View Full Version : Crawling therapy for ADD/ADHD


DerekC
02-26-11, 11:13 AM
It's been a relief for me to discover at the ripe old age of 55 that I have a problem with ADD. All my life I've lacked empathy, organisation, motivation and focus, practicality. My memory has been haphazard and I've been passive-aggressive in dealing with interpersonal frustrations. I came to see myself as having ADD from working with my son's difficulties which fall under the ADHD category.

Well, we've not gone for the medication option and are using a therapeutic approach that is bringing good results for both of us. We're religiously following the exercises in the book "Stopping ADHD" by O'Dell and Cook. Basically, the approach is to do 15mins crawling exercises every day to release the STNR reflex (as babies and infants we all have a series of reflexes that we need to use and then extinguish. If they aren't extinguished they block our mental and physical development - leading to learning disorders and ADD/ADHD.) We've been crawling for about 50 days.

In terms of results, I've become more aware of my unawareness (if that makes sense) and much more determined to become at least "normal". I've taken the initiative (initiatives were pretty unknown for me) to do a mindfulness exercise where I place my attention at my forehead as an "anchor point" as I go about my daily activities. It helps me to wake up to the chaotic way I do things and has led to me being less annoying for my wife and family.

With my son, we made a chart of his initial symptoms (about 15 in total). He has now made significant improvements in nearly all of the 15 symptoms. None has gone but they are all roughly 50 per cent better. We are delighted and are determined to do the whole programme - which means just over 130 more days of crawling.

I know that this method has not been scientifically validated but there is a mass of anecdotal case studies and that is enough for me - so no whingeing to me about the lack of validation studies, please.

I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who is doing the crawling or feels drawn to trying it. :):):D

zannie
02-26-11, 11:25 AM
hi Derek,

Welcolme to the forum!

I have heard about crawling exercises but never tryed it. I am curious as to what STNR stands for? I would consider trying it. As you said it has not been scientifically validated but it seems intutively to make some sense.


By the way, with therapy and medication, being aware that I am unaware was one of the first steps for me also. Thanks for your post.

DerekC
02-26-11, 01:58 PM
Hi Zannie,

Good to hear from you. Yes, the STNR stands for Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex. Dr. Miriam Bender first discovered the connection between ADD/ADHD conditions and the presence of this reflex. The reflex is normally extinguished in childhood through the process of many months of crawling. I never crawled, apparently, and my son only crawled a little bit. So, in us it looks like this reflex is the culprit.
Becoming aware of one's unawareness is an odd process - like someone holds a mirror up to you and you see your face for the first time. An example for me is preparing things in the kitchen. If someone had asked me, I would have said that I'm fairly efficient, doing one thing after another in a sensible way. In practice, my mindfulness practice shows that I go from one thing to another in an impulsive way - never completing anything before being distracted by something else. I'll start making some tea, maybe, kind of blank out and find myself cleaning the sink! How did I get there? Everything eventually gets done but the amount of chaos in the middle is embarrassing! I'm glad there's noone watching me with a timer.
So the crawling has given me the focus to make a concerted effort to improve and the mindfulness practice gives me feedback on how I'm doing on a minute-by-minute basis. It's been a real education - finally, I'm understanding how my ADD has, kind of, disabled my functioning and have started to dig myself out and walk in the light. It's great to be doing the crawling with my son - it's mutual support and makes for a good bit of bonding.
Professionally, I'm a chartered psychologist so it's also a bit embarrassing to have taken 55 years before discovering the true nature of my deficits!!
All the very best to you,
DerekC

Jr1985
02-26-11, 04:45 PM
Well it sounds a bit woo-woo to me, and the lack of scientific support concerns me (if it's so wonderful, why hasn't it be published in any journals?).

But, I have Asperger's Syndrome and possibly ADHD, and I never crawled. Apparantly, I used to shuffle backwards on my rear-end. So it might be worth looking into. Can you give me some more details about what the crawling exercises involve?

hypergirl96
02-26-11, 05:03 PM
hey derek c and welcome to the forums!

ive heard of this too and never tried it eaither, but maybe i will. but i know it doesnt work for other mental disorders lke dyslexia at all. but maybe ill try it.....when my brither and sister are away and parents are asleep anyways. lol :D

anyways, thanls for the post and see you around on the forums. :D

DerekC
02-26-11, 05:32 PM
Hi Jr1985

Well, as you know, there's a lot of things in this life that work-work even though some people think they're woo-woo. As someone myself who's done validation studies, I'm aware of the limitations of science and the politics/economics of what research gets funded. In my humble opinion, you have to take your own view of what people tell you is working for them and take a shot at it yourself, or not.

The crawling exercises are fairly straightforward. You spend 15 minutes a day, usually 5 days a week doing the exercises. The book "Stopping ADHD" gives you the exact instructions.

Best of luck to you.

Hi hypergirl96
Well, it might possibly have a positive impact on dyslexia but the crawling was specifically targeted at ADD/ADHD. For our son, the crawling has improved the ease by which he handwrites and so he has more energy and attention to give to his spelling. He has some letter reversals which are typical for dyslexics and these symptoms are getting less.
Sorry that you don't feel you could crawl when your family are around. I wish you luck on your journey, hypergirl.

DerekC
02-26-11, 06:15 PM
Hi Jr1985, hypergirl96, and other readers,

I know the science thing bugs people on this site so I just wanted to share something about how I came to do something that is as "unusual" as crawling therapy. As my son grew older my wife and I noticed that he was just not developing as he should - he was so discoordinated. It was very painful to watch him being so passive and unengaged on the football field, for instance. Then we discovered he had dyspraxia and tried many types of therapy with him - some were useful, some weren't. One that did work involved extinguishing reflexes that the body had retained and that were blocking his development. He has come on so well that he can now ski down black runs and is in the top group for sport at school. But then a host of ADHD symptoms came into the foreground and it took quite a while for us to clarify his condition and explore what might help. We read the daily progress of people, mainly women, who were trying the crawling exercises with their children and, sometimes, themselves. They didn't wait for the science to arrive before they committed themselves to the exercises trying to lessen the daily suffering of their families. I found their trials and mutual support one of the most inspiring things I've ever come across and, if I could meet them, I would thank them from the bottom of my heart for showing us the way. They had good results and my son and I are fortunate to be having good results too. By the way, there's no way in the world I would have been sitting up late at night telling this story before I started the crawling - I was too unfocused and passive.
Anyhow, if you are reading this and wondering whether you want to become more in control of your mind and emotions through crawling then my work is done. Take a look at the book "Stopping ADHD" and get to work.
All good wishes to you,
DerekC

maggie403
02-26-11, 06:20 PM
It sounds fascinating. My severely ADHD son was an early walker (8 1/2 months) and spent very little time crawling. I'm also ADD and my mom had told me in the past that I also walked early and didn't spend much time crawling.

I have to say I'm still a little skeptical that even if there is a crawling connection that it could be corrected by crawling in adulthood. But, on the other hand, it seems harmless enough so I might check it out. Thanks for the info!

Data
02-26-11, 06:21 PM
In my humble opinion, you have to take your own view of what people tell you is working for them and take a shot at it yourself, or not.

Would you give this advice to a newly diagnosed cancer patient?

