, and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the human brain grows. We then arrange for the child to have the maximum opportunity in an ideal environment to use and develop the motor pathways.

For more than a half-century, the heart of The Institutes program has been based upon the fact that the brain grows by use. Scientists now recognize the plasticity of the human brain and new research in neuroplasticity confirms that the brain is incredibly capable of recovery and rehabilitation. The old notion that once the brain is injured there is no means of recovery has been discarded.

Child brachiatingThe Causes of Brain Injury

Unfortunately there are many ways that a good brain can get hurt. We see the child who is hurt in utero because of some injury or illness that mother may have experienced as the baby was developing (trauma, Rh incompatibility, German measles, hydrocephaly, drugs, alcohol). Sometimes mother is aware of an injury or illness but often problems may occur in the first nine months that are not apparent to mother or her physician (hydrocephaly, oxygen deprivation).

Sometimes an injury may occur immediately before delivery (premature, postmature), during delivery (compression of the umbilical cord, placenta previa, placenta abruptia, prolonged, precipitous, or delayed, C-section), or right after the delivery (respiratory distress, jaundice, seizures, cardiac arrest, stroke) of the baby.

Some children may have an illness (encephalitis, meningitis, Lyme disease, chicken pox, measles), surgical complications (cardiac arrest, oxygen deprivation, blood loss, septic shock), reaction to medication (antibiotics, vaccines, anticonvulsants, aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents) or a head-injury (falls, car accidents, sports concussions, near drownings, gun shots, explosions), or an adult illness (stroke, Parkinson’s disease) that injures the brain.

Some genetic problems cause injury to the brain (Down syndrome, Angleman syndrome, Cri de Chat, Wolf-Hirchhorn, Miller-Dieker syndrome, Pallister-Killian syndrome, Dandy-Walker syndrome, etc). The Institutes does not treat genetic problems, but children who have such problems are also brain-injured. They have the same chance of improvement that other hurt children have. For many of these children their neurological problems are more significant than their genetic differences.

Other children may have excess fluid in the brain (hydrocephaly), a brain tumor or a blood clot (hematoma) or craniostenosis. These conditions require neurosurgical intervention. Commonly these conditions will be handled before a child is seen at The Institutes. If these conditions have not yet been discovered, or diagnosed, before a child comes to The Institutes, such intervention will be recommended.

Sometimes a child may have a progressive deterioration of the brain. The Institutes does not have a treatment program for progressive brain disease. The case of each of these children is reviewed with great care to determine if The Institutes can offer help to improve the quality of the child’s life.

Some children may have diseases that do not originate in the central nervous system but instead originate in the peripheral nervous system (spinal cord injuries, polio, muscular dystrophy). The programs of The Institutes cannot help children with these problems.

It matters not what may be the initial insult that begins the process of injury to the brain; the penultimate fact will be a decrease of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen is the primary food of the brain. If oxygen is cut off or decreased for any reason, the brain will suffer.

 Dr. Green with baby

The Symptoms of Brain Injury

When the brain is injured there may be dozens of symptoms of that injury. This makes sense because the brain runs everything. When the brain is disorganized, this may result in symptoms that range from frightening (seizures, rigidity, serious illness, failure to thrive) to bizarre (screaming, repetitive actions, biting, smelling, and tasting inappropriately) to a hundred other symptoms that may seem odd, funny, or simply inexplicable.

Many brain-injured children are given a diagnosis based upon these frightening or bizarre symptoms rather than a diagnosis based upon a careful evaluation of the brain. A symptomatic diagnosis can lead to the attempt to treat the symptom while ignoring the underlying problem that resides in the brain itself.

No matter how strange or hard to fathom a symptom may be, there is always a reason for that symptom. Once parents know how to evaluate their own child and they understand their child’s Developmental Profile, many of these inexplicable symptoms make sense. When the brain is provided with appropriate stimulation and opportunity, these symptoms start to lessen or even disappear.

About ResultsAdult hiking

There is nothing more important in the life of the hurt child than seeing that child get better every day. It is often said that there are no “cures” for brain injury and, of course, this is true. The word “cure” is not appropriate in the context of brain injury. For the vast majority of childre, brain injury is not a progressive disease, but instead the incident that caused the injury is over and what is left is a good brain that has gotten hurt and needs help. Our job is to take each child no matter how injured the brain may be and to move that child to the highest level of function that our present knowledge of brain growth and development will permit. A summary of these results since 1998 can be viewed on this site.

About Our Children

Profoundly brain-injured children may be blind, deaf, insensate, paralyzed, or speechless. They may have significant problems with food absorption, respiration, and even survival. They may have all these problems. Severely brain-injured children may have serious visual, auditory, tactile, mobility, speech, or manual problems. They may have all these problems.

Moderately brain-injured children may have significant problems in one or all of the sensory and motor pathways. Mildly brain-injured children may have reading, learning, behavior, balance, coordination, speech, or writing problems. They may have all these problems.

Most of these children will have significant health issues ranging from failure to thrive, to chronic upper respiratory illness, reflux, asthma, nutritional problems, food intolerance, and allergies. The brain-injured children admitted to The Institutes program range in age from newborn to adults. No child or adult is ever refused admission to the program because of the severity of his or her brain injury.

About Adults

While the primary focus has been on children, The Institutes began their work a half-century ago with adults. These early patients were primarily seniors who had had strokes or younger adults with traumatic brain injuries. The Institutes continues to offer help to any adult who has lost abilities because of an injury to the brain.

About the Families of The Institutes

For over a half-century, families have found their way to The Institutes from more than 120 nations. The families of The Institutes represent virtually every race, religion, and creed on earth.

