for Children with Special Needs
with Bonnie Kissam, M.A., Feldenkrais® Practitioner
Children first learn through observing what they see, hear, and sense.
If we can improve a child’s ability to sense his movements,
discern differences and make a choice,
we can improve the quality of his world.
Learn more about Anat Baniel with BonnieK in Florida below.
Bonnie Kissam, M.A.,has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Dance, and a second one in Exceptional Student Education. She became a Licensed Massage Therapist in NY State in 1980 and a Feldenkrais® Practitioner in 1983.
Bonnie was fortunate to study with Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., in his last two years of teaching, 1980 and 1981 when Anat Baniel was one of his assistants. Bonnie was also fortunate to complete Anat’s program for Children with Special Needs in 2012, the year her book Kids Beyond Limits was published.
Bonnie offers lessons in Sarasota, St. Petersburg on Fridays and Orlando by appointment or will come to your area for a weekend with several children.
Central to all learning is the ability to differentiate
The Anat Baniel Method® of NeuroMovement® for Children with Special Needs is a result of Anat’s 40+ years changing the lives of hundreds of children who have difficulty in some aspect of their development. She demonstrates Moshe Feldenkrais’ idea that using movement with attention, while looking for and experiencing variations to existing capabilities, supports ongoing learning and is the key for keeping the wheel of self-development, self-learning moving forward.
This approach supports the natural developmental process used for learning.
“As a baby lays in her crib during the first weeks of life, her brain is just beginning to figure out what to do with her sensations and how to organize movements and perceptions …. The brain’s ability to perceive the distinct differences in these sensations is the source of information from which the brain performs the extraordinary process of organizing itself, the body, and making sense of the world. It is here that we find the greatest opportunity for helping the child who has special needs by facilitating her brain’s ability to perceive differences.”
– Anat Baniel (2012); Kids Beyond Limits, pp. 29-30
The best process for helping a child to learn is to optimize existing capabilities.
Many children need more experience in sensing subtle differentiations in action and thought to support their development.
Keep in mind,
if a child could ‘do it’
Bonnie’s Approach: “First, I connect with this child on a non-verbal level to help her attend to her actions. Second, I help her sense differences and support the developmental process that creates variations to any given movement, sound or thought. Third, I focus on offering the kind of information she can use to learn and create new action.”
Bonnie uses movement and the brain’s ability to sense, adapt and grow to guide each child’s attention and help him/her differentiate his sensory experiences in a way that expands his thinking and overall ability The intention is to help your son or daughter engage in what he/she is sensing until more optimal strategies for a new action evolves.
Through gentle, specific movements, sounds and sensations your child is guided to sort for differences and expand his/her physical and cognitive abilities. Infants and children, even those who have not begun to use the spoken language, can learn to differentiate what they sense, hear or see and learn to ‘move’ beyond limitations.
The video below shows Bonnie working with little Ms. R. learning to roll easily. Watch how Bonnie initiates the movement but then how Ms. R. organizes and performs the rest of the action.
With attention to how we move, learning expands into all areas of life and has exponential growth qualities.
About Brain Plasticity
“Our brain’s are subject to continuous change. Each time we acquire or refine a human ability, we physically rewire- specialize by remodeling – our brain machinery. Every new or improved ability is a direct product of this kind of physical brain change …. The child who struggles so hard just to respond, to initiate action, to understand, to move competently, and to have command in his or her world can especially make great use of their brain’s plasticity on their path to growing and evolving their capabilities in ways that contribute to a better life for them.”
– Michael Merzenich, PhD, neuroscientist, professor emeritus at UCSF
Anat Baniel, Ph. D. at a Conference on Autism
Anat Baniel, Ph.D talks with Mike Koenig
Appointments with Bonnie Kissam — IN PERSON or AT HOME/ONLINE
The program of ABM works best for the child if she/he receives 2-4 lessons of 30-40 minutes each within a few days of each other. Bonnie K. is available in Sarasota during the week and organizes one weekend a month for appointments specifically for children.
Bonnie Kissam, M.A.
Cell phone: 941-587-4535
Appointment Locations (or AT HOME/ONLINE)
Ionies 1241 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34236 (map link)
St. Petersburg (On Fridays):
Living Room Yoga, 8424 4th Street North in St Petersburg (near Gandy Blvd. – map link)
by appointment only
by appointment – Call 941.360.2248
Bonnie will Travel: On-Site Appointments
Bonnie will come to your town to work for 2-3 days. Organizers would need to provide transportation, accommodation, and a comfortable room for lessons. (Minimum of two days).
Each day includes lessons for three to four children (two individual lessons for each child, each day).
Please give at least 24 hours notice to avoid a cancellation fee.Book a Lesson
Videos & Posts
Anat Baniel had the opportunity to work closely with Moshe Feldenkrais during his work with children in the last years of his teaching. The story of Elizabeth is a child who began with Moshe and continued with Anat, demonstrating the ability to improve beyond everyone’s expectations.
Below you’ll find a wonderful talk by Anat on her work with her focus on children that are labeled on the Spectrum.
Publication by Norman Doidge:
The Brain’s Way of Healing.
For a worldwide listing of certified NeuroMovement® professionals serving Children with Special Needs, please visit: http://www.neuroconnect.world