If your child did not respond to the guidance outlined in Part 1 of “Movement with Attention”, or, if he did and you want to continue to develop the learning, here are some additional ways to engage your child in “Movement with Attention”. (To read Part 1, click here.)
1) Look for him to anticipate and participate while interacting with you during normal daily activities.
- Tell your child what you are going to do before you do it. For example, when picking your child up, say- ‘Dan- I am going to pick you up.’ Then wait to see if Dan responds in some way that lets you know he is anticipating being picked up. It could be that he makes eye contact, smiles, reaches his arms forward, flexes his muscles. Any of these actions on his part indicates that he is moving with attention.
- If he doesn’t do any of these, then you can make a funny noise and say his name to elicit his attention. If he still doesn’t respond, wait several seconds and then say it again and rub his cheek. If you see anything to indicate the slightest anticipation, then pick Dan up.
2) Bring attention to your own sensations.
- For example, if you are going to change Sheila’s diaper, focus and pay attention to the temperature and moisture of her skin, notice any movements she might make with her legs as you hold them. When you lift her legs, notice her position/posture – does she round her spine or does she lift her back as one piece? Your noticing what she does can help direct her attention to herself.
3) Go with your child’s system.
- Exaggerate what the child is doing would be one technique to illustrate this principle. In this example of “go with your child’s system”, you would exaggerate the movement the child is exhibiting, not try to stop it.
- A great example of this can be viewed by clicking here. Anat Baniel works for the first time with a 21-month-old boy diagnosed on the autism spectrum who would quickly and forcefully arch his back and throw his head backwards whenever he was awake – even when his parents held him. The parents reported feeling worn out from his continually being in such drastic motion. So, instead of trying to stop him from doing this, she put her hands on his pelvis while he was compulsively repeating this motion in his father’s lap. She then began to exaggerate the action with him – going with him rather than trying to alter it. As a result of his experiencing this movement exaggerated, he gained awareness that he was doing this movement and began to slow down and became calmer.
- After a couple of minutes of this, he completely stopped doing this compulsive action for the first time. The parents were absolutely amazed and got emotional at seeing the sudden dramatic change in their son – that he could, for the first time, be calm and attentive to himself.
The three ways mentioned above support learning and brain development in your child, and are easily implemented in daily life. Give them a try and see if you notice a difference. To benefit the most from this incredible Method and experience how effective the Anat Baniel Method (also known as ABM and NeuroMovement) could be for you and your child, it is recommended that you visit a certified Anat Baniel Method practitioner.
Parents tend to say two things after they start bringing their child to an Anat Baniel Method practitioner:
- 1) They wish they had known about ABM sooner and brought their child then.
- 2) Their child has become so happy since doing ABM.
You can look for an Anat Baniel Method for Children practitioner in your area by clicking here which will direct you to the Anat Baniel Method website. Yours might be the next amazing testimonial!
To learn more, reference Anat Baniel’s book ‘Kids Beyond Limits’. The book provides much greater detail about Movement with Attention and outlines the other eight of “The Nine Essentials”. Geared toward parents and caregivers, it is an informative, easy-to-read handbook that has proven to be an excellent resource for parents of special needs children.
Lara Gillease has been certified in the Anat Baniel Method since 2000 and works with special needs children. To learn more about her work, go to: www.integrativemovement.com/special-needs-children. To schedule appointments for your child, email Lara: email@example.com.
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