Child Development

Things Every Young Parent Should Know
There are some simple practices that can protect your child from learning disabilities, autism, and head pain. My husband tells me I must put this on my web site, because if it saves one child from these maladies it is worth it. While working for years with traumatic brain injury, I also learned a lot about why so many of our children have learning and behavioral problems.

CAR SEATS
While the law requires car seats for our children while riding in the car, those car seats need to be LEFT IN THE CAR. Babies should absolutely not be left in containers whether it be a car seat, infant seat, crib, swing or walker. From the time a baby is born until it begins to walk it has less than a year to grow its brain. I am not over dramatizing this. A baby must make trillions of nerve connections in the lower part of its brain during this first year and he/she does it by moving. Moving arms, legs, head, eyes, pushing, pulling, kicking, rolling, grasping, all of these are essential to develop the different levels of the brain. Every waking hour needs to be used during this first year to develop nerve networks in the brain, and every hour spent in a container cheats the child of its precious time. When in a container. not only is movement decreased, so is touch, sound and vision. All of these could be causing sensory input into the brain, which causes the brain to grow.

When a parent lifts a baby from the car seat a number of events happen naturally that won’t happen if the car seat is lifted from the car. Baby immediately feels touch, pressure, warmth, weight, a change in space, the parent’s heartbeat, and breath and hopefully a kiss, a smile, and a nuzzle. These are all sensory sensations that will send messages to the brain, and is the brain’s “food” for growing. When Mom or Dad gets tired of holding baby, they will be more likely to put baby on the floor. This is the perfect gym for babies. Here they are free to wiggle, kick, roll, grasp, reach, turn their heads, watch what other people are doing, and eventually, dig their toes in and push, leading to crawling, creeping and rocking. A car seat or any other container drastically reduces these vitally important experiences and sensations of every baby every day. Just one hour a day seven days a week for the first year of baby’s life robs him of 365 hours of precious time to be doing his work. Don’t be tempted to carry your baby around in a car seat, ever: it is just too easy to leave them there while you see your doctor, cook your meal, or any other activity that is more convenient if your baby is CONTAINED. ( I have noticed in my clinic that a baby on the floor gets a lot more attention and talking from me and from my staff while Mom is being treated compared to a baby in a container.

Once the first year is past, the opportunity to naturally develop this vitally important area of the brain is past also. Is this important? ABSOLUTELY. It is these areas of the brain that develops the ability to: Bond, feel compassion, feel pain, have horizontal eye movement for reading, to focus, to filter noises for concentration, to feel and regulate emotions, to regulate temperature, balance and coordination. This area of the brain prepares and enables a child to later learn in school and to be well adjusted emotionally. Depending on the age at which the child is denied development, and the severity of the containment, the above problems will be apparent to different degrees. I have seen developmental problems in children whose parents held them all the time, never giving them the time on the floor that is required to develop connections between the two sides of the brain. It’s a delicate balance between loving touch and freedom of movement.

One last thing, don’t encourage your babies to walk. Encourage them instead to play and crawl on the floor. Early walking is not a sign of higher intelligence, and it could actually decrease the opportunity to express higher intelligence later. Baby will begin to walk when ready without the encouragement of an adult.

I hope this helps parents to be aware, which will help our next generation of children.

Lovingly,

Dr. Sharell Tracy
2.TUMMY TIME

This is a relatively new term because it wasn’t so long ago that moms everywhere put their babies on their tummies. Babies need to be on their tummy.

When Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) became more and more prevalent in our country, pediatricians tried to solve it by having babies lie on their backs. When babies are put on their backs for long periods of time, it causes the head to deform, the back of the head becomes flat, or if the baby rests its head to one side, the side back of its head becomes flat. Besides being uncomely, this becomes a health hazard. I have seen pseudo brain injuries as a result of this condition; I have also seen severely crossed eyes, and wall eyes. But the most common symptom is a generation of babies who scream when they are put on their tummy. This is not normal.

The cause of the screaming is explainable and curable if caught early enough. When the back of the head, the occipital bone, loses its roundness, it distorts the joint between the skull and the first vertebra called the Atlas. The brain stem, which is the part of the brain that sustains basic life functions, such as breathing, and is vital to life, travels from the brain through the occipital foramen and Atlas. There is a very tough leather-like sleeve that covers the brain stem and spinal cord and attaches itself to the skull and to the first two movable vertebrae. When the skull is flattened the atlas cannot sit straight with the skull so it twists, when it twists, the tough leather like sleeve twists and “strangles” the brainstem. (Picture giving someone an Indian burn by twisting the skin of the arm in two different directions). This can happen easily after birth because the baby’s head is so soft and pliable. When this twisting happens and baby is put on its tummy, where they must turn their head to breathe, the strangulation increases, and baby screams because this is both painful and dangerous as it puts pressure on the brainstem.

For children who have already been put on their backs and have a flat head, they need to see a Cranial Sacral Therapist who can remodel the shape of the head. This is a very gentle therapy. I know Denton’s Vector Point Therapy, and Upledger’s style of cranial therapy best, but they are not the only methods. The important thing is to find someone who is comfortable and experienced in treating babies. The younger the child is the more effective and complete this process. I have witnessed dramatic changes in head shape and behavior with just one session of cranial therapy.

A gentle chiropractic adjustment to the Atlas vertebra can instantly stop the screaming by taking the pressure away, but it does not reshape the skull. Both are important.

Lovingly Yours,

Sharell Tracy, D. C.

3.SIDS

All new and expectant parents should be concerned with SIDS and its true prevention. The following link has a report that is a good place to start your investigation.

