American parents are taught that the earlier our children meet developmental milestones, the better, but that's not necessarily true. In the case of creeping, crawling, and learning to walk, there's a downside to moving through each phase too quickly. If primitive reflexes aren't properly turned off, and we don't spend enough time creeping, then crawling gets impacted. It may look like crawling is happening, but it's done in a way that's compensating for non-integrated primitive reflexes. Additionally, bright kids can figure out how to game the system. Maybe they don't like the feel of the carpet on their knees, so they scoot instead. The downside is that crawling for six months allows for proper kneecap development. Kids who crawl for less time, or who scoot instead, will be more likely to have knee injuries.
Until the work is done to make up for underdeveloped lower regions in the brain, the compensation for non-integrated reflexes is done by the cortex. The cortex, which is what we should be using for excelling at schoolwork, is instead taking over for the midbrain and the primitive brain. Non-integrated reflexes hold back many children and adults from achieving their full potential.
My child development books are all packed up until I'm ready to write a book about that, so I'll recommend one website as a resource: braingym.org. This was created by a Touch for Health energy kinesiology instructor, who modified TFH to help his own learning disabilities. It's been used by parents to help their kids and by teachers to help their students since 1986.
The practitioners and consultants at Brain Gym are all about how to help restart delayed development and enhance potential, as well as how to tune in and activate different types of learning.
I recommend Brain Gym even for neurotypical kids. This is because kids these days are fast-tracked into reading too young and aren't allowed enough time for gross motor movement. It can make even neurotypical kids stressed out to be in a classroom environment all day. Brain Gym has simple movements specifically geared towards helping all kids have their nervous systems calm down and be ready for schoolwork, while honoring their bodies' needs.
There's a lot of debate on the right timing to start kids on reading, writing and math. Gross motor skills need developing young and instead we're largely restricting their movement to desks and fine motor movement instead, especially with smart phones and tablets. Young eyes need strong daylight when developing in order to mature properly. Instead, they're inside, spending most of their time under too-dim fluorescent lighting. It is leading to a generation almost entirely in need of glasses in every culture doing this.
Since most of us can't home-school our kids, one way to help make up for these deficits is to learn Brain Gym yourself and bring it into the classroom when you are volunteering in class during nursery school, kindergarten and first grade. When teachers see the difference it makes in behavior and learning, they'll tell the principal and teachers for the older grades. Before you know it, you've created a movement that will benefit all kids coming through the school, including your own. Be the change:-)
One great thing about the brain is it is neuroplastic no matter one's age. If you're having trouble with reading, either with comprehension or staying awake, or with organization, or focus, with listening or speaking, Brain Gym can help too. As we age, it's common for us to have more issues with learning disabilities. It doesn't have to stay that way.
I also have a one-on-one program to help people like me overcome their ADHD. If you are an adult with ADHD, feel free to contact me to find out just how much potential you have.
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash