OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

We don’t talk enough about children’s mental health but it’s something that we should have more awareness about if we want to help children with learning and behavioral problems. Some people are helping us do this in interesting ways and one of those is this episode’s guest. Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D sits down for a conversation with Wynford Dore of Zing Performance. In this episode, Wynford takes us into Zing Performance’s mission to deliver life-changing transformations in learning and development to as many people as possible through science-backed tools, programs, and services. Wynford explains how his signature program has helped children with learning and behavioral problems reset their brains and perform better in all aspects of life. Join in to learn more!

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Children’s Mental Health And The Secret Brain Reset With Wynford Dore Of Zing Performance

Wynford Dore is the Founder and CEO of Zing Performance. Wynford is a successful entrepreneur and has been the Founder of many successful companies and the Creator of countless forward-looking innovative solutions. For many years, he has focused his attention on changing the world one brain at a time through Zing Performance. Wynford funds many research projects and works with leading academics to determine the best solutions that successfully accelerate learning in the brain.

 

Wynford, thank you so much for joining us here.

It’s my pleasure to be with you, Dr. Tim.

I was hoping you could start us off by letting us know a little bit about how you got into the work you do and what drives your passion for it.

I got into this because I was one of these off-the-wall researchers and the industries I was in, I turned them upside down. Not because I was trying to but because I was asking the questions and coming up with ideas that others seem to have avoided but then after I’d been doing that for quite a time and they were very successful, my daughter got more and more depressed. She’d been struggling at school very badly. I got four wonderful kids and all with the same teachers, same school but one of them didn’t learn and three of them did.Her mental health was declining more and more and finally, she attempted suicide. Through God’s mercy, she lived. That changed my life because I realized all of the things that I had been working on were meaningless when you’ve got a daughter that’s seriously depressed so I sold my businesses. It took me a bit of time and then I came across the research that pointed me off in a certain direction. That’s how I started.

As soon as I went on that track, I realized that there were countless families, probably as many as 1 in 4 families, affected by a child that struggles. Unless you deal with the root cause of that, that child becomes an adult who probably adapts their life to a certain extent to avoid the things that are really difficult. They still go through life underachieving, unfulfilled and often troubled with the high chance of increasing mental health problems.I keep bumping into these people and that keeps motivating me because when I see them improve, that’s the most precious thing you can do in life to watch someone’s quality of life improve, especially if it’s in a way that they never thought was possible. That’s why I started, why my job isn’t finished by a long way and why I’m still passionate to this day.

Tell us a little bit about what you began to discover and what you’ve developed. What’s being offered at Zing Performance?

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: Unless you deal with the root cause of a child’s struggle, that child becomes an adult who probably adapts their life to a certain extent to avoid the things that are really difficult.

 

One of the first things I discovered was that there were many symptoms associated with learning difficulties with mental health. Usually, there is one very significant symptom. It could be they couldn’t read, couldn’t pay attention, their behavior was bad or they were constantly anxious. There’s always one particular symptom that’s up there, front and center but there are always loads of more symptoms.

I bumped into a guy from New York. He was researching this and he started talking about a bit of the brain called the cerebellum. He was saying that it’s different from what people think. He didn’t want to work with me by way of research and I wanted what he was doing to spread worldwide so I took it on myself to find the best professors who were at the cutting edge in understanding the role of this bit of the brain called the cerebellum.

What has been understood about the cerebellum up until very recent years was that it’s coordinating balance and gross motor skills and that’s its job. A few professors were saying, “That’s a small part of its job. It’s the master junction box to coordinate everything that happens in our brain. Not just our physical movements but our cognitive functions, emotional controls and so on.”

When I started looking into the cerebellum and delving into the latest stuff that was coming out, I found that I was able to understand for the first time, not just the main symptom that my daughter Susie had but all of the symptoms. It was the poor emotional control, lack of organization, short-term memory sometimes and low self-esteem.

There was a whole range of symptoms that were in some box that applied to her and I found that every other child or adult had a range of symptoms but may have only been focusing on one. This breakthrough of understanding exactly what the cerebellum was doing gave me a massive a-ha moment. For the first time, I was able to understand this whole plethora of symptoms that affect children that struggle in school or adults that struggle with learning and attention.

What did you discover is the role of the cerebellum in that plethora of problems?

Children with struggles go through life underachieving, unfulfilled, and often troubled with the high chance of increasing mental health problems.

