Empowering Women Chiropractic – Working with Children with Learning, Concentration and Behavior Problems

Now here’s today’s host, Dr. Monika Buerger.

Hello everybody and welcome to another ChiroSecure’s Look To The Children Show. Thank you for joining us. I’m your host Monika Buerger and I am beyond, beyond ecstatic to introduce you to my amazing guest this morning and literally it’s this morning because this amazing woman is joining us from Australia and it’s 3:00 AM her time, so talk about dedication. The amazing Dorte Bladt is with us today. Dorte’s been in practice for nearly 30 years, the last 18 of it has been working and focusing on the little fiddle farts, the little ones. And for the last 12 years she has traveled throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe, and here in the United States with her amazing program, Switched-on Kids.

Really, really amazing information in regards to dealing with little ones with attention, behavioral learning disorders. She is one of my heroes in the chiropractic profession. She is right now in the middle of getting her Master’s in pediatrics, she’s certified in chiropractic pediatrics, she’s got certification in pediatric neurobehavioral disorders, and she is the founder of one of the most profound organizations that we could have in this profession and that is the Kid’s Summit, where she has put on amazing conferences for, this September will be the fourth one, and it goes to raising money for pediatric chiropractic research.

And I’m going to let her fill you in on just how much she’s accomplished with just … well actually three seminars so far. I was blessed and honored to be a part of the inaugural Kid’s Summit in Sydney in 2015 and two subsequent ones over here in the United States.

So with out further ado, Dorte, thank you for being here at 3:00 AM. God bless you woman.

We have to do what we have to do. Thank you so much for having me on board. This is awesome, I’m so excited to be part of this.

Well I could not not have one of the greatest of greats in our profession [inaudible 00:03:05].

Thank you, you’re so nice. I need to hear that at three in the morning.

That’s really heartfelt, but you have done quite something remarkable for our profession, and that is raised how much for pediatric chiropractic research?

I actually haven’t looked at the figures lately, but I think it’s about 150,000 Australian dollars, which is just awesome because they have gone straight into looking at research for kids receiving chiropractic care for kids with autism, kids with CP, and kids with ADHD. And as we all know, we don’t have a lot of research there and if we want to continue to care for these kids, we really need to have some hard facts to back up what we do.

Absolutely. And on behalf of the profession, can I be the one to thank you for that? Because that’s something near and dear to my heart. And you know that the Kid’s Summit is something that’s incredibly near and dear to my heart too, so thank you for that. And it’s-

Thank you so much for your support.

It’s a team effort, right? It’s a lot of people trying to collaborate to do the right thing. And you’re so right. In today’s paradigm and knowing what we know in regards to brain-based chiropractics, so to speak, we have so much information that we should be aware of and we should be getting out to the general public on exactly what chiropractic does, especially in neurodevelopmental disorders and autism and learning and so forth. And we know this is exceptionally important in today’s paradigm with chiropractic and pediatrics. Would you mind, because you’re in the trenches over there in Australia, and I get a lot of messages and, you know, “What’s the status over there, what’s status over there?” Can you fill us in, enlighten us a little bit, about pediatric chiropractic and the status over there right now?

Yeah, well like you said, we are definitely in the trenches. We have the last day of the public submissions being today, so we’ve got about 14 hours to go, and the public’s ability to make the panel that is looking at the safety of chiropractic, making them aware of our opinion. So we have spent a lot of time mobilizing parents in the practice and getting other chiropractors to fill in the surveys and making people aware that, as far as we’re concerned, this is a health choice that needs to be available to parents.

I personally have spent a significant time writing letters to politicians and going to visit them and trying to get the right information to the health ministers because what will actually happen after today, is that the panel that is looking at all the research for the safety and efficacy of chiropractic, they will come up with a conclusion, and the public submissions will have some sort of conclusion, and that information will go straight to the health ministers from all of Australia and they will sit down and discuss, “Okay, well what’s the next step?” So it’s really from 5:00 on this afternoon, it’s out of our hands, there’s nothing we can do and that’s why it’s actually okay to be up at 3:00 because I would probably be up anyway worrying about what’s next.

