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on January 4, 1999
I attended the school at the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential between 1981 and 1984. Though I was not brain injured, I did have a learning disability that the staff of the Institute did help to "cure." I also spent much of my time in the clinic, along with the rest of the children in my class, helping the staff pattern and entertaining the hurt kids. Over the years I witnessed incredible things--children who had previously been uanable to sit upright were now crawling, identifying words and connecting with those around them on a meaningful level. Glenn Doman does not offer a miracle cure-all,and sometimes all he can do is offer the parents a kind word and an attentive ear; but for all of those parents who are now able to see their children succeed far beyond the expectations of doctors and specialists around the world, Doman offers something to the parents of brain injured children that is in short supply: Hope.
P.S. It is interesting to note that when I was younger, I had always just taken it for granted that the Institutes was a good thing. They helped kids--no question about it. It was not until recently that I heard about the controversy surrounding Glenn's ideas and I have to ask: if it doesn't hurt the child, it includes them in their surroundings, and makes them aware of their environment--what's the controversy over?
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on November 9, 1998
For parents of hurt ("handicapped," "cerebral palsied," "mentally retarded," "autistic," "downs," etc., etc.) kids, this book is a MUST READ. After hearing nothing but "let's wait and see" for the first months of my son's life, and being faced with the prospect of a lifelong use of potentially toxic drugs for seizures, spasticity, etc. and ghastly surgeries to relieve the symptoms of brain injury, I found this book. I devoured it. It offered a real way for any parent of a brain injured child to help his/her child.
After reading it twice, I then attended the workshop in Philadelphia. The information presented in the book and at the workshop is tremendous both in quantity and quality.
The book is the first step in forming a battle plan to help your child. Every parent of a brain injured child needs to read this book.
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on January 17, 2000
Before you do anything else; read this book! You will not find another like it on the face of the earth; unless it is linked to The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. I'll wager that none of your child's doctors or disability representatives told you anything about The Institutes. I found out about them purely by divine accident. At age 2 1/2, I began some of their "Multiplying Your Baby's Intelligence," methods at home, and my son was reading by age 3 1/2; and his memory and focus have improved dramatically. We will be going to The Institutes later this year, and applying all of their suggested methods for our brain-injured son upon returning home. I will update this review in the future, to tell you how the methods worked out. I believe Glenn Doman and Temple Fay were inspired men who began their years of research with nothing more than a sincere desire to help hurt children become well. What they discovered is you CAN increase brain cell growth; and you CAN create new pathways around the injured area(s) of the brain. Come on, 100,000 hurt children can't be wrong! Yes, it requires a leap of faith; but I already endorse this book and all of their programs. Perhaps that's the first step to making our hurt kids well---by first believing that anything is possible!
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on December 11, 1998
Most parents of children with brain injuries would do ANYTHING to help their child! I was no different -- especially after having medical specialists tell me there is nothing they could do.
The concepts in this book made a lot of sense to me. Although they take a lot of time and effort, they cost NOTHING in the way of medicine or equipment. So, I convinced my husband and family to give it a try.
After one month of patterning, our son (with Static Encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, and cortical blindness) began crawling. After six months of patterning, our son would pull himself to a stand. After a year of patterning, he began walking with a walker (with help). It has been two years now since we began patterning and he walks independently with a walker; we expect he won't need the walker at all by June. Not only that, but after 9 months of patterning, the Ophthamologist announced he miraculously had normal vision!
Do miracles happen? Certainly. Could our son have progressed this well without patterning? Maybe. But you know what? I wouldn't want to risk NOT TRYING it! I have personally bought this book for many people I've met because I see it as THAT important.
Our son is now 4.5 years old. He has no seizures, nor does he take any medications. His doctors and therapists cannot believe his progress. I wish I was still on speaking terms with the doctor who suggested I institutionalize him and "get on with my life"!
Give it a try! I cannot hurt!
