There are so many underlying issues that kids with ADHD, Anxiety, ODD, OCD, Autism, etc. are dealing with that aren’t being talked about nearly enough.
1. Their Brain Stem Doesn’t Work Right
There’s a lot of science we could unpack here, so we’re going to try to keep it simple. The brain stem is where these amazing things called primitive reflexes are located. All humans are born with primitive reflexes and they’re a good/necessary part of development. But, by 1 year old, all primitive reflexes are supposed to be integrated. Kids (and adults) with ADHD, SPD, OCD, Anxiety, Autism, etc. have RETAINED primitive reflexes – meaning they didn’t go away at 1 year.
It’s easy to tell if your child has retained primitive reflexes based on a few symptoms!
Symptoms of retained primitive reflexes include:
- Chewing on things/putting things in mouth,
- Writer’s cramp/poor grip/bad handwriting,
- Sensitive to loud & sudden noises,
- Poor posture,
- Difficulty copying from smartboard to paper,
- And bedwetting.
These reflexes are easily taken care of with a few simple movements. They’ll have a huge impact on your child’s day!
By the way, we tackle all primitive reflexes in our 2 week challenge. You will see some big changes in 2 weeks!
2. They Can’t Feel Their Body
I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true.
Our brain does this really amazing thing called proprioception. It’s constantly sending signals out to all of our body parts to make sure that they’re still connected and working the right way.
When proprioception is low, it doesn’t get those signals the right way, and it starts to panic. As it panics, it starts looking for other ways to get those signals that it wants in two different ways:
Touch & Movement. If you’re finding your child gets too close, does well with weighted blankets, or hangs on you, it’s because their brain is trying to figure out if their body is still connected to them by using tactile (touch) input. If your kiddo does this, try tight squeezes on their feet/legs or whole body to help them calm down or fall asleep. You’d be amazed how many kids will fall right asleep after just a few minutes of squeezes!
The same thing is true for fidgeting. If your kiddo is bouncing around all the time, struggles to sit still, or even prefers standing over sitting, these are also really strong signs that their proprioception is low. Giving them lots of opportunities to move around will help them focus in the long-run!
3. Their eyes aren’t working the right way
We’re not talking about glasses here!
The part of your brain that controls your eyeballs is super far apart from your actual eyeballs. It’s really easy and common for the networks that connect them to get weak.
When that happens, the brain loses control of the eyes. This makes both focus and reading very difficult. Now, instead of listening and paying attention to the lesson at school, your child’s eyes are going from the aid walking around the room to:
- To the girl’s sparkly headband
- To the bright posters all over the walls
- To the kid that just got up to ask to go get a drink
- To the interesting pictures in his textbook
- To the kid picking his nose
- To the kid’s t-shirt that has a cool design on it
And basically, anywhere besides the boring lesson the teacher is trying to teach.
As you can imagine, this problem will make reading practically impossible. (And is often mistaken as a learning or reading problem)
You know your child is smart. But by giving back their brain control of their eyes, the rest of the world will be able to see that too.
Focus problems and learning problems aren’t the same things. If you haven’t yet, try out our free focus exercise that’s built to help strengthen those connections between their brain and eyes.