Addressing Behavorial Issues in Children

Do you or someone you know have a child who struggles with behavioral issues? You are definitely not alone as it is a common issue with kids today. Because of several environmental factors, more and more kids are not getting rid of their infant reflexes.

These are reflexes we have as infants and they should typically go away by 6 months of age. Many kids with behavioral issues have what’s called a retained Moro Reflex. This is the same reflex where if you clap near a baby their arms will shoot out, they will startle, and then they will start to cry. It’s necessary to have as a infant but it should go away by about 6-7 months of age. If a child doesn’t get rid of it at that time, regardless of the reason, they typically retain it into school age and beyond.

What happens when you have this Moro Reflex is different stimuli are constantly eliciting it and putting your child into a fight or flight state. This startle reflex is constantly going off throughout the day alerting their brain.

A slamming locker? Startle reflex. A kid yelling down the hall? Startle reflex. Another student zooming in and out of their line of sight? Startle reflex. Books slammed on desk? Startle reflex. You get the idea!

It’s as if someone followed you around all day trying to startle you. Every time you turned a corner, someone was jumping out to scare you. That’s essentially what these kids feel throughout the day. If this were constantly happening to you, is it possible you might have a short fuse? That you might lash out?

Every time this reflex goes off, your body sends out more cortisol (stress hormone) and you enter further into a gas pedal, fight or flight state. When you’re in this state, you act much more instinctually and are more likely to have a behavioral outburst.

This is the number one thing I check for when someone presents with behavioral issues in my office. If this is something you think your child might have, when you call the office, mention this article and you will receive $50 off the initial evaluation. What the initial evaluation entails is a full infant reflex assessment and nerve system testing (to see if your child is indeed in a chronic gas pedal mode). If you have any further questions, by all means call the office to find out more. Our office number is 402.504.4676.

Dr. Stephen

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