Parents' F.A.Q.

Is NDD therapy for my child? When should I be concerned? What should I look out for?

Parents are usually the first to notice abnormalities or difficulties in their children, and when this happens, they would usually try to find a solution for that specific symptom. For example, if the child has speech delays, they would seek out the services of a speech therapist. If the child has impaired fine/gross motor skills or balance issues, they would seek the help of an occupational therapist. What most parents do not know is that the symptoms they are seeing in their children, just might be an indicator of a larger problem that originates from somewhere else.


For some children, the origin of the problem is dysfunction in the brain stem. Dysfunction in the brain stem can affect functioning of the midbrain, cerebellum and/or cortex in the brain. If the child’s problem originates in the brain stem, then this is the area that should be addressed first. The brain stem controls heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing and the signals to swallow, laugh, sneeze, etc.  The brain stem is where the earliest form of movement for a child begins while still in the womb and continues through the first year of life. Involuntary movements and primitive reflexes are stimulated in the brain stem.


Neuro-Developmental Delay (NDD) Therapy treats dysfunction that originates at the level of the brain stem. Just like in Europe (Ireland and the U.K.), an NDD assessment at ABC Foundations is the same as it seeks to identify the lowest level of dysfunction and then treats that area. Once the problems have been remedied using specific physical movements, it attempts to build links from lower to higher centers of the brain. The goal is to find and treat the root cause of the various symptoms.


NDD therapy is not for every child and every situation. Below are some questions you may want to ask yoruslef as you ponder if NDD therapy is right for your child:  


  • Does your child recognize body-space or have body awareness? 
  • Is  your child able to control appropriate versus inappropriate behavior? 
  • Is your child over-reactive or overly emotional? 
  • Do  you see difficulties with balance and/or gross or fine motor skills? 
  • How is your child’s balance not just when moving (as on a skateboard or ice skates), but also when standing still or standing on one foot? 
  • Does your child have poor hand-eye coordination? 
  • Do you observe unusual sensitivities (or lack thereof) in any of the senses, such as emotions, touch, taste, smell, sight or sound?
  • Is your child a picky eater? 
  • Can your child process information well? 
  • Can your child follow multiple directions? 
  • What is your child’s posture like when walking, sitting, at the dinner table, while watching TV? 
  • When your child stands up straight, is the head straight and aligned with the spine or is it tilted? 
  • Do  you notice articulation or enunciation problems? 
  • Does your child react negatively to certain clothes or textures? 
  • Does it seem like your child is constantly moving, fidgeting, spinning, twirling, etc.? 
  • Do you see difficulties in any areas of academics or information processing?       
  • Does your child show frustration, fatigue or lack of interest after reading  for a very short time? 
  • Do you often see blood-shot eyes or eye fatigue/stress when your child reads, writes or draws? Is spelling poor in writing, but perhaps better on spelling tests?
  • Does your child struggle with demonstrating good writing skills, i.e., simultaneously maintaining  spelling, creativity, punctuation, grammar and syntax? Does your child struggle with multi-tasking? 
  • Does your child show very poor copying abilities, whether from a blackboard or from a book?
  • Does noise, light or movement trigger reactions of any kind? 
  • Does your child struggle with loss of control of physical movement or balance? 
  • Are you able to determine what might trigger atypical fears?
  • If your child struggles academically, do you sense that it is not just a lack of understanding of a specific subject, but your gut instinct says it may be a deeper problem?

   

If you observe that your child shows only one specific area of difficulty, it may better to seek testing in that specific area. However, if you observe difficulties in several areas, this might be an indication of a larger problem. Since developmental delay usually manifest itself through multiple symptoms across several areas of functioning, If you observe slight symptoms in multiple areas of functioning, you may want to consider NDD therapy.