The REACH Method of Holistic Brain Development is the result of Charles and Conceição Solis’s more than 35 years of study, research, and clinical experience with children of all levels of ability throughout the world. Because the REACH Method is directed at the development of the human brain, it applies to children across the spectrum of functional ability from the child who is above average in physical, intellectual, and social ability to the child who is comatose.
Philosophy of REACH Method
- Every child has innate value and dignity and deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her highest potential.
- Optimum brain function is a prerequisite to the achievement of one’s potential.
- Physical, intellectual, and social ability is the direct result of the natural and orderly development of the brain.
- The family, a reservoir of human love, is ultimately responsible for human development.
- Parents are the first and most influential teachers a child will ever have.
- Each child is a complete and unique individual.
The REACH Method takes advantage of brain plasticity, the human brain’s extraordinary ability to change its anatomical structure and functional organization (physiology) in response to experience. While Charles and Conceição Solis have taught this principle to parents for more than 35 years, the medical and education communities are just now beginning to appreciate its significance.
The importance of brain plasticity is incalculable because it means that functional ability can be created where it does not exist and improved where it does.
- Children with learning difficulties can become successful learners.
- Children of below average ability can become children of exceptional ability.
- Immobile children can learn to move and eventually to walk.
- Cortically blind children can learn to see.
- Neurologically deaf children can learn to hear.
We, along with parents, create these changes often. We see brain plasticity in action. Obviously, we can never guarantee success; nevertheless, we know the potential exists. Which means there is always hope, even for children with profound brain injuries.
Principles of Brain Development
Simple principles and well-established laws of nature govern human brain development.
- Development is progressive and orderly. Structure changes from simple to complex. Function changes from primitive to sophisticated.
- The human brain grows through use much like a muscle, an example of the relationship between function and structure.
- The frequency, intensity and duration of an activity affect brain development.
- The human brain develops and functions in accordance with the synergy principle – each ability affects all other abilities.
Holistic Brain Development
|Our Goal: The achievement of each child’s highest potential through the development of the whole brain is our one and only goal.||All children can benefit from the REACH Method. When children function well, it enhances ability and accelerates development, increasing a child’s chances of success and decreasing the possibility of developmental problems developing later in life. When children have developmental difficulties, it often enables the children to overcome their difficulties and achieve their highest potential.|
How we apply the REACH Method to an individual child is entirely dependent on where that child is developmentally, as well as the goals of that child’s parents. The REACH Method focuses on three areas which have a dramatic affect on brain function and development when addressed simultaneously within a cohesive program.
Enhanced Sensory/Motor Function
- Sensory development – individualized programs of visual, auditory, tactile and, occasionally, gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) stimulation.
- Intellectual development – programs that teach children general knowledge, how to read, write, and do mathematics.
- Physical development – programs and techniques to improve balance, coordination, and strength, including patterning and a wide number of movement and vestibular activities.
- The brain’s physiological needs for good nutrition, oxygen, and natural sunlight are met through programs designed to improve nutrition, breathing ability, and receptivity to light and color.
- Proper structure of the vertebral column and skull is essential to the normal function of the central nervous system.