Helping brain to learn to perceive differences.
Despite recognised atypical movements observed in individuals with ASD (1-3), it is still mainly considered as a neurodevelopmental condition manifested by social and behavioural signs. And most therapies and treatments for ASD are focused on controlling the behaviour, with parents often reporting limited results.
In her very informative article The Brilliant Brain of the ASD Child, Anat describes how she came to contend that ASD starts as a movement disorder that “results from the disruption in the underlying neurological process of differentiation in the brain”. The Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement® approach addresses exactly this primary function of the brain - to organise movement, to perceive differences, “to make order out of disorder, sense out of nonsense”. Anat demonstrates and explains challenges the autistic brain faces and the fundamental shift from trying to “fix” the symptoms to helping the brain to “wake up” and become better at learning. As well as resulting in dramatic positive changes in a child’s physical, social and academic abilities, the approach helps parents and caregivers form a meaningful connection with the child, better understand the challenges their child is faced with and create a supportive environment for the learning to continue in a connecting, non-repetitive and non-fixing way.
“My 8-year old son with ASD started NeuroMovement® lessons at CoPEC five months ago. Since then E’s arm flapping has decreased a lot. While E. moves around very well and enjoys playing basketball and jumping on the trampoline there were surprisingly certain movements he could simply not do. He was unable to lean on his hands or side sit without immediately collapsing onto his back or belly. It was very difficult for him to stay with a movement for even a few seconds. After a few lessons he began to be more attentive and engaged in the lessons. He has become more interested in activities that require fine motor skills, such as drawing and painting with watercolors. He no longer becomes easily frustrated when for example he does not make the basketball shots. But more importantly, not only have I received a very simple at-home-movement program for E. but our NeuroMovement Practitioner® taught me how to speak with E. to interrupt his repetitive thought loops and unending same questions and engage him in verbal exchange that prompts his brain to learn. I noticed that my son’s thinking has improved. He uses many new words and has overall much improved verbal expression. E. enjoys the lessons and we like going to the community lesson intensive weekends, where we meet other families. All these changes happened even though E. has had only six 45minute-long sessions each month on average, while he had 40 hours ABA therapy from age 3-6 and 9 hours weekly for the past two years.” Sue Lee, San Ramon / CA
Reach out to us to find out how we can help your child access NeuroMovement® lessons with our experienced practitioners and support you in connecting with your child through the transformational approach of NeuroMovement® .
Cook J. From movement kinematics to social cognition: the case of autism. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2016 May 5;371(1693):20150372. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0372. PMID: 27069049; PMCID: PMC4843610.
Kindregan D, Gallagher L, Gormley J. Gait deviations in children with autism spectrum disorders: a review. Autism Res Treat. 2015;2015:741480. doi: 10.1155/2015/741480. Epub 2015 Apr 2. PMID: 25922766; PMCID: PMC4398922.
Bhat AN, Boulton AJ, Tulsky DS. A further study of relations between motor impairment and social communication, cognitive, language, functional impairments, and repetitive behavior severity in children with ASD using the SPARK study dataset. Autism Res. 2022 Jun;15(6):1156-1178. doi: 10.1002/aur.2711. Epub 2022 Mar 31. PMID: 35357764; PMCID: PMC9167778.
Paper cited in Anat’s blog:
Chester, Victoria and Matthew Calhoun. “Gait Symmetry in Children with Autism.” Autism Research and Treatment 2012 (2012): n. Pag.