This report is written by Dr.Ted Koren on the work of Viera Scheiber, PhD, one of the many researchers who site vaccinations as being the cause of many of our childrens’ neurological disorders; autism and SIDS being two.
Crib Death or Vaccine Death? (pdf)

OUR CHILDREN’S BRAINS

A Whole Generation of Our Children Need Not be Lost

The brain is usually pictured as a cap shaped organ, but this picture is not the whole brain. Tucked up under that cap is the lower brain. This is the part of the brain that babies need to develop when they are infants. This is the area of the brain, if not developed, that stops children from reading, and causes hyperactivity, and uncontrolled limbic rage.

At birth, the lowest part of the brain, (the brainstem), is active and the baby’s activities are, for the most part, birth reflexes. The baby suckles because of a reflex, grasps with its hands because of a reflex, and is startled because of a reflex. Reflexes create movement and movement helps create nerve pathways. Touching a baby, cooing, letting it suckle your cheek or finger, bouncing it in your arms, patting it on it’s back, all help to build new pathways in the brain.

Many trillions of nerve pathways need to be built for the baby to someday be able to bond, read, talk, feel compassion and make good choices. The baby needs three major things to develop adequate nerve pathways: Affectionate nurturing, lots of stimulation, and lots of body movements.

Affectionate nurturing includes feeding, loving eye contact, warm safe holding, and caring. Stimulation needs to be sound for the ears, color, light and movement for the eyes, touch and pressure for the skin, odors for the nose, and eventually flavors for the mouth.

Movement needs to swoosh the fluids in the inner ear, hands and legs must be free to kick and move, and the head and eyes need to be free to turn, tip, twist and follow movements.

After a few weeks, the next part of the brain becomes active and the baby’s activities and abilities will begin to change. A few trillion nerve pathways need to be formed during this short stage of a baby’s life. The baby has a lot of work to do and needs a lot of help. The baby must not be penned up. Every minute kept in a car seat outside of the car robs the baby of time to develop its brain. On the floor it is free to do the hard work of brain growth with activities such as turning itself over, and using its toes to dig in and push itself forward. These movements are age specific and are absolutely necessary for the baby’s brain development. Swings, walkers, car seats, playpens, and even being held excessively, also limit the baby’s freedom to build specific nerve pathways. This is the stage of brain growth where bonding is learned, where pain is felt, and a sense of safety is developed.

In a few short months, the next level of the brain is ready to be put into use by developing another set of nerve pathways, again several trillion new pathways must be formed; this is the midbrain or limbic system. Given the freedom and space to do so, a baby begins to pull itself onto its hands and knees, then will learn a rocking motion, tip its head up while its bottom goes down, then begin to move forward on hands and knees.

All these movements have a purpose and need to be performed many times, helping to create super highways of networks in the brain. This area of the brain creates emotion, houses a part of memory, and regulates the immune, temperature, and endocrine systems.

Encouraging a child to walk early may very well keep this part of the brain from developing fully, decreasing its ability to successfully carry messages from its eyes, ears, hands and feet, retrieve memory, interpret messages, and control its emotions.
Usually in our modern life, once a baby begins to walk it does not return to creeping or crawling. It has been theorized and passed on as fact that once a child is two years old, all opportunity to develop this part of the brain is past. This assumption needs to be challenged. Although it is true that without special intervention the only part of the brain that develops noticeably after this age is the cerebral cortex (that cap shaped portion mentioned earlier), there is evidence that the lower brain can indeed improve years later if given the right stimulation.

In various locations around the world there are those who successfully practice taking a child who has been injured, has learning problems, anger outbreaks, or other evidence of lower and mid brain insufficiency and revisiting early movements. By duplicating numerous developmental movements and increasing sensory stimulation, they are making enormous changes.

It is time to give the children in our community an opportunity at a second chance. This is especially so for those who are suffering with learning disorders and emotional and destructive behaviors. The adults who are yesterday’s children deserve a second chance also.

SYMPTOMS OF PONS DYSFUNCTION:

  • Cannot receive or display love, cannot interpret love
  • Unattached, not bonded, cannot form strong relationships
  • Cannot make safe choices, no discretion
  • Lacks empathy, does not know how others feel
  • Tries to live by appeasing others
  • Might be cruel to animals or people
  • Could become a sociopath
  • No capacity for receiving or interpreting social skills
  • Has no language to describe how he feels
  • Very high pain threshold, does not cry when injured
  • Hyper alert, something bad is always expected because he can’t interpret life threatening dangers
  • Feels isolated from the world
  • Deep feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Feelings of not belonging on earth
  • Cannot let go of grudges, relationships, etc.
  • Difficulty in reading

SYMPTOMS OF MIDBRAIN DYSFUNCTION:

  • Frequent illnesses
  • May bump head on overhangs
  • Small for his/her age
  • Too little or too much interest in sex
  • Cannot deal with stress, will under react or over react
  • Sugar handling problems
  • Always cold or always hot
  • Eats almost nothing or way too much
  • Dislikes scratchy clothing, removes all tags from clothes
  • Doesn’t like to be held, touched, or cuddled
  • Loud noises bother him/her
  • Cannot concentrate on a task
  • Cannot read with the T. V. on in the same room
  • Light sensitivity, must wear dark glasses
  • Rage outbreaks, uncontrollable anger
  • Forgets easily, difficulty in remembering assignments, instructions etc.
  • Not aware of what his/her body is doing i.e. sitting on someone’s book
  • Cannot recall what he/she has learned the day before
  • Clumsy, unable to catch or hit a ball, cannot skate on a skateboard
  • Cannot concentrate on a task
  • Needs an abundant amount of sleep
  • Poor motor coordination, articulation of words, bladder control
  • Anything that is extreme, too much or too little, can be suspect of poor midbrain activity because the midbrain is the great modulator.

Sharell Tracy, D. C., President, The Center for Brain Injury Caused Behavior Disorders, a charitable organization

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