Children’s Mastery Practicum


Free Anat Baniel Method for Children lessons for your child with special needs, ages 0-2 during the Children’s Mastery Training Program, taught by Anat Baniel. 

ABM, a gentle, non-invasive method is a cutting edge approach based on neuroscience using movement to send new information to the brain that creates new neural pathways improving all areas of your child’s life, be it physical, emotional or mental.

Lesson space is available on Friday July 22nd, and Saturday July 23rd, 2011 in the morning of both days.   To register, Please call or email Mike Davis at or 480.720-5854 with any questions.


Emma’s Progress

Emma is nearing her second birthday and I couldn’t help but to send you a letter on her progress.  Our little angel came into this world with a long list of problems that no one would wish on their worst enemy.  She spent the first three months of her life in pediatric intensive care units and when she finally did come home prognosis was grim.  She has been diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome and some of her symptoms are peripheral neuropathy, extreme developmental delay, agenesis of the corpus callosum, feeding issues, cortical blindness, epilepsy, and GERD.   To quote some of the best neurologists in the world; “Emma is teaching us”. What a quote.  Definitely not something a parent ever wants to hear about their child; but that is the reality of special needs children.

It was about a month after she got home when I was surfing the Internet looking for answers and I came across the name Anat Baniel.  I had never heard of her but people were saying great things.  One mother’s story in particular sticks in my mind.  She was telling her story to another women on an internet support group and she spoke of her child walking without his walker after just two ABM lessons.  I was amazed.  I kept searching and inevitably found Anat on YouTube and saw the famous “Elizabeth” video. After watching, I foolishly ran to Emma and tried to imitate all the movements Anat had performed on Elizabeth.  Emma’s eyes lit with life.  I knew this was our answer.

Very often friends and family look at me with sympathetic eyes and ask me how I do it or what is it like to be a parent of a special need child.  I never really had an answer till just the other day while watching the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks.  There is scene where he finally escapes the island with his best friend Wilson (a volleyball).  The raft he has built is barely floating, his oars are just about useless, and he is at the mercy of the sea and all its fury.  He has surrendered to it all.  The wind, the waves, and the tide. His fate, Wilson’s fate, are completely unknown.  Watching this, I could not understand why I was overwhelmed with such emotion.  Then it occurred to me.  That is exactly what it feels like to be a parent of a special needs child. Every day we wake up to the unknown and it’s not until we surrender to it all that we realize that there is a path for us and our child.  Miraculously, a whale comes along and awakens Tom Hanks to the roaring sound of a passing container ship.  He has been rescued.  Well, ABM, for myself and many other parents, is that miraculous whale.  It gives us the ability to accept and surrender knowing that our child’s next miracle is over the next wave.

Emma has come a long way since her first days at home.  Many of her changes are slow and subtle and that’s exactly how we like it.  Her movement improves every day and she is a joy to be with.  There was once a time where all she would do was cry.  Now she smiles much of the day and lights up the room.  I can attribute her progress to two things.  Her family’s unconditional love and The Anat Baniel Method.

Like all parents, I feel as though I know what’s best for my children and am not particularly concerned with other people’s opinions.  However, the other day her Developmental Therapist had written such a beautiful report I had to share it.  She wrote:

“Emma seen at home with nurse present. Emma had a GREAT session. Lots of vocalization throughout the entire session and lots of smiles as well(smiley face)!”

“Sensory Play: Emma LOVED moving her fingers around in the dried pasta and dried beans. When the bin of beans/pasta was presented at her left hand, she independently picked up her right hand, moved it across midline and placed it in the sensory material (smiley face)!!!!!! She did this multiple times. ( I would move her right hand back to her right side and she would do it again.) Great job Emma?  Patty Day

Need I say more?  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  I am not one to put much emphasis on validation but I’ll let this one slide.  These are huge results and it’s even better when others are witness to them.  I’m  loving it.  Little miracles here, little ones there: Perfect.

Now when I think of the doctors comment, “Emma is teaching us”, I say they are absolutely correct.  She has taught me that I can love completely without complete understanding, that life’s possibilities are endless,  that she is my guardian angel just as much as  I am hers, and that my life would not be complete without her existence.

