Is your Neurodivergent Child at Home?

neudivergentIs your neurodivergent child at home and you are wondering what to do with them? Dyslexic? Dyspraxic? ADHD? ASD?  Could you use the time at home to help them develop some invaluable skills, that they are not taught in school? And it’s fun.

Olive Hickmott, a Health and Learning Coach,  is going live with some of her Empowering Learning Practitioners on Zoom Wednesday 1st April, at 9am.
Zoom link here: for meeting 227-186-464.

The topics to be introduced, with fun exercises, are:

  • What are your highest priority challenges?
  • 3 key skills for neurodivergent students:
    • Identifying strengths
    • Grounding and breathing – to reduce anxiety/panic and increase relaxation
    • Understanding the student’s mental imagery and how to use them
  • What next?

#neurodivergent #strengths #grounding #breathing #mentalimagery #Dyslexic #Dyspraxic #ADHD #ASD

From Olive Hickmott


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Could good breathing save your life?

PeskyWe all know the importance of breathing, but do you know that how we breathe can have a major impact on our health? Are you looking for useful things you can do to help yourself in the current situation? Our leaders are giving us much good advice and, in my opinion, there is more we can do to help ourselves.

In the 6 Steps to Improve the Wellbeing of your Airways, I mentioned the role of Nitric Oxide (NO).  I now want to dig a little deeper, with the help of an invaluable post and video from Patrick McKeown, of the Buteyko Clinic, entitled Is Nasal Breathing Your First Line of Defense Against Coronavirus?      This is a most important 30-minute read and video.

The gas NO  is excreted contiguously into the nasal airways of humans. This means, in simple terms, that as we breathe in through our nose the air is mixed with NO and the higher the proportion of NO the better. Most research has been around how NO is beneficial to your airways, lungs and heart. And the immunology community has also done much on Nitric Oxide and Virus Infection.   Of course, we don’t know the specific effect on Covid-19, but at worst it will help airflow into your lungs and maybe even neutralize a few of these pesky viruses.

So let’s explain what you can do, right now:

  • Learn to keep your mouth shut when not talking or eating.  When you are talking slow down and leave short gaps where you can nose breath. The extra benefit is that it also gives the audience time to process what you have said.
  • Breath in and out gently through your nose.  If this is difficult, just be kind to yourself and take it gently, it needs practice and like me, you may have been a mouth breather for decades.
  • You can increase your Nitric Oxide generation by humming whilst you are nose breathing and creating gaps after your out-breath. There are yoga practices that include humming and chanting when you will notice movement in your nasal cavity.
  • As you nose breath, let the air pass right down into your belly, which you will find moves your diaphragm, massages your internal organs and is more relaxing.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to be in a Covid-19 environment, gentle nose breathing will reduce unfiltered breaths that may attract a high viral load, which is known to increase dangerous symptoms.
  • Do share this information with others.

Do go to Patrick Mckowen’s Buyeto web-site where you will find much more detailed information with research references, about all aspects of this.

Olive Hickmott is a Health and Learning Coach from the UK, who would be delighted to hear your questions and comments.  You can mail her:

#Covid-19 #breathing #buteyko #nitricoxide #airways # Coronavirus

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6 steps to improve the wellbeing of your airways

breathersToday I want to mention the wellbeing of our airways.  It seems obvious to me that we should all attempt to look after those delicate airways that enable us to breathe and are so vital for supporting life. Good breathing is also really calming to reduce some of our anxieties. Here are some things you might not know and do look up the references below to learn more:

  1. Breathing in through your nose (when awake or asleep) is healthier. WHY? Because the air you breathe is filtered, humidified, warmed and accelerated before it reaches your lungs.
  2. In addition, Nitric Oxide (NO) is released, that according to the 1998 Nobel Prize winners, mediates a whole variety of bodily actions, including widening blood vessels, helping to regulate blood pressure and battling infections. NO, for example,  is known to kill dust mites and helps reduce inflammation, that naturally benefits our airways. I look forward to seeing research on the effects of NO on the Covid-19 virus.
  3. Gently breathing out through your nose enables your body to retain more  Carbon Dioxide (CO2), necessary for oxygenating every cell in your body.  Getting light-headed when we blow up balloons is a perfect example of what happens when breathing out too much CO2.
  4. Many people for a whole variety of reasons can be mouth breathers. A medical condition in your nose, such as adenoids, or even a heavy cold, may be the initial cause but even after recovery mouth breathing may stay habitual.
  5. Mouth breathers typically breath into the top of their chest, which in turn creates anxiety and doesn’t let air right down into your belly to achieve prefered diaphragmatic breathing. Recovery from painful abdominal surgery may also limit diaphragmatic breathing and set off the habit of only breathing into the top of your lungs.
  6. Avoid smoky atmospheres and smoking.  Are you a smoker who naturally mouth breaths? This is so obvious, I guess that is why almost no-one is mentioning the negative effects of smoking on your airways, in the current crisis.

