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Unraveling Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Asides physical disabilities, other psychological disabilities exists all around us and poor knowledge regarding these conditions and the available treatment/management options have driven so many to make uninformed choices regarding their mental health as well as that of their children. One of the groups under mental health related conditions is the neurodevelopmental disorders. For long, so many people have wondered what they are, some have blamed the wrong sources for the outcome of their poorly developed child or children as the case may be. Others have made huge investments in an attempt to help their children. Also, some with these conditions have been relegated to thinking it is a death sentence. This is not so as individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders can live successful lives with the right support.

To understand neurodevelopmental disorders, we have to first break the words into smaller and easy to understand parts.

Neuro – has to do with the central nervous system which comprise of the brain along with several neurons carrying messages within the nervous system.  It basically relates to how the brain functions.

Developmental – is concerned with the process of development or how something gradually attains a specific function.

Disorders – relates to a lack of order within a system or deficits within a system that is expected to function in an orderly manner.

Neurodevelopmental disorders therefore primarily have to do with problems that affect brain development or problems with the brain or neurological functions. They can occur as a result of abnormalities in brain development or brain damage at an early age which could be during pregnancy, childbirth or infancy/early childhood.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, (DSM-5) (2013), Neurodevelopmental disorders refer to a group of conditions with onset in the developmental period. The disorders usually manifest early in development and are characterized by developmental deficits that produce impairments of personal, social, academic or occupational functioning. The range of developmental deficits ranges from very specific limitations of learning or control of executive functions, to global impairments of social skills or intelligence. In addition to this, more than one neurodevelopmental disorders can co-occur in a single individual.

 

TYPES OF NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

SPECIFIC LEARNING DISORDERS: usually involves problems with learning core academic skills such as in math, reading and writing. Some types of specific learning disorders include

  • Dyslexia: is characterized by impairments in ability to recognize words, poor reading skills, poor spelling skills and poor comprehension of written material.
  • Dyscalculia: is characterized by impairments in basic math or calculation skills. This is usually manifested in persistent poor numeracy skills.
  • Dysgraphia: is characterized by impairments in writing. It can manifest as poor handwriting, poor letter/number formation, poor spelling and poor written expression.

ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD): is a disruptive behaviour disorder characterized by presenting symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and or hyperactivity. Some symptoms of inattentive subtype of ADHD include; difficulty sustaining attention during tasks, difficulty organizing tasks & activities, difficulty following instructions or completing tasks, lack of attention to detail and committing careless mistakes, easily distracted by extraneous stimuli, etc. some symptoms of hyperactive/impulsive subtype of ADHD include; inability sit still, frequently fidgeting or squirming in chair, excessive energy, talks excessively, difficulty waiting his/her turn, etc.

 

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD): this refers to a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that are characterized by communication, social interaction and behavioural problems which vary differently among individuals. Some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder include; avoiding eye-contact, using facial expressions that does not match situation, inappropriate laughter/crying, inability to read social cues, tendency to play alone, appearing to be in his/her own world, appearing to be uninterested or unaware of people around, repetitive behaviour amongst others.

INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY (MENTAL RETARDATION): is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by subaverage intellectual functioning before the age of eighteen years. Often defined by an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of less than 70 and impairments in life skills such as adaptive skills, communication skills, self-care, home living and social or interpersonal skills.

 

COMMUNICATION DISORDERS: This type of disorder occurs when language development does not follow the normal or expected pattern of development. It could also be as a result of significant deficits in any aspects of language development. It can be of various forms which include; expression disorder, comprehension disorder, speech disorder (dyslalia) and stuttering.

