“How to Connect with the Sensory Defensive Child” Monika Buerger

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Hello and welcome to another amazing ChiroSecure Look to the Children’s show. I am your host today, Dr. Monika Buerger. And I am super stoked to bring you this information because we’re getting a lot of questions out there about how do I work with that? A little fiddle, fart that is, um, and crazy chaos, and then like a sensory storm to get that amazing adjustment. So I want to bring you some tools and tidbits on that. Um, so let’s head on over to a little slideshow that I put together for you and let’s rock and roll. First of all, um, I want to thank Kairos pure again for giving us this amazing platform and being so, um, great for our profession and everything you do for us. Kara secure, thank you so much. And they have your back. If you want to work with these little fiddle farts.

So here we go. Um, so a child’s neuro expressive behavior, or anybody’s neuro expressive behavior is really a window into their neurological integrity. So we have to take what they are telling us when they’re in our offices in particular. And what does that mean? Sometimes we can get frustrated, um, because they are a little bit difficult or challenging to work with, but we have to understand where they’re coming from and that’s what we want to try to do today. So I want to get, actually today, I want to focus on what are some things we can do to calm the storm, calm the chaos that’s going on in their brain to get that adjustment. And then next month we’ll poke our heads into what does certain behaviors mean? That sounds like a plan. So neurological signs and symptoms are merely a sequella of brain dysfunction, not the cause of it.

So what are the signs and symptoms mean? So, one thing I wanted to do is, again, we want to adjust into calm, not chaos and in today’s world, there’s a lot of not, not just your little fiddle, thoughts are coming in and chaos, but your adults as well. So how can we minimize that for anybody in our practices to maximize the effect of the adjustment? All right. A lot of these kiddos that are in sensory chaos, uh, in a sensory storm are coming in with their brains in chaos. So we’d like to calm them down in order for their nervous system, to be able to even accept that adjustment. And how do we do that? What’s the magic bullet. I mean, give you a few magic bullets, actually. So first of all, what I want to do, I’m giving you a bit of homework. I want you to go your offices. And when do this in two different spaces, one when nobody’s there, maybe just your staff.

So walk into

Your office through the front door, not the back door, if you tend to come in through the back door, but through the front door, um, on any given day when your staff is there, the lights are on just like, it would be a normal functioning day, but no patients there. And I want you to stop look and listen. When you walk into the office, what is it? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? Um, do you normally have the radio on and is it blasting, uh, do you have a video playing? What are the, what are the lights like? Um, is it dim and calm? Is it bright and, and, um, blaring take, just stop, look and listen. What it feels like in your office, expecially, from a standpoint of individuals that, um, get into sensory chaos very easily, then do that on another day.

Maybe you have to slip out the back door to go in the front door when patients are in there, because put yourself in their brain. By the time they get back to your office, are they in a ready as sensory defensive mode? Is it too bright, too light, too much noise, too much sound. And by the time they get back to you, they’re, they’re hunkered down and they are trying to defend themselves against all this chaos. That’s not going to be the child that you’re going to be able to connect with and, um, and, and, and adjust. Okay. So stop look and listen. Um, couple of tips on that waterfalls. I have a wall mounted ticket for me, wall-mounted waterfall, um, desktop and so forth. Those little fiddle parts can, can climb up into your, on your front desk or on a, on a table or something and get into a little bit of trouble with those.

So wall mounted where it’s higher, it’s safer, but, um, co noise, uh, water is calming. It’s soothing. If at all possible, switching out your lights, fluorescent lighting has a buzz to it and can flicker. And that can be, um, over stimulating for your PTSD patients for your post concussion patients for you, a little bit of arts with sensory dysregulation and like your autism spectrum. They see that flicker and they hear the buzz, which we may not, but they do. And that can be very, um, sensory disturbing to them. So look at your lighting, if you can switch them out for incandescent lighting, and that can be very helpful or turn the lights off and use just natural lighting through windows, but figure out a way around that they do have, um, covers for if you have the fluorescent panels, they do have a variety of covers that you can put over the lighting over those panels to, um, calm the, um, calm the visual storm from those fluorescent lighting and get them on Amazon.