To learn more do google Patrick Mckeown, Dr. Michael Gelb, and Dr Howard Hindin for example.

I hope you enjoyed my post yesterday about looking after your immune system whilst upgrading to IMMUN-7. This is the 2nd in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies can assist you.

The author is Olive Hickmott, please register here to follow each blog at

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#intassoc #Covid-19  #breathing #nosebreathing #anxiety #smoking #airways

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Reframing Covid-19 and your immune system

“Are you worried about the panic surrounding Covid-19?” I am. As a health and learning coach, I don’t disagree with the messages about public health, but there’s an angle here that’s being overlooked.

Our immune system is a learning organisation. As everyone is likely to experience it, this virus can actually deliver a major upgrade to our immune systems. It is vital that our immune system is in the best condition it can be, to learn.  The primary function of our immune system is a complex structure that defends the body against an intruder.  It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy it more quickly if it enters the body again. When you have a flu virus, your immune system remembers it and protects you from getting the same virus again. Vaccination works in the same way. Our natural immune systems are doing a great job for millions of people who experience Covid-19 and they are learning all the while how to naturally develop immunity. A doctor on TV this morning, who has gone through Covid-19 herself, was praising her immune system, how it copes and has adjusted to support her healing.

Of course, we want people to adhere to medical advice. But we must be very careful not to terrorise and depress them – that will automatically suppress their natural immune system. The problem currently facing medics is that there is no vaccination available and little treatment. So our main ally against this virus is our immune system.

We need to take care of our immune systems; they are busy with this new invader. Here’s how to ensure it is as strong as possible.

  • Your immune system likes physical and mental exercise, healthy eating. Even if we are self-isolating there is much we can do to remain active with exercise programmes on the TV and Youtube, for example.
  • Your immune system is suppressed by toxins, such as alcohol, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Please do everything possible to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
  • Sneezing is an important part of the immune system. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
  • Vitamins and herbs such as Vitamin C and Echinacea support your immune system.
  • Consider how much anxiety is floating around, try to calm yourself, it might even rub off on others. For example, seek out fun TV, write down what you are grateful for, practice diaphragmatic breathing, consider a complementary technique such as EFT to release specific anxieties.
  • Have you ever noticed how you speak to yourself? Your subconscious doesn’t understand negatives. When in social distancing do you see that as being negative? Try reframing “I am at-risk” to think “I am protected” and notice any difference.

This is the first in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as healthy breathing, reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies.

The author is Olive Hickmott, please register here to follow each blog at

Or on Linkedin at

Or on Facebook:

#intassoc #Coronavirus #Covid-19 #immune #exercise



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Free webinar: Releasing anxiety from Dyslexia

no-problem-studying-dec15_colour_smallerThis is the last in the series Changing Dyslexia for a New Decade.  Several in the series have covered how learning differences can create anxiety. This session with cover:

  • Using the strengths of mental imagery to change anxiety
  • How Emotional Freedom Techniques, known as EFT or Tapping, can immediately release specific emotional challenges, such as anxiety and so much more. Judy Bartkowiak, owner of NLP and EFT Kids, will join me to share her experiences and introduce you to these tried and tested powerful techniques.

Click here to book your place:

#EFT #judybartkowiak #releasinganxiety #anxiety #neurodiversity #learningdifferences

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Free webinar: How is it my child can read and not spell the same words?

p49_dinasaurThere is a very simple reason as to why some children find reading reasonable and spelling so difficult.  It is unlikely you have been taught the reason for this in school or how to overcome these challenges. Joining us for a simple explanation will guide you in how to help your child simply and easily

We will also be covering the challenges for children with a hearing impediment and the strategies that can be used to accelerate their progress.

This webinar is part of a series, Changing Dyslexia for a New Decade. Click here to register for free.  Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 20:00–21:00 GMT

If you can’t make the webinar, you will find The Elephants in the Classroom, has some very useful material. Alternatively, you can order recordings of the whole series at

#spelling #reading #theelephantsintheclassroom #dyslexia #freewebinar

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Free webinar: exploring sensory overload in Dyslexia

brain-linesDoes your child struggle with anxiety and sensory overload? This webinar will give you some new insights into their experiences and how some simple skills can assist every child, especially those with learning differences.

This webinar is part of a series, Changing Dyslexia for a New Decade. Click here to register for free.
Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 20:00–21:00 GMT

If you can’t make the webinar, you will find The Elephants in the Classroom, has some very useful material.

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