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Is Tinsley House a lot of old codswallop then?

(113 Posts)
MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 10:38:01

Interested in this. Based on another thread. A couple of people inwardly groaning (or outwardly!) at the mention of it.

I have read the books, but not progressed to any assessment. Ds1 has some 'issues' which are nor obviously anything in particular but reading about other kids and a lot on here, it is fairly clear - auditory processing, dyspraxia, dyslexia, sensory processing overload, difficulty focussing/ concentrating. The auditory has been diagnosed by an OT, the rest have not. He should have started The Listening Programme but it has been delayed. The other (potential) issues are not being dealt with at all.

These issues he has then have a huge social and emotional impact. I have been desperately rummaging around for help and solutions since the end of YR when things got very bad for him.

Where I agree with the Tinsley House is that there must be a common root to all this, and a therefore a common treatment. Rather than dealing with symptoms, is it not better to address a cause. Where I am not sure is that I am not an expert at all in any of this stuff. Is it just a load of made-up stuff which is trading on parents' concerns?

I have significantly changed ds1's diet and added in Tinsley House suggested supplements and seen significant improvement in him this term. I don't know if this would have happened anyway. It certainly didn't happen during Y2 and there was actually some decline in how he was doing academically.

I just want to hear the pros and cons, really. Here's an invitation.

smee Thu 28-Nov-13 13:53:56

Merry, I know nothing about Tinsley House, but if your son's dyslexic, dyspraxic, etc there is no cure. There's lots you can do to help him learn, but he will always be those things. It's just part of who he is.

On the diet thing, logically any child who's lacking something in their diet will improve if given the things they're lacking, so that doesn't matter if they're dyslexic, etc or not. Clearly am not an expert, just thinking it through rationally! smile

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 14:03:43

Thanks smee. Why do you think there is not a 'cause' and therefore a treatment for it?

Shootingatpigeons Thu 28-Nov-13 14:10:18

An outward groaner here. I am not anti supplement at all, I have used diet and supplements to help with my health issues and I make sure My DDs have a good diet, including, since there is sound scientific evidence it may help those with SpLDs Omega 3,6 and 9 and they certainly help with general health and do no harm(except to your wallet).

However I find your post really seriously misguided, slightly offensive and possibly harmful to your son.

I am dyslexic/dyspraxic, so is my brother, my niece and my daughters and if I were to guess at a root cause it is the genes that predispose our brains to be wired differently. You suggest we have a diet induced illness shock when I don't think we have an illness at all. Indeed whilst we find it difficult to learn in traditional ways we also do not think in traditional ways which is why we are overs presented amongst CEOs, Historians, entrepreneurs to name a few areas where our "illness" enables us to succeed. We do so because we think holistically and laterally, can see problems as a whole, spot patterns, generate innovative ideas and solutions. That is why the MOD are going out of their way to create environments in which those with SpLDs / ASD are enabled to play to their strengths.

The problem is that a primary school environment and the teaching methods tend not to enable us to learn. It is not that we can't learn, it is just we learn differently. Hence all the behavioural and social problems.
But there isn't any "cure" that will make us suddenly able to learn in the same way as others. Unless you count developing coping strategies and somehow getting to the end of it and getting to university or work or some other environment where our strengths come into their own.

I never had the benefit of a diagnosis but with one my DDs have had the benefit of understanding their exact strengths and weaknesses, and suggested coping strategies. They have had intensive support with teaching methods that suited their learning methods when they needed it. They have both been enabled to achieve their potential and best of all they don't compare themselves to people who think and learn best in the traditional ways and think they are a bit slow and stupid, in spite of being clever and overflowing with good ideas, like I did.

There is no shortage of businesses trading on parents' wishes to have a "normal" child, to find a cure, an easy way. However you are missing the point, love your child for what he is and enable him to succeed with the right support. It is hard work for you and him, but isn't that what this parenting lark is all about.?

accessorizequeen Thu 28-Nov-13 14:19:27

Hi Merry. I don't have an answer as I have only read about Tinsley house and not implemented the ideas. But as you probably know, ds1(9) is being assessed for Aspergers and ds3 I think shares some of your dd's issues - we are at the beginning of that as its only just become clear that he has some auditory problems. I would agree that there is little research to support the idea of a single cause for any of those issues. Largely because each child's issues intersect with their personality and they present uniquely. I've found the hardest thing is to accept that's who they are, but I coped better when I did. Be interesting to see where this thread goes. I've read anecdotal accounts on here. If its ok, could I message you about the auditory and sensory issues? Ds3 is only 5, is that when it started showing up for your ds1? In the reception year?

