Friday, 14 July 2017

Learning with Music Helps Boost Changes in Brain Structure.

I have understood the importance of music for some time now, how it can influence the plasticity of the brain and how in particular it can influence the development of spoken language.  This is why there is a musical element to all Snowdrop Programmes, whether that be through offering clients access to the 'EASE' programme, the 'Listening Programme,' or whether it is using music to calm a child.  Now we have evidence that we can use music to stimulate better motor performance.  This will be immediately implemented and incorporated into our programmes.  With thanks to  Learning with Music Helps Boost Changes in Brain Structure 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Successfully Treating Down Syndrome

This article was written by a Mum who has a little girl with Down Syndrome who used to be on the Snowdrop Programme.  I first saw Eloise when she was 3 months old and she was already showing signs of having severe issues.  However, we got to work on trying to stimulate development, on trying to change the way in which her brain worked and we were successful.  Eloise is now 5 years old and she is just like any other 5 year old child, hitting all her milestones and looking forward to a bright future.  With thanks from 'Made For Mums.' Continue reading here -

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Treatment of PACS1 Syndrome.

Today we welcomed back a 7 year old little boy for his 8th assessment. He has a rare genetic condition called 'PACS1 Syndrome.  This is a very rare genetic condition caused by mutation of the PACS1 gene. It is NOT inherited from either parent but it will be passed on to a patient’s child (“autosomal dominant”).

The first two cases were identified in early 2011 by doctors in the Netherlands. As of early 2017, there are just 40 cases that have been identified worldwide.

PACS1 children have the following issues.

  • most of our children have similar facial features such as similar facial features.
  • Widely spaced eyes and low-set ears
  • Down-slanting eye corners and mild uni-brow
  • Highly arched eyebrows and long eyelashes
  • Round “button” nose with a flat arch
  • Wide mouth with down-turned corners
  • Thin upper lip and widely spaced teeth

Other common traits the parents have seen:
  • Low muscle tone
  • Seizures (usually short and sporadic)
  • Repetitive stimulation (similar to Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Sensory over/under sensitivity 
  • Motor planning difficulties 
  • Delayed physical and cognitive development
  • Chewing and swallowing diffculties
  • Digestion and/or bowel problem
  • Slower growth resulting in lower height and weight

However despite these problems he has made so much progress since we first started him on the Snowdrop programme in October 2013. Back then he was behind in visual cognition, now his reading is surging ahead and he is fully cognisant. He was also behind in auditory cognition but now understands language at age level. His tactile and gross motor skills have improved immensely and he is roughly where he should be in terms of gross motor skills. The most dramatic improvement however is in language production. for so long he was quiet and seemed withdrawn and at his first assessment only having the verbal abilities of an 18 month old. Today we couldn't keep him quiet and he produces a wide vocabulary and perfect grammatical structure. He has an impish sense of humour and he will continue to improve. His future is considerably brighter than when I first met him, but you can see the timeframe with which we have brought about this change? Yesterday it was 5 years, today it is 4 years, so all of you out there, stick with it! Well done to mum, dad and sister, who have 'swam against the genetic current' and are most certainly winning!