Rob finished his Berard in-home training in January 2011. He has a complicated history due to a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which is a collagen deficiency, which contributes to a neurological blood flow disorder called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Auditory difficulties are associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome because it affects the collagen in the part of the brain responsible for filtering out noise one should be able to ignore. Collagen deficiencies in the cardio-vascular system also affect strength of hearing system & vision.
Rob received speech therapy for three years as a preschooler because he omitted sounds within his words. He also had large motor and fine motor difficulties (dysgraphia), along with eczema—an indication of omega deficiencies. More information may be learned by reading The LCP Solution by Jacqueline Stordy, Ph. D., and Malcolm Nicholl. The supplement called Efalex is an omega 6 supplement found to help those with dyslexia. It provides optimum healthy fats needed by the Corpus Callosum.
Rob’s motor difficulties were improved after seven months of Brain Integration Therapy (BIT). After eighteen months, his writing fatigue was gone, but weaknesses in penmanship remained. His speech fluency also improved, but it did regress, along with the return of his eczema when he stopped taking Efalex. Rob continued to show significant symptoms of auditory fatigue, which were affecting him in all settings. We decided to have him tested using the Berard Hearing Evaluation.
Surprisingly, Rob’s audiogram showed auditory dyslexia. We believe the high intelligence assessed through testing and early speech intervention prevented spelling difficulties. He had hearing sensitivities to environmental sounds, but his speech sensitivity was more significant. This explained his annoyance with environmental sounds like kitchen clean-up when there was also talking and laughing. It also explained why sitting in a classroom caused so much fatigue; he usually suffered from headaches after the teacher used the television. When he was homeschooled, he preferred to teach himself to minimize oral instruction.
Rob’s Weber test results showed asymmetrical hearing with his left ear showing more strength than his right ear. Sound lateralized to his stronger left ear (center, right, left, left, left, left, left, left) on all frequencies but one. Understanding that Efalex was a band aid we proceeded with the Berard In-home training. We now understand he had mild stuttering (blocked, trouble starting speech, repeated 4 or more words–not sounds). He continued to become visibility tired when taught by lecture; thus, he relied heavily on visual tasks. Efalex eased these issues. After auditory integration training his speech became fluent, he became much more relaxed, and he developed a great sense of humor. It took three different programs over two years to gain symmetrical hearing.When speech is sometimes heard by the right ear at some frequencies, then switches to the left ear, information may not make it to the speech (output) receptor or it will be delayed. (Hearing Equals Behavior by Dr. Berard, pg. 32)
Overuse of the left ear versus using both ears over-stimulated his right brain, causing emotional meltdowns that he did not outgrow. Another contributing factor was the absence of long-chain fatty acids, which must bind with serotonin before it can pass through the brain barrier (The Seven Types of A.D.D. by Dr. Amen). A muscle reflex test is a good indicator of serotonin levels; Rob tested at negative point five.
After first AIT:
- Does not take everything so literally—sees big picture
- Still indecisive, but is getting better at making decisions
- Talks fluently and easily
- Not as critical, more tolerant of peers
- Answers questions more quickly
- Is able to express emotional needs, share experiences
- Keeps up with school work, more organized
- Takes responsibility for outcome of decisions–verbalized
- Expresses less annoyance about noise
- Sleeps less at school
- Gaining much needed weight
- More relaxed when coming home from school, except on days when the television was used in more than one period.
Nutrition and supplements are vital for brain health in the presence of genetic conditions–Neurotransmitters tested through Organic Acids Test guided us.
Update:2 years later– Scored 33 on ACT, leader in National Youth Leadership Organization, recognized as one of the top 5 Eagle Scouts in his region, Full academic scholarship, Attended public high school for all 4 years graduating with over a 4.0!