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As above, so below…Root causes – not labels!
Have you ever wondered why two people with exactly the same diagnosis, or ‘label’ such as autism, are only similar in their traits, but not exactly the same, and that one might have some other ‘labels’ whilst the other does not? Why is this?
The analogy of a tree and its roots helps to explain what you have noticed.
The strength of a tree above ground is reliant on an equal balance of roots below ground. Therefore, a 100metre tall tree requires 100m of roots below the ground to keep it stable. If the roots are insufficient or weak then even a slight gust of wind could make that tree topple over.
And so it is with neurological issues: a brain which is not functioning 100% will leave that person feeling somehow weak, vulnerable or ‘not as good as they could possibly be’, and thus they are more prone to the signs and symptoms (e.g. anxiety, other behaviours, etc) which we see ‘above ground’.
Giving a tree a label just lets us know what type of tree and maybe how strong it is likely to be in the wind. However, this label tells us very little about its roots (which we can’t see).
Likewise, labels such as dyslexia, DCD, autism, ADHD, developmental delay, etc tell us about the signs and symptoms that we can see and experience ‘above ground’ and also help to describe how a person is most likely to ‘topple over’ (their signs and symptoms). But they do not tell us WHY a person is most likely to fall over: more specifically, they do NOT describe which of the roots (brain regions) is weak nor why.
Growing and strengthening a tree’s roots keeps it strong, resilient and confident to tackle the strongest of storms.
Instead of just giving labels to people with neurological issues, it would therefore make far more sense to look at their ‘roots’.
This is the world of Neuroplasticity Therapies (and all the professions umbrellaed under this field)
As we can appreciate from the tree example, the root system is complex. The brain is also just as complex. No matter the label, finding a root cause and remedial protocol is NOT a one-size-fits-all scenario. It requires assessment from a qualified professional, and a very individualised treatment plan – and this often has very little to do with the ‘label’ given.
However, assessing the root cause leads to a much better understanding of why a person will metaphorically (or sometimes literally) ‘topple or fall’ due to their neurological issues. It helps us to understand the brain region/s which are affected (decompensated). And this assessment should also include the multitude of reasons why a region is not functioning as well as it could be. These reasons are diverse and include immaturity of a brain region, metabolic reasons, inflammation, sleep-issue, injury and more.
Understanding that the same signs or symptoms can result from some very different root causes is essential to understanding that root causes are very different to labels.
This is also why we can never find a one-size-fits-all ‘cure’ for many of these labels – instead we must focus on the root cause/s of each individual case, and provide them with an individualised plan based on as full assessment as possible.
Root causes are so much better than labels. The trees know it, and now so do you 😉
Discover the wide range of sensory, balance, movement, lifestyle therapies incorporated under neuroplasticity therapies.