In medicine, overall health refers to the sum total of the health of various bodily systems such as the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, etc.

In conventional medicine, the focus is on the treatment of disease.

In Functional Medicine (FM) there is a shift from the traditional disease-centred focus of medical care to a more patient-centred approach which focusses on identifying root causes of a disease. FM practitioners spend time with their patients to listen to their histories and to explore the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that may influence long-term health and a chronic disease. FM supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual (

In 2002, Mel Levine proposed that one can think of a child’s learning health in terms of the well-being of the eight neurodevelopmental systems. These systems must work together if learning is to occur (in the same ways that the systems in our bodies must work together for optimal health). The neurodevelopmental systems are depicted in the diagram below:


In my practice I prefer not to have a disease-centred approach, I rather focus on identifying realistic root causes for the problems/challenges that learners might be experiencing. I make use of the neurodevelopmental system framework (from Mel Levine) and various other frameworks to comprehend executive function processes to help learners to understand themselves and also to think about what to work on to help themselves and to prevent disease.


Metacognitive Screenings for demystification of problems/challenges with the neurodevelopmental systems needed for learning health as well as for executive function difficulties/challenges

Assessments for accommodations and examination concessions, e.g. extra time, reader, scribe, prompter, etc. (if a child has been diagnosed already as an occupational therapist cannot make a diagnosis).

  • Mainly for high school learners.
  • Takes approximately 2½ hours.
  • Not psychometric (IQ) testing but standardized tests are used.
  • Contact me directly for details re costs or to book an assessment.

Let's Get Started

    Contact Info

    Estelle Brettenny

    For Intervention, assessment or training


    082 430 7956


    1 A Stepping Stone Street,



    I do not do assessments with primary school learners, e.g. for sensory integration problems, fine/gross motor skills or perceptual difficulties, etc.

    If you would like to find out more about challenges with the neurodevelopmental systems of learning-health and executive functions and how you can help your child achieve academic success despite such a challenge, feel free to get in touch to book a screening or assessment.