Can certain factors at birth negatively impact the brain, or be early warning signs of risk for brain-based disorders?
Yes and yes.
Survey results of my recent workshops in eastern Canada, proved there are many interested in educating others about brain-based disorders, and what can be done if a child has a diagnosis.
Although any child (or adult for that matter) can benefit from the type of support In-Tuned™ promotes it was agreed amongst workshop participants, the younger the child the more quickly they will progress given the right sensory support.
Let’s start the education process at the very beginning and talk about what happens early on, putting the child at risk so they can be identified sooner.
C-section babies are more at risk for brain-based disorders. Although sometimes C-section can’t be avoided, in my experience, few mothers report discussing developmental risk factors with their doctor beforehand. Babies don’t benefit from the “good” bacteria found in the birth canal helping develop a healthy immune system and gut environment. Babies without a strong immune system are more susceptible to ear and other infections, tend to have more food allergies, reactive skin, and a host of other sensitivities. If babies don’t digest food well, results can be poor nutrition, gut discomfort, bowel issues, and picky eating. Our gut health affects how we function. It influences our emotions and our moods, which impacts how we regulate both our arousal and activity levels. Children with brain-based disorders have profound difficulties with self-regulation, so their problems with their gut cannot be overlooked.
C-section babies are also at increased risk of having retained primitive reflexes or infant reflexes that don’t integrate successfully but stay active, getting in the way of development, such as the Spinal Gallant reflex. The work required of the infant to pass through the birth canal helps integrate these primitive reflexes. Proof that life is about movement from the very beginning!
According to a 2009 study, 25.5% of all children with a confirmed Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosis suffered jaundice at birth. Mechanical issues with sucking, controlling liquids and swallowing during feeding at birth are also more common with children with brain-based disorders. Mechanical issues with feeding can lead to reflux. Feeding requires integration of sensory information and ability to coordinate different movement patterns, things a child with brain-based disorder finds difficult. These children are also typically low muscle tone, which makes feeding even more difficult.
Of course, not all C-section babies, babies with feeding issues, jaundice or reflux develop into a child with a brain-based disorder, but many of them do; it is in their best interest having more people educated to these facts.