Archive for the ‘Sensory Issues’ Category
SUGGESTION: These symptoms may be caused by a hyper-sensitive tactile system. The Neurodevelopmental Approach can provide specific stimulation to the brain in order to normalize the tactile system. The activity that is typically recommended for these symptoms is called “Tactile Gloves” and provides stimulation to the brain to build neuro-pathways from the topical tissue sensors in the arms and legs to the brain. The parent should use scratchy bath gloves to gently rub their child’s hands, arms, feet and legs. Use a very light touch, like you are rubbing on lotion over the entire surface of each limb, from the tips of the fingers to the shoulders and from the tips of the toes to just above the knees. This tactile stimulation should be done for approximately 3 minutes, twice a day for 6 to 8 months. For more information on The Neurodevelopmental Approach, please visit www.littlegiantsteps.com.
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Problem: My child always seems to be getting into people’s “personal space”; he’s also very clumsy and bumps into things and trips a lot.
Suggestion: These types of symptoms are typically from a lack of Proprioception (the body’s ability to know where it is in space). The Neurodevelopmental Approach can provide specific stimulation to the brain to develop proprioception and remediate these issues. The activity that is typically recommended for these symptoms is called “Deep Pressure” and provides stimulation to the brain to build neuropathways from the deep tissue in the arms and legs to the brain. The parent uses their whole hand to press or squeeze each limb, starting with the tips of the fingers and working their way up on both the inside and the outside of the arm all the way to the shoulder; and for the legs, beginning with the tips of the toes and working their way up on both the inside and the outside of the leg to just past the knee. Deep Pressure should be done for 4 minutes, twice a day, for 6 to 8 months for lasting benefit. For more information on The Neurodevelopmental Approach, please visit www.littlegiantsteps.com.
I learned the hard way about this. I was a germ-a-phob (frightened of having too many germs around my children). Therefore, my son spent very little time on the floor where he should have had the opportunity to strengthen his muscles, establish strong efficient neuro-pathways between his brain and body and help map the brain as to the location, locomotion, and responses of his limbs and mobility of his body. Thanks to the Neuro-Developmental Approach, (a methodology Little Giant Steps has implemented for thousands of children with learning issues) my son’s brain and body were brought into alignment as God intended and his future became very bright and still is today!
Without the pressure, tactility, experience of temperatures, textures, and all those experiencial factors being practiced each day, he was left with gaps in his development. He was bright, but unable to do things like tracking sentences with his eyes. Color within the lines. Coordinate movements. His brain was very disorganized as was evident when he talked and of course his constantly loosing his stuff and creating messes where ever he landed for ten minutes. Even developing either his right or left handedness was still up in the air by the time he was ten! Yes, his developmental status was leaving him in a dysfunctional position with his school work, trying to read, write, and achieve what he was capable of intellectually.
Sitting upright in swings, car seats, high chairs, etc. does not allow those little toes to push against the hard surface. Nor, do the arms, elbows, hands, and fingers experience the weight of the body and the pushing up, which is crucial in developing the muscles that will allow the child to bring their heads up so the development of sight gets off to a good start. It’s a cascading effect on physical and cognitive development and each year the child gets further behind if no intervention is implemented.
What Is The Solution?
The solution if you see them struggling with organizing their thoughts, struggling to remember, muscles being weak, reading and tracking objects with their eyes, comprehending, failing at phonics, is to get your child evaluated, put on a neurodevelopmental program and pick up all the stages of development they lost due to ignorance as to the cost of leaving them in all these “gadgets” that look great, but are really best for dolls, not living, breathing, developing infants!
Here is the article that will more fully address this issue: Teaching Babies . But simply what is the best you can do for your new born? Have them on a hard surface (floor so they won’t fall) and allow them to “root” and “scoot” around for as long as they will. I know it’s not as convenient for you, as you can’t see their face quite as easily as when you’ve got them in a car seat sitting on the counter, but the dividends in creating a neurologically efficient child who’s body and brain are truly in sync allows them to reach their full potential! Don’t just think about this….Do It! Your child’s future is the most important thing you can affect positively and establishing an efficiently functioning brain that will last him/her a lifetime is worth more than gold!
Inefficiencies in gross motor, fine motor, muscle tone, auditory processing, visual processing, sensory function, academic learning, behavior, development, and cognitive function can all be addressed using a Neurodevelopment approach.
The Central Nervous System
Often, the symptoms associated with FAS/FAE are actually inefficiencies involving the central nervous system. The primary job of the Neurodevelopmentalist is to find methods that will impact the central nervous system in order to address the source of the developmental problem areas. This includes a variety of stimulation activities that will correct the underlying problems. Therefore, an individual with FAS/FAE is approached just the same an any other child, whether the child is labeled Autistic, Developmentally Delayed, Learning Disabled, ADD, ADHD, or Down Syndrome. Neurodevelopmentalists are interested in what is going right (the strengths), what is going wrong (the weaknesses), and how to best impact the central nervous system to positively change function. We can positively impact the central nervous system because of something called brain plasticity, the brain’s ability to change function, structure, and chemistry if the correct stimulation is provided to facilitate such change. There is no magical age at which this can no longer work. Function can be improved at any age, though it is usually easier and more quickly impacted if started at a younger age.
