Mitigating Risk Factors of Neurodevelopmental Disorders — Prevention

Just like you would prepare for a test, you should prepare for pregnancy.

When thinking about autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, the best policy is prevention. In order to mitigate as many risk factors as possible, it would be helpful to know the risk factors of neurodevelopmental disorders including but not limited to: ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, OCD, ODD, Dyslexia, Processing Disorders, and Learning and Behavior issues in general.

There are common things you know you should do for health in general but also happen to reduce risk factors of these issues including: Reducing chronic inflammation, not smoking, obesity, etc. Before you decide to have a child, you really should focus on becoming very healthy. This not only helps the whole process but allows you to pass on healthy epigenetics and allows for healthy brain development.

The things listed above may be “no-brainers” to you and seem like common sense. So here are some things you may be unfamiliar with. After studying autism for some time, it’s obvious that it is a right brain deficiency problem. What does that mean? Simply, the right brain didn’t grow and develop at the same pace as the left brain, and now the left brain is stronger and more mature than the right brain. This is not only the case for autism but also ADHD, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, OCD, ODD, and others. They’re all characteristically a right brain deficiency.

So why does this happen? From the time you’re in the womb growing until the age of about 3 years, you are primarily growing your right brain. This is your big picture brain. So if you think about it, what are you doing during your first years of life? You’re taking in the big picture. You’re not necessarily concerned with detail but instead you’re taking in this brand new world and becoming familiar with it. So, anything that causes brain development to slow during the first 3 years of life is ultimately going to mean the right brain didn’t grow to the pace it should have. If that’s the case, when the left brain becomes the primary grower, it usually surpasses the right brain.

What might cause brain development to slow? One of the most dangerous journeys you ever take is through the birth canal. Even under optimal conditions it can still turn out to be traumatic. The very upper neck is most vulnerable during the birthing process because unlike every other part of your spine, the upper neck has no interlocking joints and is mostly held by just muscles, ligaments, and tendons. There is more sensory input and stimulation going to the brain from the upper neck than any other place in the body. Altered mobility of the upper neck can cause a significant imbalance in the input to the brain from day one. Always remember: movement drives brain growth, without the proper movement of the upper neck, brain development takes a dive. Your brain is about 25% developed at birth and shoots to roughly 90% developed by the age of 3, it is crucial the brain is able to develop properly during that time.

Of course, the best option is prevention, but fortuantely if you already have a child or know someone who has a child with a neurodevelopmental issue it’s not too late. Thanks to neuroplasticity (fancy word that means the brain has the ability to change), several of these kids are able to see amazing changes. If the problem is merely one of slowed development and not one of injury or mutation of genes, it makes sense that they will see improvement upon removing interference to the nerve system as well as balancing the weak and strong side of the brain so they are equal.