VIDEO THREE IN OUR BRAIN DEVELOPMENT VIDEO SERIES
In this next video, we are going to dive into that trajectory of brain development, and what we know about brain development. This knowledge will help us become better advocates for our kids and for ourselves. Remember, at birth, the brain is not fully developed. As we learn and grow, we move through this trajectory of brain development and gain more sophisticated tools to use in our world. This video will explain more about these tools. In utero and at birth we use tools, known as infantile movement reflexes, or primitive reflexes. The next tool we use is movement and touch, followed by auditory verbal and finally visual cognitive skills. This is the way we typically move through development, but there could be something that interrupts or interferes with this process. This interference could be caused by stress, in the forms of physical, chemical or emotional stress. When something hinders us from developing efficient tools (visual cognition), we will use whatever the most efficient, or most sophisticated tool is that’s available to us.
Let’s take a child who is moving around a lot, touching everything, and appears hyperactive. Initially you might think something like “wow, that kid is all over the place, they’re behaving so badly!”. But really, this behavior is a window into the child’s brain and how that child is processing the world. This child is primarily using movement and touch to process the world; this is because the child hasn’t fully and efficiently moved through the trajectory of brain development, yet. These behaviors that we see are deflections and they are based off of what tools are being used to process the world. When a deflection occurs, it is not our job to say that a child or an adult is “bad” or “out of control”. Instead, our job is to figure out what tools they are using to process the world, then put the pieces together to help develop more efficient tools so that the child can move up the hierarchy and begin to use better, more sophisticated tools to improve the way they are processing and engaging with the world.