The ABMNM is an off-shoot of the Feldenkrais method. Anat Baniel was one of the star students of Moshe Feldenkrais. In his final years she worked very closely with him, both as a trainer and a practitioner.
Moshe realised the potential in Anat and started directing more and more of his clients (especially children with special needs) towards Anat. The first special needs child that Anat worked with, Elizabeth was originally Moshe’s client. Anat started getting almost miraculous outcomes with children and her practice grew and flourished. Instead of just focusing on her practice, Anat started wondering about what it was that she was doing differently because of which she kept getting consistent outcomes that almost bordered on the miraculous with the children. This led her to evolve her own method, the Anat Baniel Method NeuroMovement or ABMNM for children. She outlined the Nine Essentials as a way of being with the children, as a way of life. She devised a training program to train people in ABMNM. Today, there are ABMNM practitioners all over the world. Arti Deo is the first and only practitioner in India to have completed all the advanced levels of training.
ABMNM is a very gentle approach that helps create new networks in the brain. This method is organic in nature. It does not try to superimpose learning on the brain. It facilitates the brain to form new connections, thus increasing the pace of learning and growth. The entire approach of ABMNM is to move from “Fixing to Connecting”. The Special Needs child is not a mechanical toy to be fixed. We have to remember that if he could, he would and that if she could, she would. So instead of trying to force the child to do the things that he / she cannot do, we invite the child’s brain to form new connections by increasing one’s own bodily awareness.
This method involves the practitioner giving a one-on-one lesson to the child. Typically, we start with an intensive of twenty lessons spread over two weeks, and then follow up with intensives of ten or twenty lessons at regular intervals.
Arti has been working with my baby for about one and a half years now. We have noticed clear jumps in his development after every intensive. Her therapy has also very positively affected his vision which was an added benefit. I also want to add that my baby is perfectly comfortable and very happy in his therapy sessions with her. This is quite different from when he was undergoing occupational therapy where many times he would cry through entire sessions.
My son is 2.5 years old. He has severe cerebral palsy. Till the end of Feb he did not turn his head to the left at all. He had very limited mobility. Neck holding and eye contact was very poor. We were lucky enough to get ABM NM lessons from Arti Deo mam in the month of March. Within the first two days itself my son started turning his head to the left. Soon he learnt to push with his feet. Also his spasticity decreased. We saw improvements in his vision within 30 lessons. Also my son feels happy and his learning switch gets on during Arti mam's lessons. We did physio for one year, tried different therapies but saw very little improvement in him. Whereas ABM NM is like a miracle in itself. We have seen significant changes in a span of 15 days. We are thankful to Arti mam for bringing ABMNM to India and making it accessible to us. We are very hopeful for our son now. We were lucky to have learnt about ABMNM and found Arti Deo mam and we hope and pray that other parents with special needs children also take advantage of ABMNM now available in our country.