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How we help
Helping and learning through experience, care and love
Where do I begin?
We are often asked this question in relation to supporting a child or teenager to thrive; physically, emotionally and academically. It is not always easy to determine the best place to start, particularly when the child presents with a series of complex and competing needs (e.g. sensory avoidance, socially withdrawn and presenting with challenging behaviours).
Occupational therapist, Kathleen Taylor, and special educator, Maryann Trott, developed the Pyramid of Learning in order to answer this exact question – where do we start? Taylor and Trott utilised the Sensory Integration theorist, Jean Ayres’, concepts to display the foundational skills that support academic learning.
The Pyramid of Learning is an illustration that shows the order that skills are acquired and developed as a child grows. It highlights the need for foundational skills to be rock solid in order to provide an adequate platform for more complex skills to be built upon. If gaps in development exist at one level the following level will have gaps also. It is necessary to address all gaps in underlying developmental levels before expecting higher, more complex skills to be acquired and refined.
How is CNS HQ different to other OT services?
Here at CNS HQ we understand that the Central Nervous System (CNS) is not just a scientific label at the base of the Pyramid of Learning. The CNS forms THE FOUNDATION on which ALL LEARNING IS BUILT. It is vitally important that inefficiencies within the CNS are identified and addressed in order to support the development and progress of higher skills (e.g. sensory processing, coordination, attention, academic performance).
The CNS is everything! This is why we are called CNS HQ – addressing the CNS is at the core of every part of our therapy.
And the results speak for themselves. When we address the root of the problem the outcomes is that new skills are acquired in an order that the brain and body can make sense of – meaning monotonous therapy exercises are a thing of the past. Our sessions are fun and engaging, and targetted specifically to your child’s skill level, no matter their developmental age.
How is CNS HQ different to other OT services?
These are the medical facts that form the basis of our approach at CNS HQ:
- When a baby is in utero a group of reflexes emerge called primitive reflexes
- Doctors screen for primitive reflexes within the first few minutes after a baby is born. This is because the presence of primitive reflexes at birth is an indication of a healthy neurological profile
- Primitive reflexes should be integrated by the developing brain during the first year of life (but this is often not the case)
- As primitive reflexes are integrated they are replaced by postural reflexes (also referred to as mature reflexes). Postural reflexes develop in the first 3.5 years of life to provide the basis for automatic (unconscious) control of balance, posture and movement
- Primitive reflexes that remain beyond the first year of life indicate immaturity in the functioning of the CNS and interrupt the efficiency of the brain sending and receiving messages to and from the body – creating barriers to other skills being developed.
There are many causes for why primitive reflexes do not integrate in the first year of life, majority are through no fault of the child, parents or caregivers.
Primitive reflexes are naturally integrated through the spontaneous rhythmic movements that infants naturally do.
It is possible to repeat these movement patterns in order to integrate retained primitive reflexes in children and adults – and that’s where we come in!
Integrating retained primitive reflexes is our bread and butter here at CNS HQ. Once there is a solid foundation at the CNS level we often see that gaps that were once present at higher levels of the Pyramid of Learning self-resolve. If this self resolution does not occur we can work with your child to make sure all gaps are identified and addressed.
When to get help
If you are struggling to parent a child or children, for whatever reason, give us a call. It is likely that it is not just you and your parenting approach (or “lack of experience”). Often there are underlying neurodevelopmental delays that can be addressed and have a profound impact on your child, yourself and your family.
If your child is struggling in their daily life, in one or more areas, or is generally not thriving, give us a call. We are passionate about helping every child to reach their potential and thrive!
LEARNING | LAUGHTER | LIFE
Working in a positive and fun environment, our experienced occupational therapists help both individuals and families develop positive skills and mindsets with our unique therapy approach.
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At CNS HQ, Love is at the centre of all we do; it shapes our actions and guides our decisions.
Still have a question? Want to speak to us more? We would love to hear from you and speak to you further.