Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lying and Punishment- great article!

Harsh Discipline Fosters Dishonesty in Young Children, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2011) — Young children exposed to a harshly punitive school environment are more inclined to lie to conceal their misbehaviour than are children from non-punitive schools, a study of three- and four-year-old West African children suggests.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111024133033.htm
The study, published in the journal Child Development, also indicates that children in a punitive environment are able to tell more convincing lies than those in a non-punitive environment.
The research, by Professor Victoria Talwar of McGill University and Professor Kang Lee of the University of Toronto, examined deceptive behaviours in two groups of children living in the same neighbourhood. One group was enrolled in a private school that used a traditional authoritarian discipline model, in which beating with a stick, slapping of the head, and pinching were administered publicly and routinely for offenses ranging from forgetting a pencil to being disruptive in class. In the other school, also private, children were disciplined with time-outs or scolding and, for more serious offenses, were taken to the principal's office for further reprimand.
The study involved an experiment comparing the behaviour of children in the two schools. Children were seen individually and asked to play a guessing game by an experimenter who was born and raised locally. The children were told not to peek at a toy when left alone in a room. Most children in both schools couldn't resist the temptation, and peeked at the toy. When the experimenter asked if they had peeked, nearly all the peekers from the punitive school lied -- compared with just over half of those from the non-punitive school. What's more, after the initial lie, lie-tellers from the punitive school were better able to maintain their deception when answering follow-up questions about the identity of the toy -- by deliberately giving an incorrect answer, for example, or by feigning ignorance, rather than blurting out the name of the toy.
The findings suggest that "a punitive environment not only fosters increased dishonesty but also children's abilities to lie to conceal their transgressions," Talwar and Lee conclude.
In fact, the three- and four-year-old lie-tellers in the punitive school were as advanced in their ability to tell convincing lies as six- to seven-year-old lie-tellers in existing studies. "This finding is surprising," the authors note, as "existing studies have consistently found that children from punitive environments tend to suffer general delays in cognitive development."
"One possibility is that the harsh punitive environment heightens children's motivation to come up with any strategies that will help them survive in that environment," Prof. Lee says. "Lying seems particularly adaptive for the situation.
"Our study, I think, may serve as a cautionary tale for parents who sometimes would use the harshest means of punishment when they catch their children lying. It is clear that corporal punishment not only does not reduce children's tendency to lie, but actually improves their lying skills."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Overview of Neurological Reorganization by Bette Lamont

A wonderful overview of NR and why it works and is so important. Bette Lamont is another practitioner of Neurological Reorganization. Even though I've never worked with her directly, I have seen her writings. I asked her permission to post this on my blog. I'm thrilled that she agreed. I think a lot can be learned from what she has to say. -Anita
From Bette Lamont: 
Neurological Reorganization, which you frequently see referred to as NR,
or Neuro-reorg, is an approach to addressing the challenges of a
disorganized or injured brain. Brains can become dysfunctional with a
patchy or spotty distribution of challenges that often stand out against
a pattern of largely normal neuro-developmental skills, or may present
themselves against a background of good intelligence, while behavior can
be extreme and unmanageable. Some children have pervasive
neurodevelopmental challenges that impact all areas of their
functioning, and in worst cases children are globally delayed or brain
injured. One of the most stunning cases Nina Jonio and I worked with
was a 12 year old in a coma following a pedestrian/motor vehicle
accident, whose M.D. was discussing taking him off of life support.
This was in 2005. Three months after his injury he worked with the
organization now known as Developmental Movement Consultants and
regained consciousness, speech and social skills. He has since
graduated from high school at grade level.

However, most of the children represented here have a wide range
of not so extreme, but still extremely challenging, diagnoses, including
most of the 'alphabet' diagnoses: RAD, ODD, OCD, ADD, ADHD, FASD, CP,
Tourette's, Autism, Aspergers, etc. ALL of these diagnoses are on a
continuum of a damaged or under developed brain. This is the central
problem. And, when you treat the central problem by treating the
central organism, the brain itself, you can go a long way towards recovery.

