“Aubrey” (not her real name) is a beautiful 6 year old who had an hypoxic event at birth which left her with a brain injury. When I met her she was functioning at the level of a 23 month old. She had extreme echolalia (robotically repeating scripts). She did not play with toys in a typical fashion, had never used any cognitively functional sentences, and did not show enjoyment in life.
I gave Aubrey 7 NeuroMovement® lessons within 4 days and our work together was transformational. At our first appointment I began the lesson with Aubrey sitting on my NeuroMovement® Lesson table.
It wasn’t even a few minutes before Aubrey began to scream.
The screaming was ear piercing and unbearable to me. Aubrey’s Mom said that she had been screaming all through her 3 years of Speech Language Pathologist appointments. Despite my gentle work with Aubrey the screaming was not lessening. It wasn’t clear if she was in distress, was very excited or was locked in a pattern which she had learned in her experience with other therapies. I knew that I had to totally change my approach. The lessons needed to be unlike any appointment with which she had previous association.
I put away my table and started working with her in the open room. She would dart back and forth with no intention of going anywhere or doing anything in particular. She was repeating the same pattern of words that always ended in more screaming. It was an endless loop and I needed to help provide her with some order within the disorder of her brain.
I gradually and slowly used the essentials of NeuroMovement® to get her brain to start to notice what she was doing. When she knew what she was doing she could perceive a different way of doing it. I helped her notice that she could regulate her running speed, her screaming volume, and the attention she was giving to objects in the room.
She was starting to perceive differences and I was providing the conditions for her brain to get even more organized and intelligent. At first she was resistant to my touch, pushing my hands away, but I was persistent and gentle. She started getting interested in dolls and played with them in new and meaningful ways. She started to have feelings for them, she started talking to them.
She spoke to the dolls her first cognitively functional sentence.
As we did activities and played together I was more and more able to touch her to help her to perceive more and to facilitate new neural connections. By the last lesson there was not even a hint of screaming and she was lying in my lap- “zoning in” on her new experience of self in a profound way.
Her whole world was opening up and becoming richer and full of communication. At the park on our third day of lessons she told her mom “Mom! A bug just went in my mouth and I ate him!” Not only was she able to form a multi-part functional sentence but the experience of a bug in her mouth and swallowing it was neither traumatizing nor incomprehensible.
Her behavior around other children at the park also changed. Before the NeuroMovement® lessons she would have been very disturbed by another child touching her but now she was able to have a friend pose in a picture together with their arm around her shoulders. In the past that would have seen her “freaking out and running away!”- A’s mom
At home she started communicating with her parents in new and wonderful ways- checking in with her dad (“I’m going downstairs now”), and recognizing items at home (electrical outlets) that she also saw in other buildings. She was making more and more new connections in all aspects of her life. She began spelling words out loud and then writing them down- words that her Mom had been teaching her for months. These weren’t beginner spelling words. These were words like cooperate, courage, itchy, and steam.
About 6 weeks after this set of lessons I met Aubrey at the park and she recognized and greeted me. When I was leaving she came over and gave me a hug. Her Mom said she had never seen Aubrey do that before.
May we all experience transformation through the incredible power of our brains to change with NeuroMovement®!
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