Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the questions below for quick information about our courses, our methods, and our organization.

Hurt Kid Questions

How do I have my child evaluated by The Institutes?

Parents are naturally focused on getting an appointment because most places that deal with hurt kids emphasize evaluation. However, while evaluation is important, this is not the first step for our children. The most important thing for our children is treatment. This means our first step is to teach our families and give them the understanding and tools they will need to be able to treat their children at home. The first step is to attend “The What To About Your Brain-Injured Child” Course. Parents actually learn about evaluation and how to design their first program based upon their evaluation. This is a powerful start for our parents. They can begin to see results before their child actually arrives at The Institutes for that first appointment and the first full evaluation by the staff.

How are programs at The Institutes different from other available treatment options?

We treat the brain not the symptoms. Treating the symptoms of injury to the brain without addressing the brain itself will fail. Surgery and medication are often used to try to eliminate a distressing symptom. Treatment of the brain-injured child must be aimed at brain maturation, in order to be safe and effective. The answer is not to be found in the medicine cabinet, but in stimulation and opportunity. This is a more conservative treatment, a safer treatment, a cost-effective treatment, and most important of all, a treatment that works.

How about results?

In the world of hurt children there is nothing more important that results. We have the greatest archive in the world of what happens to a brain-injured child when you intervene and provide appropriate stimulation and effective opportunity. We have been recording and publishing our results for over 45 years. See Major Victories 1998-2019 to see the significant positive changes our parents have achieved. 

Do you have courses other than those in Philadelphia?

Our courses are now online, and available to parents worldwide.

Do you treat mildly hurt children who may be diagnosed with hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, or learning problems?

Yes, of course we do, and we have done so for half a century or more. In our experience these children are often in school situations where they are failing and miserable. We take them out of these situations and design an effective program with clear goals. That program includes a full physical program to help promote brain maturation, an intellectual program to insure they catch up and hopefully surpass their peers, a social program to increase their independence and responsibility, and a physiological program to address many of the underlying issues that make them unhealthy, inconsistent, unpredictable, and often miserable. They accomplish this program at home with their mother and father in a positive environment where they are loved and respected.

Is nutrition a part of The Institutes program?

We have been designing individual nutritional programs for our children for over 50 years. In that time we have learned that every child is different. There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all nutritional program. The focus of our program is fresh food, whole food, and balanced food. We do use supplementation very carefully when needed.

My child is taking a lot of medication. Can The Institutes help us?

Many children arrive taking medication for digestion problems, absorption problems, bowel problems, seizures, allergies, sleep problems, rigidity, etc. Hurt children have so many confounding symptoms that they often end up being treated by two or three different specialists simultaneously – all recommending medication. The answer is to focus on the central problem in the brain, and not try to treat the many symptoms on the periphery, which will not succeed. We do everything we can to simplify and reduce the medications by improving the function of the child and increasing brain maturation with stimulation and opportunity.

My child has a rare condition. Have you ever treated a child like my child?

We ask our parents to complete a very detailed questionnaire about their child’s diagnosis and testing prior to enrollment in the “What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child” Course. Our clinical and medical staff review this information carefully to determine if the child’s problems originate in the brain. If so, the child is a candidate for The Institutes program. We have encountered numerous diagnoses and a multitude of symptoms, the cause of which is injury to the brain, and therefore treatable.

As I search for answers for my child, what questions should I be asking?

This is a very good question. We propose there are four questions that are vital:

  • Do you treat brain-injured children? (not just evaluate them)
  • If so, what is your treatment protocol?
  • What are your results?
  • Where do you publish those results?

Do I need to attend the course if I already read the books?

We highly recommend that you read our books as soon as possible. You will gain invaluable insights into your child and be able to start to change his environment for the better at home. The more you know before attending our course, the deeper your understanding will be once you attend. That said, the course is the most effective way to understand the big picture, get to know the staff, and start on a really successful program.

Who was Glenn Doman?

Glenn Doman founded The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. It is difficult to know if Glenn and The Institutes are better known for their pioneering work in the treatment of brain-injured children, or for their work in the early development of well children. Glenn dealt intimately with more than 25,000 families over the last 50 years and strongly influenced millions of families through the book “What To Do About Your Brain-Injured Child” and the creation of the groundbreaking Gentle Revolution Series of books and materials that teach parents how to teach their babies at home.

How many locations do you have?

The international headquarters of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential is in suburban Philadelphia, 8801 Stenton Avenue. Our website lists our representatives around the world.

Well Kid Questions

How can the programs at The Institutes benefit my child?

Little children love to learn and parents are their very best teachers. Parents naturally adore their children and want their child to have a life of accomplishment and fulfillment. But most parents do not have the tools they need to create an environment that provides the stimulation and opportunity that are appropriate and effective to help their baby and very young child learn at home and become capable and confident. These tools are simple and available to anyone who can read a book or attend a course. Our early reading program is a life-changing opportunity for a young child. When a child can read easily, and does so well before he goes to school, the child becomes “school proof”. We also have a math program, a music program, a foreign language program, an encyclopedic knowledge program, and a physical program. Mother and child, or father and child, choose what they like best and enjoy their time learning together at home. This creates a life-long relationship of love and respect.

Does my baby really need me? Won’t he do just as well with a nanny or in day care?

We strongly believe that babies need their mothers and they need their fathers. We encourage our parents to do everything in their power to spend as much time as possible nose-to-nose with their baby. This is why it is so important to learn more about brain growth and development. The first six years of life are very special. This is the time to provide the young child with stimulation and opportunity. No one does this better than mother and father. In our long experience, when mothers and fathers embrace this opportunity they create a life-long bond with their children. In the end, this is what life is all about – isn’t it?