The difficulties in behavior, attending, and learning associated with FAS/FAE are usually caused by underlying sensory dysfunction. Children with inefficiencies taking in, integrating, organizing, and processing sensory information often become very confused, overwhelmed, emotional, and hyperactive. Neurodevelopmentalists commonly see children with the symptoms in the following areas:
Hearing: Hearing may be hypersensitive to certain frequencies, or the individual may be unable to filter out sounds in a noisy environment- often manifested by degradation of behavior in these situations. ICAN Neurodevelopmentalists use Samonas Sound Therapy to normalize these insensitivities when indicated. This highly sophisticated sound therapy uses the most advanced technology in the world to retrain hearing and auditory processing problems, and ultimately helps improve reading skills in those with low auditory processing. Significant improvements in vestibular function and behavior are also seen with the use of sound therapy.
Next time Little Giant Steps will bring you more of Kay’s article and discuss more sensory issues.
If The Brain Is Disorganized, Behavior And Thinking Is Disorganized
It may sound strange to talk about “brain disorganization” as a part of the problem of a child being so “un-together”. But, the fact is, what you are looking at is a very basic developmental issue. Nature provided for our infants to arrive “unfinished”. There is much in the way of development that must occur after they arrive. Unfortunately, as our society and our practices of child rearing have changed; the needs of a developing infant haven’t. There are steps and stages that they most pass through in order for them to reach their God-given potential.
Specifically the one issue we believe has had an epidemic effect on our children, is the fact we bring our infants home from the hospital in a seat, and for the rest of those critical early months, instead of placing them on their tummies on the floor during their waking hours, so the body can literally “map” the brain; they are placed upright in a sitting position, which seriously lacks what the brain and body need to develop properly.
You see, the visual, tactile, auditory systems must be developed through experiential means. Each one of those experiences must be logged into the central nervous system and neuro-pathways are generated which is a part of the massive network of connections that accounts for the brain to function with phenominal speed and accuracy. The best way for an infant to get those much-needed sensations that help develop and organize the brain are from encountering hard surfaces, experiencing textures, temperatures, and pressures of all sorts. Can you imagine just how much stimuli is experienced by the trunk of the body, the arms and legs as the infant sits in a seat with their arms, hands, feet and legs swinging about in mid-air and feeling no pressure or mobility from their movements? They can’t experience much of anything! The newly developing pathways between the brain and the body go lacking significantly. Thank heavens our babies get picked up and they experience the pressure changes, warmth and textural differences from being held, having diapers changed, and clothes changed.
One of the most important developmental factors in getting an organized brain has to do with those early sensations. As nature provides, there are steps of locomotion that are imperative in getting not only the brain to function in an organized fashion, but to get the body to function in an organized fashion. As the brain develops, there are lower levels of the pons, the medula, and on toward high functions that must have the base experiences those early movements beginning with random reflexes, but soon become more organized, lateral, and bi-lateral, which also relects what’s happening in the brain as the two hemespheres in the brain develop.
So, if your child is very disorganized, it would be to your advantage to create some fun activities that involve them doing the army crawl (belly on the floor, opposite arm and leg moving up and pushing them forward, then the other opposing limbs coming up to complete the full cycle of propelling them forward.) Start out doing this activity twice and day for two minutes for several months. Also, have them creep (up on their hands and knees) with the opposing hand and knee striking the floor at the same time, again 2 times a day for 2 minutes. Then, have them do cross marches. They walk forward with their right hand touching their left knee, and then the left hand touching the right knee as it comes up for the next step. All this activity is called cross-patterning activities. Do these consistently for four months and you may say what a mother once told me, “I couldn’t believe what a difference it made in him! He’s like a new kid in that he’s not so frustrated and just functions better!”
Remember, make it fun, give them some incentive that’s important to them, but get them to do it! You follow through and the brain organization will too!
Each of us is born with tremendous potential. A well functioning tactile system is imperative for receiving information and taking that potential to the next level, which will then be transmitted into producing intentional movement (crawling, walking, running, etc.). Movement makes “memories” which causes the circuitry that releases intelligence. There is tremendous brain growth in the early years and unless the brain cells are connected through neuropathways that are built early, they can be lost. It is a use it or lose it scenario. Early development is like building a house, you have to have a good foundation in order for everything else to function properly. The good news for an older individual is that even if these pathways are immature or incomplete, they can be rebuilt with proper stimulation.
In recent decades, our society has become very mobile; with most families having two cars and the convenience of air travel, society as a whole is living farther and farther away from extended family members. Neuro-educational specialists believe this separation from the extended family has caused many erroneous beliefs about child rearing to emerge.
MYTH #1: Babies should be on a blanket if placed on the floor.
TRUTH: As stated in an earlier newsletter, the tactile input to the brain would be limited by the blanket. In addition to that, have you ever seen an infant try to crawl (tummy on floor) while lying on top of a blanket? They just get all tangled up and frustrated because they can’t get anywhere.
MYTH #2: Infant seats are a necessity! When an infant is sitting in an infant seat, they somehow seem more human; i.e., it is easier to see their faces and for them to see you and they seem happier.
TRUTH: The best place for an infant is on their tummy on the floor. ON the floor in a prone position (on the tummy) is where they build the muscles for sitting alone and walking.
MYTH #3: Walkers are a great way to prepare the child for walking alone.
TRUTH: If a child does not go through the stages of tummy crawl and creeping on hands and knees for a long enough period of time, a ripple of adverse effects will occur. Gross motor coordination, organizational abilities and eye-hand coordination are just a few of the areas that could be adversely affected.
MYTH #4: The more gadgets, i.e. Johnny jump ups, fancy walkers, play pens, etc., I put my child in the better.
TRUTH: The more time a child spends in these gadgets, the less time the child spends on the floor, which means less opportunity for the brain to be organized at the lower levels. Lower level development is the foundation upon which all other development is built.
I encourage you to get your infants out of these gadgets and put them on the floor for lots of tummy time. www.littlegiantsteps.com