In your heart, do you feel that your child is stuck and you want to know what the next step is?
Is your child stuck with:
- baby development?
- social skills?
- respecting authority?
- following directions?
- a syndrome?
- a label?
- a diagnosis?
- eating habits?
Have you been told that if your child is over a certain age -- then you can pretty much give up the thought of any more development? We really hope that you have not been given that hopeless piece of information. But if you have -- we have good news. The plasticity of the brain is amazing. That means no matter where we are right now, the brain can be stimulated to bring about change.
In an article entitled What Is Brain Plasticity? the author, Kendra Cherry, explains it this way:
"Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity or cortical remapping, is a term that refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Up until the 1960s, researchers believed that changes in the brain could only take place during infancy and childhood. By early adulthood, it was believed that the brain's physical structure was permanent. Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories." (link for further reading: http://psychology.about.com/od/biopsychology/f/brain-plasticity.htm)
Why does that matter? It mattered to us because we had hope that there was a possibility for change for our children. We were so ready to grab opportunities to roll up our sleeves and do whatever it took to help move our children from a place of "stuckness" to one of greater ability.
We want you to take several things from this article:
- Never give up.
- Never lose hope.
- Go seeking for the best for your child.
- Do not be satisfied when someone says "this is just the way it is". Smile, politely thank them, and keep on looking.
For us, knowing about the fact that so much of the time you can expand brain power, took us in direction of empowerment. We sought out the things that were making a difference for other kids. For example, when we found out that the army crawl and creeping up on the hands and knees were a critical developmental step to building a strong foundation for our Amy -- you can bet we were on it. Everyday -- several times a day -- we got her in the position of an army crawl and then physically moved her arms and legs in a cross pattern motion. Then, when she was able to get up on all fours, we, her parents, modeled -- all three of her older siblings modeled -- how to move forward by using the right arm and the left leg and then using the left arm and the right leg.
When Amy was having difficulty forming letters with her mouth and using that ability for speech, we learned how to model mouth movements and tongue movements and gave Amy all kinds of input for learning how to talk. We could have just chalked up her inability to her syndrome but instead we decided it was worth the effort if there was even a remote possibility to get her talking.
Another development that needed to be facilitated was walking. Because we modeled and moved her body in the motions of walking -- she learned to walk. What were we doing? We were opening new pathways in her brain and when the connection took place she began to walk!!!! Oh the joy of it!
When our Josh struggled with learning to read (which was a result of an insult to his immune system and had nothing to do with his intelligence) we opened new pathways for him. By giving him the input he needed -- sight reading cards over and over, lining up dominance, increasing sequential processing both visually and auditorily which allowed him to utilize phonics, and building his immune system with good nutritional support -- the pathways were opened and his learning took off.
You, too, can facilitate this kind of development for your child. No matter the struggle (physical, behavior, academic, etc.), it is worth looking into opening pathways with specific brain stimulation. For us, the activities were simple to do -- we just needed to learn to persevere and keep at it. We were not perfect -- not by a long shot. But what we were able to do significantly changed the course of our children's lives and we would do it all over again. How about you?
Are there similar issues you are dealing with? In your heart, do you sense that your child is stuck and you want to know what the next step could be? Contact us for a free Get Acquainted Call. Email us at MarchForthFamily@gmail.com or connect with us on our website at www.MarchForthFamily.com.
Julie and Tom Meekins