“My son won’t stop talking, fidgeting and talking back. And eating! He eats so loud. That is just tonight during our movie time. It is driving us crazy. We do not know how to deal with this. He won’t listen when we tell him stop doing thing (jumping, winding up his brothers up, hurting his brothers). He is 7 years old, very smart, loving, but cannot simply grasp or fulfill simple requests. It has been suggested that we get him tested for Autism & ADHD.”
Does this sound like ADHD? Absolutely. However, let’s not focus on giving a group of symptoms a name, let’s focus on breaking down what is going on in this little guys brain. This is a 7 year old boy that cannot pay attention, doesn’t listen, is not aware of social cues (eating loudly), inability to sit still, and last but not least follow simple commands. Does this 7 year old sound similar to a 2 year old? At 2 years old a child chews loudly, struggle to follow simple commands, wind up siblings, can’t sit still, have the attention span of a gold fish. We have a 7 year old trapped in a 2 year old body.
We would expect this behavior from a 2 year old but not a 7 year old. The problem is that we have a 7 year old stuck in a developmentally 2 year old brain. This will leave parents, teachers, and family members frustrated by this little guys behavior.
Development is a timely, predominantly linear set of events. When steps are skipped, missed, altered, suppressed, or ignored it can take a developmenting 2 year old and stop them from maturing further. Too be clear this has nothing to do with a childs intelligence. Like the mother said this child was very bright, and sometimes we see children hyperintelligent in particular topics when development is altered. Eistein is probably the most famous of kiddos with altered development. He had delayed speech and language skills, teachers believed him to be intellectually challenged. In the end we want our children to have a well balanced brain. A well balance brain is capable of picking on social cues, paying attention, listening comprehension, academics and more.
When I evaluate a child, I want to know where they are in development. Identifying perhaps things that were skipped, missed, or misunderstood is important for understanding where that child is what stresses this child can take on before deflecting.
Each individual must go through primitive reflexes, gross motor, fine motor, balance, equilibrium, auditory, and then visual development before their brain can be fully developed.
I have read reports stating that poor motor coordination and balance impacts 1 out of 3 but as high as 4 out of 5of kiddos diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorders.
As a chiropractor I have the privilege of working with the motor system. Balance and coordinated movement is absolutely vital for higher brain functions. The more mobile and diverse our movement is the more developed our frontal cortex needs to be. When we are mobile we have decisions to make. Mobility gives us options. Options for survival, escape, finding food, running from a wild animal and more. Proper coordinated movement is vital for the suppression of primitive reflexes and for taking the brain out of the brainstem and into higher parts. Movements work into auditory and eventually visual capabilities.
If we know where are child is in development it provides us with very important information. 1) As parents it helps understand that our 7 year old child sees, feels, comprehends, and understands the world through the eyes of a 2 year old brain. 2) It gives us insight into what could help our child advance into more mature portions of the brain. 3) It gives us a game plan for how to help them.
When we can look at development and determine where that child is in development it allows us to best serve these kids.
I hope this helped some parents better understand your child.