How We Work with Your Child

The practitioner of this method uses gentle, innovative movements and techniques to help the brain of the special needs child, as well as the typically developing child, form new neural connections and patterns that take them beyond their current limitations. While it is an ongoing process, you can expect to see some changes within the first few lessons. Changes can be very subtle, and at times quite dramatic.

After the initial consultation and first few sessions, we will recommend a program for your child. Depending on the child’s age and condition we might use one, or both modalities of the method. Almost always we have at least one parent or caretaker in the room as we work with the child.

With the Anat Baniel Method we will not try to make your child do what they can’t. Instead we always work with the child where he or she is at the present time. When the child is unable to roll over to their belly, come up to a sitting position, crawl or stand on his own, we will avoid trying to have them be in these positions until they have figured out how to do it themselves, with no help or minimal help, and make sure that it is their intention to do it.

The work is very gentle, helping the child’s brain self-organize and spontaneously develop what it needs to move to their next level of performance. The movements and techniques help your child’s brain wake up and organize his or her own intentionality and awareness of themselves and the world around them.

With typically developing children, we observe the child to see if there are areas of movement, cognition, emotion, and interpersonal relations where her or his brain could benefit from increased differentiation, leading to increased skill in that area.

We work with the children in what we call “intensives,” that is groups of 5-10 lessons given over 5 days. Two to four weeks later, the child returns for another intensive. As the child’s abilities progress, frequency of the visits goes down. Once the child is greatly improved, they needn’t come back, except for an occasional “tune up” or when there is a new challenge. Since we work with many families who come from out of town, when needed, we schedule the program to accommodate the reality of each family.

Between visits, especially in the beginning, we often suggest 1-2 lessons a week until the next intensive. When parents come from out of town, we help them locate the closest Anat Baniel Method practitioner to work with in the interim. Whenever possible we give parents suggestions for what they can do with their child on their own in their daily life. We strongly encourage parents to learn the Nine Essentials so that they can integrate the essentials in all that they do with their child. We also encourage parents to experience the work themselves to better understand what their child is experiencing and to get the benefit of the work in their own bodies and spirits. At the Anat Baniel Method Center we have a team approach, which we found to be extremely effective. Over time the child will usually work with two or three of our team practitioners.

Since the work we do is highly dependent on the delicacy, accuracy, and quality of interaction with the child, and on the practitioner’s intricate knowledge of the dynamics of movement development, we don’t expect parents to duplicate at home what the practitioner was doing with their child during the sessions. To be able to continue the work at home, some parents, choose to take the professional practitioner training. After graduating from the Children Mastery Training, many of the parents also choose to work with other children with special needs.