Pioneering help can benefit whole family

Pauline Allen, a neurodevelopmentalist from the Sound Learning Centre

Pauline Allen, a neurodevelopmentalist from the Sound Learning Centre

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Children and adults in need of help with learning and sensory difficulties have a chance to receive pioneering treatment thanks to Manx Mencap.

In late July, specialists from The Sound Learning Centre, in London, will visit the island for the fifth time to provide treatments.

Manx Mencap is again sponsoring the specialists coming over and providing the treatment for about 12 people.

A couple of spaces are still available – anyone interested should get in touch with the London centre.

The centre’s principal, Pauline Allen, is in the island this week to carry out individual assessments, which involve looking at the auditory, visual and neurodevelopmental systems.

In that time, information is gathered on the underlying causes for a person’s difficulties.

Specialists will be based at Centre 21, in Homefield Road, Douglas, for a couple of weeks from July 28, for individuals to receive 10 days of treatment.

The treatment involves sound and light therapy to target the auditory and visual systems.

Auditory integration training involves listening to music that has been specially modified and filtered through an electronic device, the Audiokinetron.

Meanwhile, lightwave stimulation uses low intensity, pulsed, coloured light to rebalance the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides of the autonomic nervous system.

Since their first visit to the island in 2009, the specialists have treated more than 40 people. Pauline said one of the best results achieved last year was with a young girl diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and autism.

‘Her parents noticed huge changes in her, which is great,’ she said.

‘They have reported better communication, clearer speech, she is more sociable and interactive, she is hearing much better, and she has developed her ability to laugh and joke.’

In their feedback, other parents reported their children were happier, calmer, better able to follow instructions, and had improved eating and sleeping patterns.

Pauline said changes benefit the whole family.

‘Marriages very often break up because of the strain of having a child with difficulties. When we treat a child an adult the ripple effect across the whole family is just enormous.’

The Sound Learning Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Pauline said: ‘There is no way of knowing what the outcomes are going to be and we always advise them not to build up their hopes. But if we didn’t see what we see, we wouldn’t do what we do.’

For more information, contact Heather Benghiat at The Sound Learning Centre by calling 020 8882 1060 or email

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