Case Study: He was on the verge of being expelled for the final time from his secondary school because he could not “sit down, shut up and learn”

When John came to see me he was brought by his parents as he was on the verge of being expelled for the final time from his secondary school because he could not “sit down, shut up and learn”.

He was in first year and was described by the school as “disruptive and constantly moving”.

I found that even as he listened to me he was moving his entire body and after a few moments realised that given the freedom to move he was able to listen and understand what I was explaining.

We discovered through various tests that I did with him that when he listened, rather than just take the information in and sort it and store it mentally, he was actually being triggered to move limbs and facial
muscles, neck muscles and much more simply by the firing of the neurons in his brain involved in the process of taking in, sorting and storing what he was hearing.

As his corpus callosum ( a bridge of nerve fibres in the brain) was not carrying the information from his right brain hemisphere to his left, and visa versa, those electric impulses used to sort, understand and store information were being rerouted down through the motor areas of his brain and triggered involuntary physical movements.

I helped John to do specific activities to help clear a pathway for these signals to move more easily between hemispheres across the corpus callosum. He went home with one physical activity to practise at home and a letter for his school l.

The letter informed the school that his movements were involuntary movements triggered by processing the information he was listening to and stating that if he could be put to the back of the room, behind the other students and given the freedom to move and fidget with the toy that I had given him that he would learn effectively.
Next week when they returned to see me they had a different story to tell .

The principal and teachers had all noticed how calm he had become and once he had their permission to move and felt accepted he settled in well and could be part of the class.

His parents and John were overjoyed. John,in his innocence, told me that he thought it was the tiny flexible toy I gave him that made all the difference!

I had given him a toy flexible man and invited him to play with it in class to keep his hands occupied while he listened. The teachers were very sceptical but once they saw the effect they were amazed at how calm he was in class and how they could teach their classes without disruption.

John only needed to play with the toy for a few seconds during the second week and after that completely forgot to bring it to school (as he didn’t need it anymore).

He had successfully trained his body and brain to focus his attention.

By channelling all his movement into “Toby” the flexible toy man, and giving him the freedom to move, we had allowed the space for his brain and body to learn to listen without triggering physical movements and he had learned to focus for extended periods of time.

We given him the freedom to move in class and once he had that freedom he was able to pass through to a calmer more relaxed way of learning.

That was about 14 years ago now and John has continued to be calm, relaxed and ready to focus wherever he goes. John works as a microbiologist and much of his time is spent looking though a microscope 🔬

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