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Developmental Delay - Moro Reflex

(40 Posts)
busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 20:10:51

My DD who's 9, has been seeing a Developmental Delay therapist for 6 months and has been diagnosed as having an underdeveloped moro reflex. She's suffered from terrible tummy cramps for as long as I can remember really, which often started in the middle of the night and have her doubled up in agony (and often ended in her being sick when she was younger). The pains would last about 2 hours and would then disappear as quickly as they started. There didn't seem to be any obvious reason for these attacks although she always suffered from them whenever she had a significant change in her environment such as going on holiday.

As she's got older, the pains have come at other times in the day and on a far more regular basis so someone suggested she see the therapist I was recommended. Since that time, she's been undergoing a programme of brushing (I know it probably sounds a bit wacky) where different parts of her body are brushed to stimulate their development. This has been really successful and the attacks have been almost non-existent as her body has learnt how to deal with the production of adrenaline.

However in the past four weeks they've come back with a vengenance, for no apparent reason and she's had tummy cramps, sickness and a terrible runny bottom. The therapist has changed her programme of brushing but I'm keen to hear if anyone else has experienced this and has any advise.

Sorry for the long post but I really want to help her.

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:03:22

Anyone please?

liquidclocks Fri 09-Feb-07 21:09:29

Haven't got any experience myself but bumping for you.

Very 'out there' thought but is there any possibility she could be entering the early stages of puberty? Or having a growth spurt?

Sorry, paeds not my area, hope someone comes along.

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:15:35

Thanks for taking the time to post Liquidclocks. Having experienced this for about 7 years now, I'm certain this is all linked to the attacks she had before so we (her therapist and I) believe the brushing programme needs changing which is what we've done. It was going so well and now it feels like we're back to where we started

I'm just really keen to see if anyone else has experienced this or knows of someone and can give me some hope that it'll eventually get better.

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:19:10

I'm sorry but I can't see what your therapist means, or at least how it relates to your daughter's problems of cramps and tummy upset.

This provides a reasonable description of a moro reflex scroll down a bit

lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:19:51

sorry if i am being igorant

thought the moro reflex was something only newborns have?

lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:20:28

is this an alternative therapist, have you had a diagnosis from a paed?

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:20:44


lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:20:54

x psot with ladidai

liquidclocks Fri 09-Feb-07 21:21:16

From what little I know of sensory stimulation (I've only used it with adult stroke patients) it is a very slow process and there will be setbacks. As you say - there's no 'apparent' reason but the body does so many things we're not aware of and there probably is a reason that you just can't know about.

do persevere, it sounds like you have a therapist who knows what they're doing.

Hope she's improving again soon, must be so hard for you both when she's having these attacks.

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:22:35

A moro should be something that only newborns have although it can persist in children who have certain neurological problems. To talk about it being underdeveloped in a 9 year old doesn't make sense as if it's present at all then it's a problem!

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:32:21

Thank you for taking the time to advise. To answer a few questions - DD hasn't been assessed by a Paed as my GP just wouldn't accept there was anything wrong and said 'children get these things'. It was as a last resort that I went to see the therapist and depite not really understanding what it's all about, I've seen significant improvements since she's been seeing him despite this recent setback. The therapist explained all about the primary reflexes and in my simple way of trying to understand this, I think that she doesn't still have the moro reflex, it's that the adult reflex that replaces this (fight/flight) is the one that's underdeveloped. That's why she get's tummy cramps that come on her very suddenly as adrenaline levels in her body rise and then disappear once they subside.

I'm not medically minded at all so I could be talking complete rubbish and just be hearing what I want. All I know is I want my little girl to be better

lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:34:12

if there is an issue with her digesitve system, can you get a second opinion, or see someone privately.....the moro reflex sounds like a red herring, im(not a medical profession) opinion...

are her attacks possibly IBS or IBD, that can be helped with conventional medicine

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:37:34

Ok, my thoughts are that the original problem that your dd had was stress related as although you say their wasn't an obvious reason for them you also point out that they happened in response to a significant change in her development. I can buy in to the idea that the bodybrushing may have helped her with this.

I think that the more recent problems may have a different cause and I would not rely on your therapist to know what the cause is. I understand that you feel that you have been fobbed off by your gp in the past but I would go back again and present this as a new problem.

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:38:13

Lulumama, she's had all sorts of tests short of having tubes put down her throat and my GP has told me that's all that's left if I insisted on going down the digestive route. I just don't think I can put her through that.

Having been trying to deal with this for as long as we have, I've tried everything - no dairy, nothing acid, high fibre - absolutely nothing made a blind bit of difference which is why someone suggested the therapist to me.

To be honest, I hadn't held out much hope and had planned to get her referred but it's seemed to go well upto now.

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:39:14

Has she lost weight?

lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:39:31

does she ever lose blood when she goes to the loo? IBD and IBS can be exacerbated by stress..

WigWamBam Fri 09-Feb-07 21:39:56

I think you might be better off getting a second opinion from another GP or paying privately to see a paediatrician rather than someone who isn't medically qualified, gives you false hope, talks gobbledegook and may turn out to be a quack.

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:40:32

If I want to get DD referred to a Paed, what would I do. We have private healthcare through my work but they said I wasn't covered as my GP said it was physcologial (sp)

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:42:18

Busywizzy, your GP seems to have presented a harsh picture of investigations. If your dd did need to have an endoscopy then it would be done under a short anaesthetic. It would not be traumatic and it would be better to have an accurate diagnosis than to continue with her as she is.

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:43:37

See another Gp.

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:43:43

Oh sorry xposts - DD never looses blood when she goes to the toilet, it's just very runny and she needs to go immediately !! She's a skinny little thing but then so am I and my mum so I've always put that down to her build. Funnily enough though, her appetite has got HUGE since she's been seeing the therapist and she's put lots of weight on so that now she actually fits into age 8-9 trousers and skirts rather than these falling down.

lulumama Fri 09-Feb-07 21:44:39

could well be IBS which can be treated with some meds, anti spasmodics...

definitely worth a second opinion,

LaDiDaDi Fri 09-Feb-07 21:47:50

Could well be IBS, could be other things too. Has she been tested for coeliac?

busywizzy Fri 09-Feb-07 21:49:39

Lulumama, would IBS make her sick as well? and wouldn't the cause of it be more obvious. What I mean is if she had an exam at school or something that was likely to make her nervous. She gets these attacks when she tells me nothing is worrying her and I can't see anything strange going on. She also gets them a day or two into any holiday we've eer been on despite the fact that she seems very happy.

Oh, I just don't know anymore so I think maybe we should get another opinion. I just can't get referred without my GP's OK and he think's I'm a neurotic mother!!

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