There are two stages to this part of the discussion. The first stage that the cerebellum does is it either makes us a natural at things or not. When we’re a natural be at golf, reading, Math, Art or whatever it is, it’s because the cerebellum has done the job of creating fully developed skills that enable us to perform that skill without thinking about it. That’s the first thing. For instance, reading, which is an issue for about 1 in 4 people of all ages is a combination of skills. One of the most important that’s often not fully developed is eye movement.

The videos we now provide people to show that this is what’s happening with that eye movement explains it immediately why reading for them is very hard work. Smooth eye movement so that it follows the letters and words properly and accurately is a skill. It is either fully developed by the cerebellum or not. When it’s not fully developed, it’s pretty catastrophic because not only do the eyes have to take in letters and words that aren’t smooth so that gives the brain already a huge job to unscramble them, then the thinking brain has to be very involved to make up for the fact that there isn’t a hardwired skill.

We can understand this when we’re learning how to ride a bike, drive a car, socialize for the first time, speak on stage or fly a helicopter, if you want. Whatever it is we’re learning, we are thinking very hard and it’s the cerebellum that turns those thoughts that we are thinking to try and carry out this skill into a process that we don’t need to think about. That’s the role of the cerebellum. It’s integral to the learning process.

Some wonderful stuff is now being shown as it was explained to us exactly how the cerebellum does that’s really exciting to explore but effectively, it’s turning thoughts into subconscious processes that we don’t have to think about. Whenever we’ve got a skill that we use all the time and eye-tracking is just one example, we can talk about a few more but if you’re trying to read and every time you try and read, your thinking brain is full of trying to control your eyes because the cerebellum hasn’t finished its job. Your thinking brain goes into overload. It’s doing stuff it shouldn’t have to do.The problem with that is the thinking brain is the only bit of the brain we can access. It’s where we recall things, make lists, think things through, make decisions and when this is full of helping out with skills that aren’t fully developed, they call it conscious compensation. Whenever underdeveloped skills are being used, our thinking brain is full of stuff that shouldn’t be there but that’s what our executive function is.

It’s this bit of the brain that determines what and whether we can pay attention. It’s this bit of the brain that helps us make decisions and avoid impulsivity. It stops us from making bad decisions. It’s this bit of the brain that helps us think things through so that when we start to worry about something, we can either put it in perspective, come up with a plan, rationalize it and feel okay about it. If we haven’t got much space, we can’t put it in perspective.

We can’t think it through. We haven’t got the space to so we end up being overwhelmed by it. The anxiety that comes as one of the symptoms of this plethora of conditions that I believe leads to mental fragility can be explained by whether or not the cerebellum is making everyday key skills fully developed so that they’re natural or not.

I remember that when I was in high school and college and trying to play baseball or softball, they called me to scatter arm. I was a very daydreamy kind of person. If I was absolutely focused on the movement and when I released the ball, I could be right on target. Most of the time, I was thinking about four other things and then I’d be like, “Which based do I throw it to?” I’d make a last-minute decision to throw it and it would go errant. That makes good sense of what you’re talking about because I couldn’t figure out why. Sometimes I would draw it right where it needed to be. I didn’t have any physical maladies that would explain the ball going in all these different places but what you described makes excellent sense.

To highlight it, when someone is learning to ride a bike, they know what to do, they’ve watched it, they’ve been told, they’re thinking about it but they’re falling off. It’s only when the cerebellum has done the job of turning all of those thoughts into a hardwired process that the brain can perform automatically without thought are able to ride a bike.

There are a couple of facts I’ll throw in here. First of all, the cerebellum is only 10% by volume of the whole brain but it is 75% of all our brain cells. It is the critical junction box that makes all the connections between different parts of the brain and between brain and body. That statistic came out a few years ago from Harvard Medical School and that was a huge eye-opener. When they do fMRI studies, they often cut off the cerebellum, “We know what that does,” but we don’t. It’s far more important. The cerebellum is incredibly important and it is the master junction box.

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: Whatever it is we’re learning, it’s the cerebellum that turns those thoughts into a process that we don’t need to think about.

 

The second thing is to understand why having fully developed skills and processes is important. The thinking brain can only hold about seven things and as you get older, that becomes 6, 5 and so on. Whereas the whole of the cortex, it’s almost unlimited in terms of capacity so the ease with which we become overwhelmed go into overload is determined by how much is happening in the thinking brain that shouldn’t be happening there.

