I just came back from the Anat Baniel Method ("ABM") Professional Training Program Segment 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada and can already feel the benefits of the ABM neuromovement training enhancing our Son-Rise® Program. I was excited to play with the synergy between the methods. Two of my best friends I met at the Option Institute® are also Certified Option Process® Mentors (like me!), but their children have fully recovered already using Son-Rise plus ABM faster than my child is recovering using the Son-Rise Program alone. I wondered if it might increase my daughter's speed of recovery, and my parents generously offered to fund my attending the training which makes it possible.
At my hotel in Las Vegas
I'm so excited about what we learned! It answered so many questions I have always had about how I operate and why I do what I do, and how to approach learning more constructively as someone which Asperger's since I've always had issues with new challenges. But I will save more about my observations about using ABM's approach to blend with Son-RIse in high-functioning people such as myself at a later date. I just want to focus on my daughter, mostly, this time, but first a little about similarities and differences between the ABM and Son-Rise approaches (note that I will update this list as I learn more; check back now and then to see a more complete comparison and contrast and steps to synergy as they emerge in further training).
Similarities between Anat Baniel's (ABM) 9 "essentials" alongside the parallel Son-Rise Program Principles/Methods:
|Anat Baniel Method (ABM)||Son-Rise Program Principles / Methods|
|1||Movement with Attention (to that movement)||Be mentally present, be constantly aware of the other person's movements (including speech) to tell if they are "in their own world" meaning we join them with attention to our movements to match theirs|
|2||Slow||Let the child set the speed and take breaks via "isming" (going into their own world) when they need a rest - no "rushing" or "pushing" them out of autism; break all challenges into doable and comprehensible bits / steps representing the slowest possible progression|
|3||Variation||Adding variety, both "add one thing" and varying games / roles|
|4||Increase likelihood the person will notice and be more likely to learn (remember and reproduce later) new behavior(s) in the direction of progress into greater ability) through Sublety/ Reduced Force (in touch, movement, volume, etc.), since subtle distinctions are then more noticeable||Increase likelihood the person will notice and learn (remember and reproduce later) new behavior(s) in the direction of progress into greater ability) through pointing out and having them get the child something like a reward, such as a celebration or another round of a loved game or activity|
|5||Enthusiasm to "light up your brain"||"The 3 E's: Energy, excitement and enthusiasm"|
|6||Flexible Goals: "Know your goals and embrace all the unexpected steps...and re-routes" (from anatbanielmethod.com/about-abm/the-nine-essentials)||Flexible Goals: identical - you keep your goals in sight and go toward them but are never rigid about the path you'll taie getting there or the timing|
|7||The Learning Switch - notice when the autistic person is receptive to interacting with you; stop trying to interact when they aren't||Interact when the child indicates with "green lights" (such as looks or talking to you) that they are receptive to interacting; stop trying to interact when they aren't, but instead "join" their "isms" (repetitive, exclusive behaviors) in parallel until they are open to your input again (the next "green light")|
|8||Imagination and dreams - those who imagine more pave the way to do more by getting good at visualizing, goal-setting, and playing through different choices and scenarios - an ABM principle used to help recover injured areas as well as to clarify thinking and options in autistic person's discussions with their teachers||Imagination and dreams - those who imagine more pave the way to do more by getting good at visualizing, goal-setting, and playing through different choices and scenarios - woven into Son-Rise curriculum as part imaginary games and part of "adding variety"|
|9||Aware-ing (being mentally aware), not being clouded by limiting "stories" (aka beliefs) / preconceptions, and constantly telling yourself, "I wonder..." as you encounter new events.||Be mentally present and aware of what you're seeing around you, unclouded by limiting beliefs, as you encounter new events.|
Additional Similarities between Anat Baniel Method (ABM) and the Son-Rise Program: They both:
- Are based on an accepting, nonjudgmental, respectful, hopeful, supportive, loving (explicitly in Son-Rise and implicitly in the gentle touch and other components in ABM) attitude and no "supposed to"s (both explicitly state they don't believe in them);
- Stimulate neuroplasticity (the creation of new nerve growth in the brain);
- Help stimulate the brain's awareness of other options to its usual repetitive patterns (both physical and mental), so new patterns of behavior and mental focus tend to result;
- Provide opportunities for the person to see other options and choices and make it inviting and easier for them to adopt lasting changes and added complexity to their repertoire of responding to the world;
- View "behavior" as the same thing regardless of if it appears in the brain or body; so repetitive patterns of thinking, talking, fear, or rocking / hand flapping are all fundamentally the same thing in the brain and approached the same way;
- Place no pre-determined limits on any person's change and development and see change and increasing ability and options as an unending process;;
- Believe that beliefs both organize (making sense of the world) and limit growth; "stories" (ABM) or "beliefs" (Son-Rise Program), are how the brain stores information for reference and pulls it up to guide it's behavior in every second, thus it's a double-edged sword: our beliefs/ stories are essential for us to comprehend or respond to the universe with any learning or consistency, yet they can limit our growth unless regularly questioned and updated to serve us;
- have shown spectacular results on autistic persons gaining in brain-centered flexibility and interaction; both have many studies supporting the components of their approaches, as well as Son-Rise has a case-controlled published study demonstrating efficacy in as little as 5 days;
Differences between the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) and Son-Rise Program:
- ABM has a primarily physical way to interact with the autistic person to help them change their physical patterns;
- Both ABM and Son-Rise have a verbal/ behavioral component that can also be used, but it's my observation that most most ABM practitioners only use ABM principles attitudinally but don't like to engage the autistic person's verbally repetitive behaviors, whereas the Son-Rise Program has a primarily verbal and play-therapy-based method with only an incidental physical-touch component (note that several ABM practitioners who are also proficient in Son-Rise principles such as those who have used Son-Rise for several years on their child or working with other people's children using the Son-Rise program are excellent
Using Anat Baniel + Son-Rise with my children today:
This morning after hugging my daughter "good morning" I felt the impulse to have my arm around her and walk very slowly and smoothly (ABM principle "slow") and with variations (ABM and Son-Rise Program principles), walking across the room in parallel stepping at the same pace, then reversing and stepping backwards, then facing each other and holding hands walking sideways, then splitting up and slowly going around the kitchen "island" and meeting up again on the other side. I was excited to include movement so centrally in what we were doing, as well as the super-gentle touch (ABM "reduction of force" principle) as she talked to me and when we were in physical contact, and found the principle rubbing off in how I acted emotionally with her. The attention to the movement (ABM principle) helped me stay more mentally present (Son-Rise principle). Going slowly myself in how I moved, talked, walked etc. (ABM principle) resulted in my finding more options to what is often repeated themes and conversational threads than I usually have found lately, thus boosting my ability to add variety (ABM and Son-Rise methods). I've noticed when I encourage (by modeling and requesting) that Anna talk slower, I've noticed she expressed herself at a higher level by adding words she might at first leave out, as well as improving word order such as saying the adjective before the noun when she often says the reverse when speaking fast. So overall the programs are synergizing well!
I also just gave my son my first ABM "Functional Synthesis" or "FS" "lesson" because he said he had tension in his back and it worked to make it go away!
I'm excited to start using this method on people for free as I develop my skills. The next training program in Las Vegas is in June, I'm looking forward to it!
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