So just again, um, maybe the, the, your telephones have them on a lower ring tone. So when the, when the calls are coming in, cause you’re a busier than heck it’s not allowed ring had maybe some rocking chairs with where those with vestibular needs can sit and rock and calm before they get back to you. Just little considerations like that can really help. Um, now for your kiddos, I want to show you a couple of things that I do in my office. You can do them, you can have your CA do them. You can have parents do them. You can do this from across all ages and all stages. I just happened to in those videos, be working with in this case, Elizabeth, who usually joins me and Elizabeth is in my suitcase right now. Don’t don’t, uh, don’t call, uh, child protective services on me.

I was traveling and I brought Elizabeth with me. So it’s usually, sometimes she shows up on the show, but she’s in the video here. So you can use on babies, on your post-stroke, your post-concussion again, across all ages, all stages, but these are very calming. Proprioception is, um, very calming to the nervous system. It’s grounding, it’s calming. So your kiddos that might be sensory defensive. They don’t want to be touched. They pull your hands or push your hands away. They are running around like tornado. Kids will give you something a little bit different for the tornado kids, but, um, they’re very sensory defensive. This can be very grounding and calming to them so that you can get your hands on them and do an adjustment.

Okay? So for some extra proprioception, what we can do is what I call lateral stretches. You’re going to just start opposite arm, opposite leg and gently traction and hold for like 10 to 20 seconds. And then you’ll do the opposite side and then I’ll do same side. This just helps with what we call body positional awareness and proprioception, but knowing we have two sides of the body, um, and then it gives some proprioception as well. So you do that. And then if you have an extra person on hand, one would do the arms and one would do the legs the same time, um, like, uh, you know, the quarter four seat kind of thing. So that is, um, ladder out of these stretches or bilateral, um, awareness or, and, or avoid positional awareness, knowing if both sides of body as well as some from reception.

Okay. So again, um, this is great to, um, foster optimal nerd brain development, right side left side brain, body, body brain connection. Um, but again, it can be very, very calming for those that are sensory defensive. Um, or you can just do some deep joint com. You can do that and then do some deep joint compression, just compress all the way up the arms and legs and squeeze my, some of my kiddos call them squeezies. Um, but that will calm them in order to get the adjustment you can use. Um, also use like weighted blankets. So I, I practice Gonstead. So I will on the older kiddos do, um, see the cervicals. So I made put a blanket, a weighted blanket over their lap. Of course, if you do supine, or if you’re doing cranial work, having a weighted blanket rule of thumb is about 10% of the body weight of the, of the individual that can be very grounding and they would just lay there and let you work on it.

So our ultimate goal is always to get that life changing adjustment. And I want to give you tips on how to do that. So that’s why we’re here today. So the other thing you can do now, I get these little sensory brushes on Amazon. Um, I give them out actually to, uh, my pregnant mamas or once the, the little ones born to do this, to foster optimal neurodevelopment sensory input, um, to, to, for, for, uh, proactive purposes. But again, if you had that tactile sense of kiddo that, um, is you’d go to touch, especially cervical spine, you start to touch them and they just push your hands away. Um, this is a good, good tool to use. Sometimes if they’re older, I might have them sitting up in mom’s lap and, um, I will just do their arms or legs. And then after I’m done doing this, I will let them hold that sensory brush in their hands as I adjust them or do cranial work. It’s just continuing that stimulus that is calming for them. So Amazon, you can get them by the dozen. Um, I tell some docs, you can, even if you want to give them out, get a sticker of your office logo and name on it and put the little sticker inside the brush handle right in here, um, right inside there. And then it’s got your office logo and so forth on it. Um, so their friends can see, Hey, look at my chiropractor gave me great PR for you. So let’s take a look at this.