rabbitstew Thu 28-Nov-13 14:33:10

Hmm. No, I don't think there is a central, single cause for all the symptoms you describe. Nor do I think all dyspraxics/dyslexics think holistically and laterally, because I don't think there is a single, central cause for dyspraxia or dyslexia - there are too many symptoms which can fall under those umbrellas but which don't actually have to (eg hypotonia and hypermobility, poor memory and/or attention, visual perceptual difficulties, auditory perception difficulties, etc). I do think that people are "wired" that way, though, and some interventions can help with areas of particular difficulty, or make it easier to express particular talents, but what helps one person won't automatically help another. In my ds1's case, physiotherapy helped colossally, because in HIS case, the central issue that was affecting all other areas of his development was his hypotonia and hypermobility. Dealing with that made a lot of his other issues disappear altogether or become insignificant, because they weren't real issues, they were just areas where he was being held back by something else...

Shootingatpigeons Thu 28-Nov-13 14:52:06

rabbit I should have made it clear I was talking in terms of my DD's experience. Yes there is a huge spectrum of problems, but when we are talking in terms of a "single cause" and "cure" I thought that might be a step too far.

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 15:12:14

You suggest we have a diet induced illness shock when I don't think we have an illness at all. Shooting, sorry I didn't mean to imply that at all. I was more saying that I have seen a benefit to one aspect of Tinsley House stuff. I've never wished to have a 'normal' child, but when you see your child suffering and suffering and their self esteem plummet, you want to help in whatever way. When school are less than forthcoming, and you don't know what is 'wrong' or where to even start, it's very very hard. I actually find it hard to look at pictures of when he was 4 as he was the happiest, sunniest child you could imagine.

I want my ds1 to feel happy in himself and to fulfill his potential, that's all. If there is anything hindering that, if certain exercises can help brain connections or whatever it is, I would gladly do it. If certain food will help, I will do it. It's not really knowing what to do which is the killer.

Bradsplit Thu 28-Nov-13 15:13:14

Made a huge difference to a mates son. Huge.

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 15:29:56

accessorize, so good to see you on here! Yes do message me. With ds1 it all started in YR, partly because he was my first, I didn't know what to expect of him either so never noticed areas where he was struggling. It really kicked in when with behavioural issues in YR (being able to sit still and listen) and being left behind academically (basically in phonics and writing) by all his friends, plus some bullying as he struggles socially too. As a sensitive child it had a huge impact.

I've spent the past 3 years wondering how much to 'accept' and how much to fight. To be honest, the fighting has paid off more in terms of ds1's self esteem (the main one was a class shift - actually the whole year group got mixed up) and getting the teacher's on board.

FWIW, I don't think Tinsley House do offer a 'single cure', from what I've read it is tailored to the kid's specific issues and where the issue is (left brain/ right brain etc) - but I still don't know if it's worth much or not.

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 15:31:00

Brad, do you have more info please?

rabbitstew Thu 28-Nov-13 15:45:41

MerryMarigold - quite a few parents posting on the Special Needs: Children board have tried Tinsley House and quite a few seemed to feel it helped. You'll find tonnes about it on there.

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 15:46:32

Thanks rabbit.

bruffin Thu 28-Nov-13 16:32:19

I would have thought swimming and playing a musical instrument would be far better for leftbrain/rightbrain issues, rather than boring excercises. Convergence issues can be diagnosed by high street opticians and solved with simple exercises using a pencil that costs nothing. My DD's convergence was quite bad, she was seeing double at 20cm instead of 8cm. Despite that she read fluently within 3 months of starting school and it was years before we knew she actually had a problem or seeing double when she was reading.
Dyslexia or spld are not static conditions, they do improve with development and maturity. My DS's reading clicked at 7 and he has found ways of compensating for other problems as he has got older. He would go from not being able to do something at all to being an expert overnight. If that had coincided with some sort of treatment i am sure the treatment would have been given the credit.

Bradsplit Thu 28-Nov-13 17:22:31

no but mate who went was VERY hmm about it but at her wits end. Told no one as she was convinced everyone woudl persuade her out of it

Kid is transformed

Bradsplit Thu 28-Nov-13 17:22:45

tbh - why NOT try it - if it works then hey

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 18:43:24

True brad. It is quite expensive I though and I don't want ds to feel that his issues are so's a long trip for us.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 28-Nov-13 19:08:31

I agree totally with Bruffin It is actually only with the latest assessment that an Ed Psych raised the possibility, subsequently, confirmed, that some of my DDs problems, disorganisation, sensory overload, social awkwardness, several broken bones, were the result of Dyspraxia. The literacy problems had always had centre stage but my DD only commented the other day that whilst PE teachers always viewed her with contempt, it always gave her great satisfaction to jump into the pool and power her way (she is a tall big limbed girl) into the first teams. I am also quite sure that her couple of years flirtation with shock, would you believe, Ice Skating helped her coordination and balance tremendously. My friend's DD who has Asperger's started to accompany her on the Consultant's recommendation.

