I would now like to share this story about a very special child that I have been working on over the past four months in Edmonton, AB, Canada. This little girl was diagnosed with:

Nystagmus...wobbly eyes due to brain development.

Lissencephaly(smooth brain)...Miller-Dieker Syndrome(rare genetic disorder).

West Syndrome & Infantile Spasms-seizure disorders.

Global Development Delay.

Swallowing issues-high risk for aspiration/pneumonia.

I don’t always understand or even know what these diagnosis mean as I am not a doctor, but I do know that when I first met this child, she would lay on the table like a piece of paper and not even really move or be aware anything around her. With this work, we engage the whole body or the whole person. What is she capable of doing? Where does she move easily and without effort? It is alway "I wonder". As we started doing the lessons with her, I noticed that she did put her right index finger in her mouth. That was a way for me to introduce to her in language, "are you counting your teeth"? Amazing how quickly she learned to associate the language with the "action", one of the first parts of bringing awareness of who she is in her body. Her legs were wide apart and not touching and her arms and hands were not very interested in touching herself, other then her index finger in her mouth.

She had a very "wobbley head" with they very, very slow movements, done with great attention, differentiation and with many variations I started to move her pelvis. Very, very gently to see how the cavity of her pelvis to her head was connected. Did moving her pelvis cause any movement in her head? If not, how far up her spine did the movement transfer? In which directions? What would make a difference in her life?

Her eyes were very focused on looking up toward her forhead. Seems like looking down and around were something she was able to do at this time. She was introduced to some neurological movemetns such as interlacing her fingers, touching her feet with her hands, touching her right foot to her left foot and as many different variations as I could think of.

Because of this way of moving her, over the 28 lesson she received, she quickly became more aware, started to move and discover her hands, her feet, and her legs. She has everything hard-wired in her brain, she just needs some movements she may have missed while in the uterus. With this she is now rolling over, able to turn her head on the side while on her stomach. Her eyes and look up, down, sideways and all directions. Her legs are staight under her!

She is doing some neurological things such as interlacing her fingers, able to touch her right side, touches her toes with her hands. Laughs and smiles frequently.

The steps to get her to this point have been done with great care and love. Not only did she have the opportunity to change but there was a shift done by the whole family. She is such a lucky girl to have the parents she has! They really embraced and supported the process by doing everything at home that would encourage and give enthusiasm to her and keep her learning inbetween sessions. Her older brother is also in on the action now!! This family noticed and honoured all the small changes, all the small miracles!

This is the part of noticing small miracles by holding your goals loosely. I had worked with one young boy only 8 sessions. I noticed many, many small changes in the child. I saw him 2 or 3 x per day for 4 days. On the third day he changed so much, when I mentioned to "soften" his legs, he did. Most of the time his legs were very spastic. He has such a wonderful learning brain! I was amazed with these changes.

The sad part for me was on the 4th day lesson 7 and 8 the young man was stiff and lost everything gained in the previous days. I could not figure out what had happened, until the end of the last lesson. Mom asked if I would really make any changes in her son. She didn’t notice anything. This is not a fault with her, but it put so much pressure on her son to perform in a way that he was not able to do at this time. It was a great way to learn a lesson in educating the parents to "see" and become enthusiastic on the small changes and hold their goals loosely.

I am just so thankful for the opportunity working with these very special children. The trust, enthusiasm and leaning that we as a community in Edmonton are creating one child at a time, one family at a time! Let's keep the momentum growing and see where we can take this work and knowledge out into the world.

The human body is just so amazing and fasincating!

The way through movement one can be one way and after a 45 minute lesson that way of being has changed. Out of pain, a shift of awareness, feeling a part of you that you could not feel before.

All this is what happened to one of my children while in Edmonton! She for the first time in her two years of life, has more control over her head.

For most of her life her head would just fall backwards! Now, thanks to her great skill for learning she can bring her head forward. I found it totally amazing how she just took this stimulation and turned it into information that has impowered her to feel not only her head, but more of her the upper part of her spine and connect it down to her pelvis.

When she first started to roll over, she would fling over by using her head. Now, she rolls through her spine and lets her legs, arms and head come along for the ride.

This little girl always amazes me! She is not the only one, but she takes all in and uses it. My dream or vision was to see her crawl, but she first has to feel her spine, her head and her pelvis. That is what she is doing now.

While on her belly she is now for the first time in her life, reaching for objects. Things that are taken for granted with most children. What miracles will present themselves next time seeing her, I don't know, but I do know that she takes the information and uses it the way her brain needs to funtction to get to the next level!

Karen Toth



Karen has been blessed to follow her heart in life and in her career. She took a 3 - 3/4 year training with Anat Baniel. Anat had studied directly under Moshe Feldenkrais in Israel, San Fransisco and followed and helped train others all over the world. Anat studied with Moshe for the last 15 years of his life.

Anat has written a book "Move into Life, The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality". It is a book Karen highly recommend everyone read! This is a way to put what we do into language most people can understand. Here are the 9 essentials:

Movement with attention - our brains are organized through movement

The learning switch - everything in life becomes an opportunity and miracles

Subtlety - turns stimulations into new information

Variation - create a greater variety of possibilities in the way you think, feel and move

Slow - slow gets the brains attention

Enthusiasm - energy that lifts and inspires you

Flexible Goals - gives your brain opportunities to discover new ways to fulfil you dreams

Imagination and Dreams - leaving current limitations and leading to your authentic life path

Awareness - living in the present and being fully alive

To purchase this book Move into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality

For more information on this method check www.anatbanielmethod.com/

Next training begins March 2011 check this site for more info http://www.anatbanieltraining.com/

Author's Bio: 

Karen has been working with special needs children for the past 2 years and has found this work very rewarding for children of special needs, the families and communities they live in.

For more information check http://www.stretchyourlife.com

Nystagmus...wobbly eyes due to brain development.

Lissencephaly(smooth brain),Miller-Dieker Syndrome,West Syndrome & Infantile Spasms-seizure disorders,Global Development Delay, Swallowing issues-high risk for aspiration/pneumonia.