 

CAUSES OF NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

There are several factors that could cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Some of them include:

  • Genetic disorder
  • Brain trauma
  • Smoking, illicit drug usage and alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nutritional deficits
  • Preterm births and Low birth weights
  • Prenatal and childhood exposure to environmental contaminants

DIAGNOSING NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

Mental health professionals are trained to carry out various kinds of evaluation to assess neurodevelopmental disorders. At Mobile Health consult (Brain Dynamics), our team of professionals utilize innovative techniques for evaluating neurodevelopmental disorders some of which include the following:

  1. PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION: this is a comprehensive evaluation technique that assesses cognitive functioning, behavioural functioning, social-emotional development as well as academic achievement of individuals through standardized testing. To schedule an appointment for a psycho-educational evaluation, kindly send an email to mobilehealthconsult2000@yahoo.co.uk
  2. NEUROFEEDBACK EVALUATION: this is a brain training technique used to evaluate brain activity and detect irregular brainwave patterns at different brain aspects. To schedule an appointment for a neurofeedback evaluation, kindly send an email to mobilehealthconsult2000@yahoo.co.uk

 

TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT OF NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

At Mobile Health Consult (Brain Dynamics), we offer a wide range of evidence based therapy modalities for the treatment/management of neurodevelopmental disorders such as:

  • Neurofeedback therapy
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Audio-visual entrainment therapy
  • Individualized Educational Support
  • Cognitive enhancement therapy

Contact us today on www.mobilehealthconsult.org to schedule a life changing appointment with us.

 

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Mastering Inner Peace

“If there’s no inner peace, people can’t give it to you. The husband or wife can’t give it to you.

Your children can’t give it to you.

You have to give it to you”

– Linda Evans

The distractions, the many disappointments in life, the conflicts here and there, the turmoil all around you, the failures, the dashed hopes, the wars, the fading love, the stressful situations, the busy schedules, the fights, the fears, the conflicts within & without…There are so many reasons to loose your peace in life as life can be utterly unpredictable. You may not be in complete control of what happens around you but you are definitely in complete control of what happens inside you!  Knowing that you are in charge of the state of your mind and emotions is the first step towards mastering inner peace. For you to make any form of impact in life at all, you must be able to know what it is to create and maintain peace within yourself so that you can share it with others around you as well.

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others”

-Thomas a Kempis

The next step is to actually take responsibility for your state of being through conscious efforts. As such, you take back the power for people or situations to determine your state of being regardless of your experiences. Focus on your perception of events so as to avoid irrational thinking patterns about situations because such irrational thinking patterns will lead to irrational behaviour patterns that can rob you off your inner peace and on the long run, fuel negative emotions as well as negative outcomes. The secret here is not about controlling external events which is impossible because you can neither control people nor control what life brings but you can control your internal processes like your thought patterns and how you perceive events.

Everyone loves a peaceful person…

 “For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe”

-Larry Eisenberg

In mastering inner peace, we should always remember to inculcate the following practical tips in our daily lives:

  • Learn to respond to situations rather than reacting to them
  • Learn to be mindful of your current state of mind and resolve conflicts quickly
  • Learn to let go off hurtful experiences
  • Learn to forgive easily
  • Learn to accommodate others
  • Learn to meditate on good thoughts
  • Learn to treat others well
  • Love freely

To adequately practice all of these, mindfulness meditation should become a vital part of our everyday lives. Through mindfulness meditation, you will learn to gain awareness and be in control of your thoughts, feelings and state of being. Furthermore, it will improve your relationships and your health in general. For more information about mindfulness meditation, kindly visit our website on www.mobilehealthconsult.org and follow me on twitter @DrMorayojimoh.

 

 


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Get Past The Past!

Going through life carrying the baggage of the past is a great burden to bear but life is much sweeter when you travel light.

If you have ever been hurt before, be it as a result of an experience in your family, your relationships, loss of a loved one or some other form of emotional pain, then you’ll quite agree that such pain may be indescribable when compared with physical pain and can tend to linger on much longer.  Likewise, there are some seemingly little  events encountered on a daily basis that tend to accumulate over time such as misunderstandings, quarrels or disagreements between parties which can cause some pain and affect people’s relationships or attitude towards themselves. No matter the weight of the pain, know that it is in your power to take charge of your life and determine when it ends!

Whatever time frame the past holds, be it several years ago or just some months, weeks, days, hours or minutes ago, learning to handle the past appropriately is key to our wellbeing. Sometimes, in a bid to deal with such hurts and pains of the past, you may unknowingly be feeding and giving energy to them through the ways you choose to go about handling it such as archiving them in your memory, sweeping them under the “carpet” or building a huge fence around yourself. In this way, you end up creating a harmful state of mind which is full of anger, bitterness, resentment, regrets and hatred. Such baggages are heavy and they have the capacity to slow you down in life.  

