Movement is a very powerful thing. We move different parts of our body all day long. From the time we wake up in the morning until the time when we put our head on the pillow at night, we are constantly moving.
For children with autism, movements can sometimes create challenges. Some kids like our son have good gross motor movements and some have better fine motor movements.
I have discovered how much movement is affected by our brain. Honestly, I never really thought about it this way before. We found the ABM (Anat Baniel method) over two years ago. We were looking to try things for our son that we not mainstream necessarily, but things that had science behind it, especially for children with autism.
I read a book titled “Kids Beyond Limits” and I was so intrigued with what I discovered. There were many things but what stuck out the most to be was the body-brain connection. Also the importance of connecting with your child and not trying to change them. We should not try to fix our kids. If I really think about this statement long and hard, I realized that at times, I was trying to fix my child instead of accepting him. I learned that children were not broken. Sometimes this is hard because I am by nature a “problem-solver.” So this message for me was intriguing and very eye-opening. In my previous life as an analyst, I was trained to solve problems, to make things better, aka “fix it.” This does not mean that we should not help our child or provide the resources and support to get our child to the next level and make sure they have what they need to accomplish their goals.
After I read this book, I had to take a step back and really absorb the information. With the ABM methodology, there are nine essentials that you follow. At first it was hard for me to wrap my head around this because there is no “end goal.” You are not guaranteed anything after seeing an ABM practitioner.
The premise of this method is to make the child aware of how their brain is connected to their body movements and how becoming aware of different parts of their body, allows their brain to form new pathways of movement and connection which can make things easier in their daily life. For each person, it is different. Going into this with an open mind is key. The outcomes totally depend on the individual.
We were fortunate to find a practitioner somewhat close to our home. We were lucky because there are only 2 people in our area who provide this treatment.
The child goes for a number of sessions and in these sessions, there are different body movements done to make the child aware of different body parts. It’s much more complex than this.
Since our son started having treatments, he has come a long way with his understanding of how his body moves and becoming aware of easier ways of moving his body in terms of daily things like standing up to exercise to movements with his hips just to name a couple. It basically encompasses all types of movements and since we move our bodies all day long, it is important to be able to move in the best way and to be able to feel the movements that we do.
I am fascinated each time we go and the changes that I see – positive changes. Learning how to feel your body – connecting things together in your body by feeling different movements and becoming aware of how your body moves that can make things easier for you are very important.
On our most recent visit, I was astonished to witness a real transformation. Our son usually has to take a few breaks each session because he gets overwhelmed, but this time he was totally engaged and calm the entire session.
I saw something that I’ve never seen before – a real awareness!
This is a method that I really believe in.
If this is something that intrigues you, read the book “Kids Beyond Limits.” If you need any further information, please feel free to contact me.