Strong visual information processing, love of nature and motivation
Max‘s strength is his visual system. He learns very quickly when demonstration is used. He is also able to draw from his fantasy. He knows exactly how to draw a branch from a tree (line). He has an experience with a branch, felt it, played with it and draws it immediately, very well, when I ask him. Because he likes to play soccer, I asked him to draw a soccer ball (circle), then he draws a home for the ball, 4 branches (lines), forming a square. This is a way you learn to draw line, square and circle, without an example, from your natural experience within.
What I tell the children is: nature is your helper, feel the wind, hear the sounds of the birds, feel the warmth of the sun, see the sparkle of the stars and the quietness of the moon, feel your body in everything it does. It is your helper when you write, read, and do math, especially when you think “I can’t”. There are always the birds, who bring you the letters, when you do reading and spelling, they can even whisper these in your ears. Everything you need is in you and around you, always helping. It is unknown what it is exactly, you can feel that it is.
What I tell parents is that the natural body movements really are the yoga movements. Children often perform these movements naturally. It is a natural that bodies move. The body moves, trembles, yawns, feels, rocks, etc to help you cope with life. This is how you feel that you are alive in connection with your energies. Negative thoughts are just that, you may know and feel them, and let go gently, step by step. Everything is open, you never know what will happen, happiness and joy is , sadness and fear, all part of our lives. Then you can teach this to your children.
We draw together about fears, nightmares, fearful thoughts, scary movies, monsters, etc. They have something to tell you. You can let them gently be in your breath. They bring you the power force residing within your body. The warmth of the sun can help you find that power, the shining stars are bringing you light and your breath is bringing you: “I am brave when I dream”.
In movement play, the emotion of anger or fear appears. A simple question: “Are you experiencing this more often?”, in this relaxed movement state of mind, makes a child talk about it and find solutions to solve this and to let it go in kindness. The victim hood may change into a lighter way of living. Surely, you are born to shine!
“I Can’t do it”
A Child named Jack, age 4½ years, said to me in a session: ”I can’t, I am a cannothing, I am a nothing knower person, etc. The last session I told him that there is always a “Yes I can” friend walking next to the “I cannot person” and that your breath brings you there. This one time “I cannot” was so very strong, that I took him by the hand, and opened the door to the garden. We breathed “I cannot “ outside into the garden, surrounded with all the loving energy in the world. I told him, that next year, many beautiful flowers would be made from that. You saw him relax. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, appeared patience to try to draw something new, and even though at first he did not immediately succeed, he did after 2-3 tries. Before, he did not want to try again and did not try again after he failed once.
He was so happy!. His father and I were stunned..
Breathing is helping you to draw
Jason, age 5 ½ , visual system is a strength, really wanted to draw an icecreamscoop in a cone and tried to do this. He succeeded in drawing the circle, the scoop. The cone, inverted triangle, did not work out. He continually drew two straight instead of 2 slanted lines. The combination of the icecreamscoop, ciricle, and the cone was somewhat succesfull, with me helping to draw cone lines. After a few minutes of being stuck on being able to just draw a circle and two straight lines, we took a deep breath. We breathed out the straight lines and visualised , eyes closed, the slanted lines. These had been drawn by me, so Jason's whole bodycould see them, and then he opened his eyes We took a deep breath, to breathe the cone lines into his hands and fingers, and he succeeded!! Total time maybe 10 minutes to realize his dream, drawing an icecreamscoop on a cone. All throughout, in my being is stillness and total trust, such that he is able to learn skills (t)his way.
A very well known saying is: If you do not make mistakes, you are unable to learn! Try to do everything “wrong”, what is it that you learn then? The saying: the more mistakes you make the smarter you become is hanging in the waiting room. In Holland we often use the saying: “When you try learning happens”. Very often the children say this already from within themselves. Many times in group games The one who makes the most mistakes is the winner and vice versa. It tells something about winning and losing.
Tying shoelaces when you know how to knot the first part of your shoelace, you are able to tie your shoelaces. Many children have learned how to tie their shoes this way, in one session!