Wallowing in the pains of the past and dwelling in unforgiveness is a huge set back to anyone because the problems become amplified when you keep replaying the events over and over again in your mind thereby getting ample reasons to be angry and bitter all the time. This in turn prevents you from being free and enjoying life to the fullest.

Why don’t you take the driver’s seat in your life and let go off all the pains of the past through forgiveness. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by learning to forgive easily. Forgive them, forgive yourself and let it go, let there be no room for unforgiveness in your heart.

Self-check

Can you think of someone right now that you haven’t forgiven yet because of what they did to you? If so, forgive them now and be free. You can do it!

It is said that we may forgive but we never forget. No doubt about that but the real test to know if you have healed is when you are able to separate the pain from the memory. Meaning, you may remember everything that happened but it no longer hurts like it used to. That way, you have let go completely and you can talk about the past without feeling the pain anymore. Then, you are truly free!

Remember to travel light, no excess baggage allowed! Kindly follow me on twitter @drmorayojimoh for more exciting updates.

 

 

 


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Make Your Home a Safe Haven

A song writer once said, “where you are loved is where you belong”

There is a “home” feeling that everyone craves for regardless of your background or socio-economic status and as we go through the challenges of everyday life in various settings, we all want to go back to a place of safety, comfort, peace and above all, love. This desire is quite common to everyone; husbands or fathers, wives or mothers as well as children equally desire to always go back to a place of rest whenever they talk about going home and it is much more than just the comfort or beautification of the house or availability of shelter, food, gadgets or luxury. It is in the presence of love, harmony, peace, togetherness and more. However, this may not always be the experience for everyone. Although everyone  seem to have their own unique picture of the perfect home, the common factors include, a sense of belongingness, feeling of love, a place to feel secure, a place to be yourself and to feel wanted regardless of your shortcomings, this place is called home.

As a matter of fact, there is absolutely no perfect home or perfect family. You simply make the most of what you’ve got! It can be quite disturbing how people tend to focus on and invest more on the things that don’t really matter so much when it comes to building the home while neglecting the most important ones of making the home a safe haven for the entire family wherein everyone can feel loved and wanted. Furthermore, parents, in a bid to instill discipline and success in their children, may often end up using certain approaches that can result in emotionally pushing the children far away from them although they may be in close physical proximity within the home. This can lead to defiant behaviours on the part of the children and a distorted perception of what the home should be. Such children may be found to hate going home and would rather be interested in some other friend’s home or just going away.

In all of these, we all have our parts to play in making our home a place to be desired. The following tips will be helpful,

  • Love your family unconditionally
  • Be helpful to one another
  • Be there for one another
  • Support one another
  • Spend time together
  • Do things together
  • Go places together
  • Have respect for one another
  • Don’t talk down on any family member
  • Be approachable
  • Be willing to improve and make things better
  • Trust your family and be trustworthy
  • Improve communication, let everyone be allowed to talk and bring up issues that may arise and possibly cause misunderstandings
  • Let everyone contribute in their own little way
  • Dialogue with the children, discuss with them before making major decisions, allow them makes their choice on matters that directly concern them
  • Be mindful of one another

When building your home, paint the walls with unconditional love because it is good to surround yourself with love. Beautify your home with peace and rest. Nurture your family members with trust and togetherness. Furnish your home with forgiveness. Fill your home with laughter, joy and contentment. Hang cherished memories as pictures on the wall and make room for imperfections and improvements. Above all, enjoy your home and let it be sweet too.

Remember to follow me on twitter @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #Family

 

 

 

 


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Projects In The Hands of Parents

 

Children are the most precious, the most beautiful and the most valuable gifts in the lives of parents. Once they are birthed into life, everything can change for good and pure love like no other can truly be experienced by parents as they learn to pour themselves into their children and strive to create a perfect world for them. However, some hiccups in parenting may be experienced as the children grow older and begin to have a mind of their own as well as when parenting becomes less effective. Consequently, conflicts may rise between parents and children which can create a wide gap that may get worse and almost be impossible to bridge as the years go by.

