Don’t you wish you could magically tap into your child’s brain to see what makes them tick? Sometimes, especially when they are young, it would be great to find out what they are thinking, what they want to eat, what to do to make them stop crying, and what’s wrong when they are sick. Better yet, wouldn’t it be great to rummage around in there to see if they could have some type of learning challenge so you could detect it early on? We hear this from parents all the time. “I just wish I would have known earlier.” “I wish I could go back to get help for my child sooner.”
While there is no magic bullet to know if your child will have learning challenges, scientists are now using a new type of brain imaging that could be used to diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia. These disorders affect approximately 5 percent of children and adolescents worldwide. A new study shows disrupted connections or abnormalities between different areas of the brain found through MRI imaging in children with ADHD and Dyslexia. These new imaging techniques could help scientists diagnose ADHD and Dyslexia more definitively.
Brain imaging revealed the orbitofrontal cortex (involved in decision making and planning) and the globus pallidus (involved in executive function) were two of the affected areas. Recent news reports, even in Utah, are showing the benefits this type of imaging could have for children.
What does this mean for parents? If healthcare institutions begin using MRI imaging for diagnosing ADHD and Dyslexia, early detection would allow parents to find the necessary intervention a child needs at an early age to repair and restore disconnections in the brain.
When and if MRI imaging is used to diagnose ADHD and Dyslexia in a child’s early stages, many parents are going to wonder what to do next. Now that you know your child is predisposed to certain types of learning disabilities, how do you help restore the disconnections in your child’s brain before it’s too late?
If you find yourself in this position as a parent, you will most likely have a lot of questions and concerns. The great news is science and technological advances do offer solutions that can help prepare a child’s brain for learning. While medication may be necessary, it’s critical to remember that fixing the problem is more important than masking it. Medication helps control the mind and body by allowing children to focus and sit still in school, but it doesn’t provide the brain with the necessary elements to “heal” its abnormal structure.
One of the best and most effective methods for improving cognitive development is through music and movement. Music and movement you say? That sounds ridiculous! The fact is, hospitals, clinics, and other therapeutic facilities use cross-patterning movement to get the right and left hemispheres of the brain working together. Movement helps restore any unbalance in the brain and builds gross and fine motor skills.
Why does movement need to be coupled with music you say? Turning Mozart or Bach on the radio definitely has its benefits, but it doesn’t have the affects that acoustically-modified music does to help restore those disconnections in the brain. The high and low frequencies stimulate or “exercise” auditory processing that creates neural pathways to enhance brain activity, which helps with auditory processing, communication, stress response, and creativity.
So, if you are a parent with a child who has ADHD or Dyslexia, don’t give up hope. There are many great programs and solutions that can help your child succeed in any area. And, if science is any indicator, these imaging scans may just be the new trick of the future to helping your children, grandchildren, and future generations find solutions to these challenges.