The other factor I want to throw in early on here is that the speed of processing in the prefrontal cortex where you have to process if you’re struggling with any underdeveloped skill is between 40,000 times slower and a million times slower than processing in the cortex. When you’re learning to ride a bike before your brain has worked out how far to lean over, you have fallen off. It’s only the subconscious that’s processing fast enough to deal with those skills. Leaning to ride a bike is an extreme example but it applies to all sorts of things.

Before you go on to that, let me ask you to restate the statistic about what percentage of cells in the brain are in the cerebellum compared to the size of it.

Research from Harvard Medical School says that the cerebellum is only 10% by volume of the whole of the brain yet, it is 75% or 3/4 of all of our brain cells. That highlights how important the cerebellum is. That word isn’t spreading but it’s there in the literature. You can look it up. It’s a really important thing to focus on because if there was more focus on the cerebellum, we’d be making far more progress in understanding the root cause of all sorts of mental health issues that exist now.

The other example which is really common is auditory processing. In other words, listening. It’s a joke when people can’t listen but it’s not a joke. It’s what we call attention deficit. If it’s bad enough, we’ll label a lot of people like those with ADHD and then we’ll give them some drugs to help them cope with that. What we’re talking about for a large proportion of them is the very basic brain skill of turning sound waves that go into your ears into thoughts you can comprehend. If that’s not working properly, we can often cruelly say, “You can see his cogs whirring.” What we’re saying is the automatic process to turn sound waves into comprehended thoughts isn’t there. The poor folk that has to experience that is having to work incredibly hard listening.

I’ve run a school for many years in England. When I get a chance, I tell the teachers, “A child that is struggling with attention is not choosing to not pay attention. They’re having to work hundreds of times harder than others turning those sound waves into comprehended thoughts and as a result, they get exhausted and then they get blamed for not paying attention as if it’s a choice.” Understanding what’s happening in the cerebellum and the fact that if we’re wired to be a certain way, we are wired to be a certain way. That needs understanding.

Teachers, parents, friends, colleagues and family, all need to understand this is how you’re wired and we can come on to what can you do about it, which is another exciting piece of the story. Start off by understanding what causes us to be a natural or not at all of the key skills that we need. You’ve touched on playing sport. I was never very good at sport and I now know why. I know now what I should have done about it but I didn’t. Any limitation in sport or whatever it is can be explained by the cerebellum not having finished its job.

When you say finished its job, it’s not automatically coding those repetitive responses so then I have to rely on the conscious thought process to go through it.

The most precious thing you can do in life is to watch someone’s quality of life improve, especially if it’s in a way that they never thought was possible.

The stage of learning is we think and we can’t do it very well. When the process or the cerebellum starts, you get a conscious competence where there’s a bit of automaticity but you’re still having to think. Finally when it’s developed fully, you’ve got the unconscious competence and that’s when the cerebellum has finished its job. There’s no need for conscious thought and the cortex is able to do the whole thing. That’s when we’re in the zone. That’s a completed skill or process that the cerebellum has done properly.There are different parts of the cerebellum. As we know, 3/4 of all brain cells have lots of little rooms in there. It’s like different computer coders that look after different types of skills. When we think of someone that’s a natural at drawing art, it’s because that part of the cerebellum has developed all of the skills to make that effortless and automatic. If I’m not so good at art, it’s because that bit of the cerebellum isn’t so good at that. Likewise for music, dance, Math or whatever process it is. They’ve actually done the work now to identify physically which part of the cerebellum is responsible for which type of skill. When you understand the cerebellum, you can start to predict people’s behaviors, strengths, weaknesses and so on.

People reading this are champing at the bit saying, “What do I do about it? What if I recognize that my cerebellum is not very efficient? Now what?”

That has also come out in years. The implications are enormous for society or mankind. At the individual level, the implications are huge. Going back to the beginning, my daughter has attempted to take her life. The experts that I took her to see were all saying, “She has got to learn to live with her problems.” I’m saying, “She has attempted to take her life. She has announced to the world that these problems weren’t worth living.” You can imagine my passion, focus and obsession for it. It has never stopped but it meant that I was able to try out more things than would normally be allowed. I had to go bonkers. I had to go nuts.

I ended up recruiting in total about 400 staff working on this project. There were a lot of doctors and physiotherapists. What we were looking for was how to force the development of the cerebellum so that it did its job better. What I wanted was a natural solution. I didn’t want to use medication. I wanted to find what was the brain not doing right and could we change the brain so it did it right. Professor Rod Nicolson from Sheffield and still is my mentor to this day pointed me down the track of looking for combinations of exercises that might stimulate the cerebellum and permanently change it.

