Feldenkrais for Children
Feldenkrais for Children
The Feldenkrais Method is founded on the key concept of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change and reorganise itself throughout life.
A Feldenkrais Lesson is beneficial for any baby/child, for a typically developing child or for a child with developmental delays and/or special needs.
A Feldenkrais Lesson is using movement to give information to the child’s brain and nervous system. Gentle and clear touch, guided movement and directed attention are the means by which a child finds ways to perceive itself and to go on to find new abilities and gain confidence in how it moves.
A Feldenkrais Lesson will support the development of motor skills, enhance language and communication, improve cognitive, social and emotional skills in the child.
Susanne working with Feldenkrais and children
What happens in a lesson and how does it work
I find ways to capture a child’s interest and attention so that the child’s brain is receptive to new information and engages in a learning process.
I create an environment where the child feels safe and I take time to connect to the child so that it feels seen and cared for.
Then I gently and playfully explore what the child can already do and find the basis upon which to build new movement possibilities. I meet each child where its current abilities and needs are and find ways for the child to progress to different and more complex variations on the basis of what it can do already.
The quality of touch is clear and gentle and gives the child the opportunity to perceive itself. I have good knowledge of developmental stages (and transitions, e.g. from sitting to crawling) and know how to make the learning easy for the child by introducing small new steps to learning.
I teach parents on ‘clear touch’ and movement sequences so that they can support their child’s learning and development at home.
Each new ability will improve how the child expresses itself and how it is present and acts in the world. A Feldenkrais lesson will support the development of motor skills, enhance language and communication, improve cognitive, social and emotional skills in the child. Any change in one of these abilities/skills will influence and bring about a change in other areas.
What we do in Feldenkrais is connecting to the brain, the ‘information system’ to evoke an organic developmental learning process and to make learning a positive experience. The child learns as it gets more aware of what it is doing and then can act as it intends, physically, emotionally, mentally.
Feldenkrais may help if you observe that your child has issues with some of the following points:
- Sense of Orientation
- Motor skills (fine and gross)
- Regulation (ADHD)
- Social Skills
- Sounds, language
- Eye-hand coordination
I use gentle touch and guided movement to create new connections in the brain. I look to filling in missing elements of developmental movement and guide the child to reach the next step.
I work with the child’s motivation and intention so that the learning is immediately useful to them and so that it will use the new abilities again in daily life.
I understand that your child is a holistic human being – whose movements, thoughts, feelings and sensations all work together to create their actions and behaviour.
I work from the principle of neuro-plasticity – the brain’s ability to change and learn which allows for new abilities to occur and functional difficulties to overcome or minimised.
Many of Dr Feldenkrais’ former students have specialised in working with children. I have had the privilege to meet some of these outstanding teachers personally and to learn from them:
- Anat Baniel with the Anat Baniel Method or ABM
- Chava Shelhav with the ‘Child Space Method’
- Jeremy Krauss with the Jeremy Krauss Approach or JKA
“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
What People Are Saying
“We went to a park recently and our daughter (4 years) saw this slope and decided immediately and independently that it was perfect for rolling. There are examples of this every day that I see how your work has shaped her movement. She has just picked up a sticker from the floor and used a perfect squat to go down and up. We are so grateful for all the time and care you put into working with N. from when she was 7 months old when according to the MRI scan we were prepared for the worst case probability of moderate to severe Cerebral Palsy. She has reached several milestones now and her diagnosis has changed to very mild CP. It’s a pleasure to watch her abilities and confidence in movement!”