Professionally, I’ve spent more than six years working with children and adults with various neurological, mental, and developmental disorders in a variety of settings.
While I was never a medical provider, I became a jack of all trades for assisting providers. I was a chaplain on an acute care psychiatric ward, a sensory-motor coach at a neurology-based tutoring center, and an on-site caregiver to adults with developmental disabilities. Of all the treatment modalities I saw in use in all of those settings, those which focused on neuro-plasticity were far and away from a step ahead of the rest.
For that reason, I highly recommend what Joe Kleman does at Neural Movement therapy. I’ve been seeing him for care for myself for the past several months and have been really pleased with the results. I’ve been impressed both practically and intellectually, as someone with an above-average appreciation for the skill he displays.
His major invention, the cube room, focuses on skills like coordination of bilateral movements, sequencing of movements, motor planning, proprioception, balance, etc. In laymen’s terms, it’s all about, “Where is my body in space?”
I find the motor planning in the cube room more challenging than any of the exercises I’ve ever done or assisted someone in doing (for example, more challenging than the Interactive Metronome or eye-exercise software like VisionBuilder). I don’t mean “harder”, I mean more progressively challenging in the way that keeps me always on the edge of growing.
Because the cube room uses so many skills as once (vs. something like optokinetic exercises that focus on one very specific skill), I could see the cube room being especially useful for patients who are trying to integrate a lot of isolate changes they have already made with other treatment modalities. Or, for patients who have never tried a neuro-plasticity based treatment model, have co-occuring physical limitations, and need to focus on growing skills “in three dimensions”.
Unique to Joe’s setting is his insistence on “games” — not “treatment” — to help the person learn that movement is fun, normal, and part of who they are. Neuro-plasticity treatments are different than say, taking a pill for an acute infection because the challenge is to convince the patient not only to do the exercises but to let doing the thing that makes them grow to become part of who they are, what their habits are in the long-term.
When I worked with providers, our hardest challenge was getting patients to do their home exercises. Joe’s approach — presenting things as “games” — is much easier to follow through on. Even when I know it’s a trick!
I had a full evaluation at the Carolina Brain Center right before I started therapy with Joe. I will go back to them for follow-up evaluation in a few weeks, but I can tell that I’ve improved on most if not all of the neurological metrics they tested me in. Without knowing what their results were or having the benefit of all their computerized test equipment, Joe easily pinpointed the same weak places in my brain and how to strengthen them. He did it by observing how I moved and how skilled I was in my movements.
Respect for the man whose intuition is as honed as that!
BY: Joe Kleman
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