Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of disorders in which the development of the central nervous system is disturbed.

The nervous system plays a critical role in regulating the body. It delivers messages from the brain to the body and back. The nervous system regulates the heart and respiration rate, temperature control, immune and hormone systems and this all happens behind the scenes while we carry on with our daily lives. If the nervous system is not functioning properly, the body will be tossed into a state of confusion, misreading messages and mishandling the body’s systems (sunflowertrust).

Children with neurodevelopmental issues have extreme challenges in regulating themselves which means they need help learning to control their emotions and resist impulsive behavior. Children with these issues have nervous systems that are especially sensitive due to a variety of factors ranging from genetic tendencies, trauma, chemical toxicity and missed developmental stages.

The key in helping your child be more regulated is recognizing when they become dysregulated. For some, it is associated with transitioning activities. Others become dysregulated in noisy environments or in extreme temperatures.

Here are some general tips to help support your child’s nervous system:

  1. Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salts are calming to the nervous system. If baths can’t be taken daily or when a child is in crisis, try foot baths. They can often soak their feet while watching TV, coloring, etc.
  2. Essential Oils – Certain essential oils such as lavender have a calming effect on the nervous system. A diffuser can be set up in the house and oils can be applied to the skin or clothing during the day.
  3. Fish Oil – Fish oil supplements are positive for the brain and nervous system health. Nordic Naturals has gummy options that are more palatable for those with picky tastes.
  4. Joint Compression – Compressing the big joints of the body such as the shoulders, elbow, knees and ankles sends positive, calming proprioceptive information to the brain.
  5. Therapy Swing – Swinging and spinning can often help a child become more regulated by stimulating the vestibular and proprioceptive systems. There are many types out there but here is one that can be set up in a doorway.
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