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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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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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Building a Loving Relationship

Sarah has always wondered what it will be like to have a close relationship with her parents.

She feels something may be wrong with her family. 

Each time she sees or hears her friends talk freely with their parents and hang out with them,

she wishes so much for such a relationship.


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As children grow older and become more exposed to their environments, they start to see things differently and compare what goes on in their homes to that of others.

As a parent, you are the architect of your home, think about this for a while, what kind of children do you want to raise? Could it be children that can talk freely with you, open up to you, share their fears and trust you? or those that will be too scared to come close to you and want to hide everything from you?

Well, it all starts with the strength of your relationship with your child right from childhood and onwards. A loving parent to child relationship cannot be overemphasized because many problems in our homes and society as of today emanates from dysfunctional parent to child relationship.toddler_and_parent_smiling_with_book_02

No doubt, parenting can be really tough but a sure way to make it an enjoyable one is to strengthen your bond with your child. You will be better able to handle the challenges of parenting when you have a close relationship with your child.

Here are 10 practical tips to build a strong relationship with your child;

Tip #1 Know your child: you have to be able to study your child and understand most of his/her verbal and non-verbal communication. This does not happen in a day so take your time to study your child’s physical and emotional responses.

Tip #2 Be a good model: most of the attitude your child displays were gotten from you. Don’t tell them to do things the right way when you do them the wrong way. If you want them to be truthful, you have to avoid telling lies as well.

Tip #3 Be open to them: try as much as possible to be open to them so that they’ll take after you and be open to you in turn. Tell them about your childhood struggles and be there to help them through theirs also.

Tip #4 Tell them you love them: hearing the words “I Love You” should not be alien to your children. You might say they know very well that you love them but you have to let them hear it constantly.

Tip #5 Show them you love them: you need to try as much as possible to show your children that you truly love them by your actions.

Tip #6Touch them: Hugs and kisses should not be reserved for babies alone, you need to display your affection for your children physically by touching them when you talk with them and give regular hugs and kisses as well.

Tip #7 Talk with them: Please don’t always talk at them, they need you to talk with them more. Start building this skill right from before they start talking and when they eventually start talking, engage them in conversations. This will help them build good interpersonal relationship skills.

Tip #8 Allow them trust you: endeavor to provide appropriate answers to them right from when they start asking questions, this way, they’ll trust you to give them the right information instead of seeking such from outsiders.

Tip #9 Don’t be too old school: always try to get into your child’s world once in a while. Know what is in vogue in your child’s age category, for instance you can sit with them to watch their favourite cartoon or TV show and talk about it together. You should also play with them. You may just have your best conversations while playing with them.

Tip #10 Give them the best: the best is not necessarily expensive, if you are a busy parent, your time may be worth more than the latest gadgets and toys, so try to take out time for your child on a regular basis.

By practicing these tips, you’ll succeed in raising assertive children with very healthy self-esteem. What’s more, they’ll be forever grateful!

Portrait of Happy Family In Park

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on Child Development.

 


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School Readiness: Getting Started

New Picture

At what age do you think your child should really start schooling?  Less than 2 years, 3-4 years or perhaps 5 years?

Well, some parents in our busy world today take their children as young as three months or even less to some form of schools especially crèches, while others may decide to wait until about age 2/3 years before enrolling their little ones in school.

To decide on what is best for a child at a certain age, it is advisable to understand the child’s developmental needs and see if the choice will help the child or do otherwise.

Sadly, many parents who enroll their children into schools at an early age will have limited opportunity to bond with their children. The parent to child bonding is a necessary aspect of a child’s emotional development. They are also not able to monitor the child’s progress as he/she attains age expected developmental milestones. Such children may eventually learn to sit, crawl, walk and talk in school in the absence of the parent. These schools usually have other children to be attended to as well. Therefore your child may not get adequate attention and care.

Parents are the ones that can truly give proper care and attention to their children especially at such a tender age.

You need to closely study and monitor your child;

  • Discover what he/she enjoys eating or drinking
  • Study his/her toileting pattern
  • Be familiar with his/her sleep-wake pattern
  • Monitor his/her language and motor development

If parents are fully involved in their child’s overall development, then such a child is being prepared for school.

Here are some important skills preschoolers can learn from home:

  • Basic Social Skills: build up your child’s social skills by modelling and practicing with him/her how to relate well with other kids. Watch how your child relates with his/her peers. Encourage good behaviours with praises and other forms of motivation and discourage bad behaviours as well.

 

  • Virtues: Home is the first place a child learns virtues. After all, “Charity begins at home”, Preschoolers can learn to be polite, to share and to forgive, by watching their parents. When parents instill virtues in their child, it would be easier for such a child to relate with other children when they start schooling.

 

  • Independence: A child should have some level of independence before starting school, the child should be able to engage in certain activities with little or no assistance such as eating, drinking and choose what toys to play with without depending on the parents.

 

  • Communication: Your child should be able to indicate through signs and short sentences what he wants, or at least one word. It makes it easier for such a child to cope in a school where there are other children to attend to.