I want to teach my baby everything but I am overwhelmed by the possibilities. Where do I begin?

You are right to be somewhat overwhelmed. The baby’s potential is huge, there are many things you could teach, and there are only 24 hours in the day, which for the baby are mostly taken up with eating and sleeping. We strongly recommend that you begin with a very simple reading program. It is easy, it is fun, and it is very important. In only a few minutes a day you can make a very important difference in your child’s life. We recommend reading the book How To Teach Your Baby To Read.

I have begun the reading program and I would like to start other subjects now. How do I do that?

We always recommend starting with reading because it is so easy and it is so important. Our Encyclopedic Knowledge Program is outlined in the book How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence. It will guide you through many topics that our babies and young children love. In the end, you will see that you and your child can learn anything and everything together. In fact, you will quickly discover that everyone in your home will love our Bits of Intelligence. Your older children will start asking for their own subjects – so will Grandmother.

I have a newborn who sleeps all the time, where do I begin?

If your baby is a newborn or only a few weeks old, then we would start by reading the book How Smart is Your Baby? This book is a careful guide through the first 12 months of life. It will teach you how to evaluate your baby, then based on your evaluation, what is the exact next step to provide stimulation and opportunity to help the baby to develop.

How can I start mathematics with my baby? Isn't he too young?

Mathematics is a language. We do not think of it that way, but it is, and it has the advantage that it is an orderly and predictable language that follows its own rules. Babies are linguistic geniuses as demonstrated by the fact that they master their Mother language rapidly without a single real lesson. They absorb it like a sponge. When we start the language of mathematics early, the baby will absorb it as well. It turns out that little children love math and master it rapidly when given the chance. We recommend reading the book How To Teach Your Baby Math.

I am bilingual and so is my husband, and we strongly want our children to be bilingual as well. How do we do this?

You are absolutely right. This is one of the very best gifts you can give your children. Since you are bilingual this is very, very easy to do. If both parents speak both languages fluently, then both of you should use those languages with your children. If one of you is much better in one language, that parent should use only that language while the other parent uses the language that is the most fluent for him. This gives your children the best quality information. Some bilingual parents divide the day in half; in the morning they use one language only and in the afternoon the other. We strongly recommend that you introduce a consistent reading program in the languages you speak. You can put one language in red and the other in blue to help you stay organized! If you are trilingual, divide your day in thirds. Yes, your child will handle it just fine. He will only be confused by the languages you do not speak – never by the ones you do.

I want my child to be strong and fit right from day one. I think this is very important, so what can I do to insure this?

You are so right about this. It is important and this begins right at birth. Our babies and our young children devote a good bit of their day to becoming physically excellent.
While this improves them physically, it is only part of the reason that we have developed such a comprehensive physical program. The physical program helps our children to mature neurologically. Movement is critical to the baby’s early development. When the baby starts to move, he must use his vision to see where he is going. The more he moves, the more deeply he breathes. The more deeply he breathes, the faster his chest grows. That bigger, better chest provides a better reservoir for oxygen. It is oxygen that is the primary food of the brain. All of these wonderful things happen when the baby crawls on his belly, creeps on his hands and knees, and then walks and runs as much as possible. But the modern baby is bundled up, put in a highchair, or a backpack, or a baby seat or a “playpen.” Anything that restricts the baby’s opportunity to move is an opportunity lost. The modern baby is a beached whale who spends most of the day with little or no chance to move. We change all that. It makes a huge difference for our babies. We strongly recommend reading How Smart is Your Baby? and Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby. Your baby will thank you.

How early can I start a music program with my baby?

You can start a very good music appreciation program right from birth. Just choose the music that you love and want your baby to love as well. Organize your music library so you can introduce the pieces that you choose and play each piece frequently at times that fit in with your baby’s schedule. We do not recommend playing music all the time. You do not want your music program to become like “wallpaper” or be like what you and I may experience in an elevator when there is music. The baby needs to have a quiet and peaceful environment in order to learn about all the sounds in the household – he can not do that if music is playing all the time.

Do I need to attend the course if I already read the books?

We highly recommend that you read our books as soon as possible. You will gain invaluable insights into your child and be able to start to change his environment for the better at home. The more you know the more you will want to attend our course, and the deeper your understanding will be once you do attend. That said, the course is the most effective way to understand the big picture, get to know the staff, and start on a really successful program.

Do you have courses other than in Philadelphia?

Our courses are now online, and available to parents worldwide.

If my child can read before he goes to school, won’t he be bored at school?

Yes, he probably will be bored, if his teacher does not provide the opportunity to help teach other children, or to read more advanced books. However, if his teachers do recruit your child to help teach other kids or sends him to the library, he will gain a huge benefit from doing these things every day. The sad fact is that most children are bored in first grade because it generally does not provide the individual attention a child needs and wants, or the interesting and stimulating information that little children love. However, the most capable child will be able to navigate this environment much better than the child who cannot read or may be struggling to learn.

My child seems very active and distracted. He does not pay attention to me and it is really tough living with him. Will this program help him settle down?

Our program is all about brain maturation. The modern child lives in a world that is polluted – his food, his air, even his water is not as clean and as wholesome as it should be, add the chaos of WiFi, iPhones and iPads and he is more than ready to get off that merry-go-round. We teach parents how to create a good, consistent structure at home with sensible rules, wholesome food, a good daily physical program, and an intellectual program unrivalled anywhere. Soon that disorganized child with poor concentration, poor attention, and little enthusiasm is a different child. He eats and sleeps well, and he loves his daily program, but most of all he is happy – really happy.