A window into your child's anxious brain
When we work directly with clients in our clinic the first step is always the anxious child brain map. This gives us a window into your child's brain.
This is what's different about how we treat anxious children to other professionals you may have seen. When we see your child we are looking at the whole child - brain, body and gut. We are often asked how do we do that? Especially with regard to the brain.
How do we measure what is happening in the brain and more importantly how is that information going to help my child? The answer is the anxious child brain map.
What is a brain map?
To create a map of your child's brain we use the latest brain imaging technology known as a QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram). It's true, the form and structure of the brain are important. However, how the brain functions is what we need to understand when looking at anxious children.
The QEEG gives us the brain map we need to create a unique treatment program for your child and to measure the results ongoing. To better understand the benefits of the brain map we first need to learn a little bit more about how the brain works.
How the brain works
When I’m talking about the brain to the anxious child mum’s who come into our clinic I often liken it to an orchestra. In the brain we have different regions that perform different functions and this is much the same as an orchestra.
We have the string section, the base section, percussion section etc. Each of these sections has a very important function. However, if they are not in sync we will not hear beautiful music no matter how good each section is.
What we need is the ability to measure not only how each part of the orchestra is functioning, but also how well they are functioning as a whole. This is what the anxious child brain map gives us.
The magic of the brain waves
The anxious child brain map not only gives us the ability to see how each area of the brain is functioning but also how well they are connecting and working together.
In order to understand this, we need to look at brain waves. Brain waves are rhythmic patterns of neural activity. These brain waves operate at certain speeds or frequencies and we can group them together according to this.
The brain waves range from Delta (sleepy), a very slow wave right through to Beta (On and working) which is much faster.
The different types of brain waves
When analysing the brain there are four different types of brain waves to be found:
- Delta Waves are slow-moving and are usually found when we are asleep but not dreaming.
- Theta Waves are also slow-moving but not as slow as Delta Waves. They are often found when we're in that drowsy state just before we drift off to sleep and when we are dreaming.
- Alpha Waves are found when we are very relaxed and yet conscious such as when we are meditating.
- Beta Waves are fast-moving and can be found when we are busily engaged in activities or conversations.
What happens if the brain waves are too fast? Too slow? Or not in sync?
When we look at the overall presentation in the brain of an anxious child we are looking for signs of under arousal or over-arousal.
An under aroused brain is running a little too slowly. If we go back to our orchestra analogy, imagine an orchestra that has just started working together.
They need to practice long and hard to really get it together and work as a team. This is the same for these under aroused brains. It takes so much longer for them to learn and understand, and they will make mistakes and get frustrated.
An under aroused brain leaves the child feeling anxious if they are given a piece of material they feel is beyond their capability. It's not a smooth and easy process like it is for an orchestra that has been working together for many years and have it down pat.
In an over-aroused brain, it’s like an orchestra that has been sped up, they are running a beat ahead the whole time. This is a noisy brain, one that has trouble shutting off and being quiet.
An over-aroused brain is exhausting for the whole orchestra. They want to slow it down but they are stuck producing noise that is doing their head in!
How can the brain map help my anxious child?
By looking at the areas of the brain that are showing as under or over-aroused we can see why your child has the symptoms they do.
More importantly, it gives us direction as to what might be causing their symptoms. We are looking at your child, not their diagnosis, and treating exactly how they present.
The anxious child brain map gives us the ability to see exactly what is happening in your child’s brain. We can then tailor our treatment recommendations exactly to your child’s individual presentation.
One of the reasons why you may have not seen much improvement in your child’s symptoms after seeing many other health professionals is because they are treating the diagnosis, not your child.
This also means they are treating the symptoms, not the cause.
All of the mums who see us in the clinic say to us “But why?” They want to know what is causing their child’s symptoms, not just how to treat it.
The anxious child brain map tells us why they have these symptoms. Once we know that, our next job is to work out why the brain is out of sync and then to fine-tune that orchestra!
How can I get an anxious child brain map for my child?
There are several locations throughout Australia and New Zealand where you can have a QEEG undertaken and receive your child's brain map. However, having your child's brain map is only part of the solution.
Being able to analyse the results, how they link to your child's behaviour, and determine the most suitable treatment program is where the real answers are. This is what we teach in our Love Your Anxious Child Program.
Do I need an anxious child brain map?
Having analysed over a thousand brain maps of anxious children in our clinics we have found that there are five different presentations.
In our Love Your Anxious Child Program we take you through these five different anxious child brain map presentations to enable you to work out which one is your child. Then we support you to create an action plan that will see results within your child in the first few weeks of implementation.
This means you don't even have to have a QEEG to be able to successfully support your child to become a more calm, confident and well-balanced little being.
How can the anxious child brain map help me as a parent?
Watching your child in distress and not knowing what is happening for them or how to help them is the most disempowering feeling you can have as a mother. We know because we have both been there ourselves.
The anxious child brain map gives you a window into your child's brain which helps you to understand them more. To understand why they are behaving the way they do and see beyond their behaviour.
It gives you a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and how to support them to be the best little human beings they can be.
When you are the mum of a child in distress so much of your time and mental and emotional energy is spent simply trying to support them.
You buffer them from stress, you tiptoe around them to avoid meltdowns, you listen to their cries and you do this mostly in isolation because others don’t see it the way you do.
This is so exhausting and it impacts on your relationship and connection with the child and with the rest of your family. Trust your mother’s intuition.
You know this is not your child’s personality, you know it’s not your parenting. We share all our clinical experience in our Love Your Anxious Child program.
Empower yourself with knowledge and get extra support from us as well as other mums who understand in our closed Facebook group.
We also share practitioners in your area who have the same ethos as us. Build your team, you don’t need to do this on your own anymore.