Friday, July 13, 2012

About brain development and the programs Kid Catalyst offers....

Normal, healthy brain development in the early years.

During the first months of life, we’re governed by primitive reflexes that are directed from the brainstem. Initially, we need these primitive reflexes to survive. They also provide basic training for voluntary skills that will develop at a later time.
As the brain begins to develop, primitive reflexes soon become inhibited so that they’re no longer the “boss.” During this time, the lower centers of the brain also develop so that we acquire important, automatic brain functions.
Eventually, there is a shift in the brain, where our higher centers (the cortex) take command. Once the cortex is in charge, the brain is organized to function as intended, and now it becomes easy to learn, reflect, focus, and interact with others.

How we end up with a disorganized brain.

Sometimes, our primitive reflexes do not become inhibited, and our lower centers of the brain do not finish developing. Then we have what could be called a disorganized brain.
In this jumbled state, our primitive reflexes won’t retire—even though their time in the spotlight has long passed—and our lower centers of the brain have not completed their development. As a result, we still spend much of our time in survival mode, which can be very disruptive. We also have to do daily tasks without the benefit of some very basic, automatic brain functions that would have been acquired if such development had been completed.
This disarray causes our cortex to be distracted. Now, instead of focusing on its own job, the cortex is preoccupied with seeking ways to compensate for those missing functions. Of course, this undertaking is in addition to trying to override those retained primitive reflex reactions that keep popping up.
At times, the cortex is successful in its effort to help those parts of the brain that aren’t functioning as intended. At other times, it’s not. In all cases, a disorganized brain never allows a person to show his true potential.

What can be done about this?

Our modern, lifestyle changes may have inadvertently interfered with natural brain development. However, none of our “old” lifestyle has disappeared from the planet. So, that means we can apply knowledge of natural brain development to ensure that babies get what they need their first year of life.
Likewise, if we missed out on some of that natural development the first time around, we can always go back and re-create developmental opportunities that were missed as a baby. Then, when primitive reflexes are inhibited and the lower brain development is complete, the brain becomes organized in the way it’s intended to function.

Back to basics.

We don’t often think of babies as doing hard work their first year of life, yet some of the most key neurological connections are made during this time. From a brain development perspective, there is nothing “random” about that first year. If given the opportunity, babies all over the world go through the same natural process of brain organization.
For example, if babies are placed on their belly, they innately learn how to creep (which looks similar to an army crawl). Such movement is directly linked to developing part of the brainstem called the pons. From there, babies get up on their hands and knees and begin to crawl. This movement is directly linked to development of the midbrain.
If a child creeps and crawls enough, then the pons and midbrain become fully developed. With such development, the child acquires, naturally, key brain functions that become the foundation for everything else that the child does later in life.

Factors that inturrupt natural brain organization.

While prenatal stress, birth trauma, neurotoxins, and genetics can all interfere with lower brain development, baby apparatus have also caused problems.
Once upon a time, babies did not have the option of spending their days on their back in infant carriers, positioned upright in a swing, or moving around in a walker. Instead, babies just spent their time on their bellies, in the crib or on the floor, and nestled against their mother’s body. When such apparatus wasn’t an option, we didn’t have to understand that the default position for babies’ lower brain development is on their bellies.
Perhaps you’re thinking: But aren’t babies happy when they’re hanging out in that convenient apparatus? Of course they are—and, admittedly, parents are free to attend to other tasks when they’re assured that their babies are safely confined. Yet that short-term happiness quickly fades as the child ages and is asked to do tasks that require automatic brain functions.
Also, young children of previous generations didn’t spend endless hours in front of television, video, and computer screens. Rather, they were outside—building forts, creating mud pies, rolling down hills, climbing trees, and more. Such experiences were key to developing the vestibular and proprioceptive system. Although most of us have been (incorrectly) taught that we have just five basic senses, these other important sensory systems play pivotal roles in our ability to balance, focus, and move through space.