So this survey, it’s for parents but also for the practicing chiropractors in Australia, we need you to be mobilized and really fill out the survey. And is there specifics, in regards to criteria they need to use when they fill out this survey? Because I understand there might be some …

Yeah, that’s actually incredibly important, if there any Australian chiropractors out there that have filled in the survey already, you need to be aware which registration number you have put in. I was one of the first that filled in my survey because I thought, you know, I really want to make sure that this gets in, but I used my AHPRA, so our registration board’s ID, and didn’t realize that that was the wrong number. So supposedly, like two weeks ago, 150 chiropractors had filled in the survey, which is nothing out of 5,500, and it turns out that I, along with a lot of other chiropractors, potentially thousands of us, have put in the wrong ID. So if you’re an Australian chiropractor out there and you have filled in the survey and you can’t remember what number you put in, please go back and fill it in again. We cannot use a submission that does not have the right number. And obviously our opinion and our take and our experience is the trench experience and it’s incredibly important that we get that across in a professional and respectful way.

Absolutely, absolutely. So Australian docs please, even if you don’t work with children, this is for the future of all little fiddle farts out there. And I know Australia’s, you know, under some scrutiny, but other countries as well, so I feel, and that’s one of the reasons I love what you do and the Kid’s Summit, is I don’t feel it’s us against them paradigm, you know, we’re together, we should be together as one in a profession, no matter what country you practice in. I think that’s really important.

Yes. I think the important thing to remember is that yes, we are practitioners but we’re actually trying to help families and helping families require that we do not take sides, but that we actually work with other people rather than against them.

Absolutely. That’s a great point. And with that said, you just have a plethora of knowledge from all realms. I was like, “Oh, where do I pick her brain at because she’s got so much knowledge?” Give the listeners out there, you do a great tidbit on, I believe you called it taming the-

Oh, toddler taming.

Toddler taming. Can you maybe give a pearl or two on dealing with children that are a little bit difficult to deal with in practice sometimes?

Yes, I sure can. I mean, I actually love that age group, they are manic and they’re difficult and it’s like trying to grab a bag of fleas, loved them. I think a couple of things that is really useful when you’re working with toddlers is to remember that they are toddlers and their little brains are wired in not necessarily to do what you want them to do. So I think if your expectation is to play, to go in and have fun with them and giggle and don’t worry about them, whether they lie and have their adjustment on the bed, who the heck cares? If they’re adjusted on a chair, if they adjusted under your desk, that’s perfectly fine as long as they get adjusted. So I think that’s very important.

Another tool that I use, that I find incredibly useful, is what someone taught me, called yes, yes. So yes, yes is how our brains like patterns. Our brains are not very good at breaking a pattern. So if you can start by asking, “Look at your pretty shoes, they’re pink, is pink, your favorite color?” “Yes.” They’re eating an apple, so, “I see you’re eating a lovely apple, is apple your favorite fruit?” Or whatever you can say, but just something that you know you would get a yes. If your next question is something that you want a yes, will you hop in the bed for me? Their little brains will want to stay on that pattern and say yes and do what you ask them because that’s the pattern they have started. And so that’s actually a really good tool that their little brains are just not smart enough to stop.

Oh, brilliant. That’s brilliant. Guess that’s [inaudible 00:11:17].

Works really well.

What are you seeing as one of the biggest struggles with children these days?

Are you talking as a chiropractor?

Okay, let’s go as a chiropractor and then let’s also go walking into our offices, what should we be more mindful of?

Okay, well I guess I’ll go there first. I think as chiropractors, we need to be better at explaining what we do and we need to be less, how do I say this in the nicest possible way, it is a question of coming across as a lovely human being that may have some tools that we can share that will help life improve in families. And if we become a little less stuck on my technique and my expertise and I know, but actually more be there as a human, I personally feel that we will have a better success with getting chiropractic across to more people.