 

  • Potty-training: It is advisable that a child should be potty trained before starting school. That way, the child will go through the potty training stage with the help of loving parents rather than impatient nannies.

 

It is important that your child is ready before starting school so as to avoid social and emotional difficulties while in school. With the above tips in place, you can be sure that they are ready to make friends and learn academic subjects with little or no difficulty.

Stay updated with tips on child development @DrMorayoJimoh.

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Also Download our NEWLY PUBLISHED CHILD DEVELOPMENT E-BOOKS BY CLICKING HERE


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When Does Life Begin?

crying babyThe anticipated joy of a couple becomes complete at the sound of the cry of their new born after about 9 months of pregnancy and several hours of labor. The birth cry has been known to signify life and is looked out for by the medical professionals at the point of delivery. However, it should interest you that life does not begin at birth but at the moment the man’s sperm fuses with the woman’s ovum (This is called fertilization in biological terms or conception). A child’s life begins at this time. According to a renowned developmental psychologist, Professor Agiobu-Kemmer, the womb is the primary environment where an unborn child develops. It cannot be seen with unaided eyes but advancement in technology has made it possible to know what happens in there.

What evidence exists regarding life at conception? What makes one know that a child starts developing from the womb? Why must environmental factors both in the womb and outside be considered for optimal development?

sucking babyThe developing “child” or “fetus” in the womb hears, feels, sees, and moves even before birth. At approximately two weeks after conception, a lot of development occurs in the womb of a mother. At this stage, nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetics play a role. The body organs and parts begin to develop and take shape. At 12 weeks (3months), the fetus can smile, frown, suck and swallow. This same period coincides with when the fetus can urinate, move arms, legs, fingers and toes. Sucking the thumb usually is not learnt after birth, rather at about 20 weeks after conception, fetuses have been reported to have begun this behavior. At 25 weeks, they begin to hear and at 32 weeks they begin to respond to sounds particularly their mothers’ voices. A very recent study by Lahav (2015), an assistant professor of pediatrics, indicated that neural connection grew at sound centers of the brain of premature babies in incubators who heard recordings of their mother’s voice rather than the regular noise of intensive care units. This research shows how important it is for a mother to speak to her child while in the womb.  Another recent story was published in the news by Mail Online; A newborn baby who refused to be pacified kept on crying until he heard his father’s voice and was held by him. This provides evidence that bonding begins in the womb and both parents play a role.

It is really amazing the delicacy of the life that exist in the womb. How all the organs develop is still a continuous source of inquiry for scientists and researchers. Nutrition, emotional attachment, genetics and the  physical environment during pregnancy play a role in determining a child’s life outside the womb.  Thus, it is important to note that all these factors determine a child’s physical, intellectual and socio-emotional development

“Everything a mother does and is, is shared with her unborn child”.

Development

Every child deserves the best and remember that what a mother does or does not do during pregnancy will affect the child’s development in later years.

For more interesting updates on #child development, kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh.


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A mother’s love: Love like no other

mothers loveIt’s February, the month of love, when we celebrate valentine. As in the last article, family is truly where love starts from. A person cannot give what he or she does not have as such, even as family is the first agent of socialization, it is also the first place where a person learns what love means. Right from birth, the attachment a child has with the mother is very crucial in the formation of interpersonal relationships with others in future. There is really nothing like the love between a mother and a new born infant. Such love is revealed in touch, stares, caring, sucking and feeding. While these activities go on, the child may either learn to trust or mistrust the care giver. Babies of responsive mothers develop trust while babies of unresponsive mothers may develop mistrust.

This may seem like a whole lot of psychology, but research shows that attachment in childhood influences personality and interpersonal relationships in adulthood. Just like a newborn infant seeks attention, we older “babies” are no different. Love thrives on attention. The amount of time you spend with your loved one be it your friend, spouse or family member determines the quality of such a relationship.

The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day– M. Grundlermothers love 2

Extending love to the younger generation contributes a lot to our own fulfillment as adults. Extending your attention, care, love, time and resources to your child or another leaves a lasting impact on that life which may culminate into eventual success.

The mother-child love is so strong that it comes with a lot of benefits. An enormous amount of literature and research have highlighted some of the following as benefits of a secure and strong bonding between a mother and a child.. You would love this:

  • Children grow up to become sociable with good interpersonal skills and less aggressive behaviors.
  • Strong bond determines whether a child develops a stable romantic relationship later in life.
  • Exposure to less stress occurring as a result of consistent responses to your child’s cries and frustrations optimizes brain development. On the other hand, high levels of stress may result in irreversible brain damage.
  • Children with a securely attached parenting are able to control their emotions.
  • They have a positive self-concept and high self esteem.
  • As adults, they are able to make positive assumptions about others as such they have better relationships.
  • When relating with others, they engage in more helping behaviors such as showing gratitude, appreciation, care, comfort, and volunteering.mom-kisses-child1

The above mentioned can only be made possible through a responsive parenting and bond between a caregiver and a child. The reverse is usually the case when parents are absent, negligent or abusive.

