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Children: Focusing on Possibilities,not Limitation

Pièces Puzzle tortue

The Anat Baniel Method is a learning based approach which uses gentle, innovative movement techniques to help the brain of the child form new neural connections and patterns. The method is based on the understanding that many traumas, diseases or everyday stresses interrupt the brain's normal and spontaneous process of learning. This also interrupts the communication that needs to happen between the child's body, the child's world, and the child's brain. Often, it is possible to directly communicate with the child's nervous system in very gentle - yet powerful ways - through movement, greater awareness and non-verbal kinesthetic experiences.

Where in traditional therapies there is great emphasis on trying to get the child to do what they are supposed to be doing based on his or her age, a very different approach is taken with ABM. Instead of trying to directly fix the problem by focusing on what the child cannot do (trying to stretch a short muscle, putting the child in positions he should be based on his age...) the focus is shifted to where the solutions actually lie: with the brain.

Everything we see a healthy child do is the result of a complex process of differentiation in the brain, creating new connections and new patterns. All the child's experiences, whether by his own initial random movements or by what is done with him by those caring for him, is information used by his brain to develop and grow. When a problem like a stroke, autism, cerebral palsy, or a genetic disorder occurs, this process is interrupted and the child manifests a host of limitations. A simple example for this would be, forcing a child to move a spastic arm. This will normally give very little or no outcome basically because the child hasn't garnered the know how to move that arm without the spasticity.  The child has to learn to move the arm differently to 'differentiate' between the two ways and then the brain will choose the easiest or more effective way.

Another example would be when a child is unable to recognize and sort emotional and social interactions and cues, repeated attempts to get that child to relate to others is at best, only partially successful. This is because their brain is unable to transform the stimulation received - into meaningful information.  ABM focuses on helping the brain do its job better. It helps the brain upgrade itself and regain its ability to powerfully and consistently create new patterns and successful solutions.​

Brain and body are one so ABM uses specific and guided movements to teach these differentiation.

The Anat Baniel Method Has Helped Children With:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disord/ADHD and learning disabilities

  • Asperger's Disorder

  • Autism

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Birth Injuries

  • Brachial Plexus Injury

  • Brain Damage

  • Stroke

  • Torticollis

  • Down's Syndrome

  • Feeding disorders

  • Fragile X

  • Genetic Disorders

  • Scoliosis

  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Parents and Caregivers note that their child:

  • Sleeps better

  • Pays attention longer

  • Makes more sounds

  • Gains more movement choices

  • Has an improved mood

  • Has better balance

  • Shows better problem solving skills

When a child begins learning in this manner, significant progress often follows. Early intervention can yield very rapid results, but the method has also had great successes with children who had many years of conventional treatments before discovering the Anat Baniel Method.

What does success with the special needs child look like?
There is some progress/change within the first few lessons. The changes may be subtle or dramatic, but if the child is learning, there will be some noticeable change. Recognizing even the most subtle changes and building enthusiasm toward them will help the changes happen even faster.

The child should be safe, comfortable, and happy during their sessions. Learning is a pleasurable and satisfying experience leading to greater freedom and ease. While the diagnosis may remain, the quality of the child's experience and joy will increase.

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