Jr1985
02-26-11, 06:27 PM
Of course, I'm not saying there's no way it could work because there's no scientific evidence. I guess i just mean that the lack of scientific support would make me cautious. I.e. I wouldn't jump straight into these exercises expecting a complete recovery or improvement at all. I will look into it, give it a go and hope for the best - if my symptoms improve, brilliant! If not, well I'm no worse off.

I wonder if it's the fact that your are exercising at all that helps?

DerekC
02-26-11, 06:53 PM
Hi Data,

Would I give the same advice to a newly diagnosed cancer patient? Absolutely not. Is it the same situation? Absolutely not. There have been billions of dollars pumped into cancer research and so the field is mapped and investigated very well. Is the field of ADD/ADHD mapped and investigated very well? Not at all. So what will you do? Just wait for cancer research amounts of funding to arrive? You will have a very long wait my friend.

Anyhow, that's my last comment on the science thing. I'm writing for people who have the interest and openness to read about what is actually working for other people. I look forward to giving some updates on what is happening with my symptoms and those of my son.

Best of luck to you, Data. :):):)


Hi Jr1985,

You ask whether our progress might be the result of the fact that crawling is exercise? No, I would say that we probably take less general exercise than we used to since the crawling started and yet our symptoms have reduced significantly. So, the improvement is not due to the fact that 15 minutes crawling a day is a form of exercise.

All the very best to you, Jr1985. :):):)

DerekC
02-26-11, 07:12 PM
Hi maggie403

Yes, sounds like this therapy may fit for you and your son because of the lack of crawling for both of you. What we did was to make a list of all my son's symptoms and give a score of 1-10 for each symptom as to how much of a problem is was. We added all the scores to give a total score. After 50 crawling sessions his total score is now about half of what it was!!! Our family life has so improved as a result, let alone the changes in me.
Please do let me know what you think about the book and what you decide to do. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Best wishes,

DerekC :):):)

Data
02-26-11, 10:08 PM
Hi Data,

Would I give the same advice to a newly diagnosed cancer patient? Absolutely not. Is it the same situation? Absolutely not. There have been billions of dollars pumped into cancer research and so the field is mapped and investigated very well. Is the field of ADD/ADHD mapped and investigated very well? Not at all. So what will you do? Just wait for cancer research amounts of funding to arrive? You will have a very long wait my friend.

Anyhow, that's my last comment on the science thing. I'm writing for people who have the interest and openness to read about what is actually working for other people. I look forward to giving some updates on what is happening with my symptoms and those of my son.

Best of luck to you, Data. :):):)


It's fine if you don't want to talk about the science thing anymore, but that just means you won't have the last word on it.

The thing is, your advice has ethical ramifications and therefore should be discussed. Believe me, if crawling does in fact 'stop adhd', i'll be first in line to do it, across a gravel parking lot if need be. Here's the thing though, there are proven effective methods of treating ADHD which should be explored FIRST. It may be that crawling therapy does help in treating ADHD. It may also be that the positive results from the patience receiving crawling therapy is just placebo effect. We won't know until there are controlled studies with results that prove efficacy beyond placebo for which the results are then reproduced by independent studies.

To sum it up, I would say if you want to do crawling therapy, go for it, as long as you do it concurrently with proven effective treatment or as a last resort. It may be that a mass of anecdotal evidence is "enough for you" but I hope the other forum posters and lurkers know that you are in an extremely small minority on that issue among the scientific community.

I wish the best for your son and yourself.

After50
02-26-11, 10:41 PM
I think it is great that you may getting benefit from a non med approach. However for me at 52, I do no think I have the luxury of time to explore less than factual based treatments. I think at this time it may have merit as an enhancement to traditional treatment but until it becomes accepted mainstream recommending it as a sole treatment option is a bit reckless, particularly if you are a chartered psychologist. But then again we can be anything we want to be on a forum of strangers.

Imnapl
02-27-11, 12:22 AM
Hi Jr1985, hypergirl96, and other readers,

I know the science thing bugs people on this site so I just wanted to share something about how I came to do something that is as "unusual" as crawling therapy.Unusual? I just put in the search term "crawling" and found several threads on the topic. I will leave it to you to search O'Dell, Bender, or Stopping You Know What and you will probably find several more discussions.


http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1028120&highlight=crawling#post1028120

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=977757&highlight=crawling#post977757

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89715&highlight=crawling

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90459&highlight=crawling

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=929342&highlight=crawling#post929342

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11913&highlight=crawling

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74656&highlight=crawling

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75486&highlight=crawling

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=704464&postcount=3078

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=604660&postcount=2584

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=576701&highlight=crawling#post576701

qanda
02-27-11, 02:48 AM
Personal experience is something that many of us value and appreciate those who share it.
Anyone who values user reviews buys or does not buy products based on listening to others personal experiences with those products.
While my health is more important than a washing machine, I still appreciate others sharing their experiences on this site.
I really value research. I love that many on this site share true research with us and remind us how personal experience might be unreliable or supplements could be dangerous. Those comments have certainly made me research supplements for hours to better understand the dangers.
To those who try the "unusual", I for one appreciate your sharing.

ginniebean
03-02-11, 01:17 PM
I just wish that people actually had to do the science prior to saying it works rather than people having to disprove something with science before they can say it doesn't work.

LynneC
03-02-11, 10:10 PM
I also bought the book and started the exercises but did not get too far. Time to get motivated and start again! I do think that there is validity in this theory. The symptoms that she describes in the book fit my son to a 'T'...

The book is available on Amazon at a very reasonable price. There is a later version called 'Stopping Hyperactivity' which is exactly the same book (as fas as I can tell) and is even less expensive.

Laurelgardner
03-03-11, 03:14 AM
I just wish that people actually had to do the science prior to saying it works rather than people having to disprove something with science before they can say it doesn't work.


Anecdotal evidence is usually what ends up *prompting* the scientific studies to get done and proof to be found. Stimulant medications were once just a hunch and an attempt with no "proof" behind it. Hell, so were vaccinations. If we took the attitude of needing to "prove" everything before we say it might have merit, we'd never have any potential treatments to prove.

I don't understand why people are so opposed to alternative therapies in the case of a disorder that we don't really understand, which has no cure, and which is not life-threatening. Really, what's the harm in being open-minded and trying things? I mean, with all respect, of course, to avoiding things that are potentially harmful and things that cost money and are scams, what's the big freakin' deal about giving stuff a try?

Science is all about, you know, trying stuff and seeing what sticks.

Data
03-03-11, 12:39 PM
Like I said, it's ok to give this a shot as long as you are not doing yourself or your child a disservice by choosing this treatment over proven effective treatments. It's ok to play the lottery, but I wouldn't use it as a retirement plan.

Dizfriz
03-03-11, 05:13 PM
On alternative treatments for ADHD:

If the cost of trying it is cheap and you are not taking unknown vitamins or other substances that you are not sure of then they probably can't hurt and for a few these these can actually help just not very often.

It is just for most, these alternative treatments have no impact and I would be very cautious of treatments that promise "cure" or anything similar. These are usually more about separating concerned parents from their money, not in helping deal with ADHD.

The two treatments that have been validated for ADHD thus far are medication and ADHD specific behavior management methods (for children). Some others that have shown some promise are neurofeedback and omega 5 or fish oil. The jury is still out on these but there have been some good studies.

