Neurological disorders or neurological weaknesses cause learning problems and special needs. What is a neurological disorder? The Child Neurology Foundation states that a neurological disorder can be any condition that is caused by a dysfunction in part of the brain or nervous system, which results in physical and/or physiological symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Neurological Disorders
- Learning requires more effort than other learners the same age
- Inconsistent successes in school and/or below grade level academically in reading, literacy, math, writing, organizational skills, and social skills.
- Behavioral difficulties and psychological problems that do not shift with traditional interventions
- Is forgetfulness a problem?
- Is organization, focus and planning a problem? Is there a high level of frustration when learning new things?
- Poor self-esteem and self-confidence? Is there a lost desire to take risks and engage in learning in a joyful way? Is your child afraid to make mistakes and extremely self-critical?
- Poor social skills
- Abnormal emotional reactions
- A sensitive sensory system; including sensitively to foods and the environment
Treatment for Neurological Disorders
- Fix the imbalance, not the symptoms– use the body to get to the brain and the brain to get to the body Move To Improve to stimulate and strengthen poorly developed circuits that have made learning difficult, and negatively effected the developmental system of the individual.
- The brain and the body must grow together– insure your students are getting enough movement during the day. This includes gross motor movement -playing, running outside, PE, sports, cardiovascular exercise as well as yoga or flexibility exercises combined with a program of intentional movements to repattern parts of the brain- like brain gym related activities/physio-neuro therapy.Not only teach mindfulness, and emotional intelligence and the body=brain connection, but PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!
- Address the WHOLE LEARNER– what are the effects of modern living on this learner’s system? Diet, environment, relationships, physical activity, and loving connections all impact us greatly.
- Work with infant reflex therapy. INFANT REFLEXES? WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? If neurological “wiring” does not blend seamlessly into the overall developmental patterns of the body, the reflexes are said to be unintegrated. Unintegrated Reflexes contribute to all learning challenges and all special needs. Developmental Movement Therapy (or reflex integration therapy) resolves the reflex problem through playful activity, and remediation is occurring in real time. For example: Julia, one of our students had difficulty with near-to -far vision and often loses her place when copying from the board in school, or reading. She props her head up on her hand, and struggles with organization of words on the page when writing. She is frustrated, and below grade level. Because Developmental Movement Therapy remedial sessions are weaved directly into our academic remedial sessions, Julia can immediately access the integrated reflex in the area she needs (reading, writing, focus) so learning is easier, and much more joyful Her frustrations and struggles have disappeared.
- BALANCE SCREEN TIME! Limiting screen time and taking brain breaks while watching U Tube, playing video games and working on the computer help reduce learning challenges. TV dulls the brain, and research shows that playing on a computer does help some cognitive skills, however the negative effects far outweigh the positives. The late Apple founder Steve Jobs intuitively considered that technology was risky for kids and limited his own family’s exposure to technology. Recent studies have shown that playing on devices only builds very short-term attention that need to be rewarded frequently. To succeed in life, school and social situations, kids need to build long-term unrewarded attention- the exact opposite of what is being stimulated though video games and modern TV. Cross Crawls, Thinking Caps, and other brain gym movements, martial arts, music, dancing, playing on a pogo stick and mini trampoline are all great brain breaks that reintegrate the brain/body for ease in total body/cognitive functioning.