No doubt, parenting can be quite a challenging experience but it can also be a fulfilling one when effectively done. In all aspects of our human endeavours, we acquire certain skills that enable us function effectively in various aspects of our lives right from childhood through adulthood, we learn skills at schools, at work as well as when it comes to relating with others in our environments and these skills are usually acquired for the purpose of improving our functioning in these aspects. Parenting is no different and should not be left out as the skills necessary for effective parenting are to be desired as much as we desire other important skills.

If we are to be effective in parenting, then our children which are our projects must take priority in our lives. It is quite worrisome that the roles of parents in child development appears to have been watered down in recent times probably because lots of parents have relented in their roles as parents and have substituted their roles with others. Many parents mistakenly relent in their responsibilities to their children during childhood and adolescence with the mindset of delegating most of the responsibilities to the school. They may consider that, after all, they pay the schools heavily for that. Asides being a very crucial period in the physical and intellectual development of children, the school years are also an important period in their psychological development. The roles of parents cuts across all aspects of their children’s functioning. Therefore, parents should be involved in their children’s;

  • Physiological functioning/wellbeing
  • Psychological/Mental/cognitive functioning
  • Behavioural functioning
  • Social functioning

As parents, it is our responsibility to set the right pace for our children to follow. Whenever we tend to substitute or delegate this responsibility, we miss out in the opportunity to be role models to them and sadly, this may never be regained.

Although most parents these days run full schedules, creating time for the children should never be misplaced however little or sacrificial it may be. The key word in successful parenting is ENGAGEMENT. Being engaged in the development of the children and getting them engaged all round is absolutely vital to their development.

Engaging children involves

  • Parental involvements (monitoring class work, notes, assignments, academic performance, having good relationships with their teachers, tutors and friends)
  • Effective communication between parents and children whereby children can be open and talk freely with their parents
  • Reinforcement of appropriate behaviour with rewards or withdrawal of rewards when necessary
  • Guiding them as they discover themselves
  • Building their self-esteem and preparing them to excel in life

Remember that children are a REFLECTION of their parents as well as a REPRESENTATIVE of their parents. Therefore, let them reflect you appropriately and represent you very well wherever they find themselves. Don’t replace them with other things and don’t miss out in their lives as they grow! Never forget that your children are your projects and it is never too early or too late to get it right.

 Kindly follow me on twitter @morayojimoh for more interesting updates on #CelebratingChildren.


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It’s Up To You To Flourish!

Often times, when people think about health, they may instinctively have the idea of physical health alone in mind such that if a person is not seriously ill, then, such a person may be termed healthy. However, this is actually not entirely true because health in itself is an encompassing word, comprising of all round wellness. This indicates that being healthy ideally means being at a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just the absence of sickness. There should be a balance in all aspects of an individual’s functioning leading to a state of optimal human functioning in which one is thriving physically, mentally and socially. This is the state of flourishing. This also does not indicate the absence of difficult times, rather, it implies that in spite of the hard times, such individuals are resilient that is, having the ability to bounce back no matter the difficulty they encounter. Some other characteristics of individuals that are flourishing include:

