Why Falling to the Ground and Giggling Felt Great!

Cheri Moore

Written by MAIT

February 15, 2024

I wondered and wondered why falling to the ground and giggling felt great for my young son until I worked with Cheri. Together we solves this puzzle. After Cheri’s success with helping my older son, I decided to seek her advice regarding my younger son’s unclear, loud speech and lack of attentiveness. As Cheri worked with him, Cheri shared with me that my son needed to fall on the ground and giggle. She instantly recognized that this released some type of inner stress. However, we all did not understand why until Cheri started studying visual processing development, what the brain does with what is seen. Most interesting, his expressive speech difficulties were part of the puzzle.

Vision Affects Speech Development

Our family thought his speech would improve over time, but by age five I realized he needed speech therapy. My younger son also often said “what?” or “huh?.” Did he have hearing loss like my older son? While teaching him, I noticed that he became easily distracted or just shut down. Most concerning, he struggled to express himself whenever he felt upset. When asked what was wrong, he would just look at us and cry. Or worse, he would run out of the room. It was as if he had lost his voice.

I was also concerned about my youngest son’s lack of coordination, which was most apparent on the soccer field. Although he loved to play the game, it seemed that he would fall down too easily. Also, it was not unusual to see him suddenly lie down on the floor, even in public places. This would happen when I was speaking with friends in the church foyer and he was standing next to me. Suddenly, he would lie down on the floor, smiling, even softly giggling. He rarely stood on his own two feet, preferring to lean against something. Once again Cheri had answers.

Talking Loudly is a Clue

When he did speak, his voice was loud regardless of how much noise was present in the background. Cheri noticed this during her very first play assessment time with him. He did not know what it meant to whisper or use an inside voice. During Cheri’s first visit, she expressed concern about behaviors she called hearing sensitivities. Wow! I was so busy with six children there had been no time to complete her questionnaire. Nevertheless, Cheri knew where to start after just one visit.

Uncomfortable Loudness Test

Cheri explained that the Uncomfortable Loudness Test would tell us more about the strength of his hearing system. Did he have sound intolerance? If so, was it from food allergies and/or poor ear, nose, or throat health?

Results from his Uncomfortable Loudness hearing test explained why his voice was so loud. Testing found hearing sensitivities. Thankfully, there was no hearing loss like his brother. Cheri explained that my younger son heard environmental sounds so well he needed to speak loudly to block them out. Only then could he focus on what he was saying, his thoughts. I learned that he needed a quiet environment to listen. Otherwise, he struggled to hear because he heard background competing sounds louder than most people.

You Need A Bossy Right Ear

Testing also found that sound failed to travel well to both ears. Cheri explained that the sound of your own voice is suppose to strongly travel to your right ear. She called it your speech ear. The right ear is directly connected to the speech center in the left brain. Hmmm, would auditory integration training improve his sound tolerance and expressive speech? Cheri shared that she could put 25% more sound in his right ear. However, she wanted to also learn more about how well his eyes worked together. Wow! I was amazed to learn that our eyes affect speech development.

Inner Ear’s Vestibular Balance System

I will always remember Cheri arriving with pictures of the hearing system. She did her best to explain that his hearing system was under-developed, weak. It is still difficult to grasp that your hearing and your eyes give you balance. Later, Cheri learned that visual processing difficulties can also cause lack of depth perception. That is when we finally understood that falling on the ground was teaching his brain the distance between his eyes and the ground. He giggled because he felt the relief of feeling the ground. The brain was taking a visual break!

Cheri recommended a developmental vision exam. I was astonished to learn that one of his eyes floated out of alignment, amblyopia. I was so upset. Why did I not notice? Cheri explained that we look with a person at what they are looking at. However, Cheri watches the position of eyes and posture. Wow!

Researchers have repeatedly found that amblyopia contributes to additional difficulties.

Either you see it or you experience it, feel.

Cheri

Food Inflame Eustachian Tubes

Because he struggled to speak clearly, Cheri talked to us about foods known to inflame Eustachian tubes and recommended vestibular play. His hearing system needed movements. Thankfully, she waited until we were ready. There was so much to learn from Cheri. That discussion made me remember his baby and toddler days of tummy aches. His pediatrician recommended removing milk from his diet. I thought the issue was outgrown or just a lactose intolerance. During the last year, milk became part of his diet. Thus, we removed milk once again from his diet. I believe it made a difference. Her blog, Six Foods Contributing to Inflammation, helped me keep milk out of his diet.

Success with Berard Auditory Integration Training

Cheri recommended Berard Auditory Integration Training (AIT) along with Dianne Craft’s Brain Integration Therapy (BIT) and speech therapy. Several months after completing AIT and continuing BIT, the speech therapist was encouraged by Ryan’s progress. His speech therapist commented several times her surprise at Ryan’s great gains. He met all speech therapy goals in half the time originally estimated by his therapist. He has also found his voice. Now when he is upset, he can tell us what he needs or what is wrong.

Additional Improvements:

I remember Cheri getting excited when he no longer threw himself down on the ground during his weekly brain integration training class. That was about six months into therapy. There were other improvements.

  • He stopped suddenly throwing himself down on the ground away from home.
  • In soccer, he scored several goals becoming one of the better players on his team.
  • During lessons, he became more focused no longer disrupting other students with silly behavior. Cheri explained that being silly is a way of taking a visual break.

Two Auditory Training Programs

I am writing this testimony during the completion of his second AIT program. We are confident his early intervention will prevent him from struggling academically, socially, and in sports. Regrettably, family circumstances prevented him from receiving his second AIT six months after completing his first program. When he began to have difficulty speaking, I knew I could no longer delay making the time to complete his second program. I now realize it is very important to follow intervention timing guidelines. I hope my testimony will encourage other parents to be more vigilant with scheduling follow-up hearing tests and having their child complete the recommended second AIT program.

Update: Cheri contacted me about 18 months later regarding my younger son’s academic progress asking specifically about his reading comprehension. Unfortunately, my youngest son’s reading skills were delayed with reading comprehension difficulties. Cheri asked, “Can he catch a ball with confidence?” No, he could not. Talk about timing, an optometrist had just shared that he had an eye that turned out when it grew tired while reading. His glasses were helping, but I thought that was the solution. Cheri explained the importance of vision therapy to strengthen visual neural pathways and teach both eyes to work together. She shared a wonderful story and YouTube links about the brain’s ability to change. It helped motivate me to save the money we would need for vision therapy.

A year later I am very happy to share that my youngest son will not struggle academically. He is now in advance reading classes!

A very thankful mother, 2012-2016

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