The Glenn Doman Method of Alternative Education

Have you heard of the Doman method? It's an alternative education method that Dr. Glenn Doman created in the 1950s. Learn about it in the following article.
The Glenn Doman Method of Alternative Education

Last update: 28 October, 2020

Glenn Doman was an American doctor who created his own method of education – the Doman Method of alternative education. While this creation took place over 50 years ago, many professionals still apply it today.

During the first years of life, children have great potential for learning. And the foundation of this method is the idea that all children educators must take advantage of this potential to the fullest. Therefore, according to this author’s vision, early stimulation is fundamental to achieve children’s integral development. In other words, intellectual, physical, social and emotional development.

Do you want to know more about the Doman method of alternative education? Then pay attention to the information below.

The Glenn Doman Method of Alternative Education

The Glenn Doman method of alternative education

In 1955, Glenn Doman, along with educational psychologist Carl Delacato, founded the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. Their aim was to treat brain-injured children through a method based on sensory stimulation.

After some time, they observed great advances in these patients on a motor and intellectual level. So, they decided to also apply the method to children who didn’t present any type of affectation. And this is how the Doman method was born.

The main objective of the Doman method is to take advantage of the cerebral plasticity of children. This involves carrying out repetitive, playful, dynamic and motivating activities several times a day. Thus, the intention is to favor the creation of neuronal connections. This, according to Glenn Doman, implies the strengthening of the intellectual and learning capacity.

The first 6 years of life are crucial for learning

According to Doman, from 0 to 6 years of age the brain has greater facility to create connections between neurons. In fact, this author goes so far as to refer to this stage as the “genesis of genius.”

Why? Because it’s during these years that children have a greater and more effective learning capacity compared to the following phases of development. That’s why this educational method places so much importance on stimulation during early childhood.

“Every child born has, at the moment of birth, a greater potential intelligence than Leonardo da Vinci ever used.”

– Glenn Doman –

It also places great importance on the environment. Although genetics is considered helpful in developing maximum potential more quickly, what’s really crucial is growing up in an environment that offers varied, complete and quality stimulation opportunities.

Areas of knowledge the Glenn Doman method can enhance

In the Doman Method, there are 7 areas of knowledge in which children can achieve excellence or maximum development. These areas are the following:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Encyclopedic knowledge
  • Second language as a foreign language
  • Musical skills
  • Mathematics
  • Physical development

This takes place through continuous exposure to certain stimuli, called bits of intelligence, grouped by category. These stimuli capture the attention and curiosity of children, who process and assimilate the information by any of the sensory pathways. That is, auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory and gustatory.

The Glenn Doman Method of Alternative Education

Final thoughts regarding the Doman method of alternative education…

There are many followers of the Glenn Doman method. In fact, both education professionals and parents from all over the world guarantee its effectiveness and defend the good results provided by the use of this educational method with children.

However, it also has many detractors. On the one hand, some consider it to be a pedagogically counterproductive method, as children acquire early learning that can lead to boredom at school, being ahead of their peers.

In addition, the Doman method tends toward generalization and proposes similar treatments for all types of children, from those without any pathology to those with cerebral palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, among others.

But today we know that what’s really effective is offering an intervention that’s as individualized and personalized as possible, adapted to the needs and environment of each child.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics criticizes this method, because, according to them, it’s not supported by scientific evidence. What’s more, it’s based on a simplistic and outdated theory of neurodevelopment.

So, what about you? What do you think? Do you think the Doman method can help children maximize their abilities?


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Doman, G. y Doman, J. (2002). Cómo multiplicar la inteligencia de su bebé: la revolución pacífica. Madrid: Edaf.
  • Neurol, D. M. C. (1968). The Doman-Delacato treatment of neurologically handicapped children. Developmental medicine and child neurology, 10.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.