While there is a great diversity of background, language, and culture among the families, they have in common an extraordinary devotion to their children. Their children are their first priority in life. They are committed to doing everything in their power to help their children realize their full potential or to restore their adult loved one’s abilities after an injury to the brain.

Early Development

Glenn and Janet Doman

The Institutes is a group of nonprofit institutes founded by Glenn Doman in 1955. The Institutes is internationally known for its pioneering work in child brain development. The objective of The Institutes is to help all children achieve intellectual, physical, and social excellence.

The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential serves children from all over the world. The international headquarters is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Qualified branches of The Institutes are the European Institute in Fauglia, Italy, and The Doman Kenkyusho in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan. The Institutes have offices in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and Madrid, Spain. The Institutes presents courses for parents in Philadelphia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Russia, and Australia.

When The Institutes began more than a half-century ago, it was thought that very young children were not able to learn much. Many thought at that time that intelligence was genetically determined and essentially unchangeable. Glenn Doman and his early team questioned this notion. They proposed that the brain had enormous potential and that this potential was not being fully realized. They wanted to give children a chance to be whatever they wanted to be and to be the very best they could achieve.

About the Brain

For too long brain growth was thought to be a static and irrevocable fact. Instead, brain growth and development are a dynamic and ever-changing process.

This is a process that can be stopped, as it is in profound brain injury. This is a process that can be slowed, as it is in moderate brain injury, but most significantly this is a process that can be speeded.

All that we do to speed the process is to provide visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation with increased frequency, intensity, and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the human brain grows. We then arrange for the child to have the maximum opportunity in an ideal environment to use and develop the motor pathways.

For more than half-century, the heart of The Institutes program has been based upon the fact that the brain grows by use. Scientists now recognize the plasticity of the human brain and new research in neuroplasticity confirms that the brain is incredibly capable of recovery and rehabilitation. The old notion that once the brain is injured there is no means of recovery has been discarded.

Evaluation

When The Institutes began, there was no reliable developmental evaluation for children. Glenn Doman and the staff developed the first reliable set of procedures to evaluate children neurologically. The Institutes Developmental Profile™ measures the growth and development of the brain. This Profile allows us to evaluate a child and make an exact comparison between that child and his peers. This provides an accurate rate of growth for the child and establishes a baseline against which each child can be evaluated to determine progress.Janet Doman Lecturing

Our job is to take each child and to move that child to the highest level of function that our present knowledge of brain growth and development will permit.

About Our Program

The work of The Institutes began in 1956 with severely brain-injured adults and children. By 1963 The Institutes had begun to teach 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old severely brain-injured children to read. These children were not only able to read with full comprehension, but also they loved to read and it changed their lives to do so. At that time, the staff of The Institutes was forced to acknowledge that severely and profoundly hurt children were actually doing better intellectually than many well children were doing. What did it mean? Clearly well children were not as well as they could be.

Teaching your child to readThe Reading Program

Glenn Doman wrote How To Teach Your Baby To Read in 1963, and this was the beginning of a gentle revolution which continues to this day. Millions of mothers and fathers have read this book, and countless babies and young children have been started on a pathway to intellectual excellence as a result. For a half-century, mothers and fathers have been teaching their babies to read.

The Math Program

Our work with intellectual growth continued, and several years later we discovered that young children love the language of mathematics. We were astonished to find the very young babies could easily differentiate quantity without using symbols as we do. This led to our infant math program and eventually to the book How To Teach Your Baby Math. Even in homes where neither mother nor father had any particular fondness or skill in mathematics, babies could really enjoy math as long as it was presented logically and in a joyous and happy way.

The Encyclopedic Knowledge ProgramChild with Bits

Once again it was our wonderful brain-injured children, as they progressed from early reading and mathematics, who taught us that little children can learn absolutely anything that we can teach in an honest, factual, and joyous way. We began to teach our children about the world around them – the natural world of insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, trees, and plants. The kids discovered the world of great art masterpieces, history, and science. The children showed us in the most delightful way that the brain really is the only container that the more you put into it the more it will hold. Along the way we have learned a lot too. While teaching their kids our parents are getting a second education that is often more interesting and useful than the first education may have been!

The Physical Program

Motion and mobility are essential to life in all living creatures. At birth the human child already has the ability to move arms and legs vigorously. The baby also has the ability to move forward on the belly, but the modern baby is seldom given the opportunity to do so and quickly loses this ability. The Institutes has demonstrated that early mobility development is essential for the tiny baby and to later development as well. The physical program is a carefully worked out pathway that shows parents how to encourage the baby to move and how to create an ideal environment for each stage of mobility development up to gaining the ability to run, to swim, and to gain sophisticated higher physical functions like Child doing gymnasticsgymnastics.

Social Growth

Intellectual and physical ability are essential to the well-being of the child, but these must be in balance with the social growth of the child. Even the very young child will demand to know what is expected, how to conduct himself in the family, and what is needed and wanted from him in order to be a member of his family and his community. A clear and purposeful program designed for the social growth of the very young child is a core part of a pathway to excellence for the young child. Time and energy are devoted to addressing what a child needs socially to become confident, capable, and independent.

Other Programs

Over the many years that we have had the privilege of teaching parents, we have discovered that children really can learn absolutely anything that can be taught in a loving and happy way. Music and foreign language are among the most beloved programs that play an important part in the lives of our children and their families.

About the Families of The Institutes

For over a half-century, families have found their way to The Institutes from more than 120 nations. The families of The Institutes represent virtually every race, religion, and creed on earth.

While there is a great diversity of background, language, and culture among the families, they have in common an extraordinary devotion to their children. Their children are their first priority in life. They are committed to doing everything in their power to help their children realize their full potential.

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