Story of Julian
A Boy with Undiagnosed Developmental Delays
I remember vividly the first child who came to me who had “undiagnosed developmental delays.” His name was Julian. He was 8 years old. He could walk; however, his posture was very poor. He had limited language and he stuttered when he spoke.
For me, what was most prominent was the degree to which Julian seemed unaware of his environment and of himself. When I began moving him, every joint in his body barely moved and felt like it was inside wet cement. I noticed how little differentiation he had in his movement, which meant how little differentiation he had in his brain. (See the blog post with Jill Bolte Taylor, and you will understand that ever increased differentiation in the brain is essential for a child to master more and more skills.)
Knowing this, in the very first session, I put Julian on his stomach and very gently worked on his back, spine, rib cage, and pelvis to reduce the stiffness in his joints and to increase the differentiation of the movement of his torso….and it worked!
Two days later, when Julian was brought for his second lesson, his father told me that for the very first time, Julian was able to stand on the horse when the horse was being walked by his therapist. This was something they had been trying to teach him to do for a very long time.
Over time, Julian learned to read, write, ride a bicycle, and engage in social activities; and he even learned to read his Tora section in Hebrew for his Bar Mitzvah.
Julian never got a medical diagnosis, but he certainly got better.
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