One way you can be more responsive to your child’s needs is by monitoring your child’s progress.

As the cell is to the body, so is the family to the society. You can learn more tips on parenting by following @drmorayojimoh on twitter.

 

 


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Understanding Dyslexia: Successful People with Dyslexia

Dyslexia

This month has been our dyslexia awareness month with the theme as “Understanding dyslexia“. During the course of this period, we have shared information on dyslexia which includes: myths and truths about dyslexia, prevalence of dyslexia, causes of dyslexia, differences in brain functions of people with dyslexia and those who do not have it, assessment/diagnosis of dyslexia, strengths and positive skills of people with dyslexia, strategies to help them learn, accommodations and school supports and so much more. It has been an interesting period of unraveling the myth behind dyslexia and creating awareness about it.

In this final part of the series, we will be sharing information about famous and successful individuals who have experienced similar difficulties with language and were found to be dyslexic. Yes! These set of people were able to maximize the diverse strengths they possess and utilize their skills to excel in life, despite the negative reports they received from teachers and the society at large. As creative thinkers, they have been able take on extraordinary and legendary roles, making their impact felt across generations.  Although, some are dead, the impact made by them is still felt till date while some are alive and excelling in their fields. Among these successful people are inventors, actors/actresses, CEOs, entrepreneurs, film producers/directors, writers, architects and more.

Truly, having a diagnosis of dyslexia is not a sentence to failure rather, an awareness of a different learning ability.

Below are some  famous and successful people with dyslexia:

Steve Jobs:Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet Computer is a name that comes to mind when the computer and telecommunications company ‘Apple’ is mentioned with many inventions such as laptops and portable devices like iphones, ipods and ipads. Steve jobs is best known as a co-founder and CEO of Apple. He experienced difficulties in school and was diagnosed with dyslexia.

 

Albert EinsteinT1519086_24: was a German Physicist, an author and award winning scientist. He was famous for his timeless discoveries and theories. Having dyslexia, he was able to use his imagination and creativity to stand out in his discoveries. He was also known to be a genius with an IQ of 160.

TOM CRUISE

 

 

Tom Cruise: was diagnosed with dyslexia and had to work harder on what he was really good at from a young age. In Hollywood film industry,  he is a peak performing actor and producer well known for his leading roles in popular movies and production. He is one actor that has excelled in his field.

 

Thomas Edison:Thomas Edison was a scientist and inventor with creative innovations that caused a revolution in how things are done presently across the world. Among his innovations was the invention of the light bulb. He was said to have been dyslexic.

 

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Will Smith: The fresh prince of bel-Air as he is popular called is indeed a king of comedy dedicated to excellence. He is an award winning actor famous for his many comedy roles in movies. He refers to his dyslexia as one of the major reasons for his success.

 

 

Richard BransonRichard branson: After series of struggles with school work, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, with this, he was able to use his strengths to excel. he is a well known successful entrepreneur. He  is the founder of the Virgin group owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines.

 

 

Sally Gardner: a famous author who was diagnosed with dyslexia. She has sold more than Sally Gardner1.5 million copies of her work in the United Kingdom. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.

 

Orlando

Orlando Bloom: a famous actor and movie star claimed he had to do work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way.  As a child he was diagnosed  with dyslexia but he was also told that he had a high IQ score. This gave him the confidence he needed to succeed.

 

faraday

Michael Faraday: an English scientist who contributed greatly to the field of electromagnetic induction was reported to have had terrible trouble with spelling and punctuation. He also had poor memory. One thing that Faraday had common to dyslexics was a powerful visual sense. He was able to form a mental image of most of his studies.

 

GeorgeGeorge Washington: The  first  United States President  had trouble with words particularly spelling. Historians report that George Washington didn’t spend much time in school and was a self-taught man.  George often spelled words the way they sounded: blew for blue, oyl for oil and coff for cough.  Although there is no evidence, some believe he had dyslexia.

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Henry Ford: The famous entrepreneur and businessman was recorded to have had dyslexia. He even attributed some of his success to dyslexia. Even today, decades after he was born, you might still see cars on the road bearing his name.

 

Whoopi goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg: An actress and humanitarian, Whoopi was diagnosed with dyslexia. She claims that the support of her mother and a great  and understanding teacher helped her surmount her learning challenges. She is one of  twelve people in history to have won all four of entertainment’s major awards: Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy.

 

 

These are only a few of the many famous and successful individuals that were diagnosed with dyslexia and have been able to focus and maximize their strengths to excel in life. They did not let anything hold them back not even a learning difficulty!

 Children with dyslexia have enormous capacity and abilities to succeed.

 They learn differently. They have gifts.They are special!

They can become anything they set their minds upon with your love, encouragement and support.

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Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more updates. You can contact us for a consultation on dyslexia by clicking HERE

We would love to hear from you at Mobile Health Consult!