The Way Home
Vol. 2, Iss. 11

Free Art Tips:
Draw Write Now

Drivers Ed:
Special Section

Recipe of the Week:
Fabulous Greens

Charlotte Mason :
Special Section

ND Tip of the Week
Introduction to

Special Section

Famous/Successful Homeschoolers:
October 11, 2007

Tip of the month!

ND Tip of the Month: Lower Level Brain Organization
By Jan Bedell, Certified Neurodevelopmentalist, of Little Giant Steps

Each of us is born with tremendous potential.  A well functioning tactile system is imperative for receiving information and taking that potential to the next level, which will then be transmitted into producing intentional movement (crawling, walking, running, etc.).  Movement makes “memories” which causes the circuitry that releases intelligence.  There is tremendous brain growth in the early years and unless the brain cells are connected through neuropathways that are built early, they can be lost. It is a use it or lose it scenario.  Early development is like building a house, you have to have a good foundation in order for everything else to function properly.  The good news for an older individual is that even if these pathways are immature or incomplete, they can be rebuilt with proper stimulation.

In recent decades, our society has become very mobile; with most families having two cars and the convenience of air travel, society as a whole is living farther and farther away from extended family members.  Neurodevelopmentalists believe this separation from the extended family has caused many erroneous beliefs about child rearing to emerge.

MYTH #1:  Babies should be on a blanket if placed on the floor. 
TRUTH:  As stated in an earlier newsletter, the tactile input to the brain would be limited by the blanket.  In addition to that, have you ever seen an infant try to crawl (tummy on floor) while lying on top of a blanket?  They just get all tangled up and frustrated because they can’t get anywhere.

MYTH #2:  Infant seats are a necessity!  When an infant is sitting in an infant seat, they somehow seem more human; i.e., it is easier to see their faces and for them to see you and they seem happier. 
TRUTH:  The best place for an infant is on their tummy on the floor.  ON the floor in a prone position (on the tummy) is where they build the muscles for sitting alone and walking.

MYTH #3:  Walkers are a great way to prepare the child for walking alone. 
TRUTH:  If a child does not go through the stages of tummy crawl and creeping on hands and knees for a long enough period of time, a ripple of adverse effects will occur.  Gross motor coordination, organizational abilities and eye-hand coordination are just a few of the areas that could be adversely affected.

MYTH #4:  The more gadgets, i.e. Johnny jump ups, fancy walkers, play pens, etc., I put my child in the better. 
TRUTH:  The more time a child spends in these gadgets, the less time the child spends on the floor, which means less opportunity for the brain to be organized at the lower levels.  Lower level development is the foundation upon which all other development is built. 

I encourage you to get your infants out of these gadgets and put them on the floor for lots of tummy time.  Next month we will explore what to do if your older child missed these essential developmental stages.

This is the second in a series of Neurodevelopmental (ND) tips that will appear in future issues of this newsletter. 

By Jan Bedell and Michelle Thompson

Copyright © 2007 Modern Media - Subscribe to The LINK for FREE