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Over 35 Years of Eating Disorder Specialty Practice
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Eating Disorder Specialist

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A Case Story

The following article was taken from the web site of Anat Baniel, the originator of the Anat Baniel Method for Infants and Children based on the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. This article tells one mother’s story about her child’s timely and remarkable improvement and progress towards recovery from sensory integration disorder in Anat’s gifted hands. The Anat Baniel Method (based on the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkris) provides a powerful solution to problems that might otherwise be unsolvable. Essentially, by providing "food" for your child's brain, this mind/body technique is an investment in your child's capacity for self care and self regulation.

"Anat Baniel is, in my informed opinion, the foremost therapist in the world today for children with special needs of all types"
…Abigail Natenshon, psychotherapist, author, Anat Baniel therapist, and parent of a special needs child who has grown up to become a very special young woman.

Diagnosis: Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Low Muscle Tone, Problems with Feeding

It is May 2004, my daughter Lindsay has just returned from her third visit with Anat. She was 2 1/2 years old when we first saw Anat, four months ago. We have had fifteen sessions during this time. Lindsay's life has changed dramatically for the better in these last four months.

Before coming to Anat, when you saw Lindsay standing on the playground she looked just like every other healthy child. The only problem is that she was not. She has sensory integration dysfunction and low muscle tone. She consumes very small quantities of food and liquids. Four month ago her diet consisted mostly of crackers with cream cheese, chips, chocolate and baby formula. We were in constant fear of her getting sick and worrying if she would end up in the hospital again for dehydration. Socially it was difficult to watch her stand back and not be able to go on the playground if there was more than one child. She was a very inactive child. She was always the last one in line in class. She was so shy, quiet and timid. I just assumed that was her personality.

She also has something going on with her right side, not being able to roll over on it. Watching her run is interesting as her left arm moves and the right side stays still.

The first visit (one week): The main reason I went to see Anat was in hopes that we would be able to get Lindsay to eat and drink. When we came home from our first visit with Anat I was terrified. My sweet, well-behaved child had turned into someone I had never met. She was a true challenge and was very loud. After ten days of this, I finally had to email Anat to find out if this was normal. Eventually, she balanced these aggressive emotions out and became this unbelievable child with a lot of self-confidence, which was something I didn't even know to hope for. Also, during the first two weeks, she ate and drank more than she ever had. She was a little more open to trying a few new foods, which was a big break through because we had been in therapy with Lindsay since she was 9 months old.

Unfortunately, the increase in volume faded after time, but there was a slight increase in liquid consumption and a little bit more variety in the foods she ate. Her self-confidence stayed with her, along with a little more movement on her right side.

My second visit I was scared to go to see Anat. Although I believed that it could truly help Lindsay, I didn't know if I could handle another two weeks of an extremely challenging child when I came home. It was a pleasant surprise to have a completely different outcome. Lindsay just laughed and sang all the time. It was wonderful. Her level of confidence continued to increase and the most noticeable change was the increased level of activity. She was running, jumping and playing just like the other kids. We had some incredible changes in eating also. The child who normally drank 8-9oz. of formula a day, drank 30oz one day. She was just so much more open to trying things especially fruit. She consumed larger quantities of foods. After two weeks, the effect on the eating again began to decrease. Then she got sick, but actually consumed more liquids than normal, instead of refusing them, like in the past.

Recently we went to a birthday party with about 20 kids she did not know. She walked right up to the front of the group to sit without any encouragement from mom or dad.

I no longer watch her every bite and count her every ounce of formula. Not only has Lindsay changed, but, I her mother, has changed. Although Lindsay's eating habits are still very limited, we are making some progress with them, which is major, because I was loosing hope not knowing what else I could do to help my child. For me, I finally feel like Lindsay is going to be O.K. and we will not end up on a feeding tube, which has always been somewhat of a threat over the last year and a half. More importantly, Lindsay has evolved into a completely different child, so full of life

We just had our third visit to Anat's. I was amazed watching Anat working on Lindsay's mouth and jaw. It was 2 years ago, but I still vividly remember how when the therapist just tried to put a finger around Lindsay's mouth, how she cried hysterically because it was so sensitive. She still does not really enjoy this, but has very little trouble tolerating it. Also, the minute Anat started working on Lindsay during the lesson, the immediate laughter began again.

We went right from our lesson to the park that day. Here she was able to do things she never had been able to do in the past with the level of energy and activity being so high. Since we've been home, she is now holding her own bottle, after 2-3/4years of mom holding it for her. She is much more open to potty training, which we have been struggling with. Best of all, she is so full of happiness and energy, she is now asking to run and play with the other kids.

We are anxiously awaiting our fourth visit, which we scheduled only three weeks apart from the last one. We are hoping that the increase in food consumption will continue with the closeness in lessons. Only time will tell.

We live out of state, so these trips to San Rafael are quite expensive for us. The changes I have seen in my daughter in such a short amount of time make it worth every penny. I have been in therapy with my daughter over 2 years now and have not seen a fraction of the progress that I have seen working with Anat in just four months. She has been able to change things that I didn't even know could be changed. As her pediatrician said "Standard medicine is only the tip of the iceberg." Anat has been able to help us where no one else has. I feel blessed every day that a friend I met at a feeding workshop was kind enough to let me know about Anat’s work.


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