We worked with 45,000 different people. All of whom had reading and/or attention issues of all ages. It was mainly children but there were a lot of adults as well. We had this staff of 400 and there were 57 clinics involved in this process, which I was leading and driving. It wasn’t long before we realized that we had a huge amount of data so the responses were correct and when we combine something that excites the vestibular system at the same time as challenging the cerebellum so that’s two different types of exercises.

One was a challenging balance-related exercise and vestibular stimulation can be balanced, rotation, vertical movement, lateral movement or any form of movement that’s a bit bolder than you would normally do in everyday life, which in other words, you’re stressing the vestibular system or the balance organ a bit. Do that at the same time as you’re challenging the cerebellum. Put those two together. They looked like exercises but they were actually stimulating plasticity. That’s what we were setting out to do and sure enough because when we did that for ten minutes twice a day at the time, we do it once a day now, it created the plasticity and the challenge.

It was like doing an audit on the sensory integration that the cerebellum had completed and we were plugging the gaps systematically. All of those gaps in sensory integration were effectively like little pieces of a jigsaw and when we need to develop a new skill, the brain looks for these pieces of a jigsaw and puts them together to form a new skill. If you go back to riding a bike, there’s an awful lot of things like balance, movement, leg movement, leaning over, visual processing and spatial awareness.There are a whole number of skills and they’re all little pieces of sensory integration jigsaw. If the brain has got them all, the cerebellum can turn it into a proper automatized process that means we can effortlessly ride the bike. If any one or more of those small pieces of sensory integration has never been finished off then there’s going to be a gap and that gap is going to have to be compensated for in the thinking brain.

I’m wondering what kinds of things or exercises that you’re referring to challenge the cerebellum.

It’s amazing. We’ve got hundreds and hundreds of different exercises. When we go about trying to help someone, we start off with neurological tests. We want to find out what their working memory capacity and their working memory processing speed are and the same for working visual processing speed and memory recall abilities. We’ve got a whole plethora of brain skills that we’re measuring. From that, we can determine the right type of vestibular challenge, the right degree of vestibular stimulation and the right type of cerebellar challenge that we do.

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: The role of the cerebellum explains the amount of mental capacity that we have and we can measure that, and that explains the amount of mental robustness we have or don’t have.

 

We do a huge amount of neurological testing before we prescribe what exercises you should do. Every day, we get feedback and we adjust the level and type of integration or challenge for the cerebellum. We’re keeping on pushing the development of those skills but what we’re doing is we’re creating plasticity and plasticity increases the density of gray matter. That was a wonderful piece of research that came out. It was showing that we were increasing the density of gray matter in key parts of the cerebellum.

Nature produced something years ago and I didn’t sleep for days. What Nature said was that when you combine a challenge to the stimulation of the vestibular system with a challenge to the cerebellum, you multiply stem cells in the cerebellum. You can imagine that when I read that, I almost fell over.I certainly didn’t sleep for a couple of days because it was so exciting. We had been working away and hoping we were creating plasticity. It was work done on mice but what works on mice generally works on humans and they proved this. One of the things we want to do in the future is set about showing. It’s taking pictures of this happening in humans. People pay fortunes to suck out stem cells from certain parts of their body and re-inject them into other parts and that’s fine if it gives you more youth but imagines naturally multiplying stem cells in the most critical part of the brain. All of the results we’ve been getting during the years of research were amazing results but suddenly, we’d got something that explained why it was happening to such a remarkable extent.

As we know, the stem cells can become like their environment so if you put stem cells in an elbow, they become better elbow parts. If you put them in an eyeball, they’d become better eyeball parts. The exercises you have, if it’s stimulating stem cell production in the cerebellum can become whatever it needs to be in the cerebellum to improve cerebellum functioning.

It also was mentioned in the research that you have to maintain this vestibular stimulation challenge to the cerebellum for about six weeks before those stem cells become vital new circuits in the cerebellum. One of the things we spent a couple of years working on is how long do we have to keep people doing this. We settled on the fact that you need to do it ten minutes twice a day for six months to be sure of systematically going through the different parts of the cerebellum or in other words, going through the different skillsets where you have weaknesses to make sure that you’re maximizing your potential.

