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Brain Connex Therapy is able to treat the cause: underdevelopment within the brain and an unorganized nervous system. The symptoms we see, such as sensory hypersensitivity, picky eating, hyperactivity, poor language development, learning challenges, poor reading, behavior, or low tone, are simply that – symptoms. They do not define the child; they appear different in every child depending on when their brain experienced delayed growth. We look to treat the cause by using neuroplasticity to create new neural networks & connections in the brain. Our program creates a strong foundation of brain health in which the child is able to function at their very best.
We are born with billions of neurons, which form a network of synaptic connections as we experience movement and sensory input. As the child moves and learns, neurons create connections in the brain. The goal of brain development is to create as many connections between them as possible. The formation of these connections take place through the child’s movements and sensory experiences. The experience of movement and the maturation of the brain is a process in which movement and the senses mutually stimulate one another. Each individual movement of the child and each experience of being moved is stored in the brain as a sensation of movement. The more a movement is repeated, the more the movement creates a secure connection in the brain.
At an early stage of development, infants perform reflexive movements that are predictable in nature (primitive reflexes). As the central nervous system matures (making the way for postural reflexes), semiautomatic movements replace the reflex activity, while coordinated movements arise. When the body is stressed or does not develop appropriately, we see that reflexes are not fully integrated, and thus coordinated movements are delayed and the nervous system does not run smoothly. We then see changes in behavior, motor skills, communication skills, irrational fears & anxiety, as well as developmental delays.
Neuroplasticity is the idea that the brain is “plastic” or malleable. The brain is able to re-wire incorrect or damaged neural pathways. During treatment we take the child through neurodevelopmental movements, just as they would have done as an infant, and through the entire continuum, in order to re-wire the pathways to gain a higher level of function.
Children are experiencing results in rapid amounts of time as compared to traditional therapy models. Re-wiring the brain takes the child through their development quickly resulting in changes in function, behavior, emotions, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and social interactions.
Primitive reflexes are automatic, involuntary movements that develop in the brain stem. The movements help prepare the neural pathways in the brain for more advanced movements like standing, balance, walking, etc. This is why they are the foundation of our program.
Every infant moves through the primitive reflexes which also help the baby explore and learn from their environment. They create connections in the brain important for learning, behavior, communication, vision, sensory, and health.
If the reflexes remain, they interfere with neurological organization which can cause problems in the areas mentioned above.
Normally, primitive reflexes are integrated by 12 months of age and move into postural reflexes. Retained primitive reflexes cause problems because the body is unable to move freely.
What causes unintegrated primitive reflexes?
There is not one cause, but several reasons a child may have retained reflexes:
* illness, trauma, stress during developmental stages
* toxins, chemicals, and environmental stressors
* lack of movement in infancy (staying in car seats, bouncers, bumbo chairs, sleeping on back, etc)
* low tone or large head as an infant making it harder to move through developmental stages
* dietary imbalances or sensitivities
What are problems related to unintegrated primitive reflexes?
Primitive reflexes are foundational for the growth of the brain. Several problems may be related to unintegrated reflexes depending on the severity of the retained reflex, timing of the retained reflex, and cause. Retained primitive reflexes may cause or contribute to:
* Sensory disorders
* Autism spectrum disorders
* Speech disorders
* Social disorders
* Asthma & immune system problems
* Learning disability/challenges
Brain Connex Therapy program helps integrate retained primitive reflexes as part of the full neuro-developmental sequence, along with brain hemispheric integration with the sensory systems.
Brain Hemispheric Integration + Sensory Integration
The most common brain “imbalance” occurs between the two hemispheres of the brain, which is called a ‘Functional Disconnection’. Essentially this is a lack of connection, communication, and integration between neural networks on either side of the brain. The lack of connection is most commonly a result of a developmental imbalance or asynchrony. This means that one side of the brain is delayed or slowed in its development which causes the other side to mature and grow faster. This imbalance in growth and maturity prevents the two hemispheres from properly integrating; resulting in an unevenness of functional abilities where one side of the brain is “too strong” relative to the other side.
An example would be the high-level of intelligence, plus obsessive, compulsive, or hyperactive behavior seen when the left hemisphere is strong and right hemisphere is delayed.
The brain controls everything! An imbalance in the brain can result in imbalances in every system of the body, including the digestive system, sensory system, and motor systems. Some examples are ADHD, autism, dyslexia, depression, anxiety, autoimmune issues, allergies, food sensitive, and more.
There is no damage or pathology in the brain; no genetic mutation or chemical problem. Functional disconnection is a physiologic imbalance that can be corrected with proper stimulation of the delayed hemisphere.
As we know, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking, movement and processing. Today, neuroscientists know that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a broad variety of tasks and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum. Ideally the two hemispheres will be balanced and work in synergy together, although you will be dominant in one side. Children with autism, ADHD, and other neurological or learning-based disorders are being found to have a significant imbalance between the two hemispheres.
The right brain focuses on the visual, and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The focus of the left brain is verbal, processing information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole.
Learning disabilities and movement challenges are a direct result of the disconnect between the two hemispheres. The characteristics and challenges your child displays represents which hemisphere is weaker. Balancing the two hemispheres will help narrow the gap and strengthen the weaker hemisphere.
Parents can begin to assist their own child with integrating and balancing the two sides of the brain at home with specific exercises given through our Online Sensory & Movement Program. [The information provided above and program that we use is adapted from the works of Dr. Robert Melillo, founder of Brain Balance Achievement Centers, as he taught it to us during our mentorship.]
Left Brain Hemisphere characteristics & functions:
- speech and language
- analytical thinking
- attention to detail
- fine motor skills & control
Characteristics of a left brain deficiency:
- is good with non-verbal communication
- is not good at following routines
- has difficulty following multiple step instructions
- may have poor self-esteem
- may be difficult to motivate
- sees the big picture
- is prone to ear infections
- typically Dyslexia
These lists are just a sample of characteristics. Your child may or may not exhibit all of these. Contact us to have a complete assessment in order to have individualized information; or get started with our movement program.
Right Brain Hemisphere characteristics & functions:
- creative, artistic
- musical awareness
- big-picture oriented
- good coordination
- catches colds frequently
- no allergies
- non-verbal communication
- gross motor skills
Characteristics of a right brain deficiency:
- trouble with visual perception
- short attention span
- struggles behaviorally
- increased anxiety
- digestive and bowel troubles
- poor eye contact
- dislikes loud noises
- low muscle tone
- typically Autism, ADHD
These lists are just a sample of characteristics. Your child may or may not exhibit all of these. Contact us to have a complete assessment in order to have individualized information; or get started with our movement program!