I will never forget the look on her face, the day that I realized something wasn’t right. I will never forget the burning pit at the bottom of my stomach. She didn’t understand why she was breaking down and I didn’t even begin to know how to help her.
She was 5 at the time and in kindergarten. I had always worried about deciding to allow her to start school so young. She was only 4 at the beginning of the school year, but because of her birthday, I had the option to allow her to start at 4 – and have her be the youngest of her class – or start the following year and be the oldest. Being a single Mom and making big life-influencing decisions on my own has been the source of great anxiety over the years. This one, in particular, was a decision that I really didn’t want to screw up. This was a decision that would shape the next 12 years of her life, at a minimum. This was a decision that I felt could make or break her morale. I trusted my gut and I went with it.
That’s the thing – as a parent, sometimes we have to make tough decisions and there isn’t exactly a “How to Do Parenting for Dummies” manuscript to guide us along. Breathe. Here’s the good news……we aren’t alone. We’re all in the same boat together.
The Day Our World Changed
I noticed little things about Layla’s mannerisms that struck me as odd, but I chalked it up to her age and stage in the developmental process. For example, if I said, “Layla, please get Mom the book off the table” and pointed to the table I referenced – it was as if she were navigating in the dark. She had absolutely no discernment of where she was going. In fact, she had minimal awareness of her body or coordination of it.
Soon enough I began to recognize that she was constantly on an emotional roller coaster. When she was in a situation that was too much or too little for her senses, she was instantly in emotional upheaval. Admittingly, I often became frustrated with her. I’m not proud of it, but there were times when I thought it was a behavioral issue and raised my voice. I put her in time out. I put up consequences when her reaction to circumstances and situations didn’t look the way I thought it should. Then, it happened.
As we all know, Louisiana is known to have all four seasons in one day. Well, this particular morning was a bit rough because it was near 80 degrees the day before, but we suddenly found it 30 degrees colder and had to dress accordingly. I remember putting a fitted long-sleeved shirt under Layla’s uniform top. She wasn’t thrilled about it and the result was an all-out meltdown. I had an early morning meeting which meant that I was already frustrated about being late. Just before I opened my mouth to address the “tantrum,” I looked at her face and saw something that jolted my heart. She stood there, in the middle of our big white living room, with her arms outstretched and looking at her wrists (where the edges of the fitted shirt touched her skin). Tears rolled down her face and I could physically see the struggle that her brain was having, to process how the edges of the sleeves felt against her skin. At that moment, without a word being said, I knew something was wrong.
From that point forward, life would never be the same.
Fast forward nearly 2 years, many meltdowns, an overabundance of social anxiety, fear over everything unfamiliar, and a whole lot of apologies later – I found myself sitting on the floor of my living room crying in the dark and praying for God to show me how to help her. I tried tutoring for her struggles in school. I completely stopped buying clothing with tags on them. I even reevaluated the texture of the food she ate. It all helped momentarily address the physical battles, but nothing seemed to resolve the emotional and mental battle she had going on inside. If any of this sounds painfully familiar to you – know that there is hope……and help.
The Gift of the MNRI Method
Enter Bridgett Mouton. She had been a long-time friend and I knew she did therapy with children and adults, but I never fully understood what it was, but I do very vividly remember the day that she explained it and how deeply it resonated with me. I was desperate and willing to try anything. So, I scheduled an assessment and prayed.
Since that day, MNRI has been the gift that keeps on giving. My sweet Layla added a characteristic to her uniqueness that made her perfectly imperfect. It became evident to us that she had some deep sensory processing issues.
Some kids seem to have trouble handling the information their senses take in—things like sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Besides these common senses, two other less well-known areas can be affected – oprioception, or a sense of body awareness, and vestibular sense, which involves movement, balance, and coordination. Kids with sensory processing issues experience too much or too little stimulation through these senses. They may also have difficulty integrating sensory information—for example, things that they see and hear simultaneously, like a person speaking—might seem out of sync for them. These problems can be tough on kids, and get in the way of them functioning effectively, learning, and making friends.
Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) has become a household name. In the words of Bridgette, “Dr. Masgutova’s Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration speaks to our most organic design by providing safe touch in the right intention and intensity for each unique being. Creating a bridge for healing, by increasing endorphin B with Dr. Masgutova’s bonding reflex, is the basic building block for the love of the creator by creation. We are all wired for wellness and in my opinion, starts with LOVE.”
What is MNRI?
It is important to understand that automatic motor reflex programs exist in each of our bodies, regardless of a label or diagnosis, or the challenges faced. For each motor reflex program to emerge, mature, and integrate, the nervous system, sensory system, and motor system must be functioning appropriately and cooperatively. MNRI Method targets underlying neurosensorimotor pathways to improve or even restore that function. In the simplest terms, an MNRI assessment will identify where automatic motor reflexes are out of line and the MNRI Method will isolate the impacted area and use restorative techniques to close the gap.
This therapy has been so much more than just answered prayers. It has unlocked all that Layla was created to be. Those who know her closely are blown away by how far she has come. The little girl who use to hide in her mother’s shadow, desperately searching for an explanation as to why the world seems so overwhelming, now boldly steps forward to speak her truth. She knows no stranger. She confidently purses her dreams and exudes love and kindness.
As a parent, it is a beautiful thing to see. As HER mother, it makes my heart bigger than I thought imaginable. Always lean into intuition. After all, everyone thought Noah was crazy for building the Arc until it started to rain. Of all the Moms and Dads, in the world, that God could have given your little ones to – He chose YOU. Because He knew they needed what you have. Whatever battle you’re fighting, know that you aren’t alone. If you’re exhausted and don’t know how you are going to keep giving this much day after day……rest assured, you’re doing something right.
To learn more about MNRI’s origin, method, and who it can help, visit: https://masgutovamethod.com/