Neuro-plasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. For example if one hemisphere of the brain is damaged either by injury or disease, the intact hemisphere may take over some of its functions. This is done by reorganizing and forming new neural pathways. The integrated listening program stimulates activity of the cerebellum to strengthen neural connections and in the process builds patterns for further development in learning and coordination.
Another important part of the listening program is the stimulation of the vestibular system. The vestibule, located in the inner ear, has 3 main functions: Balance, Posture and Eye Movement. These three functions play an important role in our sense of who we are and where we are in our environment, in our ability to move in a smooth and coordinated way, the tone and strength of our muscle development, and the eye tracking ability required for learning. The tone of all the muscles in our body is in a large part dependent on the vestibular system. It is this system that tells your body how much muscle tension is needed to perform a particular function.
Movement, listening and visual stimulation are vital to our ability to learn and process information. As these 3 systems are so interrelated, 'exercising' them simultaneously is a holistic approach which requires the brain to become better at integrating multi-sensory information. We are essentially re-training the brain to become more efficient and effective, and in the process strengthening neural connections to improve performance. When done in conjunction with specific Sensory Processing techniques, the results of therapy can be measurable.
Sophia receives OT 1x/week for Sensory Processing Disorder at C.T.S. with Erin. She has gone from low tone upper body to climbing a rope ladder and rock wall! She is also able to walk in a figure 8 which she could never do because of poor motor planning. The confidence she has gained has also improved her speech and eye contact. Sophia also started EEG Neurofeedback. Her pre-school teachers have commented on her progress in reading and following instructions. I am excited to see the results EEG will have on her in a year.
- Gwen - Daughter, 4 y/o