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Find out more about The Scotson Technique, the science behind the practice, treatment programmes and case histories... [more...]
 

FAQ's for Children & Young Adults with Brain Injury

If you have a question you would like answered that is not covered in the FAQ's, please fill in the form below and we will attempt to answer your question.

1. 

The Scotson Technique - What is it?

2. 

What can be treated?

3.  Where is it?
4.  What does it do?
5.  What happens at Advance?
6.  How is progress predicted?
7.  Why does The Scotson Technique show step-by-step restorative results?
8.  Why is the technique different?
9.  What about the brain damage?
10.  What about sleep?
11.  What about intelligence?
12.  How soon can I expect changes?
13.  Is there outside monitoring of results?

1. The Scotson Technique - What is it?
From treatment results of a large number of children from all parts of the world who have been coming to us since we opened in September 2002, the Scotson Technique is emerging as a unique, predictable, deeply restorative rehabilitation therapy for children and young adults with brain injury. The technique aims to provide a restorative pattern of developmental improvement by addressing core weaknesses within the muscular tissues of the respiratory system which affect trunkal structure, metabolism and motor and cognitive function.

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2. What can be treated?
A broad spectrum of disabilities caused by brain damage or brain abnormalities in which poor respiration can be consistently identified as an underlying pathology; for example: cerebral palsy; microcephaly; floppiness; development delay; learning disability; autism; vaccine damage; epilepsy; dyspraxia; head injury; stroke and scoliosis.

We also treat spinal injury.

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3. Where is it?
Our centre, The Institute for Advanced Neuromotor Rehabilitation is situated in a quiet courtyard off the A22, close to the train station, shops, leisure centre and guest houses, in the pretty Sussex town of East Grinstead.

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4. What does it do?
The Scotson Technique first seeks to reveal and address the frequently ignored but complex weaknesses of the thoracic and abdominal respiratory muscles that are a hidden cause of structural and functional abnormalities and the broad range of symptoms associated with brain injuries.

By treating the respiratory system in close connection with other muscle groups its aims are:

To improve blood supply, nutrition and nervous response to under-developed muscles and to the connective tissues between the bones.
To improve the electrical connection between the brain and the muscular skeletal system.
To reduce spinal compaction and improve blood supply to the nerve connections from the spine to the respiratory muscles and the internal organs.
To improve the body’s general and cerebral metabolism.
To steadily create better and more normal structure and more normal movement and understanding.

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5. What happens at Advance?
Advance is a teaching Institute for parents. Families attend together with their children. Parents become students learning all the essential practices to continue the restorative work with their children at home for an approximate 2 hours per day, 6 days a week.

Five, 5-day return visits are made in the first year and 4 in the following year, after which the frequency and duration of return visits become more individual.

The atmosphere is warm, friendly and dedicated to ensure the teaching is optimum.

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6. How is progress predicted?
By photographic and video comparison of your child’s structure and function with the stages of structural and functional change created by normal respiratory development.

By extensive structural measurement by which each child’s structure is compared both with its own previous assessment and with normal trunkal growth patterns.

By computerised measurement of abdominal and thoracic breathing patterns which are compared both with normal values and with each child’s previous assessment.

By 3 dimensional computerised spinal probe measurements looking at the dimensions of the spine and its relation to the shoulder and pelvis girdles and comparing these both with normal values and to each child’s previous assessments.

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7. Why does The Scotson Technique show step-by-step restorative results?
Every cell in the body is dependent upon oxygen delivery by the blood for its health and function. Cells make up tissue and tissue makes up organs, including the muscles and brain. The technique copies the effects of respiratory pressures against the tiny sphincter muscles that “pulse” blood flow into the smallest blood vessels in the microcirculation.

The technique pays careful attention to the metabolic balance between the individual child’s developing respiratory capacities and the increasing demands made on his or her respiratory system as muscular and connective tissues improve in strength and responsiveness.

