Inspirational Down Syndrome Innovations Conference 2015

Anat Baniel Presents ABM NeuroMovement® for Children with Down Syndrome

On Sept 11, 2015, I attended and presented at the Down Syndrome Innovations Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Down Syndrome OPTIONs, and was an absolutely wonderful and inspiring experience.

OptionsWhen I arrived, I was met by Andi Durkin, President of Down Syndrome OPTIONS, an organization with the following mission: Increase awareness and educate parents and doctors on options for individuals with Down syndrome to help improve speech and learning as well as physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth and development.

Andi looked at me and burst into tears, saying, “I am so glad you are here, Anat.” I reassured her that everything would be okay. It was later that day that Andi reminded me that she was the mom with a young baby who I demonstrated on for 4-5 minutes at a recent conference. And, during this time, her son rolled over onto his belly for the first time. She told me that this changed his life path, and he was able to figure out movement from that point on. She also told me that whenever possible, they work with ABM NeuroMovement® Practitioner Suzi Marks. It was then that her crying made sense to me. These were tears of joy!

At the conference, I had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Norman Schwartz’s presentation, which was fascinating. He is a functional medicine physician. The breadth and depth of his knowledge are remarkable. I can’t wait to get the link to his presentation so I have a better chance to digest more of what he said. (He is also an incredibly kind and warm-hearted person.)

Dr. Erica Peirson also made a presentation on the connection between thyroid dysfunction and Down syndrome. She is a naturopathic physician, and a lovely and amazing powerhouse. Her presentation was extremely informative and eye opening for me.

Lydia-WinansBut perhaps the most inspiring presentation I attended was by Lydia Winans. Lydia is a 13-year-old with Down syndrome. She’s in 7th grade and has been on the basketball team for 5 years, the volleyball team for 2 years, and is also on the school newspaper. She has been speaking in conferences for 3 years, and she represents some of the potential these children have to grow and be strong and capable, both physically and cognitively.

Then it was my turn to present. My topic was NeuroMovement: Turning the Child with Down Syndrome into a Potent Learner. The audience had a lot of young parents who are profoundly committed to their children’s future. They simply do not accept common knowledge and beliefs about the inevitable limitations of children with Down syndrome. And there is no question that they are getting tremendous breakthroughs with nutritional, biochemical, and educational interventions.

At the same time, the Anat Baniel Method®  NeuroMovement® is a new and transformative way of thinking and practice. The enormous opportunity I see in bringing our work to these children is providing an opportunity for the brain to differentiate in ways it does not seem to do spontaneously as much as it could. In other words, NeuroMovement can help these children become a lot more fluid, coordinated, and powerful in their movements; help them feel safe in their ability to balance; and further enhance their cognitive abilities.

My presentation was well received, and I made contact with a number of wonderful people at this conference. After my presentation, I heard Dr. Barbara Strupp, Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. She was awesome. I loved her!

After that, I had to get to the airport so that I could teach a workshop in Carrboro, NC, the next day. I was sorry to miss the presentations by amazing trailblazers and scientists like Jorge Busciglio, Dr. Richard Frye, Dr. Russell Jafee, and others.

I am looking forward to connecting up with these amazing people again in the future.

Anat Baniel

A Special Thanks to Dr. Shamshad Haroon for joining our conversation on Facebook and spreading the word to her colleagues and friends. I invite you to join us there, too:

Learn more about how NeuroMovement can help children with genetic disorders like Down syndrome.

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