I can’t even take credit for naming Spiky Magic Ball. It was one of my clients that did that for me. It was almost a year or so ago now, but I guess I haven’t had the chance to introduce her to you.
You see- she got her name because- well, you can probably see from the picture that she’s “spiky” even though the spikes aren’t sharp. In fact, they are pretty floppy. And the magic part? Well, that comes from the fact that if you squeeze it really hard you can see the glitter in the ball itself. “COOL!” Is the usual response when kiddos find the glitter on the ball itself.
Now, you know- just like everything else I do and all the toys I use, Spiky Magic Ball has her own purpose.
You see, when I’m working with kids, besides working on their primitive reflexes, we are also working on developing their sensory systems. If you want to read more about two key systems, I suggest you take a look at my post titled “Changes“.
Today, with Spiky Magic Ball in mind, I’m thinking about the tactile system as well as the Moro Reflex.
The tactile system is your sense of touch. It’s about the information we receive through the receptors in our skin. Just like the other sensory systems, the tactile system has a good chance of being under-developed when the person’s primitive reflexes are unintegrated (not finished). You can read more in the post titled “It Might be Different Than you Think” if you’d like to learn about how the reflexes are tied into the sensory systems.
So if you think about Spiky Magic Ball for a second, you might be able to figure out how it could help someone to develop that tactile system- that sense of touch. Think about the texture of the rubbery, almost slippery feel of the “spikes”. Think about the squishiness of the ball itself, how it pushes and pulls as you put pressure on it. Now, I dare say that there are some of you reading this that wouldn’t even want to touch a ball like that. Am I right? Let me tell you, I have parents of some of my clients that want to have nothing to do with such a ball! The touch of it “grosses them out”. Or, it just feels weird to them. But most kids? Well- they usually love it!
Ok, enough about Spiky Magic Ball for a minute. Let’s shift gears.
Imagine, if you will- that everything you touch bothers you. Clothing bothers your skin. Everything you touch feels more spiky, more squishy, more rigid, more soft, more weird to you than other people. Maybe you will only wear certain types of clothes, or even- only one particular set of clothes that your parents have to wash- every. single. day!
Maybe you can’t stand the touch of a pencil in your hand, or the feel of the paper in a book.
Maybe brushing your hair (or worse yet- washing it!) is something akin to torture because you are so super sensitive to everything that comes in contact with that sense of touch- that tactile system!
This is the life of some of the kids I work with. This is how some kids come to me.
Sad. Isn’t it?
I hope I’ve given you a picture in your mind of how an under-developed tactile system might feel for a kiddo. All of that sensory input coming in via touch and the brain just doesn’t know what to do with it. And-I’m not even talking about any of the other sensory input that they are bombarded with on a daily basis!
Now, I will tell you that we (in this field of Primitive Reflex Integration) know that there is a huge connection between the Moro Response (or reflex) and sensory input. The Moro is triggered by sensory input. Sensory input such as lights, sounds, and yes…touch. The Moro is meant to be a reflex that can help alert and summon assistance in the first few years of life. A wet diaper, change in temperature, sudden movements, etc. It’s the “fight/flight” in the fight/flight/freeze response.
However, when that Moro Reflex is unintegrated (not finished)- just like other unintegrated reflexes, it can cause difficulties later in life.
And a major one of those difficulties?
Sensitivity to lights. Sensitivity to loud sounds. And yup- you guessed it- sensitivity to….touch.
Spiky Magic Ball? Well here is where she comes in.
If we’re working on the Moro reflex, and Spiky Magic Ball is on the scene? She’s helping with that tactile system. She’s helping to bring more joy into the session so that changes happen faster. She’s helping to develop that sense of touch- that tactile system with her squishy, rubbery, “spikey” spikes and magical glitter that you can only find when you really push and pull. She brings her “magic” to our sessions and helps develop the tactile system and move that Moro Reflex along a bit more during the “play” part of our time together that day.
Yup- Spiky Magic Ball, just like the other tools I have, all have their place and time within a Brain FUNdamentals session.
And now- I wonder…
What’s the next type of ball I’ll end up writing about?!?