I have seen some good reports on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) designed for ADHD adults and older children but this is still in the early stages of research.

These are the tools we have right now. There is more coming down the line and the research will sift out the good from the ineffective.

I have to admit that I cannot see how crawling can help a primarily genetic neurological developmental disorder but who knows?

Dizfriz

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 01:33 AM
Just saw this thread (I usually stay in the parenting forums). This type of therapy is what I'm doing with my two boys right now. What we're doing is more in depth and personalized than O'Dells book. It's called Neurological Reorganization. We're about 4 months into it and we probably have a year to go.

There's so much that is evaluated in the beginning and then exercises (patterns) and crawling are done daily at home. It is the only thing that seems to get to the root of the problems in the brain and affects change thanks to neuroplasticity.

All the reading I've done has me convinced there is merit to this therapy and I hope I can eventually share our great results with the forum. Until then i can just say that we're doing it and hoping for the best.

Activehealing.org is who we're working with

Here is an article he wrote

http://www.scribd.com/doc/34472295/Neurological-Reorganization-for-Brain-Injury-by-Sargent-L-Goodchild-Jr

He uses this chart to evaluate in the beginning and measure progess

http://activehealing.org/HTML/howitworks_ontogeny.htm

Many families of adopted kids with issues also do NR
http://www.a4everfamily.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=12&id=44&Itemid=114

This site which has a ton of interesting info, video clips and books and videos for sale. Much of what I see there is similar to NR and might be a good starting place for someone wanting to check it out more on their own.

http://www.fernridgepress.com/

AbsentMindProf
03-04-11, 09:26 AM
My view of alternative treatments for ADHD is that my time is valuable, even if the therapy doesn't cost any money. To someone like me that constantly struggles to use time efficiently, I just don't want to spend time trying something unless I have a good reason to think it's likely to work.

Anecodotal evidence isn't very convincing to me (no matter how heartwarming the story might be) because there is no way of knowing whether or not the account is representative, or even factual. I read an account of someone that suddenly got better after trying an alternative treatment but, for all I know, there might have been 5000 people that tried it and found no effect (but didn't post about it because they didn't want to sound silly or because they didn't think their "negative anecdote" would provide useful information).

*KJ*
03-04-11, 10:32 AM
I haven't read all there is to read on this subject. I am however the OP of one of the links posted above in the list of other discussions in this forum.

It all may seem crazy, but I would encourage those of your that think it sounds obserd to read a little. Those of you who are uninterested in trying something that isn't clinically proven, I suggest you all ignore posts like this.



As of this moment, we have NOT tried this, however I am interested.

Reason it peeked my interest when I saw a news report on it, is because it reminded me of my sons EI days.

Specifically, work that his communication specialist did with him.

Oh incidently, my son never crawled, he also hated being on his belly and did not roll...well he would roll off his belly to get off of it, but was happy to lie on his back all day.

So...he struggled with several delays in reaching milestones through his little life. When he was <3 EI assigned him an occupational therapist, a speech/communication therapist, and a developmental specialist.

Each week we met with each of these people for an hour at our home (the dev spec was leader of a small specialized play group that met 2x/wk outside my home).

Anyhoo - to get to the point...I remember when the speech therapist was assigned, my son was no where near talking age - but hey, you don't turn away developmental help, right. By 2 he was still not talking, and so what, not all kids are by then right? He was preemie to boot, and a boy - I wasn't REALLY worried. But I'd be lying if I said I hadn't noticed a few other things that did make me worry.

So, by 2 the ST WAS worried. She insisted we see a communication specialist and a neurologist at Children's hospital.

I didn't get it. All along she didn't seem worried - just happily moving forward with our exercises, la-de-da...

Well, it was then that she explained that not only was my son NOT speaking, but he was also NOT developing any of the other foundations to speech. I thought, hmm well, ok...what are those.

When she explained that he couldn't roll a ball back & forth. I was SHOCKED - huh? WHAt? WTF does that have to do with talking? And besides he's making sounds & stuff...what's the deal?

Then we had a little talk with the OT...it turns out that every single little milestone that a child acheives IS a foundation for something else.

Of course there were other things he wasn't doing either - but that's the example I remember the most clearly.

It's been a little while since I read on crawling therapy...but from what I remember the specific crawling had to do with teaching the child that they could make decisions and acomplish a goal....independence.

Like - hmmm mom is over there, but my ball is over there...if I scream mom will get it...but hey maybe I can do this myself.

And this is an important step to, because it involves much more coordination to crawl than it does to walk. It involves managing both legs, both arm's and your neck, and your eyes. It is the foundation of multi-tasking...but mulit-tasking SUCCESSFULLY. The more practice, the better.

MM, do I remember that right?


For us, there were a few more speech milestones that were not acheived by that 2yr mark...but don't want to bore you all...to give you an idea of the significance of that ball rolling, to round out the concept here...the ball rolling is a sign that a child understands turn-taking and has learned (BY WATCHING) that conversation, interactions, are not one sided. She was able to pinpoint this problem by watching my son, ignore our conversations while they occured.

And part of our speech therapy involved playing the wonderball.

So, yup, little things like that, do seem to have a profound impact on the neuro-development of a child.

Is crawling the answer, is it part - I dunno, will it work this many years later, don't know...but heck...I'll crawl the state with my son if it means he COULD be able to focus and be happy without the wretched side effects of meds!

Will I abandon all common sense and logic to the whim of what seems, at face value to be worth a look see? If that were the case, I likely would have been hit by a bus long ago.

I'm neither an idiot nor an irresponsible mother.


And for all you science and proof people...when we followed up with that neuro...he basically reported back that my sons speech center was almost inactive. We were told that there was a very real possibility that he would never speak.

He's speaks just fine today - infact he is quite advanced in his communication skills...except nonspeech communication, where he is still delayed.

Good thing we kept up with his OT & ST...course that's just another anedotal example, perhaps.

I'd love to hear a developmental OT's take on this!!!

Dizfriz
03-04-11, 12:01 PM
When looking at testomionals for alternative treatments you also have to be careful of Correlational Learning. This is where event B follows event A and we tend to connect them although there may no connection whatsoever.

As an example: For a cold, take this pill, get rest and drink plenty of water. In about a week your symptoms will be gone. Someone tries it and sure enough the cold is gone in a week. See the pill works.

A variation is termed superstitious learning. Here someone fell down and hurt themselves. Right before they fell, a black cat ran in front of them. See, the black cat caused the accident; Correlational Learning.

Correlational learning is how kids think. If event b follows event a close in time then they are connected in the child's mind. Once that connection has been made, it is often not easy to disconnect it.

This where studies with a number of subjects have value. It can separate this from actual correlations.

This is not to say that none of the alternative treatments really work, it is just something that has to be kept in mind when evaluating.

Dizfriz

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 12:24 PM
Many of these types of therapy are new, not well-known and there are not many practitioners out there (yet).

Last year in K the OT working with my son started a program called Astronaut Training which touches on some of these things, too.

"Vestibular enhancement has always been central to sensory integration practice. However, the importance of administering precise vestibular input that is integrated with specific sound and vision input is only beginning to be acknowledged."

