"Oklahaven" Children’s Chiropractic Center, a 501(C)3 charitable organization, was founded in the early 1960’s in response to the needs of chronically ill children, many of whom were paralyzed, braced, and wheelchair bound. In 1977, I was recruited to run the Center and, in 1979, became the President and Chief Executive Officer, assuming the Center’s daily operations. For over 47 years, Oklahaven has specialized in chiropractic care of the very sick and neurologically hurt children who come from all over the world.
The lessons learned over the years are relevant to all chiropractors who have seen very sick children in their practices. Many of these children became well, understood the premise, and became the chiropractors who built our profession.
The illnesses through the years are similar, the labels have just changed. Children were labeled idiots and morons, if they could not behave or talk, then handicapped, challenged, and eventually special. Today they are autistic and the infants are so intoxicated they are seizuring, which illustrates the chiropractic premise of the toxicity, stress, and trauma—the downward spiral of health.
The head misalignment of a Cerebral Palsy child and other profoundly hurt children has always been addressed with success through chiropractic. We have observed the body go through the autistic spectrum as it balances and reorganizes itself, beginning the upward spiral to health and full function.
As the sun gets brighter at the dawn of each new day, the light of the life force grows brighter as the body heals and reaches its optimal potential. Children’s bodies heal quickly due to their strong recuperative powers. Oklahaven's evaluation clearly indicates where the child is stuck, which helps parents see the small changes, which will lead to the big changes. The Dream Kid Booklet (See figure 1)
evaluation forms are available at
Oklahaven’s Chiropractic Evaluation of a Child
The Dream Kid Booklet evaluation will help confirm the parent’s instincts to indicate if the child’s power is off and if the body is not developing properly. A subluxated body becomes weak and, through time, cannot reach these milestones. From the moment a child is born, his parents are observing and enjoying the developmental sequence. We acknowledge the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia in its Developmental Profile for first developing the concept of evaluating the chronological age vs. neurological age.
Chronological age is the time frame from the child’s birth. In this world, our body’s development is measured with the passing of time.
Neurological age represents the developmental milestones: crawling on the tummy, sitting, creeping on hands and knees, standing, walking, running, hopping, skipping, playing, and fine motor coordination. The senses—hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling—mature into perceptual ability, coordination, social skills, language, and problem solving.
When chronological age and neurological age do not match, it is a sign that subluxation exists, which creates a lack of ease in the body, which affects the child’s performance and delays his ability to problem-solve. When the gap exists, we see the beginning of dis-ease, dis-orders, dysfunction, and the litany of diagnostic labels.
Early indicators of subluxation, such as nursing difficulties, colic, chronic ear and respiratory infections, or the "too good baby" who does not cry out, show the early sensory shut down.
At Birth a Healthy Infant Exhibits:
• Birth Cry
• Toe dig
• Truncal movement
• Symmetrical & unrestricted movement, bilateral symmetrical movement of arms & legs
• Free movement of head & neck
• Sleeping prone, knees tucked under
• Bilateral grasp—thumbs outside of fist
• Light, startle, & skin reflexes
Observe the Child’s:
• The breathing—Inhalation and exhalation. Most of the hurt children do not exhale; they are like fish out of water. You will see the sacrum and flailing of hands and feet. Look for rhythmic breathing.
• The mouth—The corners; are they wide or tight? The tightness, the expression, or hanging open.
• The tongue—Is it flat and flaccid or is the tip up? Are the sides moving naturally? Swallows easily or has problems with texture?
• Head angle
• Mouth angle
• Brainstem compression—specific upper cervical X-rays
• Alignment of the chin with the episternal notch
• Hip alignment—many times this goes with the head alignment
• Leg Length—in severe cases, pronounced at the knees
• Feet angle
Can the parent describe the child as affectionate, happy, curious, imaginative, loving, helpful, and responsible most of the time OR does the parent describe the child as frustrated, moody, whiny, withdrawn, defiant, angry most of the time?
The Chiropractic Lifestyle
• Commitment to the time it takes—Restoring a child’s health requires dedicated parents, who can envision their child whole and will work hard toward it. It takes at least three years of weekly adjustments for a mildly hurt child to reach his optimal potential. What took three months years ago, now takes three or more years. Many of the children in the foreign countries heal in a shorter time, as we saw thirty years ago at Oklahaven. These children are less toxic, have less stress in their daily lives, and do not have three or four generations of inherited toxicity.
• Whole foods—The living energy within the food, when properly absorbed, provides the life-giving energy our bodies require. We believe the key to restoring health is first chiropractic care to remove the subluxations, which will allow proper digestion and assimilation of the food. The body will begin to restore its natural flora and have the strength to detoxify. The child will naturally begin to eat a wider variety of whole foods because congestion in the digestive tract can destroy an otherwise normal taste palette. With time, this will relieve symptoms and promote optimal health. Whole fresh foods are best when grown locally and eaten in season to maintain the most life force. Processed foods are dead because they are too refined. Any food altered by radiation or chemically grown with pesticides, drugs or hormones will cause subluxation and, eventually, dis-ease within the body.
• Parent’s Instincts and Goals—Parents intuitively know when something is wrong. Many parents instinctively know that medications or surgery are not the best path, but have been given no other choices. It takes a dedicated parent to persevere and find the solution. Most parents wish that they had known much earlier about the healing benefits of chiropractic. The parents’ expectations, goals, and wishes for their child are as vital to the healing process as are adjustments and nutrition. When the parents see the child whole and have great expectations, the journey moves forward.
Chiropractors, these parents need you! Not only will you build your future, but also the future of chiropractic. You will show current patients how significant the chiropractic way of life is for them as they see these children, who were given up on, return to health. When children are given the gift of health, they progress beyond the labels, fulfill their optimal potential, and give back to life.
Dr. Doscher is a 1977 Palmer Chiropractic College graduate and a Naturopath. Under her guidance with the Board of Directors, The Children’s Chiropractic Center, "Oklahaven", has focused on telling the chiropractic story through the children. She has received Humanitarian Awards for her unwavering dedication to healing the children. She lectures and speaks at numerous national and international conferences, chiropractic colleges, and has been invited to treat severely sick children around the world. She can be reached at