The Technique is based on a coherent explanation of the far reaching central role respiration plays in human development and the evidence for the extensive but often subtle reduction in respiratory strength and responsiveness after brain injury.

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8. Why is the technique different?
The technique is directed towards building a predictable, steady and permanent restoration of increasing levels of normal function.

The focus is first upon weakness in the respiratory system which is viewed as a serious barrier to the brain’s restorative potential.

Respiratory development is seen as crucially underpinning the development of trunkal structure, posture, movement, speech, vision, digestion, understanding and general health and the neurological capacities on which these all depend.

Over time the results aim to provide the necessary enhanced foundation for the child’s more normal future development.

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9. What about the brain damage?
The brain has tremendous potential to overcome brain injury.

However, to do so the brain must be able to receive a clear electrical picture from the body tissues involved in day to day activities such as movement, vision, speech. This electrical picture has been found to depend on blood flow more specifically the movement of red blood cells and the tansport of minerals across the cell membrane which makes each cell into a little battery.
If the blood flow to a muscle is too low the brain has no electrical picture and so no knowledge where to send a signal.
By increasing blood flow through the micro circulation the Scotson Technique seeks to gradually restore the electrical activity of weak, immature muscles and connective tissues so that the brain can gain and begin to react to an enhanced electrical picture of the child’s muscular skeletal system.
Cerebral blood flow must be able to shift quickly about the brain to meet the varying metabolic demands of sensory motor and cognitive activity. The results of the technique suggests that it allows the brain to respond more quickly to these varying metabolic needs.

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10. What about sleep?
A poor and unresponsive respiratory system is unable to adapt normally to the stages of sleep.

It is particularly difficult for the respiratory system to adapt to the demands of dream sleep. Because of this, brain injured children often wake up when they begin to dream.

The technique allows breathing pattern to change to support sleep states, giving children (and their families) an increasingly good night’s sleep.

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11. What about intelligence?
Dream sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep is thought to improve memory and to eliminate unnecessary information. It may well be essential to the motor and cognitive development of the normal child. As children using the Technique sleep better their intellectual function improves.

Also, intellectual ability depends upon the brain’s ability to process new information, including the ability to co-ordinate breathing with metabolic demand (the tissue’s need for nutrition as a result of activity). Improved breathing may help to improve oxygen availability to the thalamus and the reticular system brain structures close to the respiratory centres thought to influence breathing and to be involved in processing incoming and outgoing information so that it can be memorised and stored for later use.

As use of the Scotson Technique progresses, breathing becomes much more responsive to sleep states and children begin to gain a good night’s rest.

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12. How soon can I expect changes?
Metabolic and structural changes accumulate into functional change with increasing hours of therapy. Small changes tend to be evident within the first 2 or 3 weeks of therapy.

After 3 months identified structural abnormality has reduced and functional change begins to show.

By 6 months photographic comparison indicates the clear changes in the rib cage, abdomen, shoulder girdle, neck and spine which are forming the foundation for continued functional change.

As the strength of the respiratory system increases, the effect of the child’s increasing height and weight ceases to create an extra overload on the respiratory system.

From this point the child’s own breathing and spontaneous movements begin to interact to make a positive contribution towards its more normal growth and development.

As you continue to work with your prescription you will become aware that many of the previously chronic symptoms of brain injury such as poor digestion, acid reflux, poor sleep, head lag, constipation, seizures and so on are now in the past. The respiratory foundation for more normal movement and developmental abilities will have substantially emerged and you will be encouraged by the continued observation of steady change. Changes increasingly bringing your child’s structure and function nearer to the structure and function of the normal child. After 3 years with Advance you can expect to have become the perfect therapist for your own child, and if necessary can continue therapy under minimal guidance and at minimal cost.

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13. Is there outside monitoring of results?
Yes. Bradford University completed a 3 year study of TST in Autumn 2005. Further external research is planned to commence as soon as adequate funds can be raised.

View the Bradford Report here (760k PDF)

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