You’re finding all of the areas where you can enhance your skill performance. Had that research come out years ago, it would have saved me an awful lot of time and money. We got there in the end because what happens in those first six weeks are you’re creating plasticity or the possibility then you spend a few weeks turning that into improved skills and then we want to make those long-term so we can continue people for a few weeks more until we feel that they’ve plateaued or reached their potential.Isn’t potential a wonderful word? People often say, “You’ve got loads of potential,” but they never say where it is. We now know where it is. It’s there in the cerebellum. We can measure how much there is and because we’ve done so much work with tens of thousands of people, we can now prescribe what it is that’s going to stimulate, give stem cells and give plasticity to the very areas that need beefing up.

You mentioned at one point that you did ten minutes twice a day and now you realize it only needs to be once a day.

It does vary. It’s up to ten based upon the degree of symptoms. For instance, an elite athlete that’s doing a lot of training. What they discover is there is still some sensory integration that their training never does so they’re still missing out. They still got missing links. It often doesn’t take long for an elite athlete. Sometimes it’s only three months but then if you look at someone with a significant set of ASD symptoms or autism symptoms, there’s layer upon layer of skill development that’s needed to get them as far as you can get them so that is usually a longer process.

If you develop the cerebellum, you’re reducing the need for conscious compensation and you’re giving someone mental robustness or mental resilience.

Every single brain is different. What we’ve got is not one size fits all. We have to rely on the initial neurological tests and the daily feedback so we’re optimizing everyone’s potential. Optimizing for us is maximizing the amount of gray matter we can get into the cerebellum. That’s the natural bit of the brain that naturally develops skills. We just let it get on with its job. The wonderful thing about the cerebellum is that the results last. The detail of what we’re talking about, if we retain it in our brain using the hippocampus then that fades pretty consistently after days, weeks or months but when you learn to ride a bike, it’s the cerebellum that does the job of creating the process or the skill that happens in the subconscious.

When I was eighteen, I bought a car and I put my bike away in the shed. I forgot about it because I loved cars and then when I was about 40, I decided, “My fitness is gone and I’ve got to get my bike out.” I got it out, pumped the tires up and all those skills were still there because that’s what the cerebellum does. When you can develop a cerebellum in the way I’m describing, the results seem to last.

Is there an age that you’re too old to benefit from the exercises that you described?

When we started this, we were working on children. We put a cut-off at 16 then, of course, a mom of a 16, 17 or an 18-year-old came along and said, “My child has tried everything. He or she is still struggling,” we discovered that it did work. I was giving a talk in England one day in a place called Southampton and a sprightly lady of 82 came up to me afterward and she said, “I want to read and write before I die.” She could see me going backward. She stopped me and said, “I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say I might hurt myself because these are exercises but let me tell you, I’m hurt more every day because I can’t do what everyone else finds easy. Please let me do them.”

Her name was Liz and four months later, Liz was on national BBC TV holding up the first letter she’d written in her life to her sister and reading it out. Suddenly, we realized that plasticity can happen at any age if you do the right things. As far as we know, there’s no upper age limit. You have to be able to do some simple exercise.

You don’t have to be able to bounce and jump around but you have to be able to do some simple movement and coordination. To call them exercises sounds like it’s hard work and boring but no. These are stimulating plasticity so they’re more about challenging the brain with simple movements and balancing of things. There is no upper limit but there is a lower limit. The cerebellum is actually developing rapidly until the age of seven so we’ve not found it worthwhile until someone’s past their seventh birthday.

What does the process look like? If I was the parent of a fourteen-year-old who was seriously struggling in school but I know that he or she is intelligent and I get on the website at Zing Performance and I’m across the ocean from you, what can happen?

This is an online process. We’ve worked very hard for many years now making it safe, reliable and effective online. We have coaches that, of course, come on Zoom to support you because that’s critically important. The process of neurological testing can all be done online. We use some neurological tests that have been around for tens of years and are widely used by different universities. We’ve built those into what look like fun games. We’re carefully measuring mental capacities and where there is potential for further progress.

That’s a 30-minute process that everyone does before the start and then you’re given daily exercises that get delivered on your smartphone through an app and they show you precisely what to do. We get feedback from you from that app and we automatically adjust the exercises, the level of stimulation or the type of challenge so the next day, you’re doing something different and that carries on every month. You do another neurological task with subjective feedback as well so every month, you’re getting graphs of, “Where did I start neurologically, what was I saying subjectively about the various symptoms of my child,” and then every month, you redo that and you can see for yourself.

