Samford Chiropractic Centre

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School Readiness

Posted by on August 11, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Readiness for School as in readiness for writing and reading, and the ability to focus and direct attention depend on the orderly and integrated development of connections within the brain.  An infant has the same number of cells as an adult, but their brain is only a quarter of their adult size.  Connections and myelination of these connections are mainly responsible for the increase in both size and weight of the infant brain.  Brain development in simplest terms is about effective and efficient connections.

A baby is born with base-level connections already established by the primitive/survival reflexes.  These reflexes establish connections within the brain between arms, legs, trunk and head enabling an infant to learn how these “parts” fit and work together.  These basic connections, in turn, act as templates for the development of higher level reflexes, the postural reflexes which arise from higher centres in the brain.  The integration of the superseded primitive reflexes and the firm establishment of the postural reflexes mark a significant step in brain maturation and is generally complete and operational around four years of age.

It is the basic, automatic, unconscious skills that evolve from these two distinct processes that create the “platform” on which higher learning occurs.  If any of the primitive reflexes are retained, and or the postural reflexes do not develop and mature, then future learning may be compromised.

Often, unfortunately, it is not til a child has been at school for a number of years that problems become apparent.  And yet, long before this there are distinct signs which indicate potential difficulties with the skills necessary for later learning at school.

Some of these signs are: poor posture, an inability for a child to sit up, always leaning on something or someone, poor balance: always falling & hurting themselves, a dislike of physical activity, poor muscle tone, inability to hold a pencil correctly, a lack of focus, daydreaming, to name a few.

However, the real issue is what has prevented the orderly integration and establishment of these reflexes?  Irritation within the nervous system which prevents the free flow of communication between the brain and body is a big factor.  In many cases, a difficult birth may have resulted in the infant’s spine locking up, especially in the upper neck, creating a constant source of irritation & interfering with the free flow of information along these nerves.

And an infant who has had a difficult birth may often have difficult infancy in which they may have had sleep or feeding problems, been irritable & difficult to settle, cried often, had colic or reflux.  

If your child is bright and intelligent but also fits the picture above you may like to book an assessment at Samford Chiropractic.  Early assessment and intervention gives the best results – it can get your child back on track and save a lot of unnecessary confusion and heartache. 


Categories: Kids, Chiropractic

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