Yeah, that’s beautiful. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s really ultimately what we need to do to, to really turn the tide in what’s happening with these neurodevelopmental [inaudible 00:12:44] in children these days. And I neglected to tell the audience about your amazing program, Switched-on Kids, and the book you have. And I wanted to bring the book to show everybody and I left it at my home library. Do you have one?

Yes, [inaudible 00:13:02].

That’s the only thing I remembered to get out.

Everybody, that is a brilliant book and that is not just for [inaudible 00:13:11] doctors. You’ve written that, as well, for a parent population, as well.

It is written for parents, but it’s basically about chiropractic. So it talks about the three T’s, looking at what stresses that a child might be exposed to, but in a parent’s language. I wrote it because I found it was so hard to motivate parents to do exercises and to change diets and stuff, to help me do what I do. And I just found that I was always hitting my head against the wall and I wanted to come up with something that was a little bit inviting. So some people say, “Oh, it doesn’t look like a book, it’s a magazine.” Well, that’s on purpose because moms like to have a magazine on their coffee table and it’s okay to go in and read this for two pages and then you just throw it back, you don’t have to read it cover to cover. So it’s really a chiropractor’s book, but to get parents involved in understanding what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

And it’s a beautiful book, it really is. It’s beautifully done. Can we get that over here in the States?

I’m just in the process of figuring out how to get it on Amazon. The process of 15 pages of very small print and there’s been other things that’s been really important. So no you can’t get but it will be there in the next couple of weeks.

Oh fantastic. Yeah, understandably so, you’ve been a little bit busy with other sidetrack issues. So with that said, are there any other tips that you can lend, that you do with parents to make them more compliant? Besides your book or in addition to your book?

Well, my main compliance, this sounds a little bit silly, but that is to get the parents under care. I find the biggest challenge … I’m a Palmer grad, I’m an old fashioned chiropractor and I love that whole subluxation pattern type thing, and I’m finding that to get the children to stay under care, not as a symptomatic type of approach, but more for wellness and lifestyle, it is really important to have the parents under care. So when I do my Switched-on Kids programs, we usually finish up with practice tips and the biggest thing that I have done, that have created a longer term and bigger numbers in children, has actually [inaudible 00:15:43] … family coming in, they get a significantly reduced cost and that has been really helpful to get the parents to feel what their kids are experiencing. And of course, when they know, it is much more real for them and they’re much more likely to stay on health and prevention and wellness type care.

Absolutely, yeah, because when they feel the difference in their own body, then they can extrapolate to that how their child feels the difference and-


… we all feel different when we’re adjusted, right?

Yes, yes, yes.

We all feel alive when we’re adjusted.

Yes, absolutely.

So on your Switched-on Kids, you do that through New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. When’s your next venue there? Or with that?

Yeah, my next Switched-on Kids is in Melbourne in November. Then I’m in Malaysia, probably in January, and … No, hang on a minute, I’m going to Germany in November and I’m going to South Africa later in the year, next year. So got a lot of events on. I think chiropractors are realizing the importance … So the Switched-on Kids program is actually for older kids, I have a Switched-on Babies and a Switched-on Kids, and I think we’re realizing that we have very little knowledge in the kid’s end of the spectrum. So we know how to do a pull to sit and we know how to do a lying down ATNR for babies, but we don’t have very good ways of measuring function in older children. So I find that there’s a lot more requests for seminars around the world, which is I think just lovely because it means that we’re stepping up. We’re realizing that we’re not always so good. You can’t do a straight leg raise in a five year old. Well you can, but you know, it’s going to be fun. Yes, yes, it’s busy.

And I think knowing some of these other tools and having them in our toolbox also gives us a window into their neurological integrity of the brain.

Oh, totally.

And since we want to kind of shift or educate the public that we are a brain-based commodity, a brain-based approach to overall wellness, so would you agree that some of the things that you teach and others teach, we’re looking at these markers or these cues for where is their neurological integrity, how’s their brain function?

Exactly. And translating that into development because, again, going back to that wellness thing, with children, if you are finding a brain-based issue, it’s going to have long term, lifelong repercussions. And that’s why it’s so important we get in early, when we’re all the way, obviously I check the function, it’s pretty well locked in, you know, you are who you are, but a five year old is not who they are and it is so important to make sure that we get in there and get them functioning and thriving early on so they have a better developmental trajectory.

