A systematic approach
This diagram shows the importance of our sensory system. It lays the foundation for learning.
When a baby is born, he has limited control over his body and uses his reflexes to survive and to prepare him for movement.
As he engages with the environment he will take information in through his 8 senses (feels his stomach grumbling (interoception); feel his wet diaper (tactile); be soothed by the rocking motion (vestibular) or mom’s voice (auditory).
Once he integrates this, then he is able to start to crawl (gross motor), then he starts using his hands to put together puzzles (fine motor), then he puts it all together and is ready for higher learning.
When any of these skills are delayed, the pyramid starts to fall apart.
Infant reflexes can reappear in adults who have brain injury or trauma. They find themselves in survival mode and may heavily medicate themselves to try to cope.
The good news is that both children and adults can get back on track with a systematic rehabilitation plan. This is called a "bottom-up approach". It is important to stregthen the foundation for other higher levels of function to be successful. We will evaluate each area, then offer a treatment plan to help strengthen the skill.
Adapted from Taylor/Trott 1991