And on they social side both my DD and my friend's DD have found a new level of acceptance now their peers are older and can value them for themselves and their difference (9 which has it's upsides.

MerryMarigold Thu 28-Nov-13 19:14:06

I have to say playing a musical instrument was hideous for ds1 - and it was only recorder. When you are dyspraxic, trying to hold the recorder, blow the right amount of air, co-ordinate your fingers. And when you are (possibly) dyslexic, trying to read notes when you struggle with words. Not. Good. Swimming more fun, but hard work trying to progress and seeing others progress faster than you. All life lessons of course, but not necessarily helped his self esteem or any other issues he has.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 28-Nov-13 20:05:59

Yes. DD has a gorgeous voice but has been put off choirs, grades etc. for life by music teachers who seem to be a particular bastion of ignorance on the issues pupils with SPldS have with written music especially as my DD has an issue with up and down as well as right and left. However thank goodness for a young musical actress who taught at the theatre group she got involved with, lovely, inspiring and took the trouble to work out ways of teaching her to sing songs from musicals that worked for her. End result she had the confidence building experience of appearing on the west end stage. Lots of actors have SpLDs, there is a particularly inspiring documentary involving Kara Toynton.

I could fill up the thread with miserable confidence sapping experiences, she is allergic to carol services because of being shouted at by stressed teachers who have to produce a perfect show for parents and just didn't get why she couldn't perform like a trained seal, and ended up shouting when the usual methods didn't work, but it is about looking for their talents and the support to help them realise them.

nooka Thu 28-Nov-13 20:35:48

I don't have any experience about Tinsley House, but I don't see why there should be a common cause for a fairly large group of people with disparate symptoms. My son is dyslexic and it runs very strongly through our family, so there is almost certainly a genetic cause for us. However the dyslexics are no more similar to each other than to any other member of the family (apart from being almost exclusively male). My nephew has Aspergers and you can see some traits of that in many other family members, but some of that is about where you draw the line between quirky/eccentric and disabled.

Also I think that you have to consider whether any cause is treatable. It's likely that issues such as these have multifactorial triggers probably including genes, uterine and early childhood environmental factors. Some might possibly be preventable but that's a public health rather than something an individual family can probably address. So I think it makes sense to focus on the symptoms and see what can be addressed, assisted or compensated for.

I do agree it is very hard to discover what works, and generally so long as something is generally beneficial or at the very least not harmful it's worth trying. It is I think with children really difficult to tell if a particular intervention works unless there are very clear links. For example we tried omega supplements with ds (who also had fairly significant behaviour problems) no idea if they had any impact or not. He went to a gym class, perhaps it helped his core stability. Probably not, but he enjoyed it so that was fine. Getting phonics tutoring meant to learned to read so that one for him really did work. Mostly for him just growing up has helped enormously, but then I don't think there was anything that wrong with him in the first place.

rabbitstew Thu 28-Nov-13 20:52:12

I don't think recorder is a good first musical instrument to pick, tbh - it's not as easy as it looks to completely cover the holes when you are young, with relatively small hands. And that's before you think about how hard to blow and what to do with your tongue. Also, better for the self-esteem to have individual music lessons if possible, not to learn in a group of more proficient children!! Ds1 started with piano: when he started, he couldn't even play one note without his other fingers getting in the way and depressing the keys around it. He now plays really well and it has hugely increased his self-esteem because piano is not something many people actually can play, so it is something physical he can say he does that others can admire, rather than always having thrust in his face that he will never be able to run as fast as his peers, or catch a ball as well as his peers, etc, etc. Learning the piano also improved his hand stamina no end, which helped with handwriting and grip. Also, piano is not a hugely "uncomfortable" instrument to play - guitar can hurt the fingers if you are a bit hypersensitive, a lot of wind instruments put uncomfortable amounts of pressure on your mouth, violin, besides being quite tricky anyway, requires you to stick something between your chin and shoulder and hold your arms up at an awkward angle, etc, etc.

rabbitstew Thu 28-Nov-13 20:54:47

Some people think horseriding helps.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Nov-13 20:56:40

No more codswollop than a lot of totally made up education practice that occurs in schools.

rabbitstew Thu 28-Nov-13 20:59:36


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