Love and Light,    

David Zupko

Happy 1st Birthday Emma Zupko!

We want to share with you some more stories of the children and the families we work with. Today we will introduce you to Emma  Zupko. Her father found us, like so many parents after exhaustive searches on the internet. He watched a video online of Anat working with “Elizabeth” rushed upstairs to try a move out on his daughter and saw something in her response that he had never seen before! It led him to us both for lessons for his daughter and to enter the training to become a practitioner. Here is some of their story;
Emma will be 1 year old this weekend
To date she has been diagnosed w/ a rare genetic disorder called “Fryn’s Syndrome and complete agenesis of the Corpus Callosum.
She does not have a herniated diaphragm which is a life threatening characteristic of Fryn’s Syndrone. Most infants do not survive the first months of life because of the herniated diaphragm.
She was born with extreme Hypotonia, uncontrollable/unexplainable tremors throughout her entire body, feeding delays(g-tube), GERD(reflux), cortical blindness, peripheral neuropathy, extreme developmental delays, extreme irritability, sleeping issues,   and a  few other  minor issues.
Her prognosis was/is a big question for the medical industry: ”WAIT AND SEE”. The best Drs. In the world could only shrug their shoulders and tell us that “Emma is teaching us”. Fryn’s Syndrome has only  a handful of living survivors, so using prior cases as a benchmark for her development is not possible.
Emma began ABM at 4 months of age. Her tremors had gotten a little better but were still a  problem.
To Date:
1.       Her tremors are almost gone. They are apparent only when extremely tired and still they are very mild.
2.       She takes a bottle in small amounts and has two meals a day with baby food(spoon fed). Her initial ass. was that she could not be mouth fed and questionable whether she ever would.
3.       GERD is not an issue because while having her g-tube surgery she also had a nissen done.
4.       Emma’s vision was just re-evaluated  two weeks ago and the doctor was extremely happy to say that she sees signs of vision
5.       She has become a very happy baby and smiles and talks all day long.
6.       I question whether she has neuropathy or not. But she has begun to move a lot more and seems to have become ticklelish. Her movements are still that of a very young infant but they are so much more  than she ever had . her startle reflex is more apparent.
7.       She is aware of her family and will often turn in the direction of one’s voice or give us a smile.
8.       Irritability is just about gone and her crying is more like the characteristics of a normal child. i.e. , hungry, tired.

Emma has lessons with Marcy Lindheimer in New York and Kathy O’Neil in Pennsylvania. Here is an e-mail that her father just sent to Marcy concerning the  latest lessons;

Hello Marcy,
After  Emma’s lessons last week with you and Kathy, I felt the need to give you a follow-up.  She is doing great !!  She has been in a great mood, smiling all day long, and a lot more inquisitive about her surroundings. Her sleeping has greatly improved and just the other day she decided to drink 6 oz. instead of her normal 2 0z. We have taken your advice on her head positioning and that has helped tremendously. Other family members have noticed a great improvement in her neck strength and positioning as well. The list goes on!!
Equally important, last week’s lessons have given my wife and other family members a refreshing breath of hope for our little angel and has given them the opportunity to see what possibilities can be reached with Emma and their own lives as well. Tiny miracles are happening all around us and there are no words that express my thanks. Acceptance is a huge obstacle for parents with children with special needs, and seeing results so quickly and beautifully, only helps.
I am forever grateful that there is such thing as You-tube. It was what drew me to ABM. I was convinced by the first video of Anat’s work that I saw. I can only imagine the feeling You, Kathy, or any other practitioner must have when seeing such huge results with children. I am so glad I am in the training and only hope, that as a practitioner,  I may have some of the results I’ve witnessed with you and Emma.
Every time I bring Emma for her lessons with Kathy, I know that in the days to come after her lessons,  I will be witness  to some great gift.. It could be Emma’s movement, her speech, or maybe her vision.  One never knows.  But it’s inevitable and that’s what’s so great about ABM.  Last week’s lessons not only helped Emma, but my wife as well.  You and Kathy have given my wife the most beautiful gift any human can give another: HOPE.  I can only express my thanks and hope you know how much of a difference you have made in my family’s lives.

LOVE AND LIGHT,   David Zupko