"Astronaut Training provides precise input to all five vestibular receptors, along with auditory and visual input to create a comprehensive treatment protocol that integrates these three sensory systems. Core activities provide opportunities for an adaptive response to sensory input, which completes the sensorimotor neurological circuits underlying all function."

From: http://www.vitallinks.net/workshops.shtml

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 12:29 PM
Our NR practitioner makes a good point that you can do all sorts of specific, targeted therapies like OT, PT, vestibular training, listening programs, etc - but if you haven't filled in the missing basic building blocks like a moro reflex that isn't integrated, then you cannot fully benefit from the other work. (I am paraphrasing)

AbsentMindProf
03-04-11, 12:34 PM
Just to add to Dizfriz's last post. The correlational learning thing applies to adults also. The human brain seems to be hard-wired to be biased against coincidence as an explanation for things.

With just about any disorder you could name, you can find people coming out of the woodwork these days claiming all sorts of amazing treatments/cures. They ALWAYS have impressive sounding anecdotes. Ultimately, they all rely on the same reasoning:

"I used treatment X. Then the symptoms improved. Therefore, treatment X helped!"

As Dizfriz pointed out, though, that's not necessarily true. Because of the way our brains are hard-wired to assume causal relationships between temporally connected events, we are too quick to discount coincidence as an explanation.

One final point -- in saying these things, I am absolutely NOT suggesting that anyone is dumb. Quite the contrary, I'm pointing out a fundamental bias in human thinking that affects all of us. We are ALL biased against random chance as an explanation for things.

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 12:39 PM
Here are some bits about NR that will hopefully explain it better than me.


It replicates the normal developmental sequence that infants use to stimulate and grow brain connections.


NEURODEVELOPMENT INTERRUPTED: SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Typically developing infants complete a specific series of movement, reflex, sensory stimulation, and vestibular stimulation called the developmental sequence in approximately the first year of life. Functional neurology results from the completion of the developmental sequence. If there is any interruption, injury, or disruption to the developmental sequence, a functional deficit can occur. For some individuals, it creates a small impact on their lives. However, many emotional, behavioral, and academic concerns have a neurological basis in disrupted development.


Neurological reorganization draws the connections between the concerns a person has and the underlying neurological processes that should support healthy behavioral, emotional, academic, and motor function. It examines a broad spectrum of neurological soft signs and, through knowledge of neurological growth and organization, assesses deficits in an individual's central nervous system. Then, those stages of neurological growth and organization are replicated through movement, reflex, and sensory experience to address behavioral, emotional, academic, and motor issues stemming from the deficits. It is a radically simple, non-invasive approach to well-being, confirmed by cutting-edge neuro-imaging.

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 12:58 PM
My main focus for the NR is for my younger son who has significant dyspraxia and is showing more and more signs of ADHD (which medication is helping). They think it will also help my older son with his more 'classic' ADHD.

I watched him evaluate both boys using that chart of ontology linked above. Their weaknesses and missing skills were blatantly obvious. They both have vision problems (processing, visual-motor integration, both are 20/20) that were also seen by a separate eval by a behavioral optometrist.

It makes sense to me so I ultimately took a leap of faith. It's going to take a year to 18 months, but shouldn't lasting neurological change take time? It's not a quick fix, but hopefully it will be a permanent fix.

I see my younger son putting things in his mouth much less than before. My older son had a sudden almost overnight major improvement in his handwriting just before school vacation. Sadly school stress this week wrecked that, but hopefully he can get it back soon. I'm encouraged.

ginniebean
03-04-11, 03:12 PM
I don't understand why people are so opposed to alternative therapies in the case of a disorder that we don't really understand, which has no cure, and which is not life-threatening. Really, what's the harm in being open-minded and trying things? I mean, with all respect, of course, to avoiding things that are potentially harmful and things that cost money and are scams, what's the big freakin' deal about giving stuff a try?

Science is all about, you know, trying stuff and seeing what sticks.



I think I'll just WALK away.. from this one.

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 05:09 PM
Whoa, talk about timely...


Experts: Lack of 'tummy time' causes developmental delays in children

http://www.ky3.com/news/contactky3/ky3-lack-of-tummy-time-blamed-for-developmental-delays-02232011,0,3781056.story

Medical professionals call it a national epidemic: normal children who are delayed in accomplishing basic skills like holding a pencil or catching a ball. At least one expert calls them "bucket babies." They're kids who spend too much time in containers like car seats and not enough time on their tummies. It causes problems in children from infancy through adulthood.
----

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Twenty years ago, a 5-month-old baby like Lexi Cizek would have spent almost all her time on her tummy. But, today, Lexi cries after just a minute on her belly. "It was just torture for her to do it and eventually you'd just pick her up," said Lexi's mom, Karyssa.

Lexi is one of millions of American babies facing the possibility of developmental delays simply because she doesn't spend enough time on her stomach. Occupational therapist Charlene Young (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAc7GWu5GYQ) is traveling the nation, lecturing to health care professionals about what she calls "bucket babies."
"The number of children with developmental delays has increased dramatically, so it is imperative we stop that from happening," she said.

The Back to Sleep campaign (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sids/) encouraging parents to place babies to sleep on their backs and the growing popularity of convenient devices like infant car seats, swings, saucers and bouncy seats have led to children not getting enough tummy time.
"Extensive time in containers limits movement, which causes problems with development," said Young.

There is growing clinical evidence that it's causing delays in otherwise normal children.
"It's affecting motor skills, both fine and gross, and sensory development overall. The developmental milestones have changed dramatically in 20 years."

It's all because spending time on your stomach establishes the upper body strength that babies will use for the rest of their lives to do things like read and write, hold a scissors properly, and even climb a jungle gym.
"It's absolutely vital for development. It supports neck development, which supports the jaw, which supports talking and eating. It supports the neck, which supports the eyes being able to focus together and scan," said Amy Vaughan, an occupational therapist with Burrell Behavioral Health.

Because they don't have the upper body strength to support them, more and more children are completely skipping over the crawling stage. Once seen by medical professionals as unnecessary for the normal development of children, more and more of them now believe crawling is crucial.
"Crawling will help strengthen muscles to support handwriting and endurance. It's going to support the midline to swing a bat and hit a ball and have hand-eye coordination to do it well," said Vaughan.

"If a child doesn't develop according to milestones, than it has a snow ball effect. Cognitive development could be delayed, visual motor skills are delayed. We're seeing 1 in 5 children with a visual processing disorder," said Young.

It can affect kids throughout their life.
"By the time you get to a college level class it matters how long you can sustain writing and typing," said Vaughan.

CRAWLING IS KEY
Without intense therapy since age 3, Mason Malarkey might never have been able to take Taekwondo. His entire life, he has battled developmental delays.
"When he wrote with a crayon, he would bear down so hard that they would break. He's done that with pencils. He's always had trouble with scisssors. He's always had problems with buttons and zippers too," said his mom, Michele.

His occupational therapist says it was most likely caused by not enough tummy time and completely skipping over the crawling stage.
"He was a kid who you would put him on his tummy and he would scream bloody murder. The minute he'd scream, what would I do? I'd scoop him up and hold him," said Malarkey.

