Pioneering services for children with learning, developmental, motor and behavioural challenges

Functional Medicine at Starjumpz

New Functional Medicine Service at Starjumpz

Dr Elizabeth Corcoran – Elliott MBBS iBScPsy MRCPsych IFM member

Functional Medicine is now one of the many ground breaking services on offer at Starjumpz, a centre of excellence in Crowborough that helps children and young people with learning, developmental and behavioural challenges.

 

Dr Corcoran, Dr Liz (to her patients) has a passion for empowering people to restore their health through changing how they interact with their world. Through her own and family members’ struggles with health she was led to Functional Medicine. She graduated Royal Free University College London in 2005 and completed higher training in psychiatry. She has pursued further education with the Institute of Functional Medicine as a means to ‘come alongside’ her patients to help them make changes and improve their health. She also runs the only UK charity focused on medical research helping people with Down’s syndrome.

Returning to her medical foundations she is utilising the powerful tools of Functional Medicine to help people get well and reduce the risk of chronic disease in their future.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms and can help children and families achieve better physical and mental health through tailored advice on nutrition and lifestyle.   Research has broaden our understanding of areas such as the gut-brain link and how our emotional health can affect our physical health- Functional medicine brings all this together and treats us as unique whole individuals.

The relationship between core clinical imbalances and disease.

As the graphic illustrates, a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, obesity can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including obesity. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

It has long been known that lifestyle interventions are key to reducing chronic disease as sole interventions, i.e. exercise or diet alone.  Now the first retrospective cohort study of the functional medicine model, Cleveland Clinic researchers found that functional medicine was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.  This demonstrates the power of combining interventions and working in a personalised way with patient as the driver of change.

 

Hallmarks of a Functional Medicine approach include:

  1. Patient-centred care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centred care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.

 

  1. An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional Medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.

 

  1. Integrating best medical practices creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques and psychotherapy.

 

Watch the whole talk from Dr Liz and Abir Hamza-Goodacre our Nutritional Therapist here.

To find out more about out Functional Medicine clinic email us at info@starjumpz.com

 

Born Naughty? Diagnostic Assessment for Children with ASD, ADHD in Kent, East Sussex & The South East

Channel 4’s programme, Born Naughty has raised awareness of the need for Diagnostic Assessment for children with ASD, ADHD and other conditions. At Starjumpz we offer Diagnostic Assessment within a few weeks, and parents can refer directly without the need for a doctor’s referral.

Many children are on waiting lists for Diagnostic Assessment and cannot access the help they need. Waiting lists on the NHS can be up to two years long. Often when diagnosed, limited resources on the NHS will mean that the therapeutic and specialist help is limited or not available.

Early intervention is vital, so much more can be done if help is provided early in a child’s development.

Starjumpz benefit from Acorn Stairlifts generosity

A recent move into a larger premises provided more space for Starjumpz Children’s Centre to support local children and families with conditions such as autism, dyspraxia, ADHD and learning difficulties as well as physical difficulties including cerebral palsy. The larger space allows Starjumpz to hold events to help train parents and teachers on the best practices to support their children – but no lift access meant the centre’s upper floor facilities were not easily accessible for those physically less able.

Jo Brett, occupational therapist and director at Starjumpz, said: “Starjumpz is about making children feel more independent by providing them with the facilities and confidence to overcome challenges. Thanks to the stairlift donation from Acorn Stairlifts, children who are not able to use stairs independently are now able to access therapy services’.

“With the stairlift in place, the centre’s facilities are fully accessible for everyone. Starjumpz is now able to offer it’s holistic range of services and support to more children and families.”

The centre has an expanding team of professionals specialising in paediatrics who support the children on a daily basis.

“I can’t thank Acorn Stairlifts enough for their kind donation – it’s opened up a world of possibilities for our offering here at Starjumpz Children’s Centre, and to see the children gain back a sense of independence when using the stairlift is just wonderful,” added Jo.

NEW Starjumpz Club starts January 2015

Starjumpz is launching The Starjumpz Club in the new year.

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/tunbridge-wells/news/new-childrens-club-to-open-28632/

Offering occupational and behavioural therapy on a group basis to children who face sensory, co-ordination and social skill challenges.

The group is available to children aged five – 12, living with ASD, ADHD, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder, developmental delay, social, communication or behavioural difficulties.

The objective of the ten week programme is to enhance social interaction, attention spans, motor and language skills, as well as helping to improve self-esteem of those involved.

Starjumpz hopes to attract children who are home schooled. The centre has seen a rise in the number of children attending the centre who are due to their personal challenges making school life difficult, overwhelming and in some cases unbearable.

Commencing on January, 14 the weekly sessions taking place on Wednesdays from 09.30 – 11.30 will be run by the Starjumpz’s Behavioural Therapist, Athene Burdge, as well as an Occupational Therapist and assistant.

Using a variety of renowned techniques and practices  their focus will be on sensory and social skill development and supporting and improving the children’s adaptive behaviour.

Director of Starjumpz, Jo Brett said: “We have a very progressive approach at the centre. Individual therapies has always been the main focus for us, but by talking to parents, we could really see how group therapies could also benefit children.

“If they are also being home educated, then it is a great environment for them to mix with same aged children with similar issues.”

For more info call 01892 510 257

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