The Continuing Story of Charlotte

Perhaps you read our previous post about Charlotte, a girl with Cri Du Chat Syndrome. Jessica, her mom, contacted me awhile ago. At that time, we had not yet worked with anyone with Cri Du Chat Syndrome. If you would like to read it, here is the link to the first post: Positive Results for Cri Du Chat Syndrome with the Anat Baniel Method®.

Charlotte learns to move with ABM and NeuroMovement

Charlotte learns to move with ABM and NeuroMovement.

Since then, Jessica has emailed us a couple more updates. I am excited to hear that the NeuroMovement® approach of ABM is continuing to help Charlotte in a variety of ways. I want to share these updates with you so that you can share them with others who may be dealing with this condition.

Charlotte at 15 Months Old

I have been wanting to give you an update on my 15-month-old daughter, Charlotte, for awhile now, but, as I’m sure you know, the life of a special needs parent is very busy! You may recall that Charlotte has Cri Du Chat syndrome, which is a chromosomal deletion, and that we have been having intensives since August of last year with ABM Practitioner Michelle Bensky. I’m happy to tell you that Charlotte is continuing to progress!

Usually, within the first lesson or two, Charlotte will suddenly discover a new movement and surprise us by repeating the movement over and over by herself as she discovers it.

One tangible area of improvement that I want to share with you is with Charlotte’s digestion. Constipation is something that people with Cri Du Chat suffer from. I have read that it usually develops sometime during the first year of life, and it’s something that they chronically suffer with, even as adults. Charlotte was no exception. After her very first day of ABM lessons, she produced a HUGE diaper. Her constipation has been vastly improved ever since then.

Charlotte and her ABM Practitioner Michelle

Charlotte and her ABM Practitioner Michelle

So, if I ever start worrying about what the future holds for Charlotte and how far ABM can take her, I remind myself that she is already overcoming a part of her diagnosis!

Another easily identifiable difference is with her hands. Charlotte has always had an aversion to having them touched, particularly with gentle touch. Michelle showed us a movement to do to help her overcome this, and after only a week or two of doing it with her, she no longer seems to have the sensitivity!

There are many other varieties of movements that she has learned…I can tell you that Charlotte looks much more flexible, showing more fluid and comfortable movements. And, when she lies on her back, she can pretty much reach her toes to her forehead now!

Charlotte at 21 Months Old

Charlotte is now 21 months old, and continuing to make wonderful progress with her ABM lessons. Her practitioner Michelle always comments on what a brilliant learner she is, because she is able to not only retain what she has learned from each intensive, but to have added to it by the time her next intensive comes around.

Charlotte had her open-heart surgery at the end of March, and it went very well. The day after we came home, she was kicking wildly in her bouncer and pulling herself up with her arms on the bar of the bouncer! We feel that it is likely that her ABM lessons enabled her to find ways around any post-surgery discomfort.

At 18 months, Charlotte learned to say her first word, “mama,” which is very exciting, especially since language is one of the most difficult tasks for individuals with Cri Du Chat Syndrome.

NeuroMovement helps Charlotte learn.

NeuroMovement helps Charlotte learn.

And, Charlotte made fabulous progress during one of her last intensives. Shortly after, she started sitting up, and staying up! In fact, she spends most of her waking hours sitting up now, which is such an exciting change!

Charlotte has also learned to wave hello and goodbye, and has become much more adept at using her hands and arms (she has always been more advanced with her legs and feet). Her flexibility continues to astound us.

Her digestion seems to also be improving. She was diagnosed as having reflux and used to vomit multiple times per day. Now it is rare for her to vomit at all! Her bowel movements continue to be regular, and since her last surgery, we no longer have her on any medications at all. (At one point, she was on 8 different medications.)

And, I’m re-reading Kids Beyond Limits right now. I feel like I’m understanding some concepts better the second time around.

We continue to be so incredibly grateful to have discovered your work.

Sincerely,

Jessica Swinnerton


Thank you so much, Jessica, for sharing Charlotte’s story with us, and for keeping up posted on the exciting changes in her life. You never know what new possibilities will emerge. Best wishes to you and Charlotte!

Anat Baniel


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