Saturday, January 22, 2011

integrative, whole-child approach to healing our children

Blog post #2

Remember the song that taught us the bones that make up the skeleton and how they were all connected?  

The toe bone's connected to the foot bone, the foot bone's connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone's connected to the leg bone, now shake dem skeleton bones! 

"Dem Bones:" is a terrific reminder that we are the sum of our parts, that all our systems are connected to make us the amazing beings we are: circulatorydigestive, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, urinary. I also add our emotional, social and energetic systems to the pot as well. Stir them up, and the final product is ... us. 

Over the years, I've grown concerned with how our differently-abled children are seen as 'parts' and not as a 'whole.'   Their challenges are neatly filed into categories, based on what system(s) seem to be having issues.  Is a meltdown truly due to a sensory over-responsive reaction, or could it be due to a digestive issue?  Maybe the child is hungry or thirsty or tired?  Maybe hormones are unbalanced due to an overload of chemicals in the body?  Maybe someone in the family passed away and the child is grieving?  Maybe the fluorescent lighting is difficult on the child's eyes, or it's flickering, or making that annoying humming sound that eventually wants to make you blow your stack?   Maybe there's bad chemistry between the child and his/her teacher (seen it too many times)?

So many maybes.

Are our children best served by this one-system-at-a-time approach, or do other approaches exist?

If I was granted one wish, I'd wish for a healthcare system filled with practitioners who were trained in a plethera of healing modalities ... from traditional to complementary to alternative.  Where these practitioners could tune into their inner voice and connect with the hearts of their patients.  Where they know how to scan a patient's energy to find blockages and clear them.  Where they were as well-trained on herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements and clean food choices as they are on pharmaceuticals.  Where they treat the person, and not the symptoms.

This is an integrative approach to healing our children: connecting teams of people who work together to heal the whole-person ... connecting East and West techniques ... re-connecting a child's pieces so he/she can be whole again.

In my practice, I rely on my intuition to tell me what's going on with a child.  I could be hired to help a child whose mouth is so sensitive he/she cannot eat a healthful, varied diet ... but I intuit that emotional issues could be more of a problem, or maybe an undiagnosed learning style difference that's holding them back.  I never know what I'm going to find when I open the pandora's box, known as the 'whole child."

So here, in this blog as well as on my facebook page, I intend to share out-of-the-box strategies on how to help our children with sensory processing and other challenges.  I'm sure I'll raise some eyebrows, but you might find some of these tricks helpful.

Until next time, I bid you fare-well.

Ida Zelaya
sensory street(tm), inc.

(c) 2011 sensory street, inc. all rights reserved.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more! Pediatricians, Neurologists, ENT's etc. all working independently of one another is completely ridiculous and inefficient, not to mention dangerous. There have been some risks taken with my son that may not have been necessary because of lack of communication between those providing his care.

    But there is hope. I believe that change can come to our healthcare system but it will take all of us. The adjective that is used to describe one who can unify disparate pieces is esemplastic. I came across that word after having a dream during a very difficult time of searching for answers for my son. Everyone was seeing his symptoms as just that, separate from one another. When I found "esemplastic" I knew that that was what I must be for him. I must have the ability to see him as a whole, and find those who would do the same.

    I hope we can find them sooner rather than later, giving my son the opportunity he deserves to experience and express everything he can in life. All children do. And because of people like you Ida, they will.

    Thank you!

  2. Ida,

    With great admiration, I thank you for this post.
    On our journey, we have woven a blend of western, eastern and holistic practitioners to find our own way.
    Ongoing and full time research, probing and blessings to get closer to understanding the body, brain and soul connections as well as the disconnects, not just in the patient but in the healers. Everything is in flux and things shift as we each sort the rubic cube like twists and turns in the study of our precious child.

    Those ah ha moments, often out of the box moments are the light in often shadowed days.

    You are one of Beacons in our journey.