Thanks to an early diagnosis, Mason is catching up, but still has some difficulties.
"He turned 8 years old last month and just learned to tie his shoes last month."

Malarkey said every parent needs to know the importance of tummy time, crawling and getting babies out of their buckets.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would not have picked him up as soon as he cried on his tummy. It's very important that he was on his tummy and crawled. At the time, I didn't see any problem with it."

SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER
Occupational therapists also believe a lack of tummy time causes sensory processing problems (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1689216,00.html). This means children may not respond properly to taste, touch, movement, smell, vision and hearing, a condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder. Some children may even show signs of behavioral problems.
"Extensive time in containers limits movement and exposure to the environment which can cause problems with development," said Young.

"In the last 12 to 15 years, doctors would say they've noticed more perception problems, attention problems, pre-reading problems. There are more dyslexic-like symptoms and more thinking issues in general," said Vaughan. "All you need to do is look at our national test scores and see that they're not going in the direction we want them to do."

Children born by cesarean section are particularly at risk.
"During a c-section, there is a lack of input to the sensory system when the baby is being born. This, combined with container use and not enough tummy time, can make the problem multiply," said Young.

She believes the increasing number of children in daycare is also to blame.
"Daycares are worried about the safety of children. As a result, children spend a lot of time in devices considered to be safe such as bouncy seats and swings."

She believes educating parents, teachers and health care providers about the problem is the only way to prevent it.
"A large number of our adult population will suffer from disabilities if we don't get a handle on it," she said. "We need better education, better screening, and pediatricians need to be aware of what's happening with these babies."

If you notice your child has some of these delays, ask your pediatrician. They might be able to refer you to a physical or occupational therapist for an evaluation.

*KJ*
03-04-11, 05:19 PM
Wow MM! Thanks for posting that!

So the question is still out there though, can one go back and fill in the blanks????

MuscleMama
03-04-11, 05:20 PM
Wow MM! Thanks for posting that!

So the question is still out there though, can one go back and fill in the blanks????

I'll tell you in a year ;)

AbsentMindProf
03-04-11, 05:44 PM
Here are some bits about NR that will hopefully explain it better than me.


It replicates the normal developmental sequence that infants use to stimulate and grow brain connections.


NEURODEVELOPMENT INTERRUPTED: SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Typically developing infants complete a specific series of movement, reflex, sensory stimulation, and vestibular stimulation called the developmental sequence in approximately the first year of life. Functional neurology results from the completion of the developmental sequence. If there is any interruption, injury, or disruption to the developmental sequence, a functional deficit can occur. For some individuals, it creates a small impact on their lives. However, many emotional, behavioral, and academic concerns have a neurological basis in disrupted development.


Neurological reorganization draws the connections between the concerns a person has and the underlying neurological processes that should support healthy behavioral, emotional, academic, and motor function. It examines a broad spectrum of neurological soft signs and, through knowledge of neurological growth and organization, assesses deficits in an individual's central nervous system. Then, those stages of neurological growth and organization are replicated through movement, reflex, and sensory experience to address behavioral, emotional, academic, and motor issues stemming from the deficits. It is a radically simple, non-invasive approach to well-being, confirmed by cutting-edge neuro-imaging.

All of this sounds very implausible to me for a couple of reasons. First, the brain of a 6 year old is VASTLY different from the brain of a 6 month old. By age 5, the human brain has almost completely stopped growing. Motor development is a widely distributed phenomenon that involves functional and physical changes in a wide range of brain areas, including cerebellum, basal ganglia, frontal cortex, brainstem, parietal lobe and more. A significant part of this process involves the pruning back of unused connections and cell death. Many of these processes do NOT work in the same way in the brain of a 6 year old as they do in the brain of a 6 month old. (For example, cell death is a major part of this process -- you can crawl around the floor all you want, but it's not going to make you regrow those cells and have another round of experience-dependent neuronal "pruning".)

Secondly, the logic of this seems to assume that the developmental motor milestones themselves have a causal role in the development of other neural systems, such as those governing attention. Yet, why would we think this is so? Why could it not be that the motor milestones (such as crawling) are merely behavioral indications of underlying neural development?

By the time you're 6 years old, the neural circuitry required for crawling already exists, and the motor systems are already VERY well calibrated (that's why a 6 year old can crawl). Even if that 6 year old skipped the crawling stage entirely, the fact that he *CAN* crawl indicates that the necessary circuitry has developed. This occurs because the brain can calibrate movement of the various body segments by making other movements. That being the case, it seems implausible to me that further crawling would have any significant effect.

Third, if crawling were necessary for the normal development of attentional processes (and other systems affected by ADHD), then someone born without arms and/or legs should have SEVERE ADHD. Yet that's not the case. People can be born with any number of motor problems and still develop with no sign of ADHD. Clearly, then, crawling is not necessary for normal development of attentional processes.

Skipping the crawling stage might suggest that the child's brain is developing in an unusual way but that seems more like a symptom than anything else.

qanda
03-04-11, 06:30 PM
That's a good question. Are those born without arms and legs have a higher rate of ADHD? Has this been looked into?

My daughter HATED to be on her tummy. She hardly crawled at all but instead whined and cried until she could hold our fingers and walk.

Laurelgardner
03-04-11, 07:14 PM
Even if that 6 year old skipped the crawling stage entirely, the fact that he *CAN* crawl indicates that the necessary circuitry has developed. This occurs because the brain can calibrate movement of the various body segments by making other movements. That being the case, it seems implausible to me that further crawling would have any significant effect.

As I understand it, it's not about being *able* to crawl, but about things that happen *when* you crawl.

Third, if crawling were necessary for the normal development of attentional processes (and other systems affected by ADHD), then someone born without arms and/or legs should have SEVERE ADHD. Yet that's not the case. People can be born with any number of motor problems and still develop with no sign of ADHD. Clearly, then, crawling is not necessary for normal development of attentional processes.

That's only true if you believe that lack of crawling is the SOLE cause of ADHD and not just a possible contributing factor. I don't personally believe that ADHD has a single cause.

Also...how do you know that there isn't a more pronounced tendency to ADHD in people born with severe mobility issues? Do you think we'd really notice if it was, or would we be too focused on the other issues these people face? Since ADHD is so often noticed because of failure to perform, and exacerbated by the pressure/depression/anxiety of not being able to perform in spite of being able-bodied, I don't think it very likely that those without able bodies would see the same issues.


Skipping the crawling stage might suggest that the child's brain is developing in an unusual way but that seems more like a symptom than anything else.

I think you make a mistake if you draw too hard a line between "cause" and "symptom" in many cases. Symptoms can become causes of new symptoms in the world of connections between mind-body illnesses.

Laurelgardner
03-04-11, 07:16 PM
My view of alternative treatments for ADHD is that my time is valuable, even if the therapy doesn't cost any money. To someone like me that constantly struggles to use time efficiently, I just don't want to spend time trying something unless I have a good reason to think it's likely to work.


That's perfectly fine. Are you getting the idea from anyone here that you're required to try anything?

claudfin
03-09-11, 11:24 PM
I find this so very interesting. I have 3 kids,they haven't been diagnosed yet but I'm pretty certain they all have adhd-i. They were all early walkers. I'm definetly going to try this crawling therapy. It makes a lot of sense to me. My son walked at 9mo and my girls at 10 but they were born at 35 weeks instead of 40. They were all a little late speaking although not enough for the pediatrician to be concerned. I'm sure they crawled for a time but I don't have visual memories of them crawling. I thought they were so advanced because they walked early. It must have been my nursing and the organic baby food. Who knew? Thank you for posting and I'll let you know if it worked for us.

