I am often asked, “How can my special needs child learn to do things he or she is not currently doing? Such as rolling over, sitting up, talking, walking….”

When a giraffe is born within just a few minutes it is able to walk. How come a human takes many months to learn to walk?

It is because people learn through a process of experimentation. We learn to do something new by trying one way then another yet a third and so on. We go through a process of trial and error.

Imagine you are learning to ride a bike for the first time.

Pretend I show you videos of people riding bicycles and move the pedals around a bike so you could see and hear them. Also I tell you facts about when bikes were first invented and other history.

Would you know how to ride a bike after that?

No, of course not. You need to get on the bike and experience it- feel and sense yourself while riding it.

By sitting on a bike with training wheels, you feel what it is like to move the handlebars side to side.

You might attempt to put too much of your weight on the handle bars and then not be able to steer as well. Or your pressure might be too light so that you are no longer holding the handle bars.

Then you find the amount of pressure to use in order to steer. You also feel what it is like to move your feet in circles to push on the pedals to move forward.You have gone through a trial and error process to know how to pedal and steer.

Then the training wheels come off and someone runs behind you holding on to the bike as you ride. You have to figure out how to stay upright. What is it you do with your weight? How fast do you need to pedal to keep from falling?

Most children fall numerous times when learning to ride a bike. Those falls give the child valuable information that the sensations she was experiencing before she fell did not give her the desired outcome.

Staying upright also gives her information that what she is feeling and the actions she is taking makes it possible to keep riding.

This is how we learn to do anything new- through trying different ways and paying attention to how we feel as we try these different ways. Then we can re-create the same feeling/sensations within ourselves to give us the same or a similar outcome.

Special needs children do not go through a trial and error process in the same way healthy children do.

Here’s where the Anat Baniel Method comes in. An Anat Baniel Method practitioner knows how to create these opportunities for a special needs child.

So the child or infant can begin to feel, sense and then learn through trial and error to do things he couldn’t do before. This is done with skilled touch and gentle movements and the Anat Baniel Method’s Nine Essentials.



The Anat Baniel Method uses gentle movements and the Nine Essentials to improve brain functioning through a process of developing the child’s brain’s capacity to change and grow. It has helped thousands of children with genetic and neurological disorders including cerebral palsy, developmental delay, autism, Asperger’s and more. This method is useful with many different conditions because instead of focusing on the diagnosis, the focus is on the child’s brain’s ability to change and grow.  The child and parent or caregiver discover a joyful process of development for their child with this science-based, MD validated approach.


Lara Gillease helps special needs children thrive with the Anat Baniel Method. To learn more about her work, go to: www.integrativemovement.com/special-needs-children. To schedule appointments for your child, email Lara: lara@integrativemovement.com

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