The Story of Julie
A Baby Who Had a Prenatal Stroke
Julie had a prenatal stroke before she was born. Her right arm, hand, and fingers were most affected. She couldn’t open the hand which was fisted, and didn’t have any voluntary movement in it. Her right leg was also affected.
Julie’s parents brought her to the Anat Baniel Method® (ABM) Center when she was 5 months old. The first few sessions were done while she was nursing. Julie felt safe. She became very attentive to the gentle movements we did with her pelvis, spine, neck, and eventually her shoulders, head, and arms.
After the first session, Julie began to spontaneously open her fisted hand for a few seconds at a time. By the third session, she was clearly moving more freely and with less spasticity throughout her whole right side.
Her mom reported how Julie was becoming more aware, not just of her own body, including the affected right side, but was also becoming more aware of her surroundings. Every day, without prompting, Julie moved her body in new ways.
At first the changes seemed small. However, from the point of view of the brain they were huge! Within a few weeks the changes in Julie were obvious to everyone.
From our point of view, Julie’s brain was differentiating and creating new connections at an extremely rapid rate, allowing her brain to integrate and develop patterns of movement and cognition despite the brain tissue loss.
We continued working with Julie for a couple of years.
Now Julie is a beautiful and fully functioning teenager. Her right hand is still a bit slower than her left; however Julie can do whatever she wants to.