Absolutely, and the executive function, at least in States that’s become a kind of a big label now or disorder. I’m probably like you, we’re not into labels, we’re into function, but executive functioning disorder, and we know from the research we have now, especially from Heidi [Haavik 00:19:38] and what you guys have contributed to research is we know that that chiropractic adjustment does affect frontal lobe integrity. So all the more reason docs out there you need to get on the bandwagon to help us support research. Right?

Yeah that would be really, really good. We need it.

So speaking of that, so one more question. Is there anything, when you walk in the room … let’s go back to babies because you have this Switched-on Babies as well, let’s go back to babies, first six months of life. When you walk in the room, is there any one thing your brain, your eyes automatically go to as far as their movement or what is the one thing that when you walk in that’s your kind of go to?

There’s probably two that I just taking straight away, and one is their connection, you’re talking first six months, but their connection to me. That awareness that is the baby actually turned on? I find that such a huge … I think it’s a connection thing with me if they’re not paying attention, I’ve got a big cross on my book already. The second thing I’m looking for straightaway is posture. Where are the limbs, what’s the spine like, what position is the head in, just due to that whole dual tension scenario. Yes. So I want to you get a sense of that even before I put my hands on the baby so I can see that either, you know, on mom’s shoulder or once the baby’s actually presented in his line either with me or on the bed.

So what would be a couple key markers that you would think that you would see posture wise that would lead you to potential dural tension?

Look at banana shape of the spine, so having the head and the pelvis sort of turned in the same direction, to me would often be an indicator. Or, they can also have more of a twist, so the pelvis rotating one way and the neck is rotating the other, particularly if they have [inaudible 00:21:57] and rotation at the same time. But there are obviously lots of different ways, but just as if I’m walking in and that’s what I’m looking at, those are the two main positions I would be looking for.

Fantastic. Oh see all the pearls you guys out there, all the things she has to offer. We need you for like a lot more than 20 [inaudible 00:22:17] show. So in regards to where we would like to see a lot of our efforts put in our profession, and of course we’re looking at at research, give us the why you went … well, we know why you started the Kid’s Summit, but you’ve raised close to $150,000 and a study, one study, is at least that. I don’t know if people understand how much research costs. So give us the low down on the Kid’s Summit that’s coming up in September in Sydney and where you see the future of the Kid’s Summit and how docs out there, how they can help support you. I mean, they get a fantastic program but at the same time it’s supporting research. So give them the pearls here.

Okay. So we have an awesome lineup coming up in September in Sydney. Sydney in September is gorgeous, I just want to throw out there, if anyone feel like traveling. What we do is have chiropractors, so far we’ve stuck mainly to chiropractors, but traveling from all over the world, paying their own way to come and share their wisdom, their knowledge, and their tips to care for children, for people, for chiropractors.

So the idea is that we get minds working to share for the greater good of the profession. And what I really wanted to do with the Kid’s Summit was to both get the individual chiropractors showing up, but to get them to learn something, to know how to deal with kids in one way or another. But I also wanted a forum where we could sit down and connect and feel supported because I often find that we’re quite alone in our practices and particularly in Australia right now it’s a stressful place to be when you don’t have someone supporting you.

So with these chiropractors traveling from all over the world to speak, we will get that sense of, hey, this is awesome. We have had you, we’ve had several people come in from the States, we have people coming from Europe. And the awesome thing is the willingness of educators actually paying their own way, they’re paying their own hotel, they’re paying for their food, they’re paying for it everything, and they are doing that because they know that the money goes straight to research. And I really take my hat off to that commitment that really just shows the love of chiropractic that we have deep in our hearts, and probably also a little bit of [inaudible 00:25:09], we need to save this because, potentially, it’s not good.