Babies that skip over this development, do not function in the same way that babies who complete this development will.

The brain changes with experiences. If some children only crept or crawled minimally—or skipped those stages altogether—we would not expect them to acquire the same neurological networks as children who spent the first year of life doing enough of these movements.
Yet sometimes we have difficulty believing that first year experiences could really be that important—that is, until we consider how neglect and abuse adversely affects a child’s brain development. Then it’s not difficult to accept that we’d expect to see differences between the brains of abused and nurtured children.
But all experiences, not just select ones, influence how the brain is organized. That’s why we conclude that creeping and crawling—the main way babies move throughout their first year of life—must be important to overall brain organization.

If the lower centers of the brain do not develop correctly, the higher centers take on what should be automatic for the lower brain centers.

When the brain has to rely on compensations to function, we often run into problems. First, children with retained primitive reflexes are wired to react, rather than reflect. To override such involuntary reactions, it takes a lot of cortical effort—and in reality, that’s not always possible to do. For example, kids who perform well in school may melt down the minute they walk into their home if they’re now “out of gas.”
Retained primitive reflexes also interfere with the development of motor skills. These kids may initially try many ways to compensate to do such challenges. But they’re usually no more successful than if we asked infants or young toddlers to do the same task. In other words, certain neural networks need to be in place—regardless of age—in order to develop specific motor skills.
When parents and teachers don't make this connection, we assume the child is lazy or careless.
Children who are scolded the most for not “trying hard enough” have likely expended way more effort to do tasks than those who merely sail through them. While we have been conditioned to think that trying, again and again, ultimately yields results—this simply is not true if a child is asked to perform with retained primitive reflexes, underdeveloped lower centers of the brain, and poor sensory processing.
Without the lower centers of the brain fully developed, it is impossible for a child to perform well.

Sometimes kids discover ways to compensate. Yet such kids are always vulnerable since helpful compensations may only be short-term.
As children age, more demands are made on the cortex with each new school year’s curriculum. As a result, prior compensations are often no longer effective. At other times, kids’ compensations only work during scattered times throughout the day. They may start out doing a task well, only to lose focus at midpoint. Or they may perform well for the entire first task, only to fall apart for the one that follows.
In short, inconsistency is a hallmark of a brain that is continually trying to compensate. In such cases, one constant dominates: Children with underdeveloped early centers of the brain can only behave and perform as well as their immediate compensations are working.
Neuroscientists are now claiming that this type of neuroplasticity and brain reorganization is the future of neuroscience.
Simply put, this says we can positively impact brain function at any time in our lives. For kids who participate in this program, this means that if they didn’t finish the lower brain development the first time around, then it’s still possible to re-create those missed opportunities and, in turn, acquire those automatic brain functions.
Our human potential can be defined as genetics+opportunity.
While we don’t have a say about the genetics we inherit, we can address the opportunity part of that equation. In short, if primitive reflexes are not inhibited and we have not completed the development of our lower centers of the brain, then we have not yet reached our potential.

