In today’s world we seem to be in constant motion. Not just our physical bodies but our minds. Constantly inundated with information that we receive through the radio, cell phones, social media, and the internet. We often feel the need to fill in our entire day by constantly checking updates or looking for information. Our children have become accustomed to over-stimulation via video games, social media apps, and fully-scheduled calendars. Their brains are becoming wired to believe they need constant stimulation.
Children that have hypo- or hyper-reactive systems are already misunderstanding the sensory stimulation that surrounds them on a daily basis. Children on the spectrum and with sensory challenges are known to be in a fight-or-flight mode most of the time. Their brain does not interpret sensory information correctly, thus categorizing situations as dangerous that really aren’t. The children can become scared, anxious, have outbursts, anger, or withdrawal completely.
After reading from Anat Baniel’s book, Kids Beyond Limits, I became intrigued with the idea that less is more. An excerpt from her book reads, “The world these children experience is chaotic, and because they can’t slow themselves down they have great difficulty learning. Their attention bounces from one thing to another so quickly their brain never has the opportunity to feel and notice enough to be able to make sense of themselves or the world around them in a way that works well enough for them. When faced with new demands, such as learning the complex balance of riding a bike, developing the eye-hand coordination required to catch a ball, learning to read and write, or developing more precise and lucid language skills, their brain cannot differentiate sufficiently to organize and perform these complex actions. What we tend to observe in such instances is an increase in hyperactive behavior.
Some might think these children need more stimulation to try to get through to them…..Yet it is not stimulation that they lack. Every bit of sensory input stimulates them; the problem is that their brains can’t organize the stimulation in a meaningful, coherent way.”
This eye-opening statement started our research into slowing down and simplifying in order to gain more. We believe that a parent’s touch can have more affect on a child’s altered tactile system than a bucket of beans. We see that children react more positively to a parent throwing them into the air or giving them a piggy back ride for vestibular input rather than swinging in a clinic. Simple daily practice in belly breathing can help with breath control, body awareness, and self-regulation. Moving to create appropriate neural connections in the brain helps to calm the nervous system and create a stable mind and body for the child.
Brain Connex Therapy advocates the child connects with their environment. This simply means we encourage parents to play with their children, talk & read to their children, be outdoors every day, do activities as a family, and significantly decrease screen time. Human interaction and nature can create powerful changes in a child’s development.