The human brain is composed of two hemispheres, which function like two networked computers. The left hemisphere receives motor and sensory input from the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere receives input from the left side of the body. When we bring the two systems together and begin the task of developing harmony and synchrony, the first step is to achieve an efficient balance between the two sides of the brain.
Because most mental processes involve both sides of the brain, integration problems between the two hemispheres can result in inefficiencies in brain processes. Thus, some children with reading problems, central auditory processing disorder, language delay, and other learning problems may be suffering from a lack of integration between the two sides of their brain.
Lack of integration between the two sides of the brain can become a vicious circle. A child who has a learning problem may suppress one eye. This can be a symptom of lack of integration between the two hemispheres. But because suppressing one eye means that the child reads with one eye only, the brain networks to support the other eye will become further disorganized through lack of use, exacerbating the lack of integration.
Since the left hemisphere of the brain controls movements on the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain controls movements on the left side of the body, a person can refine the integration between the two sides of the brain through activities involving both sides of his body. These movements bring the two systems into balance.
One of the most significant points on a child's perceptual and motor skill development continuum is the establishment of a synchronized cross pattern creep (crawling). This is the point where both sides of the body and both hemispheres of the brain are operating within the framework and under the control of a consistent timing system, a system in which the standards for measure for both sides of the body are matched perfectly. For the left leg to move forward synchronously with the right arm and for the same pattern to occur when the right leg and left arm move, requires that the time and space increments for both sides of the brain be in phase.
As the child begins to learn to walk, the sensory integration and balance requirements become much greater. In order to achieve synchrony the child must achieve a higher level of integration between his two sides. The most efficient possible walking pattern for a human is the one in which the two arms are swinging as pendulums counterbalancing the movement of the legs and setting the rhythmic pace for the total movement pattern.
Successful integration between the two sides of the brain is necessary for improving all brain processes, including those for reading, writing, academic achievement, motor skill development, and many others. Click here to learn how Balametrics sensory integration products and therapies can improve integration between the two sides of the brain.