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  • Writer's pictureNancy Sokol Green


Here’s how Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms may also be explained by retained primitive reflexes and incomplete lower brain development.

People with retained primitive reflexes and poor sensory processing may be easily distracted since they are often more preoccupied with survival compensations than the task at hand.

People who are easily distracted may also have an underdeveloped midbrain. An underdeveloped midbrain is not able to filter unimportant sensory information from bombarding the cortex. So with everything competing for the brain’s attention, it’s truly difficult to remain focused on a task.

Poor organizational skills and procrastination can be further signs of an underdeveloped midbrain. When the brain is well-organized, it is able to see the “larger picture” and prioritize tasks. In contrast, a disorganized brain often can’t figure out how to start a task (let alone complete it).

Not listening when spoken to can be a sign of an underdeveloped pons. Visual and auditory awareness only develop when the pons is fully functioning. So people with an underdeveloped pons will not likely “hear” someone calling them or giving them a direction if their backs are turned to that person. It’s as though people do not exist unless they are standing directly in front them.

People who have trouble sustaining attention may be missing several automatic functions that are associated with a well-organized brain. For example, if eye teaming is poor, the two eyes do not work together to see one image. These people often see words as multiple images, or they see the ending of one word shifting into the beginning of the next. This will make it difficult to read or write for any length of time.

Fidgeting and squirming in chairs, getting up when asked to remain seated, and dashing around can be signs of poor vestibular processing. Movement stimulates this system, so these people will intuitively move in order to help a sluggish vestibular system get going. This system is also related to balance, and it is actually much easier to balance while moving.

Appearing to zone out can be yet another sign of poor vestibular processing. If such people are not able to move to awaken the sluggish system, they will not be able to focus or stay alert.

In short, the lower centers of the brain are supposed to support the higher cognitive functions. When the brain is organized this way, we can choose what we focus on. In a disorganized brain, we don’t always have that option.


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