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on October 19, 1998
Essentially a book-length advertisement for Doman's "patterning" therapy, which needless to say omits to mention that the vast majority of scientific studies have shown it to be entirely useless, with the result that it has been condemned by reputable medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The book itself is repellently manipulative in style, painting a picture of Doman and his associates as the only people who care about or are interested in helping disabled children. Doman is presented as the only person who really respects parents and is willing to talk honestly to them and teach them how to "cure" their children, unlike other professionals who are cold, arrogant, and uncaring (agreeing with the accuracy of the latter description, alas, does not guarantee the truth of the former). He uses a "folksy" style, in which dubious conclusions are presented as homely truths, and in which a long-discredited theory of human development (that children "need" to go through the stages of crawling, creeping and walking in a particular way for normal neurological development to take place) is presented as state-of-the-art science.
If you are considering Doman's therapies, at least read "No Time For Jello" by Berneen Bratt as well - this first-hand account of her intial passionate faith in and painful disillusionment with "patterning" for her disabled son, plus an excellent summary of the scientific research on patterning to date, might at least cause some people to think twice.
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on January 11, 1998
I have read the book twice, and have attended the "What to do about your Brain Injured Child" course at "The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential" in Philadelphia. For people with a brain injured child, there is no more important book. Through a story line of dogmatic research, Doman presents in a logical manner how the brain grows by use. A simple concept, but dramatic improvements result when applied to those who need it most -- the brain injured child. The Developmental Profile outlined in the book is a God send to parents who wonder "what exactly is wrong with my child, " and "what can I do to fix the problem?"

Yes, I (we) have a brain injured child, and this book has provided direction, hope, and through hard work, tangible results that will be of lifelong benefit for our lovely daughter. Is there a rating higher than 10?

I would be happy to answer any questions about this book or the Institutes in general.
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on February 15, 2004
All right, my satirical review of this book and the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential was not widely appreciated, so I offer this straightforward look at things.
Our family has been doing this program for two years, and we've been able to see its effects on three children: A 12-year-old diagnosed Severely Mentally Retarded with Angelman's syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, etc., a mildly brain-injured six-year-old who has symptoms fitting several forms of dyslexia, and a six-month-old, who actually started the program several months earlier, since it's so easy to do with babies. (Actually, we've seen it work on many children, including those with Down's, but I'll reserve my comments for these three.)
The baby, now 2 1/2, is reading, has an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, primates, U.S. Presidents, and a few other things, and has a way better grasp of geography than most high schoolers (she can point out Madagascar, Sumatra, Borneo and other exotic locales out on a world map). She's physically superb: she can run a mile and climb, well, anything.
The middle child, now 8, has stopped reversing his Ds and Bs, can read and write and =enjoy= reading and writing, and has evolved more drawing and artistic abilities.
The 14-year-old, formerly speechless, now says about 2-3 sentences a day. She used to be on the ketogenic diet to control her seizures, now she's on a normal diet. She used to lurch and stumble as she walked, and now she can run, if only for half a block. I won't discuss her mental achievements here because, frankly, they have to be seen to be believed (cf. Savant Syndrome). And the program didn't make her that way, it "only" allowed us to see and appreciate what was there.
The Institutes have nailed their success rates down to very specific numbers, but out of ten kids, roughly, two won't be materially helped by the program (and their concept of "not materially helped" includes things considered as relatively large gains by every other professional who has ever seen this girl), six will be materially helped, one child will be improved enough in his parents' eyes to graduate from the program, and one will meet the Institutes standards for "superb".
The Institutes publish their results quarterly. They have for 30 years. They've offered, for 30 years, to publish anyone else's results. They actively, aggressively seek others who are successful in their field. They put together money to fund a study to compare their results with those of a local university's. (The university took the money and spent it on remodeling.) It's easy to cast stones, and it's probably comforting to many to believe that "nothing can be done".
Now, let's talk Jell-O. This program is not for everyone. If Jell-O figures prominently into your view of what childhood should be, this program is not for you. Wider: If junk food, junk entertainment, institutionalized education or even "me-time" are your priorities, just keep moving, there's nothing here for you to see. This isn't to say that you or your child won't or can't have these things while on the program, simply that they can't come first.
