Reaching to Learn
Children with Learning Delays often have experienced traumatic or premature births. As a result, these infants often are not able to move their bodies fully or with ease. During early development, movement is one of the most important ways that the baby fills in his Brain Map. All that flailing that you see babies do, is exactly what that developing brain needs to answer the questions “Where am I?” and “What’s holding me?”. Those questions could also be What IS me and What is NOT me. When infants are deprived of this basic information, they simply don’t have the tools to put new movements together. Movement lessons don’t teach babies how to move, rather we help babies gather that information for their brain map. Then they can begin to connect the dots and follow their curiosity.
Calming the System
I first help children learn to feel how they are in the present. I slowly help them feel their own skeletal landmarks for movement along with their connection to the ground. As their chest softens and babies learn to trust their support on the floor, movement options improve naturally as they learn to press the floor in order to move more freely. This “felt sense” of their own boundaries and their inner feeling can become a life-long guide for learning, setting boundaries, and expressing their unique gifts and talents.
Reaching to Learn
By helping each child to feel the components of movement that are possible for them, I help children connect with their own joy of learning. This is done by helping them experience varied possibilities for movement in their trunk and from their trunk to their extremities through movement. Children begin to invent movement combinations and expand their neurological picture, their self-image, to include increasingly more of their true potential for movement. I create a unique learning environment for each child without painful or invasive means.
Reaching to Learn with children can include the following:
The Anat Baniel Method for Children℠ (ABM)
The Anat Baniel MethodSM is my primary method for children. Everything else that I do is incorporated into or associated with this.
In my work, I find that Masgutova Neurosensorymotor Reflex Integration, MNRI, can be a helpful adjunct to the Anat Baniel MethodSM. I use Reflex Integration regularly to help infants who have difficulty grasping, leaning on their hands, arching the upper spine, and alligator crawling using their feet and toes.
Nurturing Touch & Developmental Movement Lessons
There are many types of nurturing touch that can be enjoyed by an infant or small child. Gentle but firm touch can also give a child’s brain information about areas of high tone and low tone. For example, children who have neurological or learning delays often have a difference in the level of tone on their back on either side of the spine. By non-verbally helping them to feel the differences, the tone can become more even.
I teach parents how to touch in ways that enhance the baby’s development and the parent/child bond through specific and caring touch, respect and play.
Regular classes are scheduled by request for parent groups and individual parent and child lessons.
Six Ways of Touching ~ Anat Baniel
~ From the book Kids Beyond Limits
There is a rhythm to the movement of Cerebrospinal fluid in the body that can be felt separately from the movement of the breath or the pulse. In the same way that you or I don’t normally hear a small clock ticking in a room, if we become very still and silent, the same clock can become prominently loud. After years of experience working with the craniosacral system, I find that sometimes I feel a spontaneous unwinding especially with infants.
In the video below, I am not moving Hayden intentionally, he is moving and I am following.