Bob has been working as a neuro-developmental therapist since 1994 when he completed his training with Steven Clarke at the Centre of Developmental Difficulties. He worked as Steven’s senior therapist until 1997, when he set up his own practice alongside an Osteopath in Windsor. Sadly, due to Steven’s sudden death, the Centre for Developmental Difficulties no longer exists and this has left only a handful of therapists using his dermal stimulation technique.
Bob has trained several more therapists , one in the States, one in Athens and five based in the UK including Sarah Baker and Lucy Simmonds who both work alongside Bob in his Windsor practice. He is currently training two more.
In 1997 he trained with Dr Peter Blythe at the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology (the INPP) in Chester. The INPP has been instrumental in creating a movement-based programme to inhibit primitive reflexes based on over 40 years of research.
Having seen the respective benefits and potential of the dermal stimulation technique and movement-based technique, Bob uses a combination of both as they can be used in different ways, enabling him to provide a programme best suited to each individual case.
In 1999, in order to further enhance the scope of his programme and better help children presenting with speech, language and auditory processing issues, Bob trained with Dr Kjeld Johansen in the use of his Hemisphere Specific Auditory Stimulation Programme.
Bob has worked with children and adults of all ages ranging from 10 months to 72 years. The children present with a range of behavioural , emotional, physiological and learning issues including anxiety, dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, ADD , ADHD, OCD, tics, prolonged bedwetting, sensory issues and cerebral palsy.
Adults make up around 25% of Bob’s caseload. They have often learned to compensate for the effects of any retained primitive reflexes but find that as they’ve got older or life has become more stressful this has become harder to do. This can lead to issues such as nervousness and anxiety, feelings of overwhelm, indecisiveness, lack of confidence and low self-esteem – to name but a few. The excess adrenaline in their system may also have resulted in physical issues such as poor sleep, digestive and bowel issues.
Sarah sees clients at the clinic in Windsor on Friday mornings. She treats all ages and particularly enjoys meeting the younger visitors to the clinic! She has personal experience of neuro-developmental delay, as Bob Allen treated both of her children before her training began. This experience motivated Sarah to change career and herself become a therapist for neuro-developmental delay. She completed her training with Bob in November 2017. In addition to treating clients in Windsor, she runs her own treatment practice based in the Twickenham/Teddington area of London.
Sarah is also studying part time for a BSc in Health Sciences. This has involved study of human biology, including study of the brain and nervous system, and the body’s stress response. It has also included elements of psychology and mental health.
In her previous career, Sarah worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the field of ultrafast laser physics. She was based at Imperial College London, where she gained a PhD in 2004. Her research has been published in high profile research journals such as Science (2006) and Nature Photonics (2011) magazines. In the future she would love to use this experience to begin researching the dermal stimulation technique, with the aim of raising awareness of this important intervention within the medical and educational professions.
Lucy works at the Windsor practice on Wednesdays (and some Tuesdays) . She became interested in primitive reflex therapy after Bob treated her 3 teenage children who had experienced neuro-developmental delay in different ways. Having seen the profound effects of the therapy, Lucy was inspired to train with Bob to become a neuro-developmental therapist herself . She is passionate about raising awareness of neuro-developmental delay, having seen at first hand that it can underlie many of the learning, behavioural and emotional difficulties that today's children and teenagers are experiencing.
Through her own children, Lucy has gained a good understanding of the many different facets of neuro-developmental delay and also of the psychological implications it can have , especially in terms of mental health. She hopes to use her experience to help and support others experiencing similar difficulties and, better still, to prevent these difficulties from arising by early diagnosis and treatment.
Before having her children, Lucy worked as a solicitor, initially in New Zealand and then in the City for 10 years. She gave up her legal career to become a full-time mum which she found equally challenging but much more rewarding!