For children, learning doesn’t start once they begin attending formal school. Learning starts much, much earlier, before they are even born. After birth, you can see early learning is focused mostly around body control. Infants learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk and much more. We may not think about it, but all of these skills reflect how a child’s brain is developing. Once children reach school age we see them start to learn reading, writing, and math. We also see them learn how to control their emotions and interact with their peers; but it is important to know that these things are dependent on the foundation that they set up in early infancy.
During infancy and early childhood, a lot of brain development is centered around giving the child control of their body systems and getting their brain and body to work together. This control provides the foundation on which the rest of the brain is able to develop and function.
During this time children are developing control of their eye movements. This allows them to locate and track words on a page. It allows them quickly move their visual attention from the whiteboard to their paper on the desk.
Their vestibular system is also maturing, which is important for understanding spatial awareness and directionality. Among other things, the vestibular system helps children understand the difference between letters like “b”, “d”, and “p”.
They are also losing their infant reflexes and developing adult reflexes. This allows them to sit comfortably in a chair and maintain good control over their head and eye movements. It also allows them to tune out irrelevant noise and movement so that they can focus their attention on the task at hand.
There are many different brain and body systems that are developing during this time and they should all work together to provide the brain with a solid, stable foundation. Whenever a child is struggling in school it is important to look back and see if they have the foundation necessary for good academic success.
When children come in to see me I look at several things: posture, balance and coordination, infant reflexes, adult reflexes, visual motor skills, visual perception skills, and more. These things should all be in place before a child will excel in school, gain control over their emotions, and develop appropriate social skills. If you want to learn more about how to help children who are struggling in school, then visit our website at earlyrootstherapy.com