Neurological Reorganization, (N.R.) addresses these issues by
evaluating skills at 7 developmental levels, and considers reflexes,
movement, and sensory development. If there are gaps at any level we
then begin by working at the lowest level and building up the brain
(with some variation on this if the child has been emotionally
traumatized in utero). We do this by replicating the activities that
nature, or God or however you think of it, has provided to integrate the
brain. If you reflect deeply on it you may become aware that the tools
that are naturally provided to integrate the infant brain may indeed be
the best tools to integrate a brain that is missing some of those
functions, leading to the above diagnoses.

The infant goes through a series of reflexes, or whole body patterns of
movement that lead to mobility and expand their sensory world. The more
they move and the great the interaction with parents and the sensory
world around them the more whole they will be neurologically,
emotionally, physically, academically and socially. Some children who
were compromised at birth need more than traditionally children tend to do.

By going back to repeat the developmental sequence we are prompting the
brain to integrate the functions that, if left unintegrated, become
rages, dyslexia, repetitive behaviors, bed wetting, poor coordination,
dyslexia, ADD...............the list goes on.

A Functional Neurodevelopmental Assessment will determine where the
brain has gaps in functioning and as well, how those gaps are creating
challenged skills or behaviors.

How do those gaps in functioning get there? Specific brain damage,
which can mean a baby dropped on its head, a stroke in utero, exposure
to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. All of these are obvious. Less
obvious are toxins in our everyday lives, mercury, arsenic, lead, etc,
in chemicals around us. A highly stressed mother's biochemistry will
also flood the fetal brain with cortisol, which damages brain tissue.
Premature separation of the placenta, a difficult birth, jaundice, all
can cause compromises in the brain. Separation from the biological
mother (through adoption or merely mom going right back to work), can
traumatize the neonate. High fevers and medications can damage the
brain. Anesthetics are culprits and recent research has shown that
babies who have anesthetic prior to 2 years are more likely to have
learning disabilities. Then there is the interference with infants'
activities. Children who do not have adequate opportunity to crawl or
creep due to constant holding, or growing up in a car seat or variations
of the 'walker' can have specific impairments that lead to learning
challenges.

Neurological Reorganization will assess a child with all of this in mind
and provide a program of activities that should take about an hour a
day. it is not an easy journey, but in my life and work I have found it
one of the most comprehensive and effective approaches to issues.

Traditionally our culture looks at challenging children and wants to do
one of two things 1.) Either change the behavior -- social behavior,
academic behavior, physical behavior, or. 2.) Medicate. We are stuck
in these modalities.

If medication would consistently work without side effects, parents
might consider the effort put into recovery as 'too much'. We spend 2
years for many children and for children with a lot of trauma, up to 3
years in the recovery process. And it is daily work. But look at it
this way: I live near Microsoft, where teams of people spend maybe 5
years perfecting software that may last no longer than 5 years. Our
children will hopefully live as long as 100 years, and a 2 or 3 year
investment is not, after all, so very much. AND, I have met families
who have worked for 2 years simply adjusting medications with no
improvement, and sometimes some huge regressions in behaviors. So, as
hard as it may be to take an alternate route, five years from now those
who have worked with the source of the problem will be getting on with
their lives, whereas those who have only addressed the symptoms through
the behavior/medication model, are still dealing with, perhaps,
teenagers whose behaviors have escalated.

I truly believe that as little known as it is, Neurological
Reorganization, properly done, can lead to tremendous healing in the
vast majority of children.

Bette Lamont
Bette Lamont, Certified Counselor 60172660
Founding Member NNRPA*
Developmental Movement Consultants
The Brain Nanny(C)
206-417-1072
Seattle, Washington, United States
www.developmentalmovement.org