Story of Jody: Using the Essentials to Help with Reading

Jody was a healthy, active, six-year-old girl when her mother brought her to the ABM Center for a consultation. The teachers in her school noticed that Jody, who was obviously a very intelligent girl, was starting to lag behind other kids in her ability to read and write.

While working with Jody, I noticed that she was fast to try to respond to any of my questions and to the writing and reading tasks I gave her. I came to realize that, unfortunately, many schools compute the speed at which the child comes up with a response into their measurements of success. This is true even for very young children.

I also noticed that the moment I gave Jody a task, she seemed to “go out of her body” in such a way that she was unaware of herself and what she was feeling or doing.

In the session I had with Jody, I focused on two Essentials: Movement with Attention and Slow. Movement with Attention to what we feel as we move wakes up the brain to create new connections and patterns at a staggering rate.

Slow gives the brain the opportunity to feel and to create the new (i.e., to learn). Fast we can only do what we already know. Once Jody slowed down, I was able to guide her to notice what she was feeling as she was moving. I had her move faster and slower until she could clearly feel the difference.

At that point, I resumed our work on writing and reading. To her mom’s amazement, Jody was able to perform better on the tasks we were doing earlier without any further “drilling.” Jody’s brain’s capacity to distinguish, differentiate, and integrate new patterns and to problem solve, had increased very quickly due to the use of these two Essentials.

I then guided Jody’s mom to apply these Essentials right away in as many ways as she could think of in Jody’s daily life. I also recommended she read Move Into Life and Kids Beyond Limits so that she could better understand all Nine Essentials and adopt them in the family’s life.

A few days later we got a call from Jody’s mom telling us that Jody’s teacher told her that Jody had made a huge improvement in her reading and writing skills. She added that Jody was also a lot calmer, was able to listen and concentrate better, and seemed happier and more self-assured.

Her mom reported that not only was Jody happier and calmer, but she and her husband were feeling a lot more relaxed, greatly enjoying implementing the Essentials in every aspect of their lives.

Additional Resources

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Anat Baniel