FrazzleDazzle
03-11-11, 09:52 PM
Hi Derek, I started a thread a while back regarding the same crawling therapy here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29180&highlight=stnr), that both my son and I followed and completed together. Somewhere around the 2nd page of posts I posted my results part way in. I don't recall if anyone else here on the forum actually completed this therapy that talked about starting it.

The therapy was helpful in some surprising ways.

I also found a document that well-describes all of the infant reflex and information on each of them, with therapy to correct them, here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29180&highlight=stnr).

Oh, just found my journaling thread on our "crawling therapy" on this forum too, here. (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31783&highlight=stnr)

*KJ*
03-11-11, 11:07 PM
Wow Frazzle! Thanks for posting all this great info...now I'm even MORE interested. I was following MM...but not too....hmmm, enthused about traveling a distance to do this. I'm TOTALLY going to get this book & CD. $35 for some bonding time with my son...let's just hope he's as interested as I :p

FrazzleDazzle
03-11-11, 11:31 PM
Hi KJ, tho we both received benefits from the therapy, I do believe there are better ways of accomplishing the same task of inhibiting these still-present reflexes. See the second link I posted above for the adobe file. Do make sure you are treating the correct issue, and testing for these retained reflexes is quick and easy. It sound like MuscleMama has her boys on a great, encompassing program as well. Therapy is so interesting and can be...fun. It's also very rewarding to see the neuroplasticity and re-training of the brain when improvements are seen in individuals undergoing therapy - children as well as grown adults.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun, and use it as a time, as you said, to bond with your child. My son and I did a lot of hard work together over the years we spent together on the strange therapeutic things we did (meds at the time were not an option due to some seizure activity) and they brought us closer together and we had lots of tears, laughter, and Reeses Blizzards in the process. And we learned to think out of the box, did lots of new things, learned teamwork, and developed tenacity to complete whatever we started. Lots of good stuff any way we look at it.

*KJ*
03-12-11, 07:04 PM
Thanks again Frazzle!

Can you help me out - I'm not finding the adobe file.

Thanks
KJ

PS. Out of curiousity. How would you rank the effectiveness of all the things you've done?

FrazzleDazzle
03-12-11, 08:14 PM
Oh goodness, KJ, both links I posted above went to the same thing ugh.

Try this - it is the adobe file for a document called Mind Moves. It has info on all the reflexes.

https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=X419n5qN9S45VkXwCuBfmA

Let me know if there's any issue getting to it.

Ranking effectiveness would be hard to do - We didn't "cure" ADHD, just dealt with some of the issues and annoyances that go along with it: reading/comprehension skills delayed by early-age innattention improved vastly in my son, fidgetiness declined remarkably in both of us, eye tracking skill increased for both (which helps in paying attention and staying on task during reading and watching a speaker in front of class), some auditory skills were greatly improved, things like that. The work was worth doing for some of the changes the therapies brought on, certainly, and the effects have remained over the years. The plasticity of the brain is amazing - read about rehab for stroke victims!

Feel free to ask me anything - it's been a while since we've been involved in these things, but I'm happy to support and encourage anyone who is going through these therapies.

*KJ*
03-12-11, 09:14 PM
Thanks Frazzle! I haven't checked the file yet - I was just reading 2 years into history here...wow, talk about interesting. Anyway, I'll check it out and you can count on questions!



MuscleMama...I just found this post... http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82954

Is this pretty much a different version of the Bender program (that Frazzle posted)?

And what makes it different from what you are doing now?

And did you find that it helped at all? Do you still use it?

Ok, I'll hold back on the other 50 questions I have for now, LOL!

Thanks Ladies!
KJ

*KJ*
03-12-11, 09:52 PM
Ok - I'm having a heck of a time opening up that file. Is it possible to copy & paste it into this thread? Or something else?

Sorry your help has turned into work :confused:

MuscleMama
03-12-11, 10:27 PM
MuscleMama...I just found this post... http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82954

Is this pretty much a different version of the Bender program (that Frazzle posted)?

And what makes it different from what you are doing now?

And did you find that it helped at all? Do you still use it?

Ok, I'll hold back on the other 50 questions I have for now, LOL!

Thanks Ladies!
KJ

I'm looking at the Bender website (benderbreakthrough.com) and I can't quite figure out what they do. O'Dell is on there, too, so maybe it's just another version of the book "Stopping ADHD". That book targets the STNR reflex with several different creeping exercises.

The workbook I posted by visual dynamix targets the 5 major reflexes (moro, spinal galant, STNR, ATNR, TLR) and gives you a way to test for them and exercises to follow to eliminate them.

The full NR program we're doing incompasses primitive reflex integration plus much more (auditory, vestibular, visual, etc). It's also specifically tailored to each persons needs with bimonthly evaluations and personal support.

There are also programs like BrainGym and Learning Breakthrough that touch on all this stuff, but again they are more general.

KJ, it's only an hours drive for you (and me) to see Sarge - some people travel from far away and even fly in to see him. He'll do a free evaluation and answer questions. Knowing you, you'd pick his brain and be fascinated :D

I'd also be happy to lend you the visual dynamix workbook for as long as you'd like. Sarge thought it was well done.

*KJ*
03-13-11, 04:10 PM
MM - Thank you SO much for your offer.

Right now I'm going through lots of stuff and trying to make some decisions.

What I'd like to do is develop a summer program for DS. But I'm not really sure what makes sense, ya know.

Normally we sign him up for summer classes & camps, but this year I'd like to try something a little differerent.

Without looking at much, I'm thinking what makes the most sense, is this:

- An exercise activity
- A reading activity
and
- An eletronic/computer game

I don't want to make it too much, but do want to try to take advantage of the summer and target some areas that he needs some 'development' in.

I'm going through things now, there are so many things...

What I'm hoping is that by the end of the summer I will have a better idea of what is helping & what is not. At that time I can make a better judgement on where we could make a bigger investment (in both time & money), considering things like Dore, neurofeedback, CBT, etc - the stuff that has a much bigger commitment, ya know?

In other words if I have a good reason to think stepping things up would help, then....

I don't want to hyjack this thread, so I'll stop there.

So, let me keep poking around at stuff, and I'll let you know. Thanks again!!!! :)
KJ

bumblebee15
03-14-11, 03:16 PM
hello everyone, I am so happy to have found this discussion at this time. My daughter crawled but she crawled with her right knee and dragged her left leg. I got this book last year and started doing exercises. completed the first 8 weeks and then stopped. I think we should start back on these exercises. She does not seem to have ADHD or ADD for that matter. She is slow when compared to other kids of her age. This is also becos she is deliberate in her work and has some perfectionist tendencies. I quit because she did not seem to have any problems doing these exercises meaning they were quite easy for her. I thought maybe she did not have reflex issues. But her slowness is still troubling her and this time she is now mature enough to understand that she is slower than other kids and hates it !! :( .Any of you know the address where they do the testing for these reflexes and also teach and check in regular intervals if there is any progress made?