The wonderful thing is there’s usually a pretty strong correlation between practical progress in everyday life, in schoolwork and on neurological progress. You touched on it. You said a child that’s intelligent. Many children who have these symptoms, they’re not regarded as intelligent. If you don’t read and write easily or if you can’t pay attention easily, you’re not being able to take in much information and when you’re on an exam, you can’t give out much information. That’s interpreted as low intelligence but the irony is the greater the underlying potential intelligence that’s there, the more likely it is. They’re going to have some form of issue with reading, writing, listening comprehension and spelling. All of those issues are commonly found.

I’ve not met many billionaires but I’ve met a few. Not none of them read for pleasure that I’ve come across, why? It’s because reading is hard work but are they intelligent? Wow. Do they do well at school? No. Nearly all of them dropped out. There aren’t many billionaires compared to how many folks are struggling so I’m not suggesting that if your child is struggling, assume he or she is going to become a billionaire. It doesn’t work like that. For every billionaire, there are at least another 10,000 people who are struggling and underachieving the whole of their lives but the point is that these issues are not a sign of low intelligence. They’re a sign of mental stress.

The research now shows the probability of the children with these issues that go on in later life to develop mental health issues is more than 50%. That means we’ve got to not just think about their school results but we’ve got to think about their life in considering these symptoms. What we’re talking about is the role of the cerebellum explains the amount of mental capacity that we have and we can measure that and that explains the amount of mental robustness we have or not, as the case may be.

The wonderful thing is if you develop a cerebellum, you improve the skills and you increase the working memory capacity because you’re reducing the need for conscious compensation and you’re giving someone mental robustness or mental resilience. This goes against the grain a bit of what a lot of people think, forgive the pun but we’ve been brainwashed to think that the expression mental health is all about problems.

Physical health is all about strength and fitness but mental health is all about problems. That’s brainwashing. We should start thinking about mental health as the pursuit of what’s going to give me mental robustness. Get me a long way away from anxiety or overwhelm, get me to a point where I’m feeling on top and I’ve got the mental capacity to deal with everything that life throws at me. Mental health to me is a positive concept because now we know what we can do to pursue it.

You were talking about the autism spectrum and I know that it’s such a widespread issue more and more that we’re seeing it at various levels. What are the factors that you think have increased the robustness of the cerebellum that’s doing to alleviate some of the struggles people have when they’re on the spectrum?

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health: When children are misunderstood, all we are doing is multiplying the trauma that they’re already experiencing.

 

Let’s quickly go over some of the key struggles that they have on the spectrum. Reading is an issue for some but not for others. Listening is a problem for many but not all. Physical coordination is for some but not all. Social skill is one of the very common ones so the ability to look someone in the eye or read their body language is a skill that needs to be developed by the cerebellum but if it’s not then it’s not. The ability to change or cope with change is very often an issue. What gives us the ability to cope with change? It’s the cerebellum.

Change means I’ve got a set of sensory inputs happening that I’m not familiar with and when the brain’s not familiar with something, it gets stressed, why? It’s because the thinking brain has to work hard. Normally, if the cerebellum is doing its job, every time you get a repeat of a new combination of sensory inputs, the cerebellum turns that into a program so that you automatically deal with it. You can cope with it without having to think but if a cerebellum is not doing its job then those new situations or in other words, those new combinations of sensory inputs are not getting automatized and they always stress me.

Whichever of the characteristics of ASD you look at, you can turn to the cerebellum and work out what’s happening. It’s either the cerebellum directly or because the cerebellum has not developed some key skills. You get this overload in your prefrontal cortex and your executive functions aren’t happening properly. Impulsivity, OCD, poor attention and lack of emotional control can happen. All of the things that should be controlled here, don’t get controlled but the problem starts at the back because it’s not developing the key skills to make every aspect of life easy and effortless.

Anybody who deals with people who are on the spectrum at any level knows that anxiety and these obsessive-compulsive traits are a big part of it for most people and you hit those as you were talking. What’s the availability, accessibility and cost of a program like this?

I didn’t know you were going to ask me questions like that. I’m here to explain the science, not to sell the program so I’ll probably say something wrong and get into trouble for this. In America, I think the price is $147 per month for twelve months and that comes with all the coaching. It comes with a money-back guarantee so if we don’t make progress, you don’t have to pay.As you can tell, I’m always a little bit uncomfortable talking about money. I want the government to pay for this, ultimately but we were not there. We are a long way off that. The kind of money I see spent scares me. I’m trying to cover our costs here and reach as many families as we can. We’ve made it as affordable as we possibly can. I’m pretty sure the price is $147 a month for twelve months.

