David Mulhall Centre - any good?

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David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby johnhillhouse » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:30 pm

I came across this place on the internet, they claim to be able to successfully treat Dyspraxia. Has anyone ever heard of or tried this place? Does the treatment really work?

Can't be too careful these days - there are a lot of sharks out there.

Thanks.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby parnassus » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:48 pm

The answer is in the first paragraph on the centre's homepage.

"Welcome to the David Mulhall Centre, specialists in Retained Reflex Syndrome (RRS), which I believe is at the root of neuro-developmental delay and many childhood and adult disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), dyspraxia, dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome, panic attacks, even glue ear and bedwetting."

The emphasis is mine. This is just one man's theory, and that man is not a doctor. He has no formal qualifications in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders.

The Mulhall theory has never been properly researched - all the evidence in support of it comes in the form of case studies and testimonials. There is no mainstream medical evidence to suggest that 'Retained Reflex Syndrome' even exists - the David Mulhall staff are the only people whom I've ever heard use the term. The way they lump together so many conditions is also suspicious, especially the last three. Panic attacks, glue ear, and bedwetting can have multiple causes. Some people wet the bed because they have very poor muscle tone, others because they are emotionally disturbed, and others because they have malformed bladders. Claiming that this mysterious 'RRS' is at the root of a symptom that can indicate the presence of a wide range of different conditions smacks of quackery to me.

Another thing that makes me doubly suspicious of them is that their claim to be able to cure Asperger Syndrome dates back to the publication of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, when AS received a sudden and unusually long-lasting spate of media attention. Before that their website simply offered help with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD . It seems more than a little opportunistic.

I think it would be best to stick with the tried and tested treatments for dyspraxia - occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, etc. Also remember that at present there is no known cure for dyspraxia, so any organisation that promises wonderful results is out of line with medical knowledge. These unorthodox treatments probably won't harm your child, and they may even help a bit, but it seems a mistake to pay a lot of money to achieve such dubious results.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby bpcooper » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:09 pm

Why would dyspraxia need a cure by the way, sure it hinders us in some ways but it also has advantages.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby johnhillhouse » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:15 pm

Thanks parnassus. Yes, definitely smacks of quakery. Actually, from what you've said I feel a bit foolish for ever considering it.

bpcooper wrote:Why would dyspraxia need a cure by the way, sure it hinders us in some ways but it also has advantages.


Couldn't agree more bpcooper - if only we could get rid of all the bad bits and keep the good bits :D .
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby parnassus » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:16 pm

Hi John,

There's no need to feel foolish. It makes sense to at least look into alternative treatments, especially if you're not getting much help from the NHS. I nearly contacted the David Mulhall Centre myself when I was discharged from the paediatric occupational therapy department - the waiting list to see an adult OT was so long that I got worried that I wouldn't be ready to go to university in time. Back then their website looked a lot more credible than it does now (either that or I was a lot more gullible than I am now) and I was almost taken in by it. Fortunately my transfer to adult OT services happened more quickly than I thought it would, so in the end I didn't have to worry.

I think I remember you saying that you are the parent of a primary-aged dyspraxic child. (Apologies if that's not true - I get muddled sometimes.) What are your child's main areas of difficulty? I do know an effective treatment centre in the Midlands that uses well-researched methods and has good results. It's a charity, so you don't even have to pay:

http://www.meganbakerhouse.org.uk/

Unfortunately it's not going to be suitable if you live a great distance away, as children go to the centre on a regular basis. If you let us know your rough geographical area somebody might know of a similar place closer to you.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby mpg » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:05 pm

Thought it might be worth recording some actual experience, rather than guessing if it's for real.

The theory, when explained, is perfectly sensible; kids miss out or have problems with some developmental stages, they can impact later in life. My son has been under treatment for 7 months; we are seeing dramatic and measurable improvements in his ability to concentrate, fine motor skills, etc.

As for never seeing this term (RRS) elsewhere, try it in Google; also my Oz chiropractor said it was a commonplace (even mainstream) therapy in Australia. No idea if that;s true or not.

Don't prejudge because it doesn't mesh with what you know, or think you know.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby wm1995 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:15 pm

mpg wrote:As for never seeing this term (RRS) elsewhere, try it in Google


The abbreviation RRS turns up about 3 million results, but they are to do with all sorts of things. On scanning the first page I didn't see anything related. Using quote marks on the phrase "Retained Reflex Syndrome" I only got 102 results, and that included the centre and this thread. Seems to have to few results for your theory about it being a mainstream idea to hold water...

EDIT - Sorry, I just realised this is a really old thread. Sorry again.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:45 am

Nobody is saying that the treatment DEFINITELY won't help. There is just no evidence either that it will or won't. It's a lot of money to risk, and it could be spent on things which people already know work (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social skills training, Martial arts classes, assistive technology, swimming lessons, books full of dyspraxia coping strategies).
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby mpg » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:32 pm

Yeah, because all those other things are PROVEN to work. Isn't dyspraxia, as well as ataxia, a collection of symptoms?

As for the 'there's 102 results', try typing 'retained refl' and see how many auto-completes Google does for you. Then put in retained reflex syndrome, no quotes, and see the 143,000 results. Then see how many of those results are about RRS. It's, uh, all of them in the first two pages, then I got bored of looking.

But look, no big deal - follow your own path. It just happens to have worked for my son.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby parnassus » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:31 pm

There is no known cure for dyspraxia. At all. Conventional treatments such as occupational therapy and physiotherapy make no claims to dramatically change a child in the way that the Mulhall Centre does. Their practitioners are subject to proper regulation through the Health Professions Council, which ensures they can't go making grandiose claims about the methods they use - everything has to be backed up by medical research.

