Updated: Sep 10
Is Neuromovement® right for my child?
When my son with Down Syndrome was born, I refused to hear the prognoses served by the doctors and medical establishment. They said “he may never…(walk/talk/be potty trained)” or “he will never…” do this or that, you name it. Among the “therapies” we were advised to use, none of them seemed to help him develop to his full potential – a potential that, it seemed, only I could see. Worse, some of them seemed to do him harm! Physio was painful – tummy time felt like torture. At age 2, he still wasn’t walking or talking, and I was becoming desperate – because I knew he could. So, like many parents of children with disabilities, I went looking for answers.
I started learning about the brain, and that's how I stumbled upon the Anat Baniel Method® for children with disabilities. We took a leap of faith and went to see a practitioner, and within ONE session, my son was doing things he’d never done in 2 years of physio: he stood! Next session, he mouthed a word! Soon he was walking and talking. He’s now 7 and he shines. He is starting to read, he can count, he is learning English, he goes to school with neurotypical children, he is happy. Of course, he still has Down Syndrome, and of course he will always have a learning disability – BUT he has opportunities and abilities for learning he would have never acquired otherwise, and there is constant progress. If you’re curious about how this works, and if this could help your child with a disability, here are a few key points:
Free Movement = learning
We know the brain is involved in EVERYTHING. From organizing movement and posture, to thinking and organizing immunity and digestion. Babies first learn through movement. We’ve all seen babies move randomly: each tiny movement and its myriad variations and subtle nuances brings information to the brain, which then takes it in and makes sense of it progressively. But some children experience challenges with this: low tone, accidents, strokes, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, autism, brain injuries – they all have in common that they create limits to a child’s movement – and hence to a child’s learning and brain development.
If your child does not do something, or meet a milestone, or succeed at something, it’s because their brain hasn’t figured out how to do that yet.
Brains learn what they experience
Asking or forcing children to do what they can’t already do by themselves will not help them learn it. Brains learn what they experience. Therefore, placing a child on their belly, in sitting or standing before they can do it themselves, or asking them repeatedly mouth words they can’t articulate - actually teaches them to fail. They associate the asking with the not-doing. Worse, painful therapies like stretching, physiotherapy, rigid orthotics, standing stations and the like only associate movement with pain. The brain then recoils from the task, further hindering learning. A nervous system which is constantly on alert will not learn.
So...what can Anat Baniel Method of Neuromovement® do for your child?
The good news is that brains change. The Anat Baniel Method® of Neuromovement® is a form of movement therapy that focuses on the relationship between the brain and the body. It is based on the property of the brain to change and adapt throughout a person's lifetime, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. By using movement, Neuromovement® helps the brain develop new neural connections, absorb richer information, and learn - allowing for improved physical and cognitive abilities.
Children with special needs or disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, brain injuries and other disorders benefit greatly from the Anat Baniel Method® of Neuromovement® . By using gentle, painless and subtle movements your child can improve their brain’s learning ability, leading to better motor skills, balance, coordination, and overall physical function. ABM can also help improve cognitive abilities, such as attention, memory, language and other skills. ABM is designed to help the brain upgrade and learn, allowing for improved function and abilities.
The Anat Baniel Method Neuromovement® has also been shown to have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of children with special needs or disabilities, including autism and ADHD. By improving their physical and cognitive abilities, improving self-image and body consciousness, the method can help boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. This can lead to a greater sense of agency and a more positive outlook on life. The Anat Baniel Method® of Neuromovement® is a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical supportive intervention. Unlike other treatments that may involve surgery or medication or painful stretching and long repetitions, ABM uses natural methods to help the brain develop new neural connections. This makes it a safe and effective alternative for children with special needs. Results vary, but they are often quite stunning, and rapidly visible. That’s because children’s brains are highly plastic, and they are hungry for learning!
If you have a child with special needs or a disability, and are dissatisfied with the lack of results from traditional therapies, don’t wait to have them experience the Anat Baniel Method® of Neuromovement®. It may just be the key to unlocking your child’s full developmental potential.
Also good news: The Anat Baniel Method of Neuromovement is available in Montreal and Quebec for the first time!
Book a free online consultation today to see if this is right for your child.
In-person sessions in Montreal, Gatineau, Quebec, and from 2024, also in France!