Movement - Works | Special Needs Children and Babies
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Special Needs Children and Babies

I work with special needs children and babies with a wide range of needs and conditions. I have helped many children and their families to develop and learn beyond their limitations.

I use gentle, non invasive approaches where children learn new abilities, gain confidence, develop communication and behaviour, and learn to live with increasing independence and well being. My approach prioritises not only the child’s learning, but also their comfort, confidence and sense of security. I do this by using my interactions with a child to show them that I listen to and respect their needs. I have seen time and again that taking time to connect with a child, and create an environment in which they feel comfortable and confident, enables the most effective learning. I look for ways to turn their ‘learning switch’ on, and often work with play, games and the child’s closest relationships to create meaningful intentions and conditions for learning new abilities.

I work with children with a wide spectrum of needs including:

cerebral palsy, spasticity due to accidents and premature birth, brain injury, childhood stroke, autism spectrum, a range of genetic disorders, different forms of epilepsy, down syndrome, congenital brain defects, brachial plexus injury, scoliosis, undiagnosed developmental delays and difficulties, perception difficulties, muscular dystrophy, attention deficit disorder, movement difficulties after accidents or surgery, learning difficulties, behaviour difficulties.

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Read testimonials on my work with children here: Testimonials, Children.

How does it work?

When a child cannot not sufficiently move, whether it be intentionally, or involuntarily – as we see in the many involuntary movements of a new born – the child misses out on the complex variation of movements which lay the foundation for developmental learning – not only of movement skills, but also elements of cognition and behaviour.

Feldenkrais method can help to evoke this organic learning process for special needs children, helping the child to learn new ways of functioning. With a basis in neuroscience, Feldenkrais method does this by using movement to send new information to the brain. The skill that practitioners have to provide this information creates new and relevant neural pathways in the child’s brain. This process helps the child to learn new ways of moving, acting, behaving, and perceiving them-self. Helping a child to improve their ability to perceive them-self and act as they intend, can improve all areas of a child’s life, be it physical, emotional, or mental.

More on my specialist training for working with children

Working with Children: advanced training for Feldenkrais Practitioners with theory and technique from Anat Baniel Method (sm) for Children, taught by Nancy Aberle

The specific Working with Children  curriculum is determined by the needs of the children and families who join us. These babies and children have neurological difficulties, including Cerebral Palsy, Genetic Syndromes and Brain Injury. In this master class, it is essential to learn much more that improving hands-on techniques.

Many parents of children with disabilities say that the theory and techniques from the Feldenkrais and Anat Baniel Methods make a paradigm shift from more traditional therapeutic methods. There is a fundamental change in approach when one goes from using a mechanical model to an informational model. Parents and professionals say that they experience a shift in their underlying assumptions about a child’s ability to learn and improve. The goal is no longer to insist that the child do what they cannot do, the goal is to wake up the child’s brain by starting with whatever he or she can presently do. When parents and professionals understand more about brain plasticity, they can better support a child’s ability to act.

During the training, practitioners give lessons to the children with supervision of Nancy Aberle and Lynn Bullock. Nancy and Lynn are determined to bring this work to as many children as possible, and to support practitioners to learn to do so. They understand from their years of daily practice, how important it is to create effective lessons for children and to be able to “partner with the parents”. They are very skilled at giving support and immediate feedback to practitioners to deal with the challenges that come up during the practicum. Some understanding of family systems theory can help to partner with the parents, so the parents can feel empowered and can move beyond their own trauma or anxieties. Developing more skill to deal with our own emotions as practitioners who are working with children, can improve the learning conditions for each child.

The Jeremy Krauss Approach (JKA) for Children

2015 JKA Jeremy Krauss Approach 300dpi 1042pixelThe Jeremy Krauss Approach was developed by Jeremy Krauss and is a unique way of helping Special Needs Children learn, grow and develop, Education based on the work of Dr. Feldenkrais. The primary focus is on helping Special Needs Children develop their potential and abilities – physically, mentally and emotionally. It supports a child to learn, change and overcome developmental challenges of various kinds through a process of Progressive Developmental Abilities Formation.