Matthew: All ages. From the infant
who is born with Down syndrome to
the 55-year-old man who had a stroke
and his children are bringing him in. It
doesn’t really matter to us. The brain is
the brain. It’s a family-oriented outpatient program.
TOS: When a child is first brought to
you, what is the first step? How do you
assess the child’s needs?
Matthew: When a child first comes
to us, the parents have already been to
our three-day seminar, so they are familiar with the vocabulary; we’re all on
the same page. When I see the child, I
do a comprehensive neurological evaluation, which takes somewhere from 3½
to 4 hours, and then I give a diagnosis.
That diagnosis will be based on where, in
fact, the injury is. Telling them the child
has ADD, cerebral palsy, autism—those
are all just labels. We do not focus on
the labels. For example, we will tell them
that their child has extensive bilateral
injury in the brain stem and cortex. All
the labels are stripped down and we’re
One of four full-sized, animal-themed wall murals by famed Philadephia artist
Monica Armstrong greets children in the mobility room.
just looking at the neurological aspects
of the brain and not assigning any name
to it except what it is. The limbic area injury is usually labeled “autism,” the midbrain injury would be labeled “cerebral
palsy,” and the cortex would be labeled
as “ADD/ADHD,” and that type of thing.
Once we diagnose the child’s prob-
lem, we see what we are looking at on
the map of the brain. After this evalu-
ation and diagnosis, they then see the
medical director. After that, we do some
more lecturing and give them more in-
formation. In terms of brain develop-
ment, we start working on that child the
first day, which is often a ten-hour day.
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