What I show you here is it can use for may facets one or calming, get the settle down, particularly before you’re doing Jessica. Cause that’s the ultimate thing, right? It’s getting them awesome, lifesaving adjustment, but I also use it to enhance the sensory, give this for parents to do it at home, especially for the self little parts that aren’t meeting their Maura milestones are leading me to go to language milestones. Um, because we know that motor development fosters language development. So we want to do this, not just the parts that are showing average neuro development, but to foster an optimal mode about it. So we can do different things. We can use a brush, second brush, Amazon, okay. Rule of thumb. You put another pressure. So you slightly bend the bristles or you can use, I usually use a smaller ball in that. I just don’t have that here right now.

I house, um, a little massage at home. And what you can do is you can go start, um, from the Palm, preferably open Palm, um, on one arm and we can come on and just stroke. And then you go down the leg and then he would do the other side. Now this is going to help that we call that around knowing right from left, which is a key core, fundamental step for body position awareness, proprioception, visual, motor visual, spatial development. And then we go across the body. We go one arm across the leg. Okay. And then I would do get a smaller ball and I would do so you give me it’s different sensory sensations, prayerfully, Nudie oriented diaper. Okay. So you’re going to go one side of the body, the other side of the body. And this is for all ages. Now, this is really great for your little, little parts that don’t know, right from lap.

Let’s say they’re five or six years old, and you want to foster ladder reality knowing right from left. Um, this could be an issue with kiddos with dyslexia and it’s just crossing the midline. So, um, again, we do the same side, same side, cross lateral hostile, different textures. Um, I also also, um, advocate a lot of tummy time nudity, you know, getting a lot of sensations. I’m getting them up on a boppy. You can do it again on the posterior side. Um, and so these are some good techniques that we should all be mindful of in order to foster offer neuro development, but also intervene if you see average motor and sensory velvet.

So there you have it again, this is, I give this to parents to do at home because it can help, um, foster that sensory defensive, get them out of that sensory defensive mode. But I do this in the office as well, um, in order to calm their nervous system and ultimately get that good adjustment. So it takes you, you know, in a minute or two, you can do that. And then usually they’re so relaxed that they’ll just like, okay, you can get that adjustment done. So you can do this on the move too. So some of those kids that are in that tornado storm, I’ll show you something else here. Um, this one is actually, I think we’ll do it. We’ll do it from bad. We’ll do this one on here. So this is, um, one of my older autistic kiddos that was, that was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, but, um, has come a long way.

And so I have her supine right here and you see how I kind of modify things. Um, this, I call the cranial nerve integration and I cannot tell you how many docs when I met lectures and I give this, I’ll get, uh, an email or message back that, Oh my gosh, this has saved the day. So many times for so many kiddos. So we’ll look at a supine here and then we’ll look at it how you can modify it again. It’s chiropractic on the move. A lot of times we have to adapt our body and our responses to there’s. One thing is we don’t ever want to seem bigger than they are. So for instance, like if they don’t like eye contact, don’t force them to make eye contact with you. Um, if I match their, um, their, their tone as well, some kids want me to speak a lot louder and they want me to be silly and some kids that’s too sensory overwhelming.

So I will calm myself down. So learn how to match their sensory cues if they’re covering their ears a lot. Um, and, and you notice they’re sensitive to noises and you close the door and they’re startled, bring things down a little bit. Okay. Um, if they tend to talk louder, um, you know, you, you might be able to bring your volume up, um, get down on their level, get on the floor with them, match them at their, their body posture, their body, you know, they’re, they’re smaller and they’re crouching down. You make yourself smaller match their, um, their specific needs. Uh, then you gain their trust and then you can start to do things like this.