Missing a stage of development doesn't mean a child cannot reach their potential.
There are variables in a child’s life that can influence whether the underdevelopment ultimately becomes a significant problem or not. Yet if we have the opportunity to complete lower brain development—whether it is during the first year or later in life—why wouldn’t we? After all, a well-organized brain is only going to make for an easier and more productive life.
Not every poor behavior in a child is related to an underdeveloped lower venteres of the brain.
While the underdevelopment may be contributing to a problem, it’s not always the only explanation for a child’s behavior or performance. Socioeconomic-related issues (e.g. a child is hungry) or emotional issues (e.g. a child has been abused) may be contributing factors, or they may even be the sole reason for whatever is going on. That’s why this program always encourages families to seek or continue other interventions that are appropriate to specific situations.
This program is an educational, not medical program.
This program was created to provide information, movements, and activities related to brain development. Since it’s truly just an educational curriculum, it would be inaccurate to think of the program as any kind of therapy. Likewise, this assessment and curriculum should never be used as the basis for challenging a medical diagnosis or treatment, identifying a child with a learning disability, or placing a child in Special Education classes.
Is this program right for you?
Many of today’s parents spend large sums of money on various programs, only to be disappointed by the results. Consequently (and understandably), they become skeptical of the next “new thing” that promises hope and change.
That’s why we advocate parents first learn how and why a program works, what specific changes participants experience, when such changes happen, what kind of evidence supports that such changes happen, who might benefit from participating in the program (and why), and what literature and research support the premise of the program. We have provided that information throughout our site.
To note, while a program may be effective, it may also not be a match for everyone. Variables that influence whether Brain Highways is a good fit for your family include:
1) Time to do the program’s daily commitment
2) Parents’ readiness to assume an active role in facilitating their child’s whole brain organization
3) Conviction that the brain has potential to change
4) Parents' willingness to re-wire their own brain maps by changing how they view their child and trying new ways to respond

Please email for an assessment for your child.
--Information courtsey of BHI.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who is Kid Catalyst and what do I do?

Who is Kid Catalyst and what do I do?

I am a mother, teacher and master of movement.

I have been working with children for 20 years. My studies in the last 5 years or so have turned largely toward brain development through movement and the symptoms and challenges that occur when this doesn't happen properly. I work to correct these challenges completely instead of put a band-aid on them or simply offer soothing techniques.

With Kid Catalyst individualized curriculum, your child has the opportunity to reach his or her maximum potential for learning ability and life success rather than being labeled and having a life of unneeded limits. All of this is done through movement, play and games.

I work with mainstream children as well as with a wide variety of children and challenges such as autism, asberger's, sensory processing disorder, add/ADHD, behavioral problems, dyslexia and other things children have been labeled with, yet can be corrected or at the very least dramatically improved with Kid Catalyst techniques.

Kid catalyst also available for teacher enrichment classes and workshops. This offers education for teachers and instructors to better cater to their student's individual needs and learning styles. I also offer enrichment programs to preschools and schools creating more focused students to work with.

Please email for more information or to set up an appointment for your child or school.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Flags that may warrant an assessment with Kid Catalyst

Here are some red flags that you may want to get an appointment with a professional to assess your child.Bold

Gross Motor

If a child is...

Not rolling by 7 months of age
Not pushing up on straight arms, lifting his head and shoulders, by 8 months of age
Not sitting independently by 10 months of age
Not crawling ("commando" crawling--moving across the floor on his belly) by 10 months of age
Not creeping (on all fours, what is typically called "crawling") by 12 months of age
Not sitting upright in a child-sized chair by 12 months of age
Not pulling to stand by 12 months of age
Not standing alone by 14 months of age
Not walking by 18 months of age
Not jumping by 30 months of age
Not independent on stairs (up and down) by 30 months of age

Here are some other gross motor "red flags":

"walking" their hands up their bodies to achieve a standing position
only walking on their toes, not the soles of their feet
frequently falling/tripping, for no apparent reason
still "toeing in" at two years of age
unusual creeping patterns
any known medical diagnosis can be considered a "red flag": Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy, congenital heart condition etc.

Fine Motor

If a child is...

Frequently in a fisted position with both hands after 6 months of age
Not bringing both hands to midline (center of body) by 10 months of age
Not banging objects together by 10 months of age
Not clapping their hands by 12 months of age
Not deliberately and immediately releasing objects by 12 months of age
Not able to tip and hold their bottle by themselves and keep it up, without lying down, by 12 months of age
Still using a fisted grasp to hold a crayon at 18 months of age
Not using a mature pincer grasp (thumb and index finger, pad to pad) by 18 months of age
Not imitating a drawing of a vertical line by 24 months of age
Not able to snip with scissors by 30 months

Here are some other fine motor "red flags":

Using only one hand to complete tasks
Not being able to move/open one hand/arm
Drooling during small tasks that require intense concentration
Displaying uncoordinated or jerky movements when doing activities
Crayon strokes are either too heavy or too light to see
Any know medical diagnosis can be considered a "red flag": Down's Syndrome, cerebral palsy etc.