This is why the Mulhall methods (and the Dore methods, and the Pauc methods, and every other method that is peddled as a miraculous revolutionary treatment) are not used by the NHS.

As for how many results you get when you type in Retained Reflex Syndrome, that is irrelevant. I get hundreds of thousands results when I type in 'unidentified flying objects', but this does not prove that UFOs exist and are visiting earth. Here is the real litmus test. Go to PubMed, type in 'Retained Reflex Syndrome', and see how many peer-reviewed scientific studies back up its existence.

None. In fact, not a single medical study has been done on it. As far as medicine is concerned, it doesn't exist.

David Mulhall isn't a doctor. He has no qualifications in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders. He hasn't had any research training - according to his own website, his highest qualification is a Bachelor's degree, and he is evasive about the subject. He says he trained at the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, which is not an accredited medical institution, in spite of the deceptive name. He does not have the expertise to be developing treatment programmes for dyspraxia, end of story. Neither do Wynford Dore or the proponents of chelation or any of the other people who claim to have developed wonder treatments. All of them have got glowing case studies to back up their methods, and all of them have got defensive parents ready to leap into action with, "Well, it worked for my child!" What they haven't got is the cold hard evidence that only a decently designed research study can provide.

Mulhall methods might help. So might Dore's methods. So might regular piano lessons. In fact, anything that involves giving a child with SEN some extra attention might be helpful. But until a comparative study is done, we won't know. Pointing this out is not the same as 'guessing' whether the methods work. It is a simple statement of fact.

It's obvious that you came across Dyspraxic Teens through searching for the David Mulhall Centre. I find it a little bit strange that you would take the trouble to sign up to the forum just to defend the Centre's methods when you say that it's 'no big deal', as everyone has got their own path. Your tone is also quite defensive. I don't understand why you are concerned what a bunch of dyspraxic teenagers and young adults think, unless you see our views as somehow undermining your son's progress - or you have a vested interest in promoting the Mulhall method. I have noticed that many parents who subscribe to the more unusual treatments can be quite fierce in promoting their view. That doesn't sit well here - we are a community of dyspraxic people who have a very good understanding of our minds and our difficulties. We are not easily fooled by people who claim to be able to cure us, because pretty much every last one of us has come across several people who are convinced that they alone have the key to our problems, whether it's through pumping us full of fish oils or making us do exercises designed to 'stimulate the cerebellum' or suggesting that we wear prism lenses. We get tired of it.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby JamesStanley » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:50 am

I dont think that this place looks that great it can apparently cure learning disabilities that are meant to be uncurable yet when you search google news results for the david mulhall centre since 2010 and there isnt one story for them. Also its a £90 consultation fee which i think is a bit expensive. ive tried to help myself by taking swimming classes and joing social group like my local egyptology society and ive noticed thatmy confidence as well as my strength and co-ordination seems to havve improved.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby mpg » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:32 pm

Parnassus you're spot on, I did come to the page because I searched on Mulhall. I don't have time or inclination to go through your post forensically but let me just restate the reason I posted: it is working for my son. No wild claims, no peer review, no parliamentary working groups. As a result I thought j would provide a counter to the chippy ' it's really expensive and there's no proof' stuff that had been written.

As for having an agenda or link, no, I have none. I pay my money and make my choice. My son was seen by paediatric neurophysiological therapists and their comments and responses were embarrassingly slight and inconclusive. So that is my medical benchmark: fat lot of use it was.

Look I know forums hate 'outsiders' dropping in on their world so I'll leave you to it and hope everyone who reads this comes to their own conclusion. I'm quite sure you'll want the last word - you don't do almost 6000 posts without having a need to really have your say, right? Best of luck.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby Danni » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:41 pm

You're a parent, not a dyspraxic teen. By definition, you shouldn't be here.

Vicky has that many posts because she's one of the most helpful members of the forum. She helped create this place.

I'm glad your son is improving, but that may or may not have anything to do with his treatment. My dyspraxia improved just by me getting a bit older. Other people have had real improvements from occupational therapy and similar. None of us are cured, but we help each other learn how to cope with and work around our difficulties. Most of us being teenagers or young adults don't have the money to be spending on things that probably don't work any better than stuff we can get for free.
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Re: David ts might have positive resulMulhall Centre - any good?

Postby parnassus » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:31 pm

Look I know forums hate 'outsiders' dropping in on their world so I'll leave you to it and hope everyone who reads this comes to their own conclusion. I'm quite sure you'll want the last word - you don't do almost 6000 posts without having a need to really have your say, right? Best of luck.


New people are very welcome to DT and they join all the time. Parents and teachers can use this site so long as they remember that it's for teenagers first and foremost - there are already dozens of forums geared at parents, after all. Usually the parents who post here are the mums and dads of much younger dyspraxic children who come to ask about the teenage years, the things we've found helpful in our lives, and the things we haven't - just like John did when he asked about the Mulhall Centre. They also usually show an interest in learning a bit about who we are. You joined and started to be quite hostile to people, and that isn't something that usually happens here. It's not the sharing of personal experience that's the problem; it's the way that it's done.

As for my post count, it's high for two reasons: one, I'm a moderator here and I contribute as much as I can. Two, I'm autistic and severely dyspraxic. This place is my support system. A lot of the time I'm not having my say, I'm asking for help from other people like me.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: David Mulhall Centre - any good?

Postby bpcooper » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:50 pm

mpg wrote:Look I know forums hate 'outsiders' dropping in on their world so I'll leave you to it and hope everyone who reads this comes to their own conclusion. I'm quite sure you'll want the last word - you don't do almost 6000 posts without having a need to really have your say, right? Best of luck.


This sums you up as a person really.
There's just as much evidence as what you said in that sentence as what there is about Retained Reflex Syndrome.
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