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What's Wrong With Your Child's Brain?

Photo courtesy of Biscarotte


It was Bill Cosby’s comedic opinion that for kids to do all the things they do, that they all must have brain damage.  He may have been correct as far as that goes but I’m talking about something much more serious and worrisome to you as a parent.  Why does your child struggle in school?  How come it’s difficult for him to pay attention or stay motivated?  Why does he behave the way he does?  Surely these are not a result of a Ritalin deficiency!  A better understanding of why will lead to a more effective management approach.


The problem may rest in brain function.  The following are 4 clues from your child’s body that point to a suspicion that your child’s brain may not be functioning as well as it should.


  1. Muscle tone – Does you child look or feel “soft”?  Did he sit up, crawl or walk on time?  Delays in this area suggests a cerebellum that is not activated as well as it should be.  This small but important part of your brain is responsible for postural muscle tone and motor learning.  It is also crucial in activating higher parts of the brain.
  2. Coordination – How well does your child do in sports?  Does he appear awkward or smooth as he moves?  What is his printing/writing like?  These again, are indications of how well the cerebellum is functioning.  The novel thing is that this can be improved and doing so makes the brain work better.
  3. Attention – There is a part of your brain that decides what you will and will not pay attention to.  It’s called the right pre-frontal cortex and it is the last part of your child’s brain to develop.  In fact, the bones of the skull don’t fully fuse until the pre-frontal cortex is fully grown.  If your child has trouble keeping focused, his right pre-frontal cortex is not functioning fully.  We are beginning to understand how to activate different parts of the brain to make a real observable difference in behavior.
  4. Balance – How well can your child stand on one leg with his eyes closed?  It’s a challenging task to be sure and it gives us a clue as to how well his balance mechanisms are working.  I’ve seen immediate improvements in reading from just a few minutes of balance training.  Ask me to explain that to you sometime!


ADHD and autism are now thought to be neuro-developmental disorders.  This simply means that there has been a problem or interruption in normal brain development.  Since this is the case, we can go back and target the weak areas to stimulate accelerated development and ultimately see an improvement in performance.


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