Glenn Doman is my favorite hero. But who is he and what did he do? While on my blog you may hear a lot about his quotes on teaching children and books he has written, he has done much more in his lifetime than write about theories on education.
Glenn Doman began his career working with children in the early 1940′s as a physical therapist helping brain-injured patients. With a one hundred percent failure rate from the methods used at the time to treat these patients, Glenn Doman and a team of dozens of other doctors, nurses, scientists, therapists, and other professionals began studying children from all over the world in hopes of finding a cure for the various brain injuries children are faced with.
In 1955, Glenn Doman founded the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, a non-profit, educational charity that is committed to teaching parents how to help their children recover from brain injury and reach their potential as human beings, based on what they had learned in their years of research working with children from every corner of the globe.
Taken from their website, the goal of the Institutes is
- to raise significantly the intellectual, physical, and social abilities of all children
- It is the mission of The Institutes to give parents the knowledge they need so that their brain-injured children may have that fighting chance.
- Further, The Institutes proposes that every child born has a right to be intellectually, physically, and socially excellent.
- The Institutes recognizes that parents are the most important teachers that their children will ever have. When parents know how the brain grows and why it grows the way it does, they are the very best teachers their children will ever have.
In the years that followed of helping parents help their brain injured children, they began seeing children who had had severe brain injuries surpassing their normal, healthy peers in terms of development, with things such as reading fluently at such young ages once thought impossible, exceeding the physical fitness of most adults, and other intellectual, physical, and social excellencies.
With the success they were seeing with the brain-injured children, Glenn Doman and his team began to extend their teaching to help parents of normal children stimulate their healthy child’s brain and help the child reach his potential as a human being.
In 1964, Glenn Doman published his first book, How to Teach Your Baby to Read, detailing what they had learned over the years of helping children and seeing what they were truly capable of.
The Institutes continues on to this day in the spirit of helping the world’s parents help the world’s children. Over the years Glenn Doman has published a handful of simple, easy-to-read, inexpensive books for parents on his findings in working with children, especially very young ones, including the teaching of mathematics, the importance of physical mobility on brain development, the benefits of learning about encyclopedic knowledge, a multi-sensory infant stimulation program, and a manual on working with brain injured children of all ages. His passion, purpose, and cause is to help children live up to be all they can be, side by side with their parents and families, striving towards this great goal in hopes of a better world.
Glenn Doman’s name is still unheard of by many. Some doctors call his treatments heresy and pseudo science, some early educationalists condemn his work with little children as uninformed and impossible. Yet science is continuing to catch up with his revolutionary work, finding the immense capabilities of very young children, discovering the role that physical mobility plays on brain development, using many treatments proposed by him such as detoxification and others, and much, much more.
And while his name is thrown around by marketers to sell expensive early learning programs, Glenn Doman still holds to the simplicity of the importance of parents and children, at home, learning together with simple, homemade materials.
While some doctors criticize him, more and more parents and professionals alike use his simple techniques to help their blind children see, their immobile children walk, their speechless children talk, their learning disabled children read, and a multitude of other children suffering from brain injuries heal and excel.
His name may perhaps never be understood for the true man behind the method and the heart behind the movement. But not caring for fame, fortune, or worldwide recognition, Glenn Doman and the wonderful staff at the IAHP quietly soldier on, helping parents help their children.
And when asked how he knows if his methods work, he points to the words inscribed proudly on the walls of Clarke Hall at the Institutes,
We know it is so because we do it.
Written by me. All opinions are my personal opinions – I am neither affiliated with nor endorsed by the IAHP or Glenn Doman.