Blog, Chirosecure Live Event June 17, 2024

Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance – Are You Treating Kiddos without Decoding Stimming?

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Hey Everybody, Dr. B. and Elizabeth here. We are so excited to meet up with you during this summertime blues or summertime fun. Fun time, it should be, not sometime blues, but we are going to decode stemming for you. So why did Elizabeth and I come up with this topic for for today’s show? It’s based off of a Facebook post that generated a lot of comments and dialogue.

Elizabeth and I thought this could be an important point that many of you want to need to explore. So we’re going to do that. We’re going to talk about stimming and what it is and why little fiddle farts might do that and most importantly, what as chiropractors do we need to know and think about in order to help them alleviate the stress on their nervous system?

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And that is why we’re stimming. Elizabeth is going to take a nap right now, and ChiroSecure, thank you again for this amazing opportunity to share our word and to help chiropractors around the globe better themselves so they can go out and serve their communities in a better capacity. Especially those little fiddle farts, right?

That’s what we’re all about. What is stemming? Stemming can be either movement, stereo patterned. movement activity, or stemming is actually can be a sign like constantly stacking blocks or cups or lining up toys, toy cars. So it can also be a, where the brain gets stuck on that activity.

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And that’s exactly what’s happening. The brain is getting stuck in an activity. that they are using to calm themselves in a given situation. That’s what it is. So it can be either a happy event. It could be joyful. A lot of kiddos on the spectrum, when they’re excited, they might hand flap or rock.

It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a negative thing, but we need to be able to have a keen eye to what the situation is telling us. That’s point number one. Why are they stemming in certain situations? Now, the particular Facebook post that I saw and I commented on, and it, again, it generated a lot of comments and likes and so forth, was a little five year old fiddle fart tended to put their hands in the mouth a lot.

All right, and we’re seeing more and more of this post COVID, so please be mindful that these patterns, these neuro expressive behaviors are presenting more in kiddos post COVID because of this chronic PTSD stress that’s happening on a global basis. So this little fart was putting their hands constantly in their mouth and that could be a form of oral stemming. Two things to differentiate here is, are they putting things in their mouth? Are they putting chewed stuff in their mouth? Are they putting their hands in their mouth? Or are they putting substrates like dirt, coins, chewing on ice a lot? Those might be two different representations. If they’re putting things in like dirt or coins or chewing on ice a lot, that can be from a a deficit in things like iron, zinc, or magnesium.

So that’s more like what we call pica. Oral stemming is where they’re putting they might be chewing on their hand a lot, chewing on their sleeve, putting their fingers in their mouth putting erasers in their mouth. Kiddos can do this because it’s calming to the brain. They can particularly be getting proprioceptive input by the pressure they’re putting down on their joints.

And proprioception is very calming to the nervous system. Which leads us all the way back around to why kiddos are doing this. It’s because they’re in a stressed out paradigm. Their nervous system is under stress mode. And they’re trying to fit into their environment and calm their nervous system so that they can pay attention if it’s in school, they can sit maybe in church, they can be in the car, they can be at Walmart.

or Sam’s Club or something where there’s a lot of noise and activity going on. They’re trying to fit into their environment. So that’s what they’re trying to tell you. So it can be oral stemming. It can be stemming with their hands. It can be finger tapping. These are the common ones, finger tapping putting their hands over their ears back and forth on and off, off their ears.

It can be a nail biting. Nail biting, trichotillomania, where they’re pulling their hair out, actually twirling their hair around their finger and then sometimes actually pulling their hair out. These are all ways that kids are expressing themselves that, hey, my nervous system is stressed out, I’m out of balance.

I’m in a sympathetic dominant mode and I am trying to calm the heck down in order to be okay at this particular time. That’s what it’s telling you. So one thing to do is especially watch these patterns when they are happening. You’re going to see them commonly in in the academic paradigm because school is so stressful.

So you might want to have teachers look out for what time of the day is this kiddo? more apt to be trying to regulate their nervous system. Is it during a particular subject, math, reading, when are they seeing these patterns? We’re looking for patterns of behavior. So that may indicate that specific time of the day, we’ll talk about that in a minute, or subject that they’re in is where they’re short circuiting, where they’re getting too stressed out.

So it might be math, it might be reading, might be spelling, whatever. All right. But it might be the time of the day as well, and that could be commonly mid morning and mid afternoon after lunch, because of potential blood sugar dysregulation issues. Kiddos that have sensory processing needs that challenges, I don’t like to call it dysfunction, but challenges when we’re in a stressed out state, we burn through fuel faster.