Cognition/Problem Solving

If a child is...

Not imitating body action on a doll by 15 months of age (ie, kiss the baby, feed the baby)
Not able to match two sets of objects by item by 27 months of age (ie, blocks in one container and people in another)
Not able to imitate a model from memory by 27 months (ie, show me how you brush your teeth)
Not able to match two sets of objects by color by 31 months of age
Having difficulty problem solving during activities in comparison to his/her peers
Unaware of changes in his/her environment and routine


If a child is...

Very busy, always on the go, and has a very short attention to task
Often lethargic or low arousal (appears to be tired/slow to respond, all the time, even after a nap)
A picky eater
Not aware of when they get hurt (no crying, startle, or reaction to injury)
Afraid of swinging/movement activities; does not like to be picked up or be upside down
Showing difficulty learning new activities (motor planning)
Having a hard time calming themselves down appropriately
Appearing to be constantly moving around, even while sitting
Showing poor or no eye contact
Frequently jumping and/or purposely falling to the floor/crashing into things
Seeking opportunities to fall without regard to his/her safety or that of others
Constantly touching everything they see, including other children
Hypotonic (floppy body, like a wet noodle)
Having a difficult time with transitions between activity or location
Overly upset with change in routine
Hates bath time or grooming activities such as; tooth brushing, hair brushing, hair cuts, having nails cut, etc.
Afraid of/aversive to/avoids being messy, or touching different textures such as grass, sand, carpet, paint, playdoh, etc.

NOTE: sensory integration/sensory processing issues should only be diagnosed by a qualified professional (primarily, occupational therapists and physical therapists). Some behaviors that appear to be related to sensory issues are actually behavioral issues independent of sensory needs. See my post titled 'Super Sensational' to see more about SPD.

Possible visual problems may exist if the child...

Does not make eye contact with others or holds objects closer than 3-4 inches from one or both eyes
Does not reach for an object close by

Possible hearing problems may exist if the child...

Does not respond to sounds or to the voices of familiar people
Does not attend to bells or other sound-producing objects
Does not respond appropriately to different levels of sound
Does not babble


If a child is...

Having difficulty biting or chewing food during mealtime
Needing a prolonged period of time to chew and/or swallow
Coughing/choking during or after eating on a regular basis
Demonstrating a change in vocal quality during/after eating (i.e. they sound gurgled or hoarse when speaking/making sounds)
Having significant difficulty transitioning between different food stages
Not feeding him/herself finger foods by 14 months of age
Not attempting to use a spoon by 15 months of age
Not picking up and drinking from a regular open cup by 15 months of age
Not able to pull off hat, socks or mittens on request by 15 months of age
Not attempting to wash own hands or face by 19 months
Not assisting with dressing tasks (excluding clothes fasteners) by 22 months
Not able to deliberately undo large buttons, snaps and shoelaces by 34 months

Social/Emotional/Play Skills

If a child is...

Not smiling by 4 months
Not making eye contact during activities and interacting with peers and/or adults
Not performing for social attention by 12 months
Not imitating actions and movements by the age of 24 months
Not engaging in pretend play by the age of 24 months
Not demonstrating appropriate play with an object (i.e. instead of trying to put objects into a container, the child leaves the objects in the container and keeps flicking them with his fingers)
Fixating on objects that spin or turn (i.e. See 'n Say, toy cars, etc.); also children who are trying to spin things that are not normally spun
Having significant difficulty attending to tasks
Getting overly upset with change or transitions from activity to activity

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Baby Brain Development Classes by Kid Catalyst

Why? Because they're your kids and you love them more than anything, that's why.

