Neurological Diagnosis and Treatment for Learning Disabilities

    (415) 561-6755 | 2154 4th Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

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Bright Minds offers Neurological Examinations Tailored for each Child
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We help families

Treatment from age 2

Rule in/out problems

Reduce family stress

Improve school performance

Better quality of life

Peer-reviewed methods

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We offer an evidence-based approach composed of:

Cognitive Neurology
Cognitive Neurology is a discipline of neurology that deals with the relationship between the brain structure, the brain electrical activity, and brain function. Brain function is expressed by judgment, memory, language, reading, spatial orientation, motor performance, and sensory integration. In addition, behavior is one of the manifestations of brain function. These include: mood, socialization, attention, and forethought.

BMI image Neurological Examination
A neurological examination may include two elements, an assessment of neurological functioning, and an examination of “soft” (subtle) neurological signs if a learning disability is suspected. An assessment will include a family and medical history, as well as physical examination of specific neurological functions. In some cases, a neurological examination may also include more specialized procedures such as an EEG to measure electrical activity in the brain, visual evoked response tests assess how well information travels from the eyes to the occipital lobes (visual cortex), MRI scans, or other brain-imaging techniques.

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BMI image Digital EEG & Evoked Potentials (DEEP) Assessment
Our clinics in San Rafael, California and Vero Beach, Fl are currently the primary locations in the world where the DEEP is available for use in clinical applications. Our specialized EEG captures more information than the standard EEG and allows the neurologist to thoroughly examine the subtleties and complexities of each individual.

The DEEP is unique from other more primitive forms of Diagnostics in many ways. First among these is that we use more electrodes than standard EEG. Standard EEG at best utilizes 28 electrodes -- none of which record data from the primary language regions of the brain. Our DEEP brain cap has 32 electrodes, 8 of which are specifically tasked with recording data from the key language regions of the brain -- Broca's and Wernicke's areas respectively. These regions handle the majority of our understood and evoked language and yet remain largely ignored in traditional EEG recordings. We believe that these regions must be evaluated directly in order to accurately explain how a child's individual problems manifest in their development of language.

BMI image The DEEP Assessment objectively measures the correlation between brain function and electrical activity of the neural tissue: at rest, through the circadian rhythm and during specific tasks. It may measure dysfunction, mild deviations from normal or definite abnormalities in the maturational process. Evoked responses (ERP) use stimuli in the visual and auditory domains to show objective links between perceptive-cognitive deficits and electrical maturational or structural damage to the brain.

Evoked responses may be altered by changes in the individual's psychological state, underlining the importance of differentiating between focused attention and non specific alertness. DEEP also offers an objective follow up to the improvement in the functional connectivity achieved when the right method is used in the treatment of a dysfunctional state.

BMI image Finally, we use the proprietary Brain Electrical Activity Mapping (BEAM) database created by Dr. Frank Duffy, M.D., of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, comprising numerous normative samples to compare to when performing diagnostics. This standardized database of brain activity has been gathered over the last two decades and is still being updated today. These samples are broken into 10 age groups, allowing us to know what the average expected response to the stimuli we give will be.

We then superimpose your child's data over that of the average and are able to tell with mathematical certainty where your child differs. This allows us great accuracy in determining exactly which regions of the brain are affected and how these anomalies affect the proper functioning of your child's brain. In addition, these results serve as a concrete framework upon which to build a medically-based treatment protocol individually tailored to your child and the specific needs of his or her brain.

Read more about our DEEP Assessment procedure.

BMI image Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between brain function and behavior. Neuropsychological evaluations are concerned with exploring the behavioral expression of brain dysfunction. To fully understand an individual’s unique neuropsychological profile, the following areas are assessed and integrated into a comprehensive analysis that includes recommendations for intervention. These areas include attention and concentration; memory; language; visual-spatial abilities; sensory-motor abilities; higher cognitive abilities including intellectual and executive functioning; and emotional factors.

Clinical Psychology BMI image
Psychologists are trained in human behavior, normal development, learning, and memory. They work with many kinds of mental disorders and different types of therapy. They are trained to use IQ tests, personality tests, and career tests to help children and young adults. They may provide therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. They cannot prescribe medicines in most states.

Educational Psychology
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An educational psychologist is a PhD-level mental health expert who specializes in assessment and consultation relating to educational issues, and learning disabilities. Educational psychologists use a range of assessment tools, including intelligence and academic achievement testing.

Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive therapy takes the approach that how you think affects how you feel and behave. This therapy helps you recognize unhealthy ways of thinking that keep you stuck. You learn to identify automatic negative thoughts. You learn how to change your thoughts and this can lead to changed behaviors. It can also improve self-esteem and confidence.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is very structured and goal oriented. It starts with what you are doing now, then helps you change your behavior. Behavioral therapists may use techniques such as:

  • Exposure therapy or desensitization.
    This teaches you to face your fears while practicing relaxation skills.
  • Role-playing.
    This may increase assertiveness or help resolve conflicts between family members.
  • Self-monitoring, or keeping a log of your daily activities.
    This may help identify which behaviors are causing problems.

Speech Therapy BMI image
Therapists are trained to treat all aspects of speech and language pathology including: expressive and receptive language disorders, oral-motor weakness, dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), articulation disorders, dysfluency (stuttering), and voice disorders. The therapist addresses augmentative communication as needed. Typically therapy is on a weekly basis (1-2 hours per day, 2-3 days per week).

Individual Tutors

The trained tutors work with children and young adults to assess their educational level, and create an individualized program that will help achieve the appropriate educational goals.

Physical Therapy
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Therapists are trained to treat all areas of gross motor dysfunction including: coordination issues, gait deviations, poor balance, developmental delays, strength deficits, endurance problems, orthopedic issues and sensory integration dysfunction. Typically therapy is on a weekly basis (1-2 hours per day 2-3 times per week). The therapist offers an intensive program (3 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 3 weeks). During all sessions children have access to specialized equipment from Europe (the Therasuit and the Universal Exercise Unit).

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Occupational Therapy
Therapists are trained to treat all aspects of fine motor dysfunction including: activities of daily living (dressing, feeding, bathing, etc.), handwriting problems, sensory integration dysfunction, strength deficits, assistive technology needs and feeding. Typically therapy is on a weekly basis (1-2 hours per day 2-3 times per week).

Family Therapy
Family therapists view the family as a system. They work with the whole family rather than just one person. The therapist helps family members to openly express feelings and change negative family patterns.

Art Therapy

Drawing, painting, or working with clay with an art therapist can help you express things that you may not be able to put into words. Art therapists work with children, teens, and adults, including people with disabilities.

BMI image, representative only Pharmacological Therapy (Medicines)

Medicines can help improve brain activity. They are prescribed by a Psychiatrist or a Neurologist. We will work with you to carefully select the right medicine. Medicines may be used alone, but most people find that using medicine along with other kinds of therapy works best.

BMI image, representative only Biofeedback is a therapy in which you are trained to improve your health by using information from your own body. You can learn to control many body activities that most people usually don't think of as within their control. Among these are: blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and many brain wave patterns.

Biofeedback is especially useful for treating "Type A" teens and adults for stress reduction. As part of our overall practice we treat firefighters, police officers and other individuals in highly demanding and stressful occupations or life situations.

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