That’s fine. We won’t hold you to it and that gives us a ballpark figure so we know we’re not talking about $1,000 a month. I have people that I deal with that have serious troubles and they’ve got 14 and 17-year-olds where they’re already spending a couple of thousand dollars a month or the one thing that they think might help them would cost a couple of thousand dollars a month and they can’t even come close to affording it. That gives us plenty of good information.

The big difference is when you’re using something that effectively is a coping strategy, you have to use enough coping strategies to deal with all of the symptoms. What we’re working on is the root cause of the symptoms and when you deal with the root cause and there’s a natural bit of the brain that naturally can finish off the job. If you drive the plasticity and create the stem cells so that the cerebellum, the natural bit that hardwires the brain up to do all of the things properly that it should, that is missing now, work on that.

Imagine if you’ve got a puncture in your car and you had a roll of Sellotape and you tried to Sellotape up the whole tire, it probably wouldn’t be very effective but if you repair the puncture or the one hole, it’s a far better way of solving the problem. My focus has always been, “Let’s get to the root cause and deal with that,” and everything else clicks.

We often get complaints from people and these are the complaints and we laughed at them, “You never told me this was going to happen as well and this was going to come,” but you never told us that was a problem. If whatever they’re saying has improved, you can explain back to, “It’s because your working memory capacity has gone up so confidence goes up.”

Confidence is low when you’ve got a lack of automaticity. When you’re having to think about something, your confidence is down there so by increasing automaticity, you reduce the need or remove the need sometimes for any conscious compensation. Self-confidence goes up. We had the most amazing situation. The very first study we did was with two professors with 30 children in a school. All of whom were reading below average. After a year, they were all reading at or above average. The headmaster, the parents and the kids were thrilled.

We should start thinking about mental health as the pursuit of what’s going to give us mental robustness.

We had a five-year reunion where the professors were there and then into the room, walks 30 confident young men and women. Everybody’s jaws dropped because they were all happy and confident. Some of them had gone on to become national athletes. Some of them couldn’t clap their hands before, their physical coordination has become so perfect. Many of them have gone on to university. They couldn’t read or write at the time we did it but it was their confidence and their ability to converse happily and comfortably with these professors.

They were so on top and why were they on top? It’s because their cerebellum was finishing the job of making all the things they do every day in life much easier than it ever was before. We often get told, “You didn’t tell us about confidence.” We don’t want to overpromise. All we’re going to promise is we’ll do our best to complete as far as possible the development of the cerebellum, which is the root cause of the symptoms you’ve mentioned and could be several others as well.

I keep coming back and I thought to ask how your daughter is.

My daughter is alive and happy to this day. As a dad, that’s all you could want. Her mental health or physical health has troubled her a bit in the last few years. She was 28 when I managed to reach her with this and she had pretty profound issues. I always liked to reach children at school but it works on adults as well. There is no upper age limit, which is amazing. That was one of the beautiful things about the research into plasticity. The fact that you can achieve it at any age is thrilling.

How long ago did this become available in an app form?

We started work on this as an app years ago but there are some aspects of it we’ve had to wait for the technology to catch up with what we wanted to do online. We’ve got eye tracking, which is best done in a clinic. There are more and more chiropractors, naturopaths and other healthcare providers putting this into the clinics because it’s a game-changer. When people see that result, it takes twelve minutes, they go, “That’s it. You’ve explained it. Why has nobody shown me this before?” The program itself can then all be done online.

In fact, everything can be done online. Except for the eye-tracking some don’t bother with eye-tracking but if they have a chance to do it, I always say go to a healthcare provider that’s got the equipment and have that because that will prove to you what the problem is. We don’t just show eye-tracking for reading. We show attention or the ability to focus and that ability shows up on this equipment and you can see it for yourself. They’d be like, “My child isn’t choosing not to focus. My child has a problem with focus and attention.”

That kit is good, whether or not you can get to a healthcare provider that’s done that, you can do it. It’s all online. It’s robust, reliable and fast. Is it as fast as taking a pill? No, it’s not. If you want to take a pill then, by all means, take a pill but remember, you’re not dealing with the root cause. You’re trying to put a sticking plaster over something that isn’t going to go away. I’m not against meds. There are some folks that can’t survive without meds. They need it to cope with tomorrow and today. I get that but if you’re going down that track, also look at what is the real reason or the real root cause of this and have a look at what I’m sharing with you. I think it’s the most exciting thing I’ve come across that could impact such a huge proportion of mankind.