Absolutely. And I must say it was one of the best experiences of my career. I’ve been in practice 29 years and it’s just like a family. The thing is, the content is amazing. I mean, the level of content that you put on is incredible. So they’re going to get amazing information, but at the same time contributing back, which should make anybody feel good to contribute back to something that is so incredibly important and profound. So if you haven’t been to one, you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. [inaudible 00:25:55]

What day is in Sydney?

The 7th and 8th of September.

Okay. And they can find that on thekidssummit.com.

No AU at the end, just dot com.

Dot com. So the kids plural, K-I-D-S summit dot com. And it really is just a brilliant win-win. The information and giving back. And then do you have any forecasts for the future of- …

We’re looking at a Amsterdam at the end of May next year. So we’re pretty excited. We haven’t been to Europe yet, but we’ve had lots of requests for coming across that way. So that’s what we’re thinking we’ll do next year. We have a couple of people lined up to speak already, which is absolutely awesome. Again, the whole idea with the research is that it has to be into chiropractic care for children and not necessarily neurobehavioral stuff, but anything where we need the facts about what we do.

I feel very, very strongly that chiropractors don’t need to be experts in taking care of kids, but we do require expert knowledge to draw on so we can go in and say, “Okay well I’m a family chiropractor, I see 10 kids a week or whatever, but I’m supported, I know what I’m doing is the right thing because the research shows.”

Absolutely. And that communication is key. That that foundation of communication to have that is is a key, especially in today’s world I think. And today’s practice paradigm. So okay, so out there, Switched-on Kids, Switched-on Kids dot AU, correct?

Dot com dot AU, yep.

Dot com dot AU. The thekidssummit.com. Got to be there. Book is coming due on Amazon and look more do … watch this brilliant woman because she’s a trailblazer and she’s going to be out there making some profound changes for everybody in the pediatric chiropractic world, okay? Not just in Australia. So you guys really need to understand that what she’s doing is beyond Australia. It’s global.

So any last pearls before, and thank you again for getting up at three in the morning. And you look beautiful by the way, for three in the morning. That’s really good.

Thank you.

Any other pearls you want to leave anybody with?

I think the main pearl, well that’s a tough question. From deep, deep, deep, deep, deep in my heart, children are our future. They need chiropractic. They have no other option for the best developmental start. I think we need to step up. We need to learn not to be experts, not to be pediatric chiropractors, but we need to learn enough to make us feel comfortable in assessing any age child. And the only way we can do that is by attending things like the Kid’s Summit or the Switched-on Kids or in life … What’s your program again [inaudible 00:29:17]?

Intersect 4 Life.

Intersect 4 Life. There is an amazing amount of knowledge out there, we need to take advantage of it. Not to be experts, but to be the best family chiropractor we can. And I really, really, really want to encourage people doing that because the only way you guys can prevent you turn into the Australian rigamarole, is making sure that you have the knowledge and the ability to take care of every single little person, big person, that enters your office.

That’s beautiful. Beautiful. Very, very beautifully said and stated and very heartfelt and hopefully those watching this will take this to heart as well. We can’t stress enough educating yourself, arming yourself, and being able to communicate what we do and the importance to the public because Dorte’s right, now more than ever, those kids need us. More than ever in history. Those children’s nervous system, they’re telling us, they’re showing their neuro expression in ways that is not what we want to see in today’s day and age.

So true.

So with that said, I’m going to let you go back to bed maybe?

Well I could just do a little bit of work, you know, I’m up anyway.

Well again, bless you. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see you again in person. And you know, thank you for all you do and muah. Appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me. Appreciate it.

Oh, appreciate it. And so I’m going to throw it back to our next host, that is the first Thursday of every month, and next month I’ll be back for the third Thursday of the month with Dr. Amy Spoelstra from the United States and we’ll hash out some more neuro pediatric goodies for you all. And with that said, I want to thank you all for joining us. I want to thank ChiroSecure for taking the initiative and putting this program together to enlighten the world about chiropractic pediatrics and to help us change more lives.

Today’s pediatrics show, Look to the Children, was brought to you by ChiroSecure and the award winning book series, I Am A Lovable Me. Make sure you join us next week right here at the same time. See you next week.

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