Archive | July 2016

Beach Walking – Backwards

Now that it is Summer, we wish to remi3599139c8f4d9ba5c86ec8cef754f758nd all parents of children with some kind of walking function of the great value of the backwards walking in the sand for children with gait difficulties. Whether they are walking with support or walking free, the backwards walking is the perfect active exercise for them!

When walking forwards a child with gait problems tends to use the “falling tree” for momentum. Because the child cannot control the weight transfer through the foot and ankle, he or she simply lets the upper body fall forwards and then he catches up with the feet. This is not the correct sequence of activation for the walking.

When walking backwards, this is not possible. The child needs to lift the foot first, transfer the weight onto the leg. When walking backwards one needs to activate the step from the trunk, and the foot clearance is necessary. The trunk limb coordination goes in the correct sequence!

Therefore – whether the child can walk backwards alone, or needs some support of one or two hands, walking backwards barefoot on the sand or in the grass if there is no beach, is the absolute best Summer exercise for your child. For those who need support – try to vary the support – sometimes give two hands, sometimes one hand – from the right or the left.

We wish you a great Summer with the backwards walking style.


The Hands and Feet


Specialized ABR Ankle Wraps

   Every parent of a special needs child lends a particular notice and emphasis upon what is happening with the hands and the feet of their child.

On the one hand this is due to the fact that these are the most obvious areas of the body – they stick out! If the feet roll inwards, if the hand is shriveled and not useful for grasping objects, eating and playing – well then the parents and the therapists as well gather around this hand or foot. They try to stimulate the child to use it better, try to stretch it, try to massage it – anything to try to bring it to usage.

The ABR Method takes an entirely different avenue. First of all one works on understanding and recognition! One tries to go a few levels deeper into the evaluation of the difficulty of the “hand” or the “foot” itself – in following the present example.

What does a shriveled hand show us? The hand always leads back to the shoulder girdle and the neck. When one sees a shriveled or a hand with contracture there is no doubt that limitations can be found higher up in the vertical connections of the neck and spine. When the cervical spine is weak, then it needs to start to use and mobilize the arms and hands for stability. The arms then take over as stabilizers because the most important thing that needs to be done is to protect the neck and keep the head stable.

Movement teachers who have worked with children can surely remember having seen the following: A young girl or boy who runs with at least one arm bent and held close to the body. One may have asked oneself “What is this child doing? Why does he run like that?”

As soon as one recognizes that even an otherwise healthy child who runs with one or both arms bent and held close to the chest is doing this to protect the less obvious weaknesses in his neck – then the strange positions of the arms and hands of children with cerebral palsy and related conditions can be recognized for what they truly are at a deeper structural base: They are all the natural attempts to protect and to stabilize the weak connections between the head and the neck.

Or: If my head wobbles, because my neck is weak, I can then create stability for the neck by blocking the long horizontal connections of the arms that would otherwise create even more chaos for my wobbly head. Instead of allowing the horizontal connections of the arms to simply ruin any stability I can find in my neck, I will recruit them by blocking them to add some stability to my weak vertical neck connections.

This is the basic understanding of the shriveled hands, the folded hands, and the turned in feet. The special needs child has with an internal act of genius searched for ways to stabilize the head – or the pelvis/spine connections in the case of the feet – even if the attempt has not been effective and even if there are much more suitable ways of attaining head stability.

For the ABR inspired – and what could be called Bio-tensegral Informed Understanding – it is clear that it will be necessary to assist the child with folded hands and/or contractures of the feet at higher levels of the body starting with the vertical connections – specifically at the spine – before one can expect to achieve a meaningful change in the positioning or usage of either the hands or the feet. Any stretching, injecting with nerve poisons, orthopaedic interventions or surgeries will only have a limited and short term effect if one cannot manage to address the problem at the root.

On the other hand once the hands or feet have stiffened into a permanently poor position, they unfortunately become an additional liability for the child or affected adult. They have been trying to do the work of the weak neck or the weak pelvic connections for years and this has brought them into a state of permanent stiffening more commonly called spasticity. These spastic hands and feet however – do not allow the child to release any tensions generated through his daily life through the arms and legs. Normally a person can release an immense amount of tension through simply walking, doing something with the hands, or gesticulating when talking. The hands and feet of the special needs child – instead of being able to move, dance in daily movement and release tensions – end up being tension collectors and return built up tensions to the overly tense body.