We’re very close to the end of our time here. I like to ask people, what’s an aspect of this perhaps, your work or a book about this that you haven’t even mentioned yet?

I wrote this book a couple of years ago and it goes through every one of the symptoms and explains in detail neurologically what the cause of it is. It’s on Amazon. In fact, it went to number one in its category the day it got published. You can get it on Amazon in America, Britain or Australia, I believe.

You held it up beautifully but we didn’t say the title. It’s Stop Struggling in School by Wynford Dore.

There are a lot of research references in there. Doctors and other medics that are reading, they’ll be scratching their heads saying, “Why haven’t I heard about this?” Have a look at that because that’s got a lot of research references in explaining exactly everything I’ve said. I’m not in this to make millions. I’ve never taken a penny out of it in many years of research. I put everything in, my time, money and initiative because I don’t want other families to go through what my family went through and lots do.

COVID has doubled the number of children at school committing suicide. It’s an issue of not having enough mental strength or having enough problems in life to make life hard work. They’re misunderstood. When people assume that a child is choosing not to concentrate when in actual fact, they can’t concentrate. They assume they’re choosing to be disorganized but if you’ve got very little mental capacity, you can’t be organized. You are going to forget your homework and equipment for sports that you’ve left at home again.

All of these things aren’t choices but when children are misunderstood, all we are doing is multiplying the trauma that they’re already experiencing. By doing that, we’re increasing the stress, the anxiety and the load on their brain that is going to show up if we’re not careful, as mental health issues later in life. I’m a board member of The REACH Institute in New York and it’s led by the former Head of Child Psychiatry for the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s a wonderful group of people and all the time, we’re being given the data about what’s going on with mental health in children.

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental Health

Stop Struggling In School: The secret brain reset for children with reading, learning or behaviour problems

What isn’t understood is this overlap between learning struggles and mental health. What’s not been talked about is what happens later in life and the probability that a child that’s struggling in school is going to suffer some serious mental health issues. We can’t bury our heads in the sand about this. Three-quarters of American counties do not have a single child psychiatrist. In the last few years, the number of children struggling has doubled.

The number of people committing suicide has gone up by a similar amount and there are no resources there to help them so the healthcare providers that exist like a pediatrician, have got to do more. Teachers have got to be more alert about looking for the symptoms. If there’s any symptom of mental health at all plus a learning difficulty then that multiplies your concern about that child because you know statistically what’s going to happen down the line.

Thank you so much for sharing with us. ZingPerformance.com is the website and the title of the book is Stop Struggling in School.

It’s on Amazon and there’s an awful lot of useful information in there. I want every parent to become a warrior parent. Don’t assume that the health authorities or the education authorities are going to pick up on this. They don’t have the tools. They don’t have the resources, which is why my wonderful team has worked so hard to bring the tools and resources to every healthcare provider that wants it, to add it to their repertoire of services they offer or to every school that wants it but into every family’s home that wants it as well.

Thank you so much for your time. It’s a delight to finally meet you face-to-face. I’m going to follow the work and I think I’m going to get on the program. I’ll have you back and we’ll talk about my results.

Dr. Tim, I look forward to that. I’m throwing down the gauntlet to you now saying, “You rise to the challenge and see what happens ten minutes a day for the next few months.” I’m looking forward to what you discover.

Thanks. Blessings.

Thank you.–

Through Wynford’s dedication, Zing Performance now has the tools, scientific research and strategy to achieve the results that every parent and child wants to see. Not stopping there, Wynford hopes Zing Performance can help as many people as possible and will provide successful results in feedback that can transform government policy on education. Zing’s mission is to deliver life-changing transformations in learning and development to as many people as possible through science-backed tools, programs and services.

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About Wynford Dore

OYM Wynford | Children’s Mental HealthA successful entrepreneur, Wynford Dore has been the founder of many successful companies and the creator of countless forward-thinking, innovative solutions. For the last 20 years, Wynford has focused his attention on changing the world, one brain at a time, through Zing Performance. Wynford funds many research projects and works with leading academics to determine the best solutions that successfully accelerate learning in the brain.

Through Wynford’s dedication, Zing Performance now has the tools, scientific research, and strategy to achieve the results that every parent and child wants to see. Not stopping there, Wynford hopes Zing Performance can help as many people as possible and will provide the successful results and feedback that can transform government policy on education.

Our Mission
To deliver life-changing transformations in learning and development to as many people as possible through science-backed tools, programs, and services.

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