Functional Neurological Development

PHILOSOPHY of Functional Neurological Development (FND)

Scientists discovered many years ago that the brain develops through function, especially interaction with the surrounding environment. This foundation building of the brain occurs through the sensory-motor pathways, which develop in a different manner than other parts of the body, such as bones and muscles. Specifically, the central nervous system, which extends into practically all other systems anatomically and controls them functionally, waits for specific movements to repeatedly occur before the neurological pathways are developed. Thus, it is through the use (movement) of various parts of the body that the brain and the body create these pathways, which allow us to know where these parts are and how to control them. This process of movement and use is called, function and stimulation. This is the reason that neurological development is a process of function, not time.

The CNS is far more than 3.5 pounds of gray matter, which usually we refer to as the brain. The brain (CNS) is in two main parts, each of which has its own unique function. The first part receives, stores, and processes information and then sends signals as needed for the body to respond to the information. This part is also known as the cortex.

The second part of the brain is the network of sensory-motor pathways throughout the body. This part of the CNS sends information to the cortex and carries instructions from there. The sensory-motor pathways provide the link or tie-in from all parts of the body (your limbs, back, skin, and all the internal parts) to the brain.

As stated, the CNS waits for specific stimulation, especially through motion, to occur with frequency, intensity, and duration in order to develop the sensory-motor pathways. If for some reason these activities, usually fulfilled in infancy and early childhood, do not occur, then the development can be completed at a later age, if the specific stimulation occurs.

Lack of neurological development may reveal itself in numerous ways: poor reading and learning skills, short attention span, hypertension, excess nervousness, poor memory, imbalanced walking and awkward coordination.
In our society, we also have slow learners, individuals with speech problems, and many with neurologically-based vision problems, all as a result of lack of development.
Once a person’s CNS has developed in a certain fashion, it will remain so throughout life unless retraining is applied to correct the situation.

TYPICAL SIGNS/SYMPTOMS that a child/adult might display indicating neurological brain development impairment (not an inclusive list): inability to focus (ADHD), inability to follow instructions, memory issues (short or long term), learning issues (math/reading/writing/comprehension), inability to maintain body temperature (too warm or cold), clumsiness, hyperactivity, hand-eye coordination issues, balance and depth perception issues (including diminished sports performance), and many others.


The ability to listen in the classroom, watch television, or read a book is truly a physical skill. These skills rely on signals, which originate physically in the sense organs and are then physically transmitted through the appropriate sensory-motor pathways to the CNS. If the pathways are not properly developed, then these signals cannot be properly transmitted through the system. This results in little or faulty or no input to the system. Therefore, proper learning and perception is impaired, or in some cases, non-functional.

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