MuscleMama
03-14-11, 04:00 PM
bumblebee, you can get in touch with Sargent Goodchild at activehealing.org and talk to him. There are not many practitioners out there and he has a good relationship with them so he can direct you to the right person.

Have you had your daughter evaluated for any learning disabilities? Or had a neuropsychological evaluation done? It sounds like testing would be helpful for you to have a better idea of her issues. :)

bumblebee15
03-18-11, 10:44 AM
Thank you Musclemama. I did initiate an evaluation to be done by school and they refused saying she is doing very well academically and she is only a deliberate worker and we are not at all concerned !! I know she has perfectionist tendencies but actually it is a combination. she takes time to assimilate information too. I think they feel it is in their realm of things and they do not want to evaluate her for any accomodation as well. I think i will talk to someone at activehealng.org and get her tested there. It is a good 5 hours drive for us but i guess it makes sense to catch it early than later when the going gets tough !.
thanks once again.

AbsentMindProf
03-18-11, 12:37 PM
As I understand it, it's not about being *able* to crawl, but about things that happen *when* you crawl.

It's just that what I've seen posted so far doesn't provide much information that would lead me to believe that crawling therapy is effective for ADHD. What I've seen posted so far leaves me with many questions, such as:

A) What (specifically) is supposed to happen when you crawl that is relevant to ADHD? I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask questions about the process by which crawling therapy might work. Based on what I know about the brain, it sounds implausible.

B) What evidence is there that this postulated process works *ONLY* if you crawl and somehow doesn't work if the child makes any of the other thousands of movements that toddlers make? Crawling is a motor movement that involves (among many other brain areas) portions of frontal cortex. Ok...but walking uses those same brain areas. Why crawling and not walking?

C) What evidence is there that crawling plays a causal role in the development of ADHD? Even if it turned out to be the case that children with ADHD crawl less than typical children, that says nothing about causality.


That's only true if you believe that lack of crawling is the SOLE cause of ADHD and not just a possible contributing factor. I don't personally believe that ADHD has a single cause.

No matter how many causal factors there are in the development of ADHD, if crawling plays any significant role at all, that should show up in *ANY* group of children that (for any reason) cannot crawl. I think that's a perfectly legitimate question to ask.


I think you make a mistake if you draw too hard a line between "cause" and "symptom" in many cases. Symptoms can become causes of new symptoms in the world of connections between mind-body illnesses.

We are discussing a very specific claim: that a lack of crawling plays a causal role in the development of ADHD and that ADHD symptoms can be improved by crawling. If there is scientific evidence for such a thing, post it.

AbsentMindProf
03-18-11, 12:40 PM
That's perfectly fine. Are you getting the idea from anyone here that you're required to try anything?

The post of mine that you quoted addressed the common view that "there is no harm in trying" an alternative therapy. My point was that there can be harm if it doesn't help and if a significant amount of time is spent on it.

You seem uncomfortable with my skepticism. I understand that but, in my opinion, a forum like this becomes far less useful if skeptics are discouraged from challenging claims that a particular therapy is helpful.

MuscleMama
03-18-11, 01:14 PM
Here is an article written by our NR practitioner.

http://www.scribd.com/full/34472295?access_key=key-12447txra7lp7bpfainz (http://www.scribd.com/full/34472295?access_key=key-12447txra7lp7bpfainz)

Neurological Reorganization for Brain Injury: The relationship of structure and function with therapeutic applications

Genetics gives us our options; experience determines which road we take. For the development of proper physical and neurological health, we must consider what type of experience is the most important. Developmental milestones that are part of the shared human experience are recognized as being very important. We celebrate when our children learn how to roll over, tummy crawl, creep on hands and knees, balance on two feet, walk, run, and skip because we innately recognize their importance. What is not as well known is the vital role each skill has in helping the emergence of higher functioning brain levels. If a child is prevented from acquiring these specific developmental milestones with full sophistication and in the proper sequence, it can not only prevent healthy brain development but also lead to conditions as varied as attachment and bonding disorders, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, dyslexia, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities.

AbsentMindProf
03-18-11, 02:23 PM
MuscleMama, I would like to respond to some of the things I read in that last article you linked us to.

In other words, children go through a process of purposeful movement and interaction with their surrounding environment that modifies the brain and body each functionally and structurally. Of course, if something goes astray during a child's progression through these movements, it can cause problems that require a much more sophisticated reboot.

It's absolutely true that human brain development is strongly experience-dependent. There is a whole neurophysiological literature showing that brain organization is strongly experience dependent. For example, fMRI studies have shown that practice with a musical instrument can cause observable reorganization of motor cortex.

However, the relationships between experience and brain development are complex. The general observation that experience influences brain development does not justify the much more specific claim that a complex disorder like ADHD is caused by not enough crawling.

Every child with autism is unique in ways that will dictate which therapies will facilitate healing and when to employ them. The causal factors in an individual child are challenging to determine...

.... There are the physical factors such as imbalances in the cranial bones, subluxations in the spine or other muscular-skeletal problems.

But what, exactly, is an "imbalance in the cranial bones" and how would such a thing cause autism? What evidence is there that cranial bone development plays any causal role in autism? The author doesn't say, and doesn't cite any references. Nor does the author explain how the development of the spine could play any causal role in autism, and he cites no references to support this claim either.

Later in that same paragraph, the author characterizes autism as a "movement disorder". In my opinion, this is a rather strange way to characterize autism. While many children with autism show motor deficits, some do not.

It has been my clinical experience over the last 15 years that children on the autism spectrum have the greatest challenge when learning to combat crawl on their stomach. This milestone occurs at the same time the pons, an area of the brain that sits near the top and back of the brain stem, is becoming fully myelinated and, therefore, functional.

First of all, not all children on the autism spectrum show abnormalities at the crawling stage. My son did not. As a matter of fact, my son met *ALL* of the major developmental milestones, right on time. There was absolutely nothing unusual until he was nearly two years old and, even then, the only thing that was odd was the fact that he had taught himself the alphabet, all numbers and all of the colors. Secondly, there is no evidence that the pons has anything to do with any of the symptoms of autism. The pons plays an absolutely critical role in the generation of eye movements (among many other things). Abnormalities in these structures have immediate, and profound impacts on the peak velocity, duration, and accuracy of eye movements. Yet, most studies of saccades and autism show no kinematic abnormalities or, at most, minor anomalies that suggest involvement of cerebellum.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=autism%20saccade

There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that there are any behavioral exercises that affect the development of the pons in a way that would help children with autism. My point here is that you just can't make general statements about the "pons" and take that as evidence that a behavior that involves the pons plays some role in complex disorders like autism or ADHD. Crawling involves an absolutely VAST number of brain areas. It's not just the pons.

Unlike the pons which is one organ, in the practice of neurological reorganization the midbrain is considered a collection of organs whose functions are very closely related to one another.

This is not correct. The pons is a collection of nuclei which serve a number of different functions. It is *NOT* just "one organ".
More generally, the pons and the midbrain are HIGHLY complex structures with many different nuclei that serve a huge range of functions. These nuclei are connected to each other in very specific and very complex ways. These kinds of overly general statements tell us absolutely nothing about the causes of autism or ADHD.

