Somatic Errors

Somatic errors underlie many, if not the majority, of neurodivergent conditions. Divergent Fitness addresses somatic errors with fitness and movement using unique protocols we have developed.

When combined with elements from nutrition, psychology, neuroscience, and other disciplines, these protocols equip our students, athletes, and their parents with the skills, techniques, and insights to living fuller, more satisfying lives.

An athlete with a medicine ball and a trainer.

You Know Your Child Can Do More, and So Do We

The parents of our students and athletes tell us they know their child is capable of more….and they are right. And our neurodivergent adults know this as well.

Traditional protocols for addressing neurodivergent conditions view them as disorders to be cured or corrected.

We see the conditions as functions that serve a purpose for that individual.

So, we work to take advantage of these functions while developing additional skills.

What are somatic errors?

The brain and body combine to enable people to learn from their experiences and live safely and enjoyably. The brain processes the sensory inputs and stimuli from the body and predicts an outcome for an action. 

Somatic errors result from a gap between what the body experiences and what the brain expects.

For example, a young child wouldn’t know about the effects of hot objects if the brain had not previously received any data about them. So, when the child touches something hot, the pain informs the brain of the outcome of touching something hot. The brain stores this information, and when the infant approaches the same or similar situation again, it knows to expect a hot result and modifies its behavior.

However, people with neurodivergent conditions experience gaps in communication between the body and brain, making the brain’s predictions inaccurate or unreliable.

Our neurodivergent students and athletes of all ages often take in everything they see and experience, overloading the brain with inputs. With so much data to process, the brain has difficulty formulating a prediction appropriate to the situation. We refer to this as seeing the world from the “bottom-up” versus seeing it as most other people do, from the “top-down.”

Trainer working with an athlete
Athlete undergoes strength training using a sandbag

What are the effects of somatic errors?

Somatic Errors can lead to unpleasant experiences or the inability to act because the individual fears what might happen. Put another way; neurodivergent individuals have an intolerance for uncertainty.

Think about the vast amount of stimuli most people receive every day. When we view the world “from the top, down,” we focus on specific inputs, not everything all at once. 

Let’s think about the page you are reading right now: Text, Images, links, windows and controls fill your browser screen, all vying for your attention. However, you focus on the content since you are looking for information on somatic errors. That’s viewing the world “from the top, down.”

By contrast, a neurodivergent person sees and tries to process everything on the page all at once. The gap between their body and brain inhibits their ability to focus, pick one thing to address, and develop effective predictions when they experience the same or similar situations in the future.

Addressing Somatic Errors with Fitness and Movement

When we work with our students and athletes, we take the time to understand how they see the world and to adopt the same “bottom up” view they experience. We use fitness and movement to help narrow the mind/body gap that causes somatic errors by training the mind with repeatable experiences and outcomes. For example, exercises and weight lifting repetitions are an excellent way to help students and athletes develop reliable predictions about an outcome.

Since the body’s movement and the weight’s resistance are always the same, the brain eventually creates a prediction that the neurodivergent individual can rely upon. 

As the student or athlete builds upon their fitness and movement successes, we can close the brain/body gap further.

We Equip You for Success, Too

Like any instructional and developmental process, neurodivergent individuals benefit from parent involvement, support, and encouragement away from the treatment facility. We’ll teach you how to reinforce and amplify the benefits of in-the-gym training back in your home. 

Part of our training includes teaching you how to see the world as your child sees it.

Wait until you see what your child can do after we work together to address their somatic errors and other neurodivergent conditions! You both are about to experience a marked improvement in quality of life.

To learn more about how we can help your child, please fill out our Assessment Form to schedule a time with one of Divergent Fitness’s specialists. Or give us a call at (805) 900-0299 to learn more first. We look forward to speaking with you.


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