What does a Diagnosis of Developmental Delay or Developmental Disability Mean?

When you receive a diagnosis of Developmental Delay or Developmental Disability, it is usually along with other diagnoses. Your medical and psychological practitioners will probably pay more attention to those other diagnoses. I think those other diagnoses are symptoms of Developmental Delay and Developmental Disability. I think that the other diagnoses are not the problem; I think they are only the symptoms. And, I think that the interventions which provide relief need to address the core problem, not those symptoms.

Since early 2001, I have worked with almost 400 children and adults who had Developmental Delay and Developmental Disability. They came to my clinic because of their other diagnoses, but their real problem was that they were not progressing through their developmental stages.

The simple way of understanding these developmental problems is that the children get stuck at one or more of their developmental stages. When other children have been moving forward developmentally, the children with these problems get stuck. They do not move forward. Those other diagnoses reflect the intensity of the cause of this problem and the developmental stages at which the child gets stuck.

Let me give you a common example of this. Often, a child with a Developmental Delay or Developmental Disability diagnosis will also have a diagnosis of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). In my opinion, this is an indication that the child is stuck in that stage where children need to learn ‘who decides?’ (Normally, 18 to 30 months of age). So, the child’s oppositional and defiant behaviors are a more sophisticated version of the 2 year old child constantly saying, “No!” in response to instructions from parents and caregivers. In my experience, these diagnoses of ODD are a signal that the children are stuck in that developmental stage.

Physiologists and Psychiatrists put their therapeutic efforts into dealing with the symptoms of ODD. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says: “Treatment of ODD may include: Parent Training Programs to help manage the child’s behavior, Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management, Family Psychotherapy to improve communication, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and decrease negativity, and Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance with peers.”

The root cause of ODD is that the person is stuck in that developmental stage and cannot move out of that stage. The psychotherapeutic approaches do not deal with that state of being stuck there. They do not offer a way to move forward through (and out of) that stage. They offer some coping skills so the ODD person can move forward in their lives, but they offer nothing to resolve the root cause of being stuck in that developmental stage. The ODD person will always have to be coping with this until they have a way to move out of that stage.

But, there is hope. I have seen hundreds of examples of children who were stuck in various developmental stages released from those stages. I have seen ODD children who moved out of that developmental stage where they had been stuck for years, and I have seen them stop being oppositional and defiant, without psychotherapy or counseling.

Our way of understanding the root cause of Developmental Delay and Developmental Disability is that there are some circuits (oscillators) in the basal ganglia of the brain which control motor planning and sequencing. From our experience, these circuits are the engine that drives the developmental process. If these circuits are faulty, there will be problems in the developmental process. When these circuits are rebuilt and precisely tuned, the developmental process resumes. And, if the children had been stuck in earlier developmental stages, they naturally go to those stages, work out what they have to learn, and then move forward appropriately.

The intervention to rebuild these brain circuits is an exercise program. It is precise and it requires a committment to maintain the regimen for two to three months. You perform this program at home and the exercise regimen is delivered by internet. If you want to learn how rebuild and precisely tune those brain circuits for you or family members, check out http://www.developmentaldelay.therhythmof.com/

If you want to learn more about other areas where this intervention improves human performance, check out http://www.therhythmof.com/

Leave a Comment