The Brilliant Creator of the Doman Method
Glenn Doman gave hope and help to families of children with special needs
Glenn Doman is best known for his groundbreaking work in child development, his bestselling book about the Doman Method and for teaching thousands of parents around the world about how to help their children with special needs get better. Thousands of children diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, epilepsy, learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, mental retardation, as well as Trisomy 21 and other genetic abnormalities, have been helped by his life’s work and mission.
As a young physical therapist, Doman worked with Dr. Temple Fay, the chief neurosurgeon at Temple University Hospital, to develop treatment programs to help children and adults who had suffered brain damage. He found that conventional therapies he tried with his patients were not helping his patients get better. He realized these traditional treatments were focused on the symptoms, rather than the actual problem, which was in the brain. He realized that traditional physical and speech therapies were just symptom-focused, but yielded poor results as they were not actually fixing the source of the problem.
Glenn Doman, with the help of his wife Katie, created new treatment programs for his patients that directly treated the the brain, rather than the symptoms. These patients progressed far faster and better than he had ever previously hoped.
Glenn expanded his work to help children with special needs, as they had neuro-developmental conditions. While children might have been given diagnoses of autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, Trisomy 21 and other genetic abnormalities, epilepsy, learning difficulties, speech apraxia, and a host of other diagnoses — Glenn found that these children had a neurological condition and that if their brain development could be enhanced, their function also improved. For many of these children, Glenn learned that society tended to limited these children — that a diagnosis was given, but that no hope was given with it. He did not accept this way of thinking. His new treatments were called “The Doman Method”.
While he achieved great results with the children he saw, he found that it was when the families of the children carried out the treatment at home that they achieved the very best results. Glenn began to teach the families the fundamentals of brain growth and development, and how to carry out the treatment programs at home. Moving from a therapist-based model to a family-based treatment model was a paradigm shift in the field of treatment. This was perhaps the greatest single evolution in the Doman Method in history, which carries on today.
His revolutionary treatment programs and techniques were called “The Glenn Doman Method” or “The Doman Method”. Doman International proudly honors Glenn and his contributions to humankind by recognizing him for his dedication and calling our work “The Glenn Doman Method”.
Glenn Doman wrote books for parents of children with special needs, such as “What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child”. He also wrote books both for families of special needs and well children about child development, like “How to Teach Your Baby to Read”, “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence” and “How to Teach Your Baby Math”. With Douglas Doman, he wrote the book, “Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!” He wrote an entire series of books called the Gentle Revolution Series.
Glenn Doman understood that the brain developed with increased stimulation and with the right kinds of activities. He stated a bold claim at the time, that “the brain grows by use”. This concept, now understood as neuroplasticity, is now a widely accepted physiological phenomena by the scientific community.
The Doman Method expanded as new treatments were discovered and incorporated during and after Glenn’s lifetime. The method is not a single treatment or activity, it is a holistic system of treatments that incorporates physiological, nutritional, physical, sensory and cognitive treatments. For this reason, a team of expert staff in these different areas is needed to teach these treatments to families. At Doman International, a team of teachers instruct parents how to do the integrative treatment programs at home to help their children reach their fullest potential.
Glenn and Katie Doman devoted their lives to helping children and adults with special needs. Katie was an essential part of helping spread the work of the Doman Method and implementing it. Glenn dedicated his book “How to Teach Your Baby to Read” to Katie, as she had helped design and led the implementation of the program. She is credited with teaching more parents of children with special needs, how to teach their children to read, than any other person in the world.
Glenn Doman passed away in 2013. He devoted his lifetime to teaching parents. Just five months before he passed away at the age of 93, he was still lecturing the families of children with special needs. Katie Doman passed away in 2017. Both of them continued in their work in teaching until the last year of their lives. They were beloved parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
The Doman family today continues to carry forth the discoveries and teachings of Glenn Doman and work to make his dream a reality — to help all the children worldwide reach their fullest potential. At Doman International, five members of the Doman family continue to teach the Doman Method to families all around the world. Douglas Doman, Glenn’s son, serves at the director of Doman International. His wife, Rosalind Doman, is the clinical director. Douglas and Rosalind worked hand-in-hand with Glenn for 4 decades. Glenn’s grandson, Spencer, heads Doman International’s department for innovation and cognitive development. His wife, Melissa, leads the mobility development department. Spencer and Melissa both trained under Glenn for the last 6 years of his life. Glenn’s granddaughter, Morgan, directs operations at Doman International.
The Doman Method continues to evolve, as new treatments are discovered that can help children, and then are added to the method. Glenn’s dream to help children with special needs get better remains a reality, as the team at Doman International continues to search for new answers, and teach and support families worldwide.