Sunday, March 8, 2015
The Feldenkrais Method and Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Feldenkrais Method and its derivative methodologies, i.e., the Anat Baniel Method, The Field Center for Children's Integrated Development, Michelle Turner's Movement Lesson, Chava Shelhav's Child Space, Russell and Linda Delman's The Feldenkrais Method for Children and Youth, and others, have a proven track record for dramatically improving a wide range autism spectrum disorder conditions and symptoms.
To some extent, all ASD symptoms/behaviors/conditions occur because of a child's lack of ability to perceive and differentiate sufficiently, meaning "...create new connections in the brain that would lead to integration of new skills and a healthy process of development -- physical, cognitive, social and emotional" (Anat Baniel). This lack of healthy development and processing is seen in physical movement delays from early infancy onward.
In these physical and mental realms, a lack of clear self-image means a lack of grounded, connected movement in children, particularly in their ability to organize and initiate movement from the core area of the pelvis and low spine. The perpetuation of this condition exacerbates a child's emotional and physical sense of disconnectedness, impotence and disorganization.
Feldenkrais lessons have a powerful impact on infants, toddlers, children and adults, as they learn to feel themselves differently, and develop a clearer sense of their skeletal systems, and the support it provides to their bodies from the inside out. They become physically grounded. Their organization, balance and alignment change, a feeling of empowerment takes hold because they feel better, move better and connect with themselves more deeply.
These results have been well documented in clinical studies and observations on numerous websites, and via thousands of anecdotal testimonies on youtube, with a general premise that the more work, the better, as early as possible.