Rare Genetic Disorder
The Jacob’s Ladder perspective for children who have a rare genetic disorder looks beyond the diagnosis to the whole child. As genetic disorder may encompass a wide array of challenges, Jacob’s Ladder looks at their current level of functioning when determining individualized treatment care.
The Jacob’s Ladder Methodology harnesses the premises of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change based on the input and stimulation it receives. The main way the brain to able to change by providing a variety of new input to all the senses and doing whole body movements. By delivering organized motor and sensory input to a child in a way that allows the brain to process and integrate information, we can address a child’s overall level of function.
Children who have a genetic disorder will have a program with a large emphasis placed on cross-lateral movements and early reflexes. Cross-lateral movements require both sides of our body to work together or in opposition to each other, such as walking with an opposite arm swing. These movements are highly integral to overall function as they allow for communication among both sides of the brain. The Jacob’s Ladder methodology places a high value on getting a child down on a mat and working through developmental milestones. Activities such as belly crawling, creeping forward on hands and knees emphasize a cross-lateral pattern that are part of traditional developmental milestones. Research has shown that early primitive reflexes also play an integral role in neurological functioning. Primitive reflexes develop before birth, directly following birth, or during the first month of life in direct relation to experiences, movements, and stimulation that is received. Primitive reflexes encompass 72 automatic movements that are directed from the brain stem and require no cortical involvements. If these reflexes are not wired, function attributed to the midbrain and forebrain will not follow. Integration of early reflexes and cross-lateral movements are critical foundational premise of the Jacob’s Ladder Methodology by developing interhemispheric connections and communication.