The sensory-motor evaluation of the child is based on the principal of the function-structure loop. Simply said, this is the idea that function determines structure and structure determines function. The brain is mapped, so specific structures have been identified as controlling specific functions we perform. Armed with this knowledge, we can use a person's ability to perform functions as a means to assess the underlying neurological structure. [snip] In neurological reorganization, we use the same principal when making an analysis.

It's not that simple. Even simple behaviors involve a LARGE range of brain areas. To take one example: here's a partial list of brain areas involved in the simple act of making a quick eye movement: frontal eye fields, supplementary eye fields, basal ganglia, superior colliculus, lateral intraparietal area, cerbellar flocculus, cerebellar vermis, rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus, pontine paramedian reticular formation, abducens nucleus, nucleus prepositus hypoglossi, and the oculomotor nucleus.

That's just talking about eye movements. Now imagine something as complex as ADHD. This is why I don't think there is much value in the kind of overly general statements I keep seeing throughout this article. The human brain is just too complex to make general statements about the development of the pons or midbrain and infer from that that a complex disorder like autism or ADHD can be treated in a 6 year old by crawling.

AbsentMindProf
03-18-11, 03:12 PM
Just to toss out one other thing that just occurred to me that I think might illustrate how tricky neurophysiology can be:

The basal ganglia have been implicated in both ADHD and Parkinson's disease. In general, the basal ganglia play an important role in the inhibition of movement. Some midbrain motor areas receive strong inhibition from basal ganglia and this inhibition must be (and is) released prior to a movement.

Well, ADHD involves impulsiveness and difficulties INHIBITING behaviors, whereas Parkinson's involves a difficulty INITIATING movements. How can this be? Well, basal ganglia actually is a group of several structures that interact with each other in complex ways. Some excite each other and some inhibit each other. Depending on which of these structures is affected and in what way, you can get opposite behavioral consequences.

People with ADHD have been shown to have difficulty with certain eye movement tasks that require inhibition of inappropriate eye movements:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12672781

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11765293

Abstract of the first study:

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by the overt symptoms of impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. A frontostriatal pathophysiology has been hypothesized to produce these symptoms and lead to reduced ability to inhibit unnecessary or inappropriate behavioral responses. Oculomotor tasks can be designed to probe the ability of subjects to generate or inhibit reflexive and voluntary responses. Because regions of the frontal cortex and basal ganglia have been identified in the control of voluntary responses and saccadic suppression, we hypothesized that children and adults diagnosed with ADHD may have specific difficulties in oculomotor tasks requiring the suppression of reflexive or unwanted saccadic eye movements. To test this hypothesis, we measured eye movement performance in pro- and anti-saccade tasks of 114 ADHD and 180 control participants ranging in age from 6 to 59 yr. In the pro-saccade task, participants were instructed to look from a central fixation point toward an eccentric visual target. In the anti-saccade task, stimulus presentation was identical, but participants were instructed to suppress the saccade to the stimulus and instead look from the central fixation point to the side opposite the target. The state of fixation was manipulated by presenting the target either when the central fixation point was illuminated (overlap condition) or at some time after it disappeared (gap condition). In the pro-saccade task, ADHD participants had longer reaction times, greater intra-subject variance, and their saccades had reduced peak velocities and increased durations. In the anti-saccade task, ADHD participants had greater difficulty suppressing reflexive pro-saccades toward the eccentric target, increased reaction times for correct anti-saccades, and greater intra-subject variance. In a third task requiring prolonged fixation, ADHD participants generated more intrusive saccades during periods when they were required to maintain steady fixation. The results suggest that ADHD participants have reduced ability to suppress unwanted saccades and control their fixation behavior voluntarily, a finding that is consistent with a fronto-striatal pathophysiology. The findings are discussed in the context of recent neurophysiological data from nonhuman primates that have identified important control signals for saccade suppression that emanate from frontostriatal circuits.

People with ADHD show clear deficits on this task (and similar tasks) and the thinking is that this relates to the impulsiveness that characterizes the combined type.

When I read this study, the first thing that popped into my head was "gee, I wonder if we could treat the impulsiveness in a child with ADHD by sitting them down for an hour a day and getting them to do these saccade tasks." No one has ever tested that idea, so we don't know. It might work... but it's not clear to me that it would. The basal ganglia are a highly complex group of structures with many different cell types that interact with each other in complicated ways. What if the cell types that are involved in oculomotor tasks like this one are not the same ones that are involved in, say, inhibiting an angry shout when we are annoyed by someone at school?

Even within a single area of the brain, there are many different cell types that are connected to each other in very complex and very specific ways and that perform very specific functions. The brain is highly plastic, but each cell type is also VERY specific in the functions that it performs. Even if the cells that enable us to inhibit inappropriate eye movements are right next to the cells that enable us to refrain from punching people in the nose, they might not be the same cells. If that's the case, training on these saccade tasks might be a HUGE waste of time because the child would just end up training a completely different group of cells that have nothing to do with behavioral problems in school. On the other hand, it might work -- it's probably worth a few experiments but the brain is just too complex for us to figure it out without actually doing the experiment and seeing the answer.

bumblebee15
03-19-11, 09:27 AM
Absentmindprof : Here is why i felt this crawling therapy could be effective or atleast could be the reason for some defects in a child..I dont know if my child has ADD..she has not been tested..she is 8 years old and is socially quite weak, emotionally very sensitive and doesn't understand the big picture. Academically she is good, understands concepts/grasps things that needs logical sequence involving the left brain. She is very logical and does things one after another. But at the same time, i can see somewhere something is missing and that is when i started googling for different things. The main reason is she is a little slow in processsing. She is the last one to complete her work in class but with most of the answers being correct. she gets a perfect score but takes more time to process. As a child, she crawled with her right knee and dragged her left leg..I can clearly see that things involving her left brain (right knee) she is extremely good but when it comes to making friends/getting the big picture/there is something lacking in her. she couldn't enjoy the disney world. she just stood there with us without any reaction. slowly she is improving but still says she doesn't know what to talk if she has to initiate a conversation with friends. She takes things very literally ! she is definitely showing signs of improvement. I was interested in this crawling therapy becos i can clearly see that there is some defect when it comes to right brain functions in my child and she did infact have trouble crawling with her left knee !!! NOw, i am not sure if it will improve with time or i should get this rectified by doing this therapy. I am also torn with this decision. dont want to complicate things. She is a very responsible kid when it comes to handling her homework/her extra curricular activities etc.

Imnapl
03-19-11, 12:52 PM
Is there any research showing that we can actually improve our processing speed?

bumblebee15
03-19-11, 06:25 PM
My daughter's issue is more to do with sensory integration i think which is what is causing delay in processing/writing etc. Since she did not call crawl properly, i think it could be because of that.

Imnapl
03-20-11, 01:56 AM
My son was assessed by a very experienced educational psychologist for learning disabilities and ADHD. He scored high average or gifted on every category except processing. His processing speed was only average. At the time I remember thinking that I would probably show the same discrepancy in results if I was tested. It brought back memories of knowing you know the answer, but aren't able to pull it out of your brain fast enough in classroom discussions or exams. For some students, processing speed is their only weakness and yet it affects performance and grades so much.