Case study four – a nudge in the right direction
Although most of my clients are over seven years old I do see younger children. If there is an obvious problem and retained reflexes seem to be involved, often a little nudge in the right direction will get things back on track and may allow natural development to continue. These children often catch up with their peers by the time they are at school. This has a massive impact on self esteem.
Tom (not his real name) had been adopted from a very difficult situation. Although now in a stable and loving home he had experienced quite a few temporary placements in his short life. His adoptive parents brought him to me when he was three years and 10 months old. He was a lovely outgoing young man full of questions. Although settled with his adoptive family he was not toilet trained. He appeared to have no bladder or bowel control at all, though medical problems had been ruled out.
I was not able to do a diagnostic assessment on such a young child but was able to make an informed choice after a period of observation. I gave them an exercise to do at home and they did it regularly every day. After ten days the wetting had reduced to once a week. After 6 weeks I saw them again. Though Tom was no longer wetting himself he was still struggling with control of bowel movements: either not being able to produce something when he should, or producing something in his pants when he shouldn’t. A second exercise was given and he responded well.After two weeks he had reliable control of both his bladder and his bowels.
That was all I did with Tom at that point. I have had contact with his parents since, and his development seems to be catching up and will soon be in line with what one would expect for his age. His parents are aware of the reflexes now and are open to the fact that he may benefit from further reflex integration later in life.