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While seemingly simple, often times the challenges that life presents appear complicated. This is where a personal, confidential consultation may be useful.
Consultations are available for any situation, challenge, or roadblock you may be experiencing.
The key is found within the first step.
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GEOFFREY M. GLUCKMAN, MSc.
For Functional Neurological Development (FND), he originally mentored under the guidance of Barry Hegsted for three years. He has given neurological programs to persons of all ages and walks of life for over twenty years. This hands–on education is supported by a Masters of Science Degree in Exercise Science and Biomechanics. He has also authored fiction and non-fiction, including the highly acclaimed Muscle Balance & Function Development® education system.
Scientists discovered many years ago that the brain develops through function, especially interaction with the surrounding environment. This foundation building of the brain occurs through the sensory-motor pathways, which develop in a different manner than other parts of the body, such as bones and muscles. Specifically, the central nervous system, which extends into practically all other systems anatomically and controls them functionally, waits for specific movements to repeatedly occur before the neurological pathways are developed. Thus, it is through the use (movement) of various parts of the body that the brain and the body create these pathways, which allow us to know where these parts are and how to control them. This process of movement and use is called, function and stimulation. This is the reason that neurological development is a process of function, not time.
BRAIN or CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM (CNS)
The CNS is far more than 3.5 pounds of gray matter, which usually we refer to as the brain. The brain (CNS) is in two main parts, each of which has its own unique function. The first part receives, stores, and processes information and then sends signals as needed for the body to respond to the information. This part is also known as the cortex.
The second part of the brain is the network of sensory-motor pathways throughout the body. This part of the CNS sends information to the cortex and carries instructions from there. The sensory-motor pathways provide the link or tie-in from all parts of the body (your limbs, back, skin, and all the internal parts) to the brain.
WHAT HAPPENS with LACK of DEVELOPMENT?
As stated, the CNS waits for specific stimulation, especially through motion, to occur with frequency, intensity, and duration in order to develop the sensory-motor pathways. If for some reason these activities, usually fulfilled in infancy and early childhood, do not occur, then the development can be completed at a later age, if the specific stimulation occurs.
Lack of neurological development may reveal itself in numerous ways: poor reading and learning skills, short attention span, hypertension, excess nervousness, poor memory, imbalanced walking, awkward coordination, and many other forms of learning disabilities.
In our society, we also have slow learners, individuals with speech problems, and many with neurologically-based vision problems, all as a result of lack of development.
Once a person’s CNS has developed in a certain fashion, it will remain so throughout life unless retraining is applied to correct the situation.
LEARNING IS A PHYSICAL ACT
The ability to listen in the classroom, watch television, or read a book is truly a physical skill. These skills rely on signals, which originate physically in the sense organs and are then physically transmitted through the appropriate sensory-motor pathways to the CNS.
If the pathways are not properly developed, then these signals cannot be properly transmitted through the system. This results in little or faulty or no input to the system. Therefore, proper learning and perception is impaired, or in some cases, non-functional.
TYPICAL SIGNS/SYMPTOMS that a child/adult might display indicating neurological brain development impairment (not an inclusive list): inability to focus (ADHD), inability to follow instructions, memory issues (short or long term), learning issues (math/reading/writing/comprehension) inability to maintain body temperature (too warm or cold), clumsiness, hyperactivity, hand-eye coordination issues, balance and depth perception issues (including diminished sports performance), and many others.
Consulting solutions are available.
Parenting Basics Series (#4)
Geoffrey M. Gluckman, MSc
The Power of Choice
Does your young child resist following your daily directions?
Perhaps he or she does not listen to you at all?
Is it a daily struggle to get cooperation from your child in the morning preparing for school or for other simple requests?
Some parents will tell you that these are normal child behaviors and partly that is true. However, it is important to remember the power of choice.
For instance, when it is time to select clothes for the day for your child, lay out two (only two) outfits and ask your child to choose which one he/she wants to wear.
Why is this important? Because it empowers your child with a sense of control. Often that is the reason he/she fights with you during the day. This type of choice is not imporant to you, but the experience of getting to choose for a child is powerful.
The result: less battles throughout the day over decisions that are important.
When offering choices to a young child, they should be limited to two: option A or option B. That applies to choice on clothes to wear or what to eat for a snack, or other choices.
The reason: most young children have not yet fully developed logic or reasoning parts of the brain, so an excess of options causes confusion (overwhelm).