Any of us do, because that HPA axis is cranking. So that can dysregulate blood sugar faster. So we want to look for patterns. Is that happening mid morning, mid afternoon? Lots of times between 10 and 11 in the morning ish, 2 or 3 in the afternoon. And parents should be mindful of this too, especially with the summertime, right?

Because schedules are a lackadaisical now but that kiddo might come in and show more of these manifestations during those times. So we need to keep track of, is their blood sugar possibly dysregulating? And that’s extremely important. So we want to look at those factors right there. Are they trying to focus or pay attention on something.

And that’s going to be again, more academic involvement there. And they can start stemming more. So look at those patterns as well. Essentially they’re trying to stay calm. Now, what does that mean for you as a chiropractor? It means we can do things to work at the tip of the iceberg. Okay. We can give, there’s actually three Sensory chew toys that you can buy on Amazon, parents can buy.

There are necklaces, there are bracelets, there are different things that if they have an oral stemming issue that they can chew on. All right. Instead of putting their fingers in their mouth or putting objects in their mouth, et cetera. There’s, you probably all have heard of fidget toys. Sometimes they use fidget toys and so they’re not rocking back and forth or tapping pens all the time or whatever they’re doing.

Basically you’re trying to substitute. a more unacceptable behavior for a behavior that’s more acceptable and maybe not as noisy or distracting in an environment. Okay, but that’s treating the tip of the iceberg. That’s putting a band aid on the issue. We as chiropractors like to get to the roots of the problem.

So what I want you to be thinking is if these kiddos present, if this is a situation where parents say, okay, we’re having this trouble with Johnny doing this, that, or the other, all right, we need to take a step back and we need to do some keen observation of this kiddo’s neuroexpressive behavior patterns.

What does that mean? We need to particularly be mindful of vertebral subluxations, obviously, because that’s going to block the sensory information coming in from the spine up to the brain. The reason they’re stemming is because there’s sensory dysregulation, the brain short circuiting in that environment, and they’re trying to give the brain that information.

What you need to be thinking of is basically go back in time. from a neurodevelopmental trajectory or pattern. Many of the times what you’re going to see is gross motor skills. Core postural stability is not up to par and that is driving them what I call stuck in the stem. It’s driving them back to the brainstem.

So oftentimes you’re going to see these primitive reflexes present because in these times of stress, they go back into the brainstem, higher more sophisticated areas of the brain are shot offline and that shuts down their core structure. So take a look at their gross motor skills. How is their postural control?

We talked about this last class last last month with regards to dyslexia or dyspraxia. So you want to look at their gross motor control, and then you want to look at their fine motor control. And if those are not up to par, in times of stress, they’re going to be driven back to their brainstem and they’re going to try to navigate their environment by doing things like stemming.

This is very common with the autistic population. You but you might have those that have almost sounds almost like a tick as well. They might constantly clear their throat. They might blink excessively. These are all a form of stemming behavior as well. So sit back, have a keen eye, have some curiosity and look at these patterns and what these kiddos are doing in your offices.

And then be sure to adjust those vertebral subluxations. And then you might need to go back and say, did this kiddo even like tummy time? Did this kiddo have trouble rolling over? Did this kiddo have trouble crawling? And I don’t care what age they are. They might be six years old. Did this, does this kiddo have a hard time playing on the playground because they’re not well coordinated.

And then add some core stability exercises for this child in order to start building those pathways. Sitting in class takes a lot of postural stability, a lot of postural control, all day long. That kiddo, think about it, if that kiddo is sitting in class four, five, six hours a day, that is a lot of energy coming from the core.

And if they never did those developmental patterns, they’re going to fatigue out, and this is where we’re going to see the stemming come into play. So take them back in time, and go backwards in the time of development. Look at primitive reflexes. If those are active, then postural reflexes are off the docket and they’re going to have a harder time navigating their environment.

Some tips to start with. We certainly will cover more in future classes, but start taking a keen eye onto neuroexpressive behavior. What is stemming telling you? Don’t just band aid it up with a chew toy or something like that. Let’s go back in time, look at the roots of the problem and be sure to get in those kiddos in your offices www.

circlelineartschool. com And adjust them. So until next month, we will see you. You have a fabulous 4th of July out there and ChiroSecure, you’re amazing for giving us this time and this opportunity to spread the word. We’ll see you in July. Today’s pediatrics show, Milk to the Children, was brought to you by ChiroSecure.


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