Natural Life Magazine

Have Your "Special Needs" Child's Head Examined:
Cranio-Sacral Therapy Can Solve Learning Disabilities

by Dr. Roger Turner

Cranio-sacral therapy for children with learning difficulties.
Photo © Jovan Mandic/Shutterstock

Some of the causes of so-called "learning disabilities" include nutritional deficiencies, toxic diets, yeast and parasite infections, environmental pollutants, and a poor home or school environment. All of these other factors can be addressed but the results will still be unsatisfactory until the misalignments in the skull are corrected. Therefore, it is essential when treating children with learning difficulties that cranial adjusting (cranio-sacral therapy) be included in the treatment protocol.

Subluxation Principle

The principle of subluxation in the spine is that misaligned vertebrae pinch on peripheral nerves, causing either pain or malfunction. This principle also applies to the skull.

Skull misalignments can cause:

  • Pressure directly on the brain interfering with its ability to function.
  • Pressure on the nerves coming to and from the brain; interfering with communication.
  • Decreased blood supply to the brain, further impairing its function.

These factors produce a brain that is unable to function at its potential.

The brain misinterprets the messages coming from the peripheral nerves in response to various stimuli and sends inappropriate messages back to the various parts of the body. This results in bizarre behaviour, incorrect answers, misinterpretation of instructions, and totally unrelated reactions to information.

Important Facts About the Skull

  • The bones in the skull do not fuse together.
  • They are joined together with sutures (puzzle like structures) that remain movable.
  • The sutures cannot be pulled apart but the bones in the skull can be knocked out of place.

The major cause of skull misalignments is the birth process. Instrumentation used in the birth process such as forceps, suction, and vacuum extractors can misalign the skull.    

A very large percentage of the "special needs" children that I have examined were born with forceps, which caused misalignments in the skull. Forceps deliveries almost always cause problems because of the enormous pressure exerted on the soft skull by those hard metal instruments.

Other causes of cranial misalignments are head injuries from falling while learning to walk, hitting the edge of a coffee table or hard chair, and tumbling down stairs. Blows to the head with instruments such as: a swing, baseball bat, ball, shovel, punch, kick, hockey stick, or any other impact with a hard object can do damage to the skull as well.

Sports injuries, car accidents, occupational accidents and habitual poor sleeping positions can also cause misalignments in the skull.

I believe that the onset of such conditions as: learning disabilities, Autism, ADD, ADHD, headaches, and PDD can be directly traced to a head injury.

Electro-Dermal-Screening and Darkfield Microscope

Many of the children we examine are malnourished and suffering from deficiencies and infectious agents of many kinds. The Electro-Dermal-Screening and Darkfield Microscope are the methods I use to analyze the child to determine the presence and severity of these factors. From these types of analysis it is easier to make nutritional recommendations and address specific deficiencies and infectious agents without the usual guesswork that is necessary without proper testing.

The other common causes that I see in children with "special needs" are:

1. Dehydration – 80 to 90 percent of the brain is water. If the child is not consuming enough water, the brain will not be able to conduct the electrical impulses properly and the signals originating in the brain will not be relayed accurately. The symptoms of dehydration can be memory loss, decreased mental acuity, allergies, stomach problems, digestive problems, hiatus hernia, ulcers, constipation and high blood pressure.

2. Sugar consumption is one of the main concerns. This is detrimental to anyone’s health and is especially harmful in children with learning difficulties. Do not substitute aspartame for sugar as it has been found to interfere with the brain’s ability to facilitate nerve impulse transmissions. Avoid them both.

3. Essential fatty acids are usually lacking in "special needs" children. By adding the essential fatty acids to the child’s diet, the ability of the nervous system to receive and transmit messages is improved tremendously. This is especially helpful in treating hyperactive ADD type problems.

4. Eliminating toxic substances from the diet and environment such as: food coloring, MSG, preservatives, chemical additives, chlorine and fluoride give the body a chance to produce healthy brain and nervous tissue.

5. The Standard American Diet (SAD), consisting of mainly processed foods, which contain very little – if any – nutritional value, is almost always associated with "special needs" children. A typical SAD consists of:

  • Breakfast – sugar coated, denatured cereal with white toast, hydrogenated margarine, and jam;
  • Lunch – hot dog and fries with a pop;
  • Dinner – pizza or macaroni with processed synthetic cheese and more pop;
  • Snack – sugar, candies, chips, cheeses and pretzels.

In the SAD, fruits and vegetables are unheard of. There is very little water consumed, and there isn’t any concern for protein, carbohydrate and fat combinations. Everything is processed and cooked in the microwave. No wonder the brain does not work very well! The most difficulty I have with getting the children to change their diets is the parents. The parents are reluctant to change their lifestyle and can’t see how their diet can possibly affect the children’s ability to learn. Some of the parents have sabotaged their child’s possible progress with our treatment protocol.

6. Yeast, virus, bacterial and parasite infections are present in almost every child with "special needs". When parasites are present, they eat up what little nutrition is available. Yeast infections are common because of the frequent use of antibiotics. Yeast thrives on the body’s blood sugar, which decreases the amount available to the brain. Viral and bacterial infections will exhaust the child’s immune system. This leaves them more susceptible to environmental and household toxins, further decreasing their abilities.

The full treatment protocol for treating Special Needs children requires the following:

  1. The structural misalignments in the spine and skull must be corrected.
  2. Electro Dermal Screening or Darkfield Microscope testing is also done to identify the associated factors.
  3. Diet and nutritional changes are made.
  4. Internal and external environments are detoxified.
  5. Nutritional supplements are introduced where necessary.
  6. New study techniques are incorporated to re-educate the brain.

In order to get the best results, all of the above steps are necessary in the complete protocol to adequately treat "special needs" children.

Dr. Roger L. Turner D.C. is a practicing chiropractor in Barrie & North Bay, Ontario, Canada.


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