Diagnosing neuro-developmental delay
If a cluster of the mentioned symptoms are your concerns then we can arrange for an initial consultation which includes a screening test. The test will give insights as to whether there are retained primitive reflexes still active as well as the presence of correct adult postural reflexes.
If enough indication is present, an appropriate program will be given to be carried out at home. A reflex stimulation/inhibition program may either consist of tactile skin stimulation or specific stereotyped movement exercises. These are to be carried out daily and may take up to 5/10 minutes to complete.
Follow up reviews will take place every 6 weeks to assess the progress and make an adjustment to the program. The whole process generally takes at least a year depending on the individual’s profile. This is equivalent to meeting around 6-8 times in a year.
After this time period we would normally take a short break of 3 months and then reassess again, seeing if the body has maintained well without a program running in the background and if necessary we will further re-engage with the body should more work need to be done. There is always an ongoing dialogue with the parents and child as to how things are or are not working out at home in the everyday environment.
The therapy is a non-invasive, neural stimulation programme. Through skin stimulation and exercises mirroring the primitive reflexes, we aim to recapitulate these aberrant reflexes through their chronological developmental stages. With the repetition of the stimulations and movements, certain neuro pathways are then repeatedly fired off and strengthened thus giving the chance for the aberrant reflexes to live their full life cycles before switching off. As each reflex is “switched off” it allows another function to develop.
The programs bring about the maturation of the central nervous system. It aims to integrate sensory input and movement, improving attention, balance and hand-eye coordination skills. Adult postural reflexes are also involved in feedback loops in the brain that help to integrate emotional responses, speech and language, impulse control and higher level skills (executive function), such as reasoning, planning, organizing and problem-solving. This, in turn, enables all aspects of growth and development, clearing a pathway for the individual to access his or her innate potential.
What to expect from treatment?
The neuro-stimulation programme aims to reignite the maturation of the central nervous system. As the system becomes better integrated, we should begin to see an improvement in all areas requiring attention, balance, and coordination.
Reading and writing will see changes as these skills are also affected by many of the primitive reflexes, as vision is also a motor skill.
Controlling behaviours and shyness both stem from fear, which is the basis for the insecurity when there is a lack of relationship with gravity. The emotional body is very much linked to the maturity of the Central nervous system and we should begin to see a growing sense of self-awareness and self-esteem, impacting on a social and emotional level.
Here are some practical signs of improvement from the therapy:
Reduced impulsivity and better emotional regulation
Improved focus and attention
More able to stay on task
Better understanding of reasoning/more empathy
Integrate better socially
Ability to relate to peers/ make friends
Better coordination/body awareness for movement exercises, dance/sport, less clumsy
Completing the preliminary questionnaire produced by The British Journal of Occupational Therapy
can be the 1st step in getting an idea if you have neuro-developmental delay.
Contact Moni to arrange for a free 30 mins phone discussion to see if this therapy is suitable for you or your child