Kid Catalyst brain development classes are looking for a new home. Please contact me if you have any ideas or if you have a need in your facility or school.

Each week is a new set of curriculum as we work on building the proper neural connections for baby's brain to have the most healthy and efficient function, maximizing your child's potential for learning ability among many other things. Parents get much education for tips at home as well.

I also work privately with children who have a variety of developmental delays, sensory development disorders, add/adhd & autism to name a few as well as with mainstream kids to maximize potential in athletics, focus, behavior and so on.

Please contact me with any questions or if you'd like an assessment for your child.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

10 Reasons Why Laughing is Good for Us

As of late, I have had a few clients that are getting a little too serious and bogged down with their child's issues. It actually, in some cases, was even imparing the child's progress. Children are very perceptive and feel tension and stress. Especially if they feel it is related to them, they can shut down in ways where we cannot reach them to make the needed progress.

I remembered one thing that saved my crazy irish family growing up... laughter. I think we would have all gone mad without it. Read the following article and follow up with the funny quotes. Lighten up and so will your life!

1. Laughter boosts your immune system
Researchers have found that laughter actually boosts the immune system, increasing the number of antibody-producing T cells. This then makes us less likely to get coughs and colds. It also lowers the levels of at least four hormones that are associated with stress, so after a good giggle you should be far less tense and anxious.

2. Laughter relieves pain
A good chortle has been found to reduce pain. Not only does it distract you from aches, but it releases feelgood endorphins into your system that are more powerful than the same amount of morphine.

3. Laughter improves your social life
If you can make people laugh, then you're likely to have more friends, because everyone loves a joker. You're also likely to achieve more at work: if you have a good sense of humour you'll be more productive, a better communicator and team player.

In fact, most things we laugh at aren't necessarily actual jokes, but comments in everyday conversation. Laughter is as much about social relationships as it is about humour.

4. Laughter helps relieve depression
Laughter has long been known to help people who are suffering from the either SAD or full-blown depression. Laughing reduces tension and stress, and lowers anxiety and irritation, which are all major factors that contribute to the blues.

5. Laughter boosts your relationship
If you're looking to find a new partner, then laughter will help you find a new mate. Men love women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men.

And if you're already with someone, then a shared sense of humour is an important factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.

6.Laughter gives you a mini-work-out

We've probably all used, or at least heard, the phrase 'my sides ache' after laughing too much. Well, it's no real surprise. A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts your abdominal muscles and also works your shoulders. This will make you feel a lot more relaxed.

In fact, laughing 100 times is the equivalent to 10 minutes on the rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike, so break out those Only Fools And Horses DVDs and start watching!

7. Laughter protects your heart
According to a study by heart specialists at the University of Maryland, people with heart disease were 40% less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.

Laughter has been found to benefit the way blood flows around the body, reducing the likelihood of heart disease. The research said that 15 minutes of laughter a day is as important for your heart as 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week!

8. Laughter lowers your blood pressure
People who laugh a lot on a regular basis have lower blood pressure than the average person. When people have a good laugh, the blood pressure increases at first, but then it decreases to levels below normal.

Breathing then becomes deeper and this helps to send oxygen-rich blood and nutrients throughout the body.

9. Laughter improves your breathing
Laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect - similar to deep breathing. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments, such as asthma.

10. Laughter helps you lose weight
Burning off calories by laughing might not sound as if it has much use, but a hearty chuckle raises the heart rate and speeds up the metabolism.

If you're dieting, think about adding laughter to your exercise regime. A good sitcom might easily keep you laughing for 20 minutes or more.


