Neuroplasticity is the brain and nervous system’s ability to change in response to experiences.
When the brain is exposed to new information, sensory stimulation, development or dysfunction, it holds the ability to form and reorganise synaptic connections. Although some neural functions appear to be hardwired (i.e. heartbeat, breathing), others exhibit and carry out specific functions whilst also being able to re-organise themselves.
Children are born with a web of billions of neurons in their brain that are all overly connected. During the first 5 years of development the brain develops very rapidly, and these neurons start becoming stronger as specific new skills are learned.
Imagine initially having many small roads that are all connected everywhere, which means that the cars have potential to move anywhere, but have a speed limit of 40km/hr . These roads have many junctions and the information travels in a controlled manner from one synaptic junction to the next. As the child learns new specific skills the roads start to turn into highways, now able to travel at 100km/hr, increasing the rate at which signals can move from point A to point B. This makes the movement patterns more natural to achieve, and thus shapes our personal identity and experiences.
In children with a neurological condition, some of the signals that travel along these roads come across road blocks which make signals more difficult to get from point A to B. Through specific practice and repetition, the brain will create and strengthen new pathways to go around the affected areas to reach point B in as efficient and timely a manner as possible.
Therapies for Kids can help your child’s neuroplasticity with Intensive Therapy Programs.
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