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3 Reasons Your Child is Struggling with Reading or Learning ….that you didn’t even realize
1. Their Brain Stem is Underdeveloped:
The brain develops from the bottom-up, and any cognitive tasks we need to do (reading, math, memory, organization, behavior, attention) rely on the lower levels of the brain being fully functioning. The brain stem is the first area of our brain to develop in infancy. It grows through integration of primitive reflexes via sensory stimulation from our movement. Movement & Sensory. If the brain did not get enough of either during infancy, the higher levels of the brain will not have the most optimal connections, leaving a child to struggle with reading, learning, memory, etc.
Signs of retained primitive reflexes include:
- poor fine motor skills; poor/sloppy handwriting; unable to button shirts/pants
- sensitivity to sensory information such as noise, touch, movement, or textures
- toe-walking or w-sitting
- bed wetting past 5 years of age
- cannot sit still; constant fidgeting
- chewing on things; putting things in their mouth
- poor gross motor skills — difficulty riding a bike, jumping with 2 feet, or skipping
Reflex integration is simple and effective. You can do it at home with playful movements!
2. Their body and brain feel disconnected:
This one sounds funny but it’s true. We hear so often from parents that they feel their child’s brain is disconnected from their body. This is from a lack of Proprioception. Proprioception is the sensory input give to our muscles & joints when we move around our environment. It tells us where our body is in space and contributes to coordination, body awareness, sensory integration, and social/emotional capabilities. The brain constantly uses proprioception to understand how to move and whether to step over rocks, not bump into people, or to have a light touch. Proprioception is one of our most important senses because it is constantly being used as we move against gravity.
Signs of poor proprioception include:
- bumping into people or objects frequently
- falling or tipping often
- needing weighted blankets, compression clothing, or constant touch
- crashing into things for fun; rough-housing
- craving movement, such as spinning, jumping, rolling, crashing
- hyper- or hypo-sensitive to tactile information
- constant fidgeting; can’t sit still
- low muscle tone; poor coordination
Input to our proprioceptive system is needed to help integrate our reflexes & sensory systems. Dynamic proprioceptive activities have also been shown to help working memory.
3. Their eyes are not working together correctly:
Our eyes are meant to work as a team. They collect two images but the brain only processes one. If your child’s eyes are not working together well the brain will see two images and either have double vision or will ignore one eye’s input all together. The majority of children we see who have reading or learning challenges also have convergence or visual tracking trouble. We know your child is smart, but if their brain is not processing what the body is taking in from it’s environment, they will struggle.
Signs of trouble with visual perception include:
- rubbing eyes while working up close
- covering one eye with paperwork of reading
- seeing double, wavy, or words jump off the page
- under- or over-shooting with throwing and catching games
- slanted, sloppy, or too large handwriting
Vision is part of the puzzle when it comes to learning and reading….a big part! But vision, like everything in the body, does not work alone. It needs core/postural stability, head stability, and vestibular function to be intact.
To help struggling children, we’ve created virtual programs you can do at-home to improve all areas of the brain. We start with FOUNDATIONS to integrate primitive reflexes. Then move to CONNEXTIONS, our monthly membership program, to target visual, vestibular & cerebellar function.