I'll take it even a step further: If you view a program of dedicated physical and intellectual excellence as a sacrifice, you probably ought to just give this a miss.
The hurt kids have the least slack in life. Every day they're not growing faster than average--every day they're not catching up, that is--they're falling behind. And the social stigma gets worse, too. As a 2-3 year old, my daughter used to love going to the mall. Even though she was different, at that age people commented on her beauty and charm and disregarded (or more likely did not perceive) her injuries. As she's gotten older, people are less and less able to deal with her, and when she recognized that (probably around 7 years old or so), she stopped wanting to do those things. As she recently wrote "People are polite to you in direct proportion to your ability to speak". As a result, the program for hurt kids is the most intense.
Well. Duh.
More to the point, those of us with hurt kids wrestle with guilt, regret, shame, accusatory looks, superstition, moralizing and caveman-grade ignorance, and this program--any program, effective or not--can focus that all in one laser-like beam. If you read this book, and you "get it", you begin to see brain injury on the one hand as a spectrum, something we all have to one degree or another, and on the other, akin to a broken leg or bruised arm. If you don't "get it", you may come away feeling guilty, inadequate or bitter.
There's considerable effort on the part of the Institutes to avoid that; They never ask you do more than you can, or to do something you're not comfortable with. You're the parent. You are the expert on your own child. There are many stories related in this book and others from the Insitutes that detail the contributions of parents.
I'll be honest. I would like to be able to say that, after two years, our oldest was completely well, indistinguishable from "normal" kids except for her towering intellect. But it wouldn't be true. I would guess she has another two years to go. At least. I've watched much younger kids at the institutes make much faster progress with a certain degree of envy. (I wish we hadn't discovered this when she was twelve, rather than when she was two.)
But that's okay. She's measurably better. She's clearly happier. And her siblings have been hugely benefitted as well.
And, for that matter, so have her parents.
I will, in the future, write another review and report honestly on how all the children are.
But as a father who has been told by doctors, therapists and "conventional wisdom" that his child would never crawl, walk, live, stop having seizures, comprehend anything or amount to anything before he ever heard of this book, forgive me if I regard the naysayers with bemusement.
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on May 18, 2003
This book provides a good history of how brain-injured children have been treated in the past 50 years and what has been done to improve their chances of recovery. I read this book in order to try to help my brain-injured son who is recovering from meningitis. While this book gives a lot of good insight into how the injuries are treated, it does not give me any information I can personally use for my son. A more appropriate title might be "What Can Be Done For Brain-Injured Children". Dr. Doman's Institutes has a 1 week course for parents with the same title as the book which is a pre-requisite. I would recommend this book to a parent of a brain-injured child, but I would also tell them not to expect an answer to be found here. I will continue my search for help for my son and hope all parents of such children find help as well
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on July 23, 2001
For all parents, interested in Glenn Doman's techniques on how to increase any child's intelligence, this is the first book to read. Explains how it all begin and gives sample case stories. This is a fun read.
For the most dedicated parents, take the seminars. go to
There is hope. Know a friend how's 6 month old was legally blind and doctor said no hope. 6 months later using techniques in this book and of course taking the seminar she can see and will have no problems. btw, she was reading at 9 months old, but no fair she had volunteers helping her 7 days a week 12 hours a day. Masking, Patterning, crawling, hanging, bits, dots, words, oh my.
Good luck.
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on May 3, 2000
All of the other positive reviews on this page are 100% correct. The Institutes staff have been teaching parents of brain-injured children how to make those children well for 45 years. They, and the parents they have taught, already know what the rest of the world is just beginning to suspect: brain development is NOT static. It is an ever-changing process which can be stopped (as it is by traumatic head injury), slowed (as it is by mild head injury or lack of oxygen), but most importantly, can be SPEEDED. The brain-injured child's chief enemy is time. Don't waste any more of it -- read this book! At the very least, you will never look at your child in the same way again.
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