Parents of special needs children know how the child is always getting tension – when she is happy and excited, when he is nervous, unhappy or in pain – tensions are exhibited in the legs, in the hands, in the jaw, in the neck –

A vicious cycle is implemented – and the child cannot exit on his own. It is here that the child need assistance from another side and he or she cannot bring this himself.

ABR strategy – in this case – is not only to strengthen the vertical connections at the level of the spine, but to reduce the negative effect of the feet and hand tensions. Tensions that build up and cannot be released have a long term negative effect upon the individual – leading to further stiffening, further fibrosis of the tissues, further discomfort – and so it goes around and around.

Newer ABR applications developed – like the power socks, the wraps, the Osteo-tapping, the “Reverse Squeeze” at the hands and feet – all these are designed to bring a release of tensions to the peripheral joints.

The ABR children have now been rewarding the efforts of their parents with faster attainment and new levels of grasping objects, eating on ones own, using the arms for weight bearing, standing independently.

We watch these improvements with joy and congratulate ABR families for their immense efforts!

Las manos y los pies.

Todos los padres de niños con necesidades especiales prestan un énfasis y una atención especial a lo que está pasando con las manos y los pies de su hijo.

Por un lado, esto es debido al hecho de que estas son las zonas más obvias del cuerpo – ¡son las que sobresalen! Que si los pies están girados hacia dentro, que si la mano se tuerce y no es útil para agarrar objetos, comer y jugar… Bueno, entonces los padres y los terapeutas se centran en esa mano o esa pie. Tratan de estimular al niño para usarlo mejor, tratan de estirarlo, tratan de masajearlo – todo para tratar de llevarlo a su sitio.

El método ABR toma una avenida totalmente diferente. En primer lugar uno trabaja en la comprensión y el reconocimiento! Tratamos de adentrarnos un poco más en la evaluación de la dificultad de la “mano” o el “pie” en sí mismos, por ejemplo.

¿Qué pasa en una mano retorcida? La mano siempre nos lleva de vuelta a la cintura escapular y al cuello. Cuando se ve una mano torcida o con contracturas, no hay duda de que las limitaciones se pueden encontrar más arriba, en la vertical de las conexiones del cuello y la columna vertebral. Cuando la columna cervical es débil, entonces necesita comenzar a usar y movilizar los brazos y las manos para conseguir la estabilidad. Los brazos se convierten en estabilizadores, porque lo más importante que hay que hacer es proteger el cuello y mantener la cabeza estable.

Los profesores del movimiento que han trabajado con niños pueden recordar haber visto lo siguiente: un joven o un niño que corre con al menos un brazo doblado cerca del cuerpo. Uno puede preguntarse: “¿qué está haciendo? ¿Por qué corre así?”

Tan pronto como uno reconoce que incluso un niño saludable puede andar con uno o ambos brazos retorcidos cerca del pecho para proteger las evidentes debilidades en su cuello, entonces la extraña posición de los brazos y las manos de niños con Parálisis cerebral y condiciones relacionadas, puede relacionarse con lo que realmente está pasando en la base estructural: son todos los intentos naturales para proteger y para estabilizar las débiles conexiones entre la cabeza y el cuello.

O si mi cabeza se tambalea, porque el cuello es débil, puedo entonces crear estabilidad para el cuello al bloquear las conexiones horizontaesl largas de los brazos que, de otra manera, crearían más caos a mi tambaleante cabeza. En lugar de permitir que las conexiones horizontales de los brazos arruinen toda la estabilidad que yo pueda encontrar en mi cuello, los reclutaré bloqueándolos para agregar un poco de estabilidad a mis débiles conexiones verticales en el cuello.

Esta es la comprensión básica de las manos retorcidas, las manos dobladas, y de los pies girados. Los niños con necesidades especiales tienen un genio interno que busca las maneras de estabilizar la cabeza, aunque estos intentos no hayan sido eficaces e incluso aunque haya maneras mucho mejores de conseguir la estabilidad en la cabeza.

Para los inspirados en ABR, lo que podría llamarse Entendimiento Informado Bio-Tensegral,está claro que es necesario ayudar al niño con las manos retorcidas y/o contracturas de los pies en los niveles superiores del cuerpo empezando con las conexiones verticales, específicamente en la columna, antes de poder esperar cualquier cambio significativo en la posición o el uso de las manos o los pies. Cualquier estiramiento, inyección de toxinas, cirugía o intervenciones ortopédicas solo tendrán un efecto a corto plazo limitado si uno no puede abordar el problema en su raíz.

