Behavior as a Window to the Developing Brain

Does your kid climb constantly? Hum loudly in coffee shops? Have a hard time sitting still in church, school, plays, etc? Touch strangers?  As parents we often see these behaviors as problems that require discipline. However, the more I study brain development, the more I realize these are the best clues our kids give us as to where their brain is at and needs more stimulation.

What we know about brain development is that human babies are born before much of their brain development occurs. As the brain matures, it opens up like a flower: from the bottom up, from the back to the front, from the inside to out, from right to left, like a flower. 

The brain comes with primitive tools to help each baby survive in its environment: a rooting reflex to help it find food, the urge to hold on to the hands of it's loving family members, and dad's favorite: a strong startle reflex. As your child's brain develops like a flower, it will develop more sophisticated tools to engage with the world. Baby can begin to creep, crawl, walk, talk, develop fine motor skills, more advanced eye movements and will eventually use visual cues for cognition about the best way to be in his or her environment. The visualization eventually helps kids be able to decode abstract symbols (READ!), predict the future, "see" future outcomes, and create order. 

Very often, when children are having trouble with higher executive function, or we see "unwanted" behaviors, this is giving us a clue to where their brain is at in its development. Next week, we will discuss  the next logical question - what does this have to do with chiropractic? What affects brain development?  What could have impacted brain development or kept it from moving through all the stages?

If you are interested in a complimentary phone consult to discuss your child's development, please contact us using the form!


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    Dr. Sheena grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed her undergraduate studies in Architecture, Chemistry, and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.