Any sense of overwhelm may trigger an alarm response (crying), or a shut down response (often refusal), which creates an uncooperative situation.
The most dangerous question to ask a child: why?
This is an open-ended question, and one that is oriented to higher level brain (cortex) functioning, which most young children have not yet fully developed. Again, the potential for the child to feel overwhelmed is possible.
The power of choice technique is a powerful tool for the parent to gain a child’s cooperation, as well as a means to produce improved behavior with your young child.
Give it a try and see if it produces the results you want.
Please realize that this technique will not resolve all issues with lack of cooperation, poor behavior, or not following directions. Often there are underlying neurological development deficiencies that may impede a child’s normal growth, behavior, development, and learning.
Best wishes to all families.
Parenting Basics Series (#3)
Geoffrey M. Gluckman, MSc
Never has humanity had access to so much information. Digital devices deliver this to each and everyone of you on a second by second basis. For the most part it is a positive aspect of these devices (for possible dangers see article posted 6 December 2017).
However, too much information presents other challenges, especially for young and developing minds.
According to neurosurgeon Dr. Mark McLaughlin, too much information may affect your perception of self-control and thus become a negative stressor. Other researchers question whether the human mind has an unlimited capacity for keeping the information that it gathers.
The American Psychological Association states that too much multitasking may cause a drop in productivity, up to as much as forty percent.
What are the symptoms of “information fatigue syndrome” (a term coined by British psychologist Dr. David Lewis)?
>excess mental fatigue
>low attention span
>distracted and/or poor concentration
The loss of the ability to concentrate often leads to a fragmented daily existence.
Information overload becomes much worse in an individual who has poor neurological organization.
What are the solutions for information overload?
-limit “information gathering” to pre-set time blocks, similar to limits you place on funds used for gambling fun
-select priorities on which information to gather, i.e., make it relevant to you and your goals
-give yourself time to absorb what you have gathered
-discipline yourself to disconnect from digital devices
-balance digital information gathering with talking with live resources (persons) knowledgeable on subjects that interest you
The mind, if able to remain focused, can become one of the most powerful forces known to humanity.
And remember: information is a wonderful tool-use and manage it wisely.
Best wishes to all families.
Parenting Basics Series (#2)
Geoffrey M. Gluckman, MSc
Digital Devices and Screen Time
The digital age is certainly upon us. It brings unprecedented access to information and learning, which is positive. However, it brings less positive aspects, such as “screen time” concerns. The dangers of many hours spent in front of broadcasting screens of varying sizes are not fully known at present, especially for young developing brains.
Parents would be wise to limit the use of digital devices and screen time for their children (especially 12 years and younger). First, because the effects are unknown. Second, because recent research shows spikes in the brain, similar to drugs and addiction, when emails, texts, and other alerts are received (1). Third, and most important for Functional Neurological Development within young brains, the visual images seen on digital devices represent three- dimensional images that are not real. The developing brains of our children need to learn in as many ways as possible from real world stimuli. This allows all the regions of the brain to properly develop and grow. This means having a young child exposed to auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (by touch) stimuli in the real world, preferably all at the same time. Our visual sense is the weakest of human sensory abilities (2). Therefore, excess screen time could create imbalances in your child’s sensory functioning. Also, the developed visual abilities would be based on things that are not real, nor touched.
Similar caveats (cautions) apply to hearing. Many kids are spending countless hours with earbuds (earpieces) in their ears. The long term effect on this delicate part of human anatomy is not yet known.
However, the importance for hearing development to occur naturally is critical for survival in the real world. The placement of ears on each side of the head allows you to hear a sound and often determine from which direction it comes. Your ears are also critical for the development of your sense of balance (ability to stand on one leg). Both of these functions may be hindered by listening to sounds (music) through earpieces.
Parents would do well to limit the screen time for their children and instead encourage play and learning through real world pursuits. Experiencing and interacting with the real world in natural environments provides opportunities for normal brain growth and development in all of the bodily senses, as well as real world social skills development. In fact, “forest kindergartens” are becoming more popular because of the positive effects on young children and their brains (3). Recent research shows that being in nature allows the prefrontal cortex (the brain’s command center) to relax and rest(1).
Best wishes to all families.
(1) Strafer, David. Cognitive psychologist. University of Utah.
(2) Montague, Ashley. Touching.
(3) Bateman, Greg. Stanford University. Kaplan, Stephen and Rachel. University of Michigan.