Ah, the patter of little feet around the house. There's nothing like having a midget for a butler. -W.C. Fields

Cross country skiing is great, if you live in a small country. -Steven Wright

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer. -Mitch Hedberg

Fatherhood is pretending that the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. -Bill Cosby

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything till noon. That's when it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

Don't worry about your heart, it will last as long as you live. -W.C. Fields

Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things. -George Carlin

Before I speak, I have something important to say. -Groucho Marx

Ever notice irons have a setting for permanent press? I don't get it. -Steven Wright

Dogs are forever in the push up position. -Mitch Hedgberg

A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heartburn? -Bob Hope

Horse sense it the thing a horse has to keep it from betting on people. -W.C. Fields

A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones that need the advice. -Bill Cosby

I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members. -Groucho Marx

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. -George Carlin

Decide that you want it more than you're afraid of it. -Bill Cosby

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Super Sensational

It’s Monday morning, you’re trying to get kids ready for school. “Mom, you’re pulling my hair!” You feel like you’ve barely touched your daughter’s head. “My socks feel weird and one shoe is tighter than the other.” You feel like you are going to lose it and can’t understand why simple things seem so difficult. Did you slip into some twilight zone of picky kids? Or is there more going on than meets the eye?

Sensory Processing Disorder is a commonly overlooked problem or confused with autism in more severe cases. The following post is meant to explain SPD and shed some light on behaviors your children may possibly demonstrate. Also, give some hope beyond the diagnosis and slight improvement offered by mainstream healthcare.

The conclusion of this post will tell you more than you will typically get from your healthcare provider in regards to solutions and treatments for this along with the actual cause.

SPD is defined as a neurological disorder causing difficulties with processing information from the five senses (vision, auditory, touch, olfaction, and taste) the sense of movement (vestibular system), and/or the positional sense (proprioception).

SPD is defined in three sub-categories: Sensory Modulation Disorder, Sensory-Based Motor Disorder and Sensory Discrimination Disorder.

SENSORY MODULATION DISORDER: A problem turning sensory messages into controlled behaviors that match the nature and intensity of the sensory information. There are three varieties under this category.
1. Sensory Over Responsivity: Over responsive to stimuli. Complain of things too loud, too bright, too hard, too soft.
Example: “My son can’t stand tags in his shirts, has a meltdown every morning that his shoes feel weird on his feet. He gets overwhelmed in crowds or with too much noise and just falls apart.”
2. Sensory Under Responsivity: Under responsive to stimuli. Doesn’t cry when hurt. Don’t respond to loud noise, flash of light, too much pressure.
Example: “I heard a scream I’d never forget. I ran downstairs to find my daughter had tried to grab the cookie sheet out of the oven bare handed and her hands were already bubbled and blistered. She didn’t let go of the sheet right away.”
3. Sensory Seeking: Has to touch everything, bumps into things, rough, wants to crash into things, craves stimuli.
Example: “Your son has been disruptive in class. He touches everything he is not supposed to, he crashes into other children and things. He is just overall quite rough.”

‘CONTEXT’ also plays a large role in this category. Example: “My son falls apart halfway through church. My husband and I have to take turns going to church while the other stays home with him. He says that the music is too sad.” While this may seem like an overreaction, there are layers of things happening. The son was overwhelmed by the many people, the loud organ and when the ‘heavy’ context of the songs began… overload. He could not process the context of the feeling once his auditory over-responsivity kicked in. We all have our own contexts. When I am in a business meeting, we take turns speaking. When with family, we all talk at once. Different contexts.

SENSORY-BASED MOTOR DISORDER: A problem stabilizing, moving or planning a series of movements in response to sensory demands. There are two varieties under this category.
1. Dyspraxia: Has a hard time translating sensory info into physical movement, slow to sit, crawl or stand. Slow learning new motor skills, awkward movement, hard time moving multi-directionally (like writing), hard time getting dressed or riding a bike.
2. Postural Disorder: Low muscle tone, unstable on feet, slumps in chair, unable to do things where muscles pull against one another like chin-ups, no auto movement like shifting their position to catch a ball, hard time crossing the midline for tasks.

