From the moment a child is born they begin the lifelong journey of meeting developmental milestones, many of which occur in the first few years of their life.  In addition to the usual childhood milestones of crawling, walking, talking etc, the child’s brain is rapidly developing and creating and strengthening synapses and neural pathways.  This occurs through to 8+ years of age when the brain then moves into pruning those pathways that are not in use and/or used minimally, making the first few years of a child’s life the most important.

The monitoring of developmental milestones enables us to be aware of any delays or interruptions that may have occurred for various reasons.  Early identification assists in aiding the child back on the pathway as soon as possible.  ‘Missed’ milestones means the brain doesn’t develop in the sequential order it requires and will eventually catchup with the child as they become older, usually resulting in behavioural problems.

Retained primitive reflexes also contribute to your child’s ability to meet their developmental milestones.

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Hemispheric Development

A child’s brain begins developing in utero and the development of the left and right hemispheres is said to be complete at around 8 years of age in normal, healthy children.  At this point the hemispheres are considered integrated and a child should be able to undertake activities with balance between the two.

From birth, up until around 2 years of age a child’s brain development is focused on the right hemisphere before shifting over to the development of the left hemisphere where it cycles through each two years up until approximately 8 years of age.

The early developing brain is particularly vulnerable to environmental influences  such as the age and health of the child’s parents, diet of both the parents and child, stress, pollutants and toxins, birth trauma and complications, early life trauma and/or abuse (this can result in social, emotional and learning difficulties later on).  It is considered that these factors are the main reason why right hemisphere deficiencies are more common than left hemisphere deficiencies.

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Hemispheric Functions

Each hemisphere of the brain is responsible for separate functions.  In general, the left side of the brain likes the small details while the right side of the brain holds the big picture.  The left hemisphere views life in small pieces so if it were a movie, it would see all the individual shots and details of the movie while ignoring the movie as a whole.  The right hemisphere on the other hand can see the whole movie (and its meaning etc) but not the individual details and parts.

Left Hemisphere:

  • Number skills

  • Written language

  • Spoken language

  • Objectivity

  • Analytical

  • Logic

  • Reasoning

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Right Hemisphere:

  • 3D shapes

  • Music/Art awareness

  • Intuition

  • Creativity

  • Imagination

  • Subjectivity

  • Synthesising

  • Emotion

  • Facial recognition

When one hemisphere is more developed than the other, this is referred to as a brain imbalance and is usually most visible in a child’s behaviour being outside what you’d expect for their chronological age.

In a child with a right brain deficiency, you may notice meltdowns, tantrums, resistance/defiance and oppositional behaviours.

In a child with a left brain deficiency, you may notice shyness, withdrawal, obsessiveness and compulsive behaviours.

Mental Fitness Exercises can assist any child in having a more positive experience of their day and are great for children with a brain imbalance.

Contact me to discuss whether a specific brain balance programme is required for your child.

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