Causes of children’s learning, behavioural and emotional issues

Visual Problem, Sensory Integration Problem, Nutrition Problem

Some of the causes of children’s learning, behavioural and emotional issues

Causes of children’s learning and behavioural problems

Auditory processing problems which can lead to distorted information being received

Sensory integration problems Sensory integration is fundamental for more complex learning

Retained primitive reflexes which can lead to neuro-developmental delay

Visual problems such as the inability to track properly

Lack of an adequate nutrition; in particular essential fatty acids

Common indications that would suggest retention of retained primitive reflexes are:

  • Problems in pregnancy
  • Problems in delivery
  • Problems with birthing (forceps, suction, C-section, induction, long, short)
  • Difficulty in feeding or keeping milk down
  • Early or late walking – before 10 months or after 16 months
  • Unusual crawling action or Skipping the crawling stage
  • Late when learning to talk (2-3 words by 2 years)
  • Serious illness or seizures in the first 18 months of life
  • Signs of eczema, asthma or allergies or recurrent sinus or ear infections
  • Adverse reactions to childhood vaccinations.
  • Thumb sucking past the age of 5
  • Bed wetting regularly past the age of 5
  • Problems with travel / motion sickness
  • Trouble establishing hand dominance or crossing the midline with objects
  • Over reaction to sudden loud noise

At school

  • Problems learning to read and / or write in the early years at school
  • Difficulty telling the time on an analogue clock
  • Difficulty riding a bicycle
  • Difficulty catching a ball and poor coordination
  • Problems being still
  • Problems when copying from the board
  • Awkward pencil grip
  • Behavioural problems at school or problems with going to school
  • Problems making friends

If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then it is likely that there are some retained reflexes causing problems as they are a sign of an immature central nervous system. The Child Centre method can provide an assessment and treatment

Children’s Learning and Behavioural Problems Auditory Processing Problems

When there is an auditory processing problem which is different from hearing problems – the child perceives the information s/he receives as distorted information and may also have problems hearing the full range of frequencies. Comprehension of the message is only possible at great effort, which leads to errors, fatigue, irritability and often, withdrawal. The child’s attention span is short and memorisation is poor. In addition, if ear dominance is not established, further problems can arise with the transmission of sound to the language processing centres of the brain.

Some signs and symptoms of auditory processing problems
Poor spelling, poor memory, difficulty following and remembering instructions, short attention span, speech problems and language difficulties. The child may speak in a monotone.

Assessment for auditory processing problems
Friendly and fun assessment listening to a Scan C through headphones to check for auditory processing disorders. The following areas are checked: filtered words, auditory figure ground discrimination, competing words and competing sentences.

Treatment for auditory processing problems
A course of sound therapy and a kinesiology session for auditory processing.

Childrens Visual Problems

The visual system plays a very important part in reading and writing. The eyes need to be able to team (work together), track (move horizontally along a page), saccade (move backwards and forwards along a line), converge (work together), and accommodate (focus in the distance and close up) effectively. How we see and the way we use our eyes is the result of a complex series of connections and neural developments which take place in the early years and which are dependent on adequate maturation of the central nervous system. If there has been any disruption, such as due to retained reflexes, then it has to be investigated and addressed.

Signs and symptoms of visual problems
The child may not enjoy reading, may have difficulty crossing midline so may miss words in the middle of the page and eyes may water or get tired when reading. Eyes may keep closing or the child may rub their eyes when reading.

Assessment for visual problems
Friendly and fun assessment through following some simple tracking activities.

Treatment for visual problems
Kinesiology sessions and eye exercises

Childrens Sensory Integration Problems

Sensory integration develops as a result of ordinary activities as long as there are no major problems. Motor planning is a natural outcome of the process, as is the ability to respond to incoming sensations in an adaptive manner. For some children, sensory integration does not develop as efficiently as it should and the process is disordered – this causes a number of problems in development or behaviour. For example, early crawling has an effect on motor and sensory motor skill development during early childhood and is linked to developmental changes of eye-hand co-ordination, tactile input and social maturation. It initiates the basis for visual-spatial awareness and is essential for the eyes to practice focusing at a reading distance as well as later activities such as running or cross lateral activities. It also plays some part in linking the two hemispheres of the brain.

Signs and symptoms of sensory integration problems
Coordination problems, difficulty with PE and ball skills or clumsiness. May have problems tracking with the eyes. May be very good at English and struggle with maths or vice versa.

Assessment for sensory integration problems
Simple movement exercise such as marching on the spot and simple reflex testing.

Childrens Nutrition Problem

Research has shown that adequate nutrition is vital for learning and behaviour. Research on essential fatty acids has shown that they affect learning and behaviour. In addition, low iron can affect learning whilst magnesium and zinc can have an effect on behaviour.

In addition, the adverse effects of colours, additives, aspartame and monosodium glutamate are well documented and are know to affect learning and behaviour.

Water too is essential for efficient functioning of the brain and the government has recently recognised this and encouraged schools to provide water in schools.

Signs and symptoms of lack of adequate nutrition
Lack of energy especially in the afternoon, sleep problems, hyperactivity and emotional problems, allergies and low blood sugar. Also, irrational behaviour, mood swings or ‘feeling down.

Assessment for lack of adequate nutrition
Through general history as well as kinesiology assessment. Kinesiology can also assess food intolerance and find out which foods will be the most beneficial. A child with food intolerance may display symptoms such as asthma, eczema, digestion problems, sleep problems, skin problems, diarrhoea or constipation.

Treatment for lack of adequate nutrition
Nutritional advice and advice on eliminating certain foods. Treatment using kinesiology digestion, toxicity and allergy balances.