So this is the cranial and, and integration had procedure. This is to help calm kiddos down. Um, the premise is to what we call it, drive the cranial nerves home, but it’s very calm and relaxing. And sometimes they do this before. Um, trying to Jessica that’s put it in their shoulders layers or bat your hands away. So you’re going to put your start with one hand right here and put it on the forehead. And you’re just going to do a sweep down to the back of that, that as a premise that you’re taking here and driving home the brainstem. So you’re going to do two passes like that, and you can do this lying down or seated or any way to get them do that. Then you’re gonna start at the forehead and have you use it for me. So when you show the people how to do this, can you relate still there, sit up. I’m going to start at the forehead and go up over the years and drive them home. Or you’re asleep that cheeks up the, that chin and get all the long term up over the years and down the back of the neck, driving home, you’re going to two houses here, two houses, and then you’re going to take all three fingers. You have a shin cheeks, forehead, chin, cheeks, or head and drive in home. Okay. And that’s a crayon of friction.

That one is amazing. You guys, um, you can do this on the move and it just sets the tone, especially if you want to get a good cervical adjustment. So again, tools, tricks, tidbits, um, ultimately to get that gold, you’ll see here on this one, how I do this, I combine what I call the respiratory diaphragm. The respiratory diaphragm is, um, think of the Vegas nerve. It comes from the brainstem down at branches out underneath the diaphragm. And it branches out to, um, all the visceral, the neurovisceral sensations, which is a big sensory, um, organism as it is. So, um, that where it branches out underneath the diaphragm is so incredibly powerful. So I’m going to show you how I combine a respiratory diaphragm hold and the cranial nerve integration that the little fiddle fart, we’ll all look at this video on the left here, this little guy, um, very, very sensitive defensive. When he comes in, like I couldn’t even touch his skin. So I worked with them and you’ll see at the end, I was actually able to get my hands skin to skin. And then after that, I was able to get him up on my pelvic bench and adjust them. And he was cool beans cafe. So I just want to show you that and we’ll do a combo.

What can you see at books and front? They’ll try you see snake snake. Now what you can do is again, the cranial nerve integration, swipe white over the eyes, down to the brainstem cheeks down, chin up around them. Do that twice, keep him entertained. He was a handful. I could not catch him at all. And I just go with this and then you can go back to the respiratory diaphragm earlier when he was pulling my hands away. And I had to put a shirt down, put my hands over his shirt, and then he could tolerate it again. Now I’m skin to,

So what it is as you see this picture right here, this is where the little guy supine, and basically what you’re doing is your hands are parallel between, um, the under ones under, um, the last few ribs, depending on the size of the child, right? Sometimes your whole hand takes up the whole cavity. So one’s going to be underneath and one’s going to be over that, um, the diaphragm area. And you just pretend like here, you just pretend like there’s a water balloon between your hands. Don’t overthink it, get your left brain out, go right, brain, close your eyes if you have to. Um, but just pretend there’s a water balloon there. A lot of times I’ll close my eyes and it’s pit, you’re just resting very lightly, like the pressure of, um, uh, really ripe tomato or the pressure you would put on your eyeball eyelid.

Um, and let your hands just pivot and move as the body wants to two to five minutes is kind of the key time, um, used to be two, two minutes and they see that five minutes that myofascial release releases better. That Paschal release better after five minutes, the tissues warm up more, and then you always want to end your hands where they’re parallel. Um, but that w it ha that’ll help with that bagel tone and calming, and again, get them calm. Then sometimes what I’ll do is I’ll, while I’m doing it, or afterwards, I’ll hand them a sensory brush and they can brush themselves, or they just like to feel it and bam begin and then get the adjustment. And that’s what it’s all about. So these are great tips and tidbits, um, to ultimately get that optimal adjustment. So I want to leave you with one, um, what I call a whiteboard wisdom, kind of pulling this all together and then, um, go out and just practice.

