My son had problems playing with other children. He liked to play rough and could not understand why other children did not like to play rough with him. My son was said to be a tough kid who rarely cried, even when he did things that should have made him cry. This lead to problems at school.
After weighing my options for treatment I decided to bring him to Dr. Slone of Slone Chiropractic. Shortly after undergoing an extensive evaluation and beginning treatment, I began to see changes. My son would cry when he fell down, he began to complain about the temperature of the water when I bathed him, and he was not as aggressive when he played. I was not sure what was going on, but I knew something was changing.
When I informed Slone about these changes, he explained that my son was having sensory processing problems. He was not feeling all of the things that he should which is why he rarely cried and played so rough with other children. I always knew my child was not a mean child but I never knew why he could not learn to play less aggressive. Slone indicated that as my son began to process the sensory information, he will act more appropriate because he will be able to feel the pain that other children feel. Slone also noted that pain and temperature pathways travel together. The fact that my son could no longer tolerate the heat of the baths that he could prior to treatment was consistent with him processing the sensory information appropriately. All three of these—the feeling of the pain and temperature appropriately and playing more suitable with other children—correlate.
Brain-based therapies/functional neurology is gaining popularity in the treatment of neurological conditions. Functional neurology is a way of evaluating and treating individuals with neurological conditions by developing treatment plans that are aimed at restoring function.
The American Chiropractic Neurology Board is one of the certifying organizations that test and certify professionals in the field of functional neurology. “Chiropractic neurology is defined as the field of functional neurology that engages in internal and external environment of the individual in a structured and targeted approach to affect positive changes in the neuraxis and consequent physiology and behavior,” according to the American Chiropractic Neurology Board.
Individuals with neurologic conditions can be placed into two categories:
1. In the first category is the person who has an objective or organic pathology of the brain. These are often individuals who have an MRI showing pathology that a group of treating professionals can agree upon, such as stroke, tumors, and seizures.
2. The second category consists of individuals who have problems that do not show up on specific tests such as MRI. These individuals fit into more of a physiologic or functional pathology. Although they may have some tests that show up abnormal, it is not uncommon for treating professionals to disagree on the causes of the problems. Some of the common diagnosis consists of autism and ADHD.
In brain-based therapies, a neurologic evaluation is performed in order to determine what areas of the nervous system are working properly and which areas are not. When it comes to areas that are not functioning as they should, these areas can be working too much or too little. Both of these situations can produce problems with human function.
Lack of function can be a result of a number of reasons. One, there can be pathology that is causing the lack of function. As mentioned above, this occurs with conditions in which there is an organic lesion such as tumors and strokes. Two, lack of function can also be due to the physiologic inhibition of the area. This means that although there may not be anything organically wrong, lack of function is due to neurologic inhibition. In both of these situations, the lack of function may appear the same.
While lack of function is a common health problem detected in a neurologic evaluation, hypersensitivities or too much function can be just as debilitating. Examples consist of children or adults that cannot tolerate sounds, lights, or touch. These are the children or adults who have problems with a fire engines, flickering lights or sensory issues.
The key to brain-based therapy is understanding neurophysiology and applying the principles of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to “reorganize itself by forming new neuro connections throughout life,” according toMedicine.net.
I was very happy to see and, most importantly, to understand that if my son was not able to feel the sensory information that he should, he would not be able to understand that his rough play may be causing others discomfort. This will undoubtedly change his life and perspective forever.