Anat Baniel Method and ADHD

With a new Anat Baniel Method basic training just starting it seems appropriate to share a story from one of the students who will graduate her basic training in a month’s time after just over 2 years with us, and who has yet to undertake the specialist mastery program for working with children with special needs.

I just wanted to share this story of working with a bright 10 year old who was labeled emotionally impaired. He has ADHD, gets in trouble a lot, and had a lot of anxiety. He is a low muscle tone kid, not very coordinated. He also has difficulties with bilateral activities like skipping, etc. So, they assigned him to me to try ABM with him.



The first session he was plastered to the table, so unsure of what to expect, but relaxed more as the session went on. The second lesson, he had a smile on his face as he came thru my door, and couldn’t wait to get on the table. The third session went alright, and he noted that he had achieved his highest score in bowling. The 4th-6th sessions were really up and down, and I got a taste of his lack of motivation and habit of refusal and defiance. Lesson 7 went a little better, but I was ready to tell the parents we were done on the 8th lesson. A colleague noticed Jeff sitting quietly in the waiting room, and made a comment to me, because Jeff usually paces. I had my Feldenkrais Judo book out to try to entice him with a couple of poses that might interest him, and was beginning to talk to Jeff about it when his father said proudly, “Jeff just got all A’s and B’s on his report card!” So, I began to stand up and take notice… Could it be that it took 8 lessons to get Jeff’s nervous system tuned in? Dad said his behavior had been improving slowly at home and school, and they had signed him up for a mentoring program. So, we did the 8th lesson, incorporating the 2 Judo poses, prone on elbows with the legs bent, but toes curled, and then with the legs extended and toes curled. Jeff couldn’t quite get the 2nd pose, so I took the opportunity to teach him the pelvic clock in sitting and supine because he needed to use it in prone to get that second pose.


Anyhow, long story short, Jeff worked diligently with me the whole hour, even incorporated breathing into part of the lesson. He commented on how much better, wider his chest felt. He got off the table and wanted to play ball with the playground ball. Amazingly he could dribble it without slapping the ball, and was quick on his feet to catch and throw and bounce the ball as he described being the 3rd baseman for kickball. He was saying how he is never any good at it, but he was jumping to catch balls. I’d never seen him move so fast! Finally, the ultimate joy for me: I asked him to skip about 15 ft., something he haltingly did before the lesson. He skipped using his whole body, smoothly and happily, almost giddy! This is a new Jeff who has discovered his body and how to move it!!!! Breakthrough’s do happen!!

Needless to say it made my day, and we are going to continue with more Functional Synthesis!

Hope you guys are finding such surprising outcomes!

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