Can Chiropractic Help Children With Learning Disabilities?
This week in our chiropractic wellness clinic, I had a conversation with a patient who is a grade 8 teacher. I was particularly curious of the prevalence of children in his class with learning disabilities. This is what I learned …
The teacher said that 1 in 5 (20%) students in his class have been diagnosed with a learning disability, such as ADD or ADHD. He also said that a lot of learning disabilities go unreported, so the prevalence is likely higher. And, that this is fairly common in most classrooms at his school.
Statistic Canada, in a 2006 study entitled “Participiation and Activity Limitation Survey”, reported that there is a increase in disabilities amongst children aged 14 and under. The findings showed that amongst children aged 14 and under, about 202,350 (3.7%) reported a disability of some kind in 2006. This is up from 2001 which was at 3.1%.
In this group, 69.8% of children aged 4 and under had a disability related to a chronic health condition – the most common health conditions reported were asthma, severe allergies, attention deficit disorder, and autism.
For children aged 5 to 14, the study reported that 66.6% of these children had chronic health conditions. Learning disabilities affected 69.3% of children in this age group.
Overall, there was a large increase in learning disabilities from 2001 to 2006 for both children and adults.
At Back To Health Chiropractic Centre, our our vision is family health and wellness … which means our vision is for families in our community to be fully healthy, happy and flourishing. To our Back To Health Chiropractic team, healthy families does not mean just mom or dad on the wellness path. Family health especially includes children living to their full human potential.
I really like the World Health Organization’s definition of health, which is …
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 1
Unfortunately, many children are not living in a “complete physical, mental and social well-being” as the learning disability prevalence is increasing.
So if health means “complete physical, mental and social well-being”, how are we doing when chronic health conditions and learning disabilities are increasing in the school-aged population?
In our chiropractic wellness clinic, we care for children that present with chronic health conditions and learning disabilities. Although most adults come into our clinic with pain complaints of some sort (like headaches, back pain, neck pain), most children in our clinic don’t present with pain conditions. They present with health conditions such as asthma, allergies, bed-wetting, digestive problems, ADD/ADHD and autism. I have seen chiropractic be helpful for children with these types of health conditions. However, chiropractic is not a treatment for any of these health conditions.
A chiropractor assesses the spine to find spinal misalignments (subluxations). Why is this important? Because spinal misalignments can alter the quality and quantity of nerve input to and from the brain. Altered nerve input to and from the brain can cause problems to the body. To correct a spinal misalignment, the chiropractor delivers a specific scientific chiropractic adjustment, which removes interference on the nervous system and improves the nerve input to and from the brain. Now, the body is in a position to function and heal optimally because all healing and body function is controlled by the brain. This is why chiropractors will see many people, adults and children alike, respond positively to a variety to different health conditions.
So can chiropractic help children with learning disabilities? Let’s look at this study…
In a 2007 literature review study by Dr. Yannick Pauli, published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), Dr. Pauli suggested that although more research is necessary in this area, chiropractic care may have a positive role in individuals suffering from learning disabilities and dyslexia.2 A lot has to do with restoring function to the child’s nervous system by correcting vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments).
Chiropractic care for children is safe and effective. Ask your family wellness chiropractor how chiropractic can be of benefit to you and your family.
1. WHO Website. http://www.who.int/about/definition/en/print.html
2. Pauli, Yannick, D.C.The Effects of Chiropractic Care on Individuals Suffering from Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR). January 15, 2007, pp 1-12.