Ground-breaking book: The influence of gravity on your child’s development
Gravity, a missing link in child development by Dr Melodie de Jager, Dr Oleg Efimov and Victoria Efimova (Mind Moves Institute Publishing, 2020)
What do children with learning difficulties and cosmonauts have in common?
Gravity, a missing link in child development by Dr Melodie de Jager, Dr Oleg Efimov and Victoria Efimova is a practical guide for parents, teachers, medical professionals, therapists and anyone interested in helping children reach their full potential. This book provides an innovative approach because it does not take the existence of gravity for granted, as we so easily do.
When children are reading and writing, we often assume that they are fully focused on just that: reading and writing. This, in fact, is not the case. For the brain to work optimally it has to give priority to the relationship between the body and gravity. Only when children can effectively deal with gravity can they sit up straight and gauge the spatial position of the letters they are reading or shaping. Did you know that muscle tone (required in order to grip a pen) is a force which opposes gravity? The book explains this relationship in detail.
The authors of this book – a developmental specialist, a neurologist, and a speech therapist- each with at least 30 years’ experience of working with children – have made astonishing discoveries about the influence of gravity on the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of children. Even though these experts live and work in different hemispheres and use vastly different approaches, their research has led them to the same conclusion: impaired functionality of the vestibular system (the place in the body where gravity meets cognitive processes) can delay milestones and have a negative impact on a child’s overall development.
This book takes a fresh approach to:
- Delayed milestones
- Low muscle tone
- Poor sensory integration
- Difficulties establishing laterality and hand dominance
- Anxiety disorders
- Speech and language delays
- Fear of the dark
- Motion sickness
And the link between children with learning difficulties and cosmonauts?
Like children with learning and behavioural difficulties, cosmonauts experience a disturbed relationship with gravity while in space and free from the influence of gravity. This insight alone is extremely valuable. For example, research has shown that while in space, cosmonauts may unintentionally write from right to left, or mirror-write.
Yes – there is a solution!
Gravity, a missing link in child development not only outlines various developmental challenges, but also offers solutions. Playful and structured movement is nature’s way of developing the brain structures needed to establish a healthy relationship between gravity and the vestibular system. This in turn impacts emotional and cognitive development. Incidentally, children who need more physical development tend to favour sedentary activities like reading, watching TV or playing electronic games.
What do these children need? Movement! Not exercise, which requires will power and makes one sweat; the authors’ “medicine” is movement in the sense of joyful activity. Gravity, a missing link in child development contains a whole section on movement, including traditional games and a surprisingly effective massage technique, to stimulate the gradual unfolding and maturation of the vestibular system, the higher centres of the brain and cognitive processes.
Countless children face the challenges addressed in this book, disrupting their lives and those of their parents. The practical and easy to implement solutions offered, on the other hand, promise a return to stability.
Gravity, a missing link in child development can be found at https://www.mindmoves.co.za/shop/
About the authors
DR OLEG EFIMOV & VICTORIA EFIMOVA
Oleg is the founder of an innovative private pediatric, neurological clinic called Prognosis, in St.Petersburg, Russia. Oleg is a neurologist. Ten years ago Victoria, a speech therapist, joined forces with Oleg. This novel team with the 120 doctors, who work at Prognosis, continue to research, diagnose and treat developmental disorders of children in their neurodynamic gym. Oleg and Victoria have published numerous articles in journals and books in Russian and English.
DR MLODIE DE JAGER
Melodie is the founder of the babygym and Mind Moves Institutes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Melodie is a developmental specialist and published author of numerous books for parents and teachers on neuro development, translated into English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Italian. Melodie is actively involved in the research and treatment of developmental disorders of babies and children with her team of 120 Instructors in South Africa, Namibia and Spain.