What Is a Genetic Disorder?

A genetic disorder is “an illness caused by one or more abnormalities in the genome, especially a condition that is present from birth (congenital). Most genetic disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Some of the genetic disorders we have worked with include:

  • Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease (also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy)
  • Cri du chat syndrome (also known as chromosome 5p deletion syndrome)
  • CDKL5 (sometimes associated with Rett syndrome)
  • Down syndrome (DS)
  • Fragile X syndrome (also known as Martin–Bell syndrome)
  • Linear nevus sebaceous syndrome
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

If your child has been diagnosed with a genetic disorder, you may feel, or perhaps you were told, that there is very little that can be done for your child.

Luckily that is not the case. Most times a lot can be done for your child.

The Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement® Focuses on the Brain

When a child has a genetic disorder, the spontaneous process of differentiation and formation of new patterns in the brain is not happening the way that it should. Most therapy approaches attempt to make the child do what she or he should be doing according to his or her age and expected developmental stage. Often they have very low expectations of the child since the challenges originate from a genetic disorder.

With the Anat Baniel Method® (ABM) NeuroMovement®, the focus is very different. Rather than try to fix the problem by focusing on limitations, the focus is shifted to where the solutions actually lie—with the brain. ABM focuses on helping the brain of the child with a genetic disorder do its job better. It helps the brain regain its ability to powerfully and consistently create new neural patterns that bring about successful solutions.

View the video Down Syndrome and the Anat Baniel Method: The Story of NoraKate.

How Does ABM NeuroMovement® Help Genetic Disorders?

With ABM NeuroMovement®, children diagnosed with human genetic disorders like Fragile X syndrome, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Down syndrome, and other disorders have improved in remarkable ways, in both physical and cognitive functioning.

ABM NeuroMovement® uses innovative, gentle movements and techniques that help the brain of children diagnosed with genetic disorders to form new neural connections and patterns that help them move past their limitations and experience new possibilities. The child with Fragile X syndrome learns to speak and to think abstractly; the child with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease begins to use her hands and fingers and develops strong leg muscles; the child with Spinal Muscular Atrophy is able to sit, stand, and walk; and the child with Down syndrome learns to speak and construct sentences.

We have seen speech, emotional and social functioning, thinking, and coordination all improve. While it is a process, the changes often begin happening right away and are sometimes quite dramatic.

The Story of a Child with a Genetic Disorder

My third child was born with a genetic disorder which caused him to have many developmental delays including delayed speech, delayed motor development, ADHD, sensory integration disorders, and a host of learning disabilities both verbal and non verbal. He was not diagnosed until age 4. He was in traditional therapy for 2 years with limited results.

At the time we met Anat, my son had no attention span, he spoke a few mono syllable words and did so in a robotic fashion. He walked hunched over as if he was a stroke victim. His back was extremely weak and he couldn’t lift his head when lying on his stomach.

For over nine years…his progress has been steady, often bordering on the miraculous. His coordination is now like that of an average normal child his age. He never stops talking and has a wonderful sense of humor. He is able to think and reason, read and write. He is doing unbelievably well.

Anat’s greatest gift me is that she gave me back my son.

—Cheryl Cooper, MD and Mother

What Can Be Done for Children with Genetic Disorders?

The brain is a self-organizing system and with children, it is highly plastic, meaning that the brain continuously grows and changes in response to its experience and does so extremely rapidly. Learn more about how to promote child development.

ABM NeuroMovement® awakens your child’s brain and provides it with new information it needs in order to figure out alternative solutions—learning skills that otherwise he or she wouldn’t be able to figure out due to limitations from the genetic disorder.

We recommend that you work with an ABM NeuroMovement® Practitioner, who can provide your child with individualized lessons.

You can also learn more about the Nine Essentials of the Method and start the applying these practical principles with your child in daily life.

Success Stories from Parents of Children with Genetic Disorders

View the video of a young boy with Down syndrome who learned the alphabet backwards. His mother sent us the video clip and said: “We taught him the ABCs but he decided to figure out how to say them backwards.”

Read about how the ABM NeuroMovement® helped a child with CDKL5 and a child with Linear nevus sebaceous syndrome: ABM Helps Babies with Rare Genetic Disorders.

Read about the positive results for Cri du chat syndrome with ABM NeuroMovement®: A Parent Shares the Remarkable Changes in Her Daughter.

View the video of Aliyah’s progress at the ABM Center: NeuroMovement for Down Syndrome: Aliyah & Anat Baniel Method Lessons.