The Anat Baniel Method® offers your child a process that provides your child’s brain the opportunity to learn and acquire skills and functions despite her or his challenges. The Practitioners of the method are not restricted by diagnosis or prognosis. We know that almost any child can learn and improve.
Expect to see changes in your child begin happening right away. That is when you know that your child’s brain is responding and that the Learning Switch is turned on re-igniting the process of growth and development in your child.
Small Changes Happen Over Time
The danger is when parents have the expectation for their child to be “cured” right away. If you have watched any of our videos showing our work with children with special needs, you have seen some miraculous changes. It is important to realize that many of these “miracles” happened over time through a process of many “small” changes building into exponentially bigger ones.
Every so often, like with baby Devorah, you see a huge shift happening in the child in minutes.
On the other hand Elizabeth,who was diagnosed with “global brain damage” and was expected to never walk, talk, or ever become an independent adult, worked with us over a period of 20 years. Through an ongoing process of hundreds, perhaps thousands of “small changes,” all of them miraculous, today Elizabeth is doing all that she was supposed to never be able to do, and more. She has two Masters degrees, is highly intelligent, is married, and runs her own business, leading a very full life.
Any Change Is Important and Miraculous
At the Anat Baniel Method Center, we guide parents to become astute observers and to understand that any change, “small” or “big,” is important and is miraculous. All children develop through a multitude of “small” changes—changes in their brains and in their brains’ ability to successfully manage their bodies and minds. Children with special needs are no different. They, too, need to go through a multitude of “small” changes to reach the transformations that are easier to recognize, such as walking, talking, etc.
The severity of a child’s condition, the age we begin working with the child, what kind of interventions the child experienced before coming to us, and the habits of learning he or she has developed during that time, will all influence the specific outcomes he or she will get from working with an Anat Baniel Method (ABM) Practitioner. It will also dictate what frequency of lessons they need and over what span of time.
Expect Your Child to Become a Learner
When you bring your child to an ABM Practitioner, you cannot expect a specific outcome at a specific time. What you can expect is for your child to begin changing practically right away. You can expect us to guide you in seeing the changes and what they mean. You can expect your child to become a learner, and an astute learner over time. You can expect your child to continuously improve how she or he moves, thinks, feels, and interacts with others. You can expect your child to “come home” to him or herself and to become more vital and a lot happier.
A Story About a Mother’s Expectations
Martha brought Julian to us when he was 16 months old. Julian suffered a stroke in utero, leaving his left side partially paralyzed and spastic with his left fist always clenched. Julian had traditional therapy since he was an infant. It was very clear to us that Julian barely knew that he had a left arm. Observing him move, it was very clear that his whole left side was only minimally mapped in his brain and in a very undifferentiated way.
By the end of the first session, Julian’s hand and fingers would open for a few seconds and then would clench again. He also began shifting his weight over to his left side while sitting, something he didn’t do before.
When I pointed these changes out to his mom, instead of showing interest, or enthusiasm, she seemed almost unhappy and disappointed. Julian continued progressing through his remaining lessons that week, yet his mom never seemed to take delight in any of these “small,” yet incredibly significant changes.
When we finally asked her about it, she told us that she watched the YouTube videos, especially the one showing Devorah starting to move her hand six minutes into her first session. This video led her to expect that Julian’s hand would be “fixed” fully right away.
We explained to her that Julian’s brain had already formed certain patterns and that the fact that he had begun using his left hand spontaneously was HUGE. His brain was beginning to recognize not only his left hand and arm, but his whole left side, a development that will positively impact every aspect of his future functioning.
The Importance of Enthusiasm
You can learn about the importance of Enthusiasm in recognizing and celebrating even the smallest of changes, whether in yourself or your child, by reading the Chapter on Enthusiasm in Kids Beyond Limits. Following is an excerpt:
“Our own enthusiasm can have a powerful affect on the moods, behavior, and even the physical abilities of both our children and ourselves. It can help amplify our child’s ability to learn. Others’ emotions as well as our own can affect us, even when we are not consciously aware of it. And these emotions can initiate synaptic changes, activating new neural connections.”