The Autism Spectrum of Disorders (ASD) are a group of neuro-developmental challenges that traditionally includes Autism, Asperger’s, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder that all have common neurological, behavioral, and learning characteristics. While every child with an ASD is different, they all have one thing in common: neurological networks of their brain are not communicating effectively with each other. This does not allow them to properly process sensory information and appropriately respond. Abnormal sensory-motor processing leads to difficulties with coordination, balance, behavior, communication, attention, and more. At Plasticity Brain Centers, we utilize the experience of our clinical team, sophisticated assessments (when able), and cutting-edge technology to functionally “connect” an individual’s sensory-motor processing, regardless of their age.
Many researchers suggest that the underlying cause of the three different variations of AD/HD (Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity Disorders, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder) is very similar to that seen in the Autism Spectrum Disorders, to a lesser degree. Individual with AD/HD have difficulty engaging a part of their brain called their frontal cortex. This area of the brain allows us to move, pay attention, become motivated, plan, execute, choose right from wrong, and much more. The frontal lobe of the brain integrates information from various areas of our brain that process sensory information. This is why most people with AD/HD can focus well on highly sensory-stimulating activities such as video games, or when taking medication that increases sensory processing. We help individuals with AD/HD by identifying which sensory and neurological networks are working inefficiently and provide various types of sensory and cognitive exercises to enhance processing, control, timing, coordination, and cognition. In the end, our goal is to allow the individual to achieve their goals without the use and risks associated with AD/HD medications.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a non-progressive movement disorder typically occurring at or before birth. However, in some situations, CP can occur from a traumatic injury after birth. There are a number of different sub-classifications of CP named for the symptoms, such as spastic, ataxic, athetoid. Most research suggests that this is a permanent disorder that appears in early childhood, but we have a different experience. Symptoms are poor balance and coordination, weak/stiff muscles, tremors, problems with speaking, hearing, swallowing, vision and sensation. CP is the most common movement disorder in children, affecting 2.1 people per 1,000 live births.
Dyslexia is considered the most common form of learning disabilities, affecting between 3-7% of the population. The word dyslexia, literally translates to “abnormal or difficult reading”. However, we now know that dyslexia can be much more than difficulty reading. Dyslexia can impair listening, thinking, speaking, writing, calculating, all in addition to or separate from reading. Dyslexia can be caused by altered developmental processing, or acquired through an injury. Currently there are no medications that help with dyslexia. From a clinician’s perspective, identifying the cause of these difficulties is the first step to helping someone overcome their dyslexia. At Plasticity Brain Centers, our doctors assess the entire body and nervous system, in this case beginning with the receptors (vision and hearing). Then we look at the ability to process visual (eye movements) and auditory (listening tests) information, and how all of those functions integrate into the brain. Based upon the assessments, each person receives an individualize program of exercises to help them process information better, which may include eye exercises, coordination exercises, cognitive therapy, and possibly even vestibular therapy.