The Continuing Story of Zacchaio

You may remember the story that was submitted awhile ago in our Share Your Story Contest about a boy named Zacchaio. If you don’t remember, or haven’t seen it, you can read the story here: ABM Helps Babies with Rare Genetic Disorders.

This month marks the year anniversary of Zacchaio receiving Anat Baniel Method (ABM) lessons. He has worked with two practitioners at the ABM Center, Sylvia Shordike and Neil Sharp.

It is so exciting to see Zacchaio’s progress, after having a part of his brain removed (due to seizures). We received the beautiful video below and following message from Zacchaio’s mom Alexis, which I would like to share with you.

On August 14th, 2015, our family had the remarkable opportunity to celebrate the one year brain surgery anniversary of our son, Zacchaio. What is even more miraculous than his survival is the fact that he has reached one year of seizure freedom!

If we were to select a single word to best describe how our 18-month old miracle is doing today, it would be thriving. The very nature of Zacchaio’s genetic syndrome puts him at a large developmental disadvantage with a high likelihood of mental disability. Add to that the fact that our son had over one quarter of his brain removed at 6-months old and one is likely to hold him to low developmental expectations. He embraces his status as an outlier and continues to astonish the non-believers!

Zacchaio began cruising at 12-months old and walking at 14-months old. He now runs in an effort to keep up with his 5-year old brother! Though he walks with a limp due to his large leg length discrepancy, ABM continues to establish flexibility in his spine and hips to accommodate the difference and eliminate the need for orthopedic intervention (shoe lifts, braces, surgery, etc.).

Zacchaio’s receptive language is flourishing while his expressive language continues to develop (he has about 20 words of which he says the first syllable). He is playful, inquisitive, and determined to be independent in his skills (he pushes our hands away when we offer help).

Our son is currently considered on par with his peers developmentally. We never thought we would see that day.

Just as our ABM practitioners continue to have faith in our son’s ability to overcome, we have complete faith in them. We feel so blessed to have found ABM so early in our son’s recovery. We have officially been a part of the Anat Baniel Method family for one year and we are looking forward to many more! Onward and upward!

—Alexis Kollias Thiele, Zacchaio’s Mom


Thank you, Alexis, for sharing this wonderful video and your exciting news with us. We are all thrilled to have your family be a part of our ABM family and to see Zacchaio thrive and grow!

Anat Baniel


Learn more about NeuroMovement and Genetic Disorders here.

Read more stories from our Share Your Story About ABM contest.