One of the most significant differences between today’s children and those of previous generations is that modern children are very sedentary.
- Babies today are less likely to spend as much time as they need each day in movement on the floor
- Instead they spend hours each day in car seats, bouncers, jolly jumpers, walkers and strollers
As busy parents, we're depriving our children of one of the most important developmental stages in their lives. By spending time on their stomachs and backs on the floor and struggling to get upright, babies are growing new pathways in their brains which they will later use for learning when they get to school.
Babies are born with a cluster of primitive reflexes which cause automatic movements in their limbs.
These reflexes are triggered mostly by head movements, and enable the infant to get moving, develop muscle tone, get upright and survive their first year of life. These primitive reflexes should be gone by 6 months. They are removed from the body by all of these early movements such as rolling, creeping and crawling. If they stay past this time they will interfere with cognitive development in the brain, making the child prone to learning difficulties. Many of the visual skills needed later for reading such as eye tracking and visual accommodation are also developed through these early childhood movement patterns.
Toddlers and older children today spend hours each day sitting stationary in front of screens.
TV, DVDs, movies, computers and video games all serve to inhibit the natural movement of childhood. After a few minutes of watching TV, the naturally active child is captured, as if hypnotised ( with brainwaves to match). Instead of running outside, climbing trees, rolling down hills, building huts and using their own imaginations to invent wonderful games, they are stationary, eyes fixed, bodies still and imaginations blunted.
At the Developmental Learning Centre, we run a movement programme to rewire the brains of children with learning difficulties. By revisiting all of these early childhood movements, the brain has a second chance to fill in the gaps and remove the immaturities which act as obstructions to learning.
As a parent, how can I prevent my child from developing learning difficulties?
- Let your baby play on the floor every day when awake
- Do not hurry him to walk too soon
- Do not use aids to lift him into an upright position which he cannot attain by own efforts
Know that through all the time spent on the floor your child is maturing his neurology, and building the pathways and bridges in his brain which will be needed later as the foundations for easeful and enjoyable learning.
And turn off the TV!
Would you like to get help for your son or daughter?
Call me (Rosemary) at the cp:linic on 0800 543 399 or simply contact us to enquire about an initial assessment for your child.