Neuroplasticity in Focus: Recognizing Signs of Brain Imbalance in Children

brain imbalance in children

Balance is important in many areas of life. We’re encouraged to find work-life balance, eat a balanced diet and balance our household budgets.

There’s another important type of balance though that often goes unnoticed. It’s the importance of a balanced brain.

Neuroplasticity plays a pivotal role in the ongoing pursuit of balance, extending beyond the tangible aspects of life.

What do we mean by ‘brain balance’?

If you Google ‘brain balance’, most of the results you’ll get focus on chemical imbalances in the brain and how that affects your sleep or mood.

That’s not the only type of brain imbalance, though. At Neurofit Brain Centre, we’re interested in the balance between the two hemispheres or sides of the brain.

If you’ve ever seen photos or drawings of the brain, you’ll know that it has two sides that look very similar. But there’s actually some very significant differences in how the two sides of the brain process information.

That said, the brain works as a whole. The two sides may function differently but they complement and reinforce one another. The left side of your brain may help you understand language but the right side adds vitally important information about context and tone, helping you work out what someone really means when they say, ‘I’m fine’. The left side helps you solve equations in maths class but it’s the right side that helps you compare two choices or estimate each person’s share of a bill.

Usually, both sides of the brain develop at the same pace. But not always. In some cases, one side of the brain becomes stronger than the other resulting in an imbalance. When that happens, the two hemispheres become out of step with each other and no longer work well as a team.

What are the signs of a brain imbalance in children?

Brain imbalance lies behind many learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental / neurobehavioural disorders. When your brain is imbalanced, it can result in slower processing, poor body coordination and movement patterns and often social difficulty.

Indicators of brain balance in a child include poor:

  • Body and spatial awareness
  • Motor skills
  • Social skills
  • Cognitive awareness
  • Academic performance
  • Emotional regulation.

The good news is that the brain is constantly changing. With the right input, it can gain speed and strength through a process known as neuroplasticity.

What is neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to change itself by reorganising its structure, functions or connections in response to stimuli.

The brain goes through tremendous development in infancy as a baby learns to walk and talk. We used to think that it was done then – that the brain stopped developing in early childhood and that if it was damaged or injured after that, it couldn’t recover the affected functions.

Now we know differently. The brain changes constantly throughout the lifespan in response to new experiences.

That means the brain has the potential to recover after developmental delays, stroke or traumatic injury.

How do we restore brain balance?

We improve or restore brain balance by giving additional stimulation to the weaker areas of the brain.

That involves:

  • Identifying which areas of the brain may need additional stimulation
  • Using sounds, smells, colours, light, laser or vibrations to stimulate one side of the body and so stimulate the relevant side the brain
  • Playing brain-based video games.

Does it work? Children with ADD/ADHD often have a functional disconnection (meaning the two sides of the brain don’t work well together). One study found that a 12-week program aimed at increasing activity in the underactive right hemisphere helped children make significant improvements in many areas of school performance.

How can Neurofit Brain Centre help?

Neurofit Brain Centre is run by an experienced team including a chiropractor, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists who work together to understand how to harness the brain’s power to improve its function and, ultimately, your child’s quality of life.

If you’d like to explore a brain-based therapy program for your child, please contact us.


All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Neurofit Brain Centre can consult with you to confirm if a particular treatment approach is right for you.