With today’s expanding science and technology, many new genetic disorders have been identified. Along with listing a group of characteristics, websites regarding these disorders offer predictions of future limitations and problems as well as a prognosis for a child with the disorder. Parents now seek services armed with this “wealth of information” and feel that their child’s future is already somewhat predictable.
NACD was founded on the belief that no child’s future is predictable. Every child is born with a potential that cannot be accurately forecast on a website. A genetic disorder does not define the potential of an individual. NACD, through its neurodevelopmental evaluation process, identifies a child’s current level of function in areas including auditory and visual processing, fine and gross motor skills, language, and academics when appropriate. Starting from that standpoint as opposed to the standpoint of the genetic label, the NACD staff works to train parents to move their child forward in all of those areas. This pathway forward is not moving toward a predetermined dead-end. By utilizing principles of the brain’s marvelous ability to change and develop, the NACD staff trains the parents to capitalize on something called “neuroplasticity.” Through intense input of appropriate, usable information, parents can have a profound and positive impact on their child’s development.
As the identification of more genetic disorders results in labels being applied to children, more parents will feel that their child is defined by a diagnosis. Placing a child in a box with a label does not take into account the brain’s amazing ability to learn to function in new ways. It does not take into account the brain’s ability to learn to do processes using areas of the brain that were not previously utilized. NACD helps parents and professionals make the most of opportunities to help the brain change. The wonderful thing about this strategy is its ability to cause change in neurological function. Neurological change produces global changes in the individual. Unlike skill-based training, the neurodevelopmental approach addresses the child’s ability to think with complexity.
Years ago, children with Down Syndrome were predicted to be unable to learn past the third grade. Today, children with Down Syndrome can be on the honor roll at all levels of schooling and can attend college. This does not happen on its own but through the work of the parents using specific strategies. Just as those predictions were erroneous for children with Down Syndrome, the predictions for many genetic disorders that are being made today will prove to be just as mistaken.
NACD offers specific things that you, the parent or professional, can do to help a child rise above the predictions made regarding their genetic disorder. NACD offers a plan and a supportive program that works.