We use the structure of the spelling system used in schools and connect to the learning materials in the classroom. Spelling is already in your repertoire. We just need to find the way, yóu can do it! The letters are dancing around you. The letters can be spelled by the sounds of them or by the sounds of the words, by way of seeing one letter at a time or the total word, or by way of seeing the letters or words in your mind. You can also feel them, when your hand writes them. You may also combine seeing, hearing and feeling to create your unique way to do well in spelling. When connecting these systems through your conscious breathing, this process takes place in relaxation and is supported naturally, from within. When children are given a little more time, it is easier..
Treatment is based on the way children process information from the outside world, the sensory information processing and the effects of this on their emotional development. I also observe their strengths and look at their intellectual profile, if this exists. Questions like: are they strong visually, feelers, kinaesthetic, musical , are they more inward or outward directed people. Is the child a collector?
There are aspects within the development which are called strengths and other aspects offering possibilities to grow and develop. Often you see in very young children, which .are developmentally challenged, that the process of sensory information processing, develops differently. Children are a little more clumsy in their dressing skills, social skills and learning skills. This may have repercussions for the physical as well as the social emotional development. Whatever diagnostic name this may be given, it can usually be treated successfully.
Max is very well able to use his eyes to learn to do!
Puling scotch tape from the dispenser: demonstration using very little language: hold, pull down, and tape to paper, first myself and thereafter Max using verbal guidance, after that Max, by himself, with me supporting him non verbally.
Perception of time:
When the sense of time has not been sufficiently developed yet, we used movement to experience time: we spent a few minutes on the swing and looked before we started and after we finished, how much time had passed, to begin to feel and see how much time had passed. Before we began, a minute was the same time as one hour. After that not any more!. You may also do a puzzle about time and clocks, apply the same concept.
NLD and dyspraxia
Children with a non verbal learning challenge, or we can call it a way of information processing, in which the ability to get a total overview of situations or tasks is challenged, often demonstrate dyspraxia. Complex tasks, such as cleaning up, having an orderly table at school, dressing and undressing, collecting the things you need for school or hobby are targeted.. A certain amount of chaos in this may be present. Dyspraxia is a challenge in the complex task process, which proceeds from idea, to organization and planning thereof, the implementation of the idea and the body feedback thereabout. The challenge may occur in anyone of these area or in a combination thereof
To help develop this area, we work in the task he/she would love to learn best. There is structured free play, in which the child is actively involved, in problem solving and sorting through the situations this play presents. At the same time, attention is given to being in the present moment, the Now, totally, focussed on your body and what it does in those complex tasks playful moments. Conscious breathing, feeling your feet and positive affirmations: I am able to learn to do” form an essential part of the therapy.
Sam was a 9 year old boy, who was continually unable to find his keys for home and bicycle, inconvenient when you need to be at school on time. Together we found a way to help this situation: he wanted a red basket on the piano because it stood next to the door to the hallway. He loved red because it is the traffic light stop colour as well as the stop sign colour.
Playing the game: Who is it? helps sorting: colour, category, form, as well as attention and concentration.
The session takes place in a calm, joyful focussed energy, trusting all possibilities. This way a child will discover by him/herself, what his/her possibilities are. Then questions such as: “how do I do this” are then heard less frequently, because from within the body this “how do I do this?” is being created. The power is within you! Feel and follow your body, become aware how it helps you and the rest will fall into place
Sensitivity, HSP, attention and concentration:
Children with a different way of sensory information processing , may experience challenges in daily life and emotional skills. They may not only be inwardly or outwardly reactive, children may also, from one moment to the next, without any reason, change their behaviour from very quietly playing a game to very busy, angry, temper tantrum, crying and sometimes kicking or hitting. This behaviour is often caused by the emotions such as feeling overwhelmed, and powerless. The emotions, which triggers these reaction are often played out using stuffed animals, dolls, or in drama with myself and/or a parent.
Therapy also consists of giving advice, related to the organizing system within the nervous system, the proprioceptive system. It also helps to develop the awareness that you can give heart presents to yourself such as trust, love, light, “yes, I can”. the positive affirmations. The proprioceptive system also helps to regulate the amount of alertness in the body, which leads to better attention and concentration and less outbursts in the behaviour.
Sometimes it is necessary to put in place a more specific program: the pressure brush program according to Wilbarger. Practical advice for home, school and day care is part of the therapy program.
Playing in a tunnel made from elastic material or fleece, like this one on the photo’s. It helps to develop the body consciousness through pressure touch and kinaesthesia