Children first learn through observing what they see, hear, and sense.
If we can improve a child’s ability to sense his movements, discern differences and make a choice,
we can improve the quality of his world.
Central to all learning is the ability to differentiate
The Anat Baniel MethodSM for Children with Special Needs is a result of Anat’s 30+ years changing the lives of hundreds of children who have difficulty in some aspect of their development. She demonstrates Moshe Feldenkrais’ idea that using movement with attention, while looking for and experiencing variations to existing capabilities, supports ongoing learning and is the key for keeping the wheel of self-development, self-learning moving forward.
This approach supports the natural developmental process used for learning.
“As a baby lays in her crib during the first weeks of life, her brain is just beginning to figure out what to do with her sensations and how to organize movements and perceptions …. The brain’s ability to perceive the distinct differences in these sensations is the source of information from which the brain performs the extraordinary process of organizing itself, the body, and making sense of the world. It is here that we find the greatest opportunity for helping the child who has special needs by facilitating her brain’s ability to perceive differences.”
- Anat Baniel (2012); Kids Beyond Limits, pp. 29-30
The best process for helping a child to learn is to optimize existing capabilities. Many children need more experience in sensing subtle differentiations in action and thought to support their development. We want to keep in mind, if a child could do it he would.
First, I connect with a child on a non-verbal level to help her attend to her actions. Second, I help her sense differences and support the developmental process that creates variations to any given movement, sound or thought. Third, I focus on offering the kind of information she can use to learn and create new action.
About Brain Plasticity
“Our brain’s are subject to continuous change. Each time we acquire or refine a human ability, we physically rewire- specialize by remodeling – our brain machinery. Every new or improved ability is a direct product of this kind of physical brain change …. The child who struggles so hard just to respond, to initiate action, to understand, to move competently, and to have command in his or her world can especially make great use of their brain’s plasticity on their path to growing and evolving their capabilities in ways that contribute to a better life for them.”
- Michael Merzenich, PhD, neuroscientist, professor emeritus at UCSF