Por otro lado, una vez que las manos o los pies se han tensado de forma permanente en una posición pobre, por desgracia se convierten en una carga adicional para el niño o adulto. Han estado tratando de hacer el trabajo de su cuello o su pelvis débil durante años y esto les ha llevado a un estado de rigidez permanente más comúnmente llamado espasticidad. Estas manos y pies espásticos sin embargo, no permiten que el niño libere todas las tensiones generadas en su día a día a través de los brazos y las piernas. Normalmente una persona puede soltar una inmensa cantidad de tensión simplemente caminando, haciendo algo con las manos, o gesticulando cuando habla. Las manos y los pies de un niño con necesidades especiales – en lugar de ser capaz de moverse, balancearse en su día a día y liberar las tensiones, terminan siendo recogedores de tensión y creando tensión adicional para un cuerpo ya demasiado tenso.

Los padres de los niños con necesidades especiales saben que el niño siempre está acumulando tensión – cuando está feliz y emocionado, cuando está nervioso, triste o con dolor – las tensiones se exhiben en las piernas, en las manos, en la mandíbula, en el cuello –

Se genera un círculo vicioso – y el niño no puede salir por sí mismo. Necesita ayuda desde fuera porque él no puede prestársela a sí mismo.

La estrategia de ABR, en este caso, no es sólo fortalecer las conexiones verticales al nivel de la columna vertebral, sino también reducir los efectos negativos de las tensiones de los pies y las manos. Las tensiones que se acumulan y no se pueden liberar tienen un efecto negativo a largo plazo en el individuo, aumentando la rigidez, la fibrosis de los tejidos , la incomodidad… una y otra vez.

Las nuevas aplicaciones desarrolladas por ABR- como “power socks”, los vendajes, el “Osteo-tapping”, el “Rerverse Squeeze” en las manos y los pies – todos estos están diseñados para favorecer la liberación de las tensiones en las articulaciones periféricas.

Los niños ABR ya se han beneficiado de los esfuerzos de sus padres con logros más rápidos y mejoras en cómo agarrar objetos, comiendo ellos solos, usando los brazos para soportar su peso, mantenerse de pie independientemente.

¡Vemos estas mejoras con alegría y felicitamos a las familias ABR por su enorme esfuerzo!.

No User Manual

One father of a very severe child recently told us at an ABR Assessment: “This child does not come with a “user manual”.

This is something we hear from many parents and many families. Even though countless “healthy” children today also come with their own special difficulties and challenges, the challenges that the parents of special needs children meet with every day and night are enormous. How could any parent expect to be able to meet with these challenges in the most optimal way?

At the same time the children take ones entire strength – often day and night. We see parents who come to courses – where the father simply falls asleep exhausted whilst the mother learns ABR Techniques and Methods! How could any parent be expected to be able to do all the extra research and achieve the high level of understanding needed for gaining the optimal outcomes for these children, if they do not even have the strength to stay awake due to long nights of troubles and anxieties? How can they be expected to learn more about their children and their children’s needs if the child has multiple seizures each and every day?

This is where ABR can offer something that no other training method can offer. We at ABR know your troubles from the inside out. All ABR centers are directed and also partially staffed by the parents of Special Needs Individuals. These are all people with the life experience on top of the professional experience to be able to assist parents with choosing the best priorities for boosting the child’s development.

We know that a family cannot thrive if the child does not sleep at night. We know that a child who throws up 20 times a day and more cannot thrive, until this issue is cleared up, Reflux, constipation, respiration difficulties – these need to be prioritized above motor skill development!

Then further ABR has shown conclusively, that if one concentrates on the basic life functions, the motor skill development will start to come on its own. The child will have more resources, the family will have more to give and more strength for maintaining the family coherence! A special needs child does not live in a vacuum. It is even more dependent upon the strength of the family than any other child!

Do not underestimate what working from the bottom following the protocols that ABR Methods can bring; what all these small life change gains can bring to the family and then by way of the strengthened and empowered parents – to the children and special needs individuals – boosting their lives, day by day – bringing improvements, little by little!