  • They choose to dwell on positive emotions rather than dwelling on negative ones which in turn affects how they feel. This is why individuals that are flourishing often tend to feel positive because they choose to dwell on positive emotions. On the other hand, when people dwell on negative emotions, they tend to feel negative most of the time. It is also true that our thoughts become our feelings and our feelings become our actions. Wouldn’t you rather choose to dwell on positive emotions so that you can feel positive and act positively?
  • They have self-love because they have accepted themselves with their strengths as well as weaknesses and have chosen to love themselves regardless. It is important to note that people who love themselves are not perfect but rather, they have cultivated self-acceptance and the willingness to continue to improve on themselves as they grow in life.
  • They have Love for others and this is simply because they have love for themselves in the first place then they can extend that love and positive regard to others as well.
  • They have a healthy self-esteem not because they are flawless but because they appreciate themselves and understand their uniqueness. Therefore, they are assertive and confident in all they do.
  • They are open minded to the point of view of others as opposed to being closed minded and they are willing to learn from every experience. They are also willing to unlearn what is not helpful to them by replacing them with more productive ideas and more positive lifestyle.
  • They are content with themselves while being intentional about their visions, goals and objectives in life, they also have an understanding of what it means to enjoy every moment.
  • They engage in healthy relationships that are mutually benefiting and fulfilling. They also seek to add value to the lives of others and their relationships are more productive as well.
  • They are able to find happiness within themselves and spread it to others. They don’t rely on external factors to make them happy, rather, they find happiness in themselves, the kind of happiness that no one can take away from them. It is true happiness!
  • They are optimistic and hopeful about the future because they take out time to carefully plan their future and envision it, they become more hopeful and secure about the future. They are also able to figure out alternatives if or when their plans don’t turn out as expected.
  • They are grateful and express gratitude for everything, the popular saying that whatever you appreciate, appreciates is so apt because gratitude is so powerful that it enriches our lives.
  • They take positive steps to ensure optimal physical wellbeing, a positive lifestyle is typical for individuals that are flourishing as they ensure proper diet, regular exercises, adequate sleep and other necessary aspects of physical functioning.
  • They live a life of vitality all round such individuals are found to be energetic and strong as a result of the positive lifestyle that they have chosen to live by.

When we take these positive steps in our everyday lives, we begin to flourish as we grow in life no matter the gravity of life’s challenges, we can bounce back to flourishing at all times. I choose to flourish, what about you?

Kindly follow me on twitter @DrMorayojimoh for more interesting updates on #Flourishing

 

 

 


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Unlearning Helplessness

Have you tried so hard but it all seems not to work out?

Are you constantly in a bad or low mood?

Are you taken over by negative thoughts?

Do you feel like you are falling apart?

Do you feel like giving it all up?

Let’s take a moment to seriously ponder on these questions about ourselves or about people in our lives that are currently in one or more of this conditions and are looking to find a positive way out. We all definitely have different moments in life; sad ones, happy ones and of course, the memorable ones that are absolutely unforgettable which could be either good or bad as well.

As humans, we are constantly learning from every single experience that life brings our way. We learn from the achievements, from the failures, from the successes, from the promotions, from the disappointments, from the heart breaks, from the struggles, from the victories, from the tests/trials, from the opportunities taken or missed and generally from every encounter past, present or future. Each of these experiences imprints certain lessons in us.  

We can either learn to persevere and pull through in spite of the challenges or we can learn to become helpless and even unwilling to try anymore.

Learning helplessness occurs quite slowly and unknowingly until the individual is unable to achieve so much or overcome certain challenges encountered no matter how much they try. When people learn helplessness, they begin to feel hopeless and wallow in self-doubt, feelings of guilt, low mood, extreme sadness and the likes.  

Certainly, we may all feel a bit low at some point in our lives particularly in situations of bereavement, disappointments or some other related challenging situations. However, when an individual appears to persistently be immersed in low mood, sadness, negative thoughts, helplessness, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt such that it interferes with normal functioning, then there is a need to seek professional help.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be aware of our emotional functioning as much as possible by being mindful and by carrying out a self-appraisal during and at the end of every day.

Depression creeps upon people when they are most unaware

Now, no matter how much helplessness you have learned over the years, it is time to unlearn them by being purposeful about how you interpret life’s lessons and how well you are able to take charge of your life.

Don’t give up on yourself, there is so much out there for you if only you give hope and yourself another chance and make the most of it and if you seem to fail again, give yourself yet another chance again and again!

For more information about mindfulness, kindly visit our website on www.mobilehealthconsult.org.

For more information about getting help for depression and to take advantage of our non-drug/non-invasive approach in the treatment of depressive disorders, kindly visit our website or send an email to mobilehealthsonsult2000@yahoo.co.uk to be scheduled for an appointment.

Remember to follow me on twitter @drmorayojimoh for more interesting updates on #UnlearningHelplessness.