Don’t overthink it. Um, on your cranial nerve integration, respiratory diaphragm, you can do those. You can put toys on the pelvic bench and let them cruise along the pelvic bench. As you’re moving along with them. Um, have a mom mom’s lap. Um, I’ve done it in the waiting room with really sensory defensive kids that don’t want to come down the hallway. They don’t trust me yet. And you might have to do this the first half a dozen visits in your office until that little fiddle fart gets to know your office, what it feels like, what it smells like. Um, don’t have burning candles and all those things to, they feel safe in your environment. And I’ve actually come out to the waiting room and that’s all we’ve done for the first four to six visits. And then they trust me and then they’ll come down the hallway into an adjusting room. So, um, don’t take offense to it. They’re just really expressing their, their neural storm, their sensory storm in their brain. So let’s chill, chill with this real


A sensory defensive child.

Our sensory experiences will shape the way we respond to our environment and well, everything in life. Really, in fact, we have eight different kinds of sensory input into our brain. Five of these senses come from outside of our own body. They are taste, touch, smell, auditory and visual three senses come from within our body. Those are vestibular proprioception, and interoception now for some people, certain sensory information can be too much or too little. This causes an imbalance of information within the brain and body and can lead to an overwhelming sense of insecurity, sensory information that is too much. It’s like a little cup of caffeinated coffee. It fills up too fast and souls over in this situation, the brain can be on hyperdrive with too much information bouncing around, but nothing is organized or making sense or sensory information can be like a very bigger cup of decaffeinated coffee that will never reach the top.

In this situation, the brain will not be getting enough sensory input like being on hypo drive, making it hard to know what’s really going on in the person’s external environment and within their body, either one of these scenarios will lead to anxiety, fear, and a maladaptive response to the world. Now for the doctor of chiropractic, it is important to understand that a child’s behavior is a window into their neurological integrity and a window into their ability to regulate and organized sensory input into the brain. Here are some simple steps that can help chiropractors working with children to better connect with the child in order to better serve them through chiropractic care parks, pause, stop talking, suck charting notes, stop everything, and take a quiet minute to just observe the child. Second ponder. What is the child’s behavior telling you about how they are perceiving and adapting to their environment?

Third proceed. Once you understand what sensory input the child is trying to screen out or trying to upload, you can proceed with ways to provide them with what they are innately, trying to find. And once you’ve done the three PS, you can to three seeds first call help the child regulate their nervous system based on their needs. If they are hypersensitive, decrease their sensory load by such things as turning down, lights, lowering your voice and avoiding eye contact, deep pressure to the joints and muscles can provide appropriate susceptive input, which will also help screen out other unwanted sensory input. Now for those high boat, sensory children providing a little vestibular and proprioceptive input can help regulate the sensory chaos in their brain and help them call once the child’s sensory needs are met. Find ways to connect with them through touch words, or play a chance to feel safe, understood, and excepted. Third chiropractic once a child’s defensive system is lower and their nervous system is ready to accept input. You can proceed with a life-changing chiropractic adjustment. Now it may take a few visits before this is possible, but setting the stage with the three days and the three C’s will be goal to learn more about how to best serve children with sensory and other neurodevelopmental challenges. Join the intersection for life movements, intersect for life changing lives, changing the future.

Let me have it three PS, three CS, um, easy to remember, just start practicing with it. Um, once you, once you do it more, you get more comfortable and, um, maybe just try the cranium live integration, and then do the ladder alleys stretches and then combine them. But, um, again, our mission is to ultimately get that life-changing adjustment. And I hope that you got a few pearls to add your Pearl necklace, to, um, add to your, to your, uh, patients and help them receive that ultimate chiropractic adjustment. So next month, June, we’re going to be in June already. Holy Hannah boats. Um, Dr. Erik Kowalke is with you the first Thursday of every month. And I will be back the third Thursday, and let’s have some more fun and until then, keep changing lives, keep changing the future and ChiroSecure again. Thank you for being amazing and giving us this platform. You guys keep changing lives. We’ll see you next month.

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