SENSORY DISCRIMINATION DISORDER: A problem with sensing similarities and difference between sensations involving vision, hearing, touch, taste/smell and position/movement.
Has a hard time tying a knot or zipping a zipper (tactile). Hard time seating themselves in a chair or judging the force of a task like force of a pencil on paper (touch or proprioception). Has a hard time hearing possibly the difference between g and k or bag and back (auditory). Has a hard time seeing the written difference in p and q, slow or unable to visually find a specific object (visual). Hard time distinguishing between certain tastes or smells. Hard time distinguishing what is touching their body or where (touch).
Example: “My niece had a look of terror when I turned around with a knife and she asked if it had cut her. She didn’t even know and I was at least four feet away.” She couldn’t judge what was a reasonable distance from the knife.

Some children also get misdiagnosed with ADHD or vice versa. How can you know the difference? In my case studies, I have found the most obvious difference in the two are that an SPD child will calm their behavior when they get the right stimuli to the brain, whereas ADHD will not. The Sensory Seeking variety is especially obvious. When they get rocked, spun, pressure or other things that give their brain the vestibular or proprioceptive stimuli they are craving, they can calm. An ADHD child will continue behavior. (Which I believe has much more of a combination of nutritional and environmental causes).

Where my studies have led me and where I differ from mainstream healthcare is the CAUSE and proper treatment. I agree that you can look at and define any particular category and variety of disorder. You can assign a therapy to improve that particular area of disorder through an OT, PT, ST and so on… but WHY is the disorder happening in the first place? Let’s look at that in our efforts for a treatment.

The parts of our brain that develop these sensory capabilities are primarily the pons (part of the hindbrain) and midbrain. These are developed largely during the first year of life and primarily through movement. Certain positions, creeping and crawling all dictate whether these develop fully or not. The good news is, we can go back and develop them at any age.

This will be an entirely separate post, but know that there is hope beyond the very generalized, sub-par treatments being offered in mainstream healthcare.

My program is largely based on these studies.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Behavior and nutrition

We are walking chemistry sets.

I often walk by the lunch table at my son's preschool and am amazed at what parents are packing in their kids lunches. Then watching the total meltdowns in the parking lot after school and I am bewildered at the fact that the parents look surprised. Or some, resigned, as if that is 'just life'. "Kids, right?" Well, no.

Our bodies need fuel. Fuel that will offer the capacity to behave ourselves. We should be in control of our emotional, mental and behavioral state... not the donut we had first thing in the morning.

Our bodies need stability. Something that will keep our blood sugar even for long periods of time. Protein and vegetable glycerin are a good start. The rule in my home is protein first. Then if some sugar hits the blood, it has the protein to stabilize the rollercoaster ride of the sugar.

Fat too. Fat can slow down sugar in the blood. Good fats like almonds, avacado or peanut butter eaten in combination with fruit can be better than fruit alone. Not as much spike in the blood sugar will occur.

Also, vitamins and minerals. Of colossal importance. Our bodies (and quite importantly, THE BRAIN) cannot function properly without them. And supplements are not efficient enough. We need the real deal, people. EAT YOUR VEGETABLES.

Now, don't get me wrong... my son has had his share of tantrums. Many even sugar induced, nobody is perfect. But, it is a conscious way of living for him and myself to do our best nutritionally. I would like to see more parents become accountable for their children's behavior using proper nutrition. No more pills.

We send them to school with sugar (high glycemic) foods and expect them to be able to sit still and listen? Fair? I'd say not. Many foods that claim to be "healthy" have a high glycemic index. Without being coupled with some low index, more stable foods, first... meltdown, no attention span or crash!

Glycemic Index: This is the rate at which sugar enters your blood. If it is high, it enters quickly and you get a hyperness. If it is low, you get more stability. You can get a list of a glycemic index at

Let's keep them stable and see what happens to the overall behavior in our schools.