Sensory Integration for Sensational Kids
Sensory Processing Disorder affects on average 1 in 20 children. 1 in 6 children have sensory challenges present in their every day lives. 1 in 100 children are diagnosed with Autism.
Children learn through their sensory systems. Everything they see, smell, taste, and touch is taken into their brain. Every movement of their body is registered. Neurosensory integration is the ability of the brain and body to take in, process, organize and integrate sensory information so we can feel safe and secure in our environment. This allows us to respond appropriately to situations and requests so proper social and academic learning can occur. The integration of the sensory systems beings when the baby is developing in the womb and the first year of life is a critical time for brain pathways to develop.
When a baby is born, they are pre-programed with primitive reflexes, which are automatic reactions to a specific stimuli. For example, have you ever stroked a baby's cheek and noticed that they automatically turn their head and open their mouth? This is an example of a primitive reflex that helps them learn to eat. These reflexes protect them from harm and help them learn how to live outside the womb. These reflexes should disappear after a few months as higher brain functioning takes over.
For some kids these reflexes do not disappear completely, meaning the child retains the primitive reflex and higher brain functioning does not take over as it should. Why this happens in one child and not another is still unknown, however many theories exist.
Symptoms of a retained reflex depend on which of the many reflexes still exist. Some common symptoms are:
Many children with these traits are labeled with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Dr. West offers a unique neurodevelopmental program in her office that combines chiropractic care with neurointegrative exercises and nutritional counseling. Dr. West is a board certified Pediatric Chiropractor who has advanced education working with the specific needs of these fantastic kids!
Each child is evaluated for subtle misalignments in their spine and pelvis. These misalignments can be created in utero, through the birth process or as the result of physical trauma. Physical trauma can happen as they are learning to walk or ride a bike and take a few falls. As they play in sports or on the playground. The brain and body need to be in constant communication through the nervous system, which is supported by the skull and spine. A misalignment in the spine can slow this communication creating an immaturely functioning nervous system. The sensory information that comes into the body and the commands down from the brain will be delayed. The chiropractic adjustment helps to stimulate the nervous system and remove blockages in this flow of information.
Numerous studies have shown that kids with neurodevelopmental disorders have chronic gut inflammation. This inflammation can contribute to picky eaters, repeated illnesses and behavior problems. Dr. West works to help correct the source of the gut problem, not just covering the symptoms. Through specific dietary changes and supplements it is possible to heal the intestines, leading to happier and healthier children.
Neurointegrative exercises help to restore the brain-body connection. Each child has their own exercise program developed specifically for their needs. The program works to integrate any retained primitive reflexes, while helping the child develop their sensory skills.
If you think your child may benefit from our program please call us at the office today!