Learning Pyramid: A Team Approach to Childhood Development
The development of each child is complex and unique. If your child seems to be struggling or if you have been informed that they are not meeting their developmental milestones, it can be quite stressful. Many parents may feel lost or overwhelmed when trying to find the right assistance for their child.
As demonstrated in the Learning Pyramid (B.Pheloung, 2006) below, childhood development may be presented as a progression from ‘balanced body’ to ‘reading, writing and mathematics’. With a strong foundation in the lower levels, children are more able to reach their full learning potential. If children experience any barriers as they progress between levels, their development may stall. Alternatively, they will develop adaptive strategies to cope, however these strategies ultimately require more effort and will often hinder further progress. Prolonged minor illnesses, major illnesses, surgery, decreased environmental stimulation or emotional stressors may also act as barriers. A complicated birth is also a common developmental barrier.
Chiropractors and osteopaths work to achieve ‘balanced body’ and ‘reflex integration’. Occupational Therapists help children to organise their sensory system and challenge body awareness and coordination. Speech Pathologists create opportunities for both receptive and expressive language development. Behavioural Optometrists strengthen visual processing skills and check eye health.
Using this theory, a group of enthusiastic therapists have begun to work closely together to provide the best possible therapy for children and individualised support for the whole family. Together, Dr Olivia Scott of Back to Balance (Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist), Jacky Peile of Early Links (Occupational Therapist), Rebecca Allouche (Speech Pathologist) and Amy Fortescue of Eye Q Optometrists (Behavioural Optometrist), share their expertise with each other and members of the childcare community, including parents and teachers.
“If a child has Retained Primitive Reflexes they suffer dramatically in their learning and behavioural capabilities. It is paramount that every child is assessed as soon as possible to make sure they are developing on par with their peers. Our treatment involves a safe, non-invasive protocol. It involves putting gentle pressure on the head and body (it feels similar to a massage). A minimum of one week between visits ensures that the previous treatment has accepted the changes to the body and nervous system."
Olivia Scott (Chiropractic/Applied Kinesiologist) – www.backtobalance.net.au
"A Child's main occupational focus is play and therefore this is where natural learning will occur. My therapy involves using gross/fine motor, sensory and cognition/processing to assist children achieve skills that will make them more successful in their roles. Including children and parents in goal setting encourages them to participate in the playful activities and in their home program."
Jacky Peile (Occupational Therapist) – www.earlylinks.com.au
"I look at a child holistically and apply a family centered approach to therapy. This ensures improved development across all areas of a child’s communication skills. By applying this approach it allows goals to be achieved in a practical way that is personalised for each individual child and their family."
Rebecca Allouche (Speech Pathologist) – 0414 333 839
"Rather than just looking at a patient’s eyesight, behavioural optometrists look at ‘vision’. While ‘vision’ uses eyesight as its foundation, ‘vision’ combines information from many sensory systems to create a perception of reality. For this reason, it is important that all sensory systems are adequately assessed and treated where required, to allow optimal performance in visual processing.”
Amy Fortescue (Behavioural Optometrist) - http://www.eyeq.com.au/optometrist/Ramsgate
HAVE YOUR SAY!