Baltimore Feldenkrais Center


Children with Special Needs

Working with children with special needs is one of my primary passions. I find that The Feldenkrais Method’s most natural and helpful application is the work we do with children. Dr. Feldenkrais’ built his teachings around his observations of how babies learn to move in the field of gravity, in their first year of life. All human babies go through this process without teachers and with no verbal instructions. Sensing, feeling and moving were but one action that had one biological purpose – becoming a functional, healthy and fulfilled human.

For special needs children, this learning process is derailed in some way. For example, a child with cerebral palsy cannot get the consistent feedback from a spastic arm or a spastic leg that is needed to form a coherent action. The Feldenkrais method is perfectly designed to substitute these erratic and spastic movements  with consistent ones, which the brain CAN integrate into a predictable action.

In my work with children the touch and interaction is gentle and pleasant but precise. I start with accommodating what the child can already do well and spread the ability gradually to form more and more developmentally appropriate movements. The children do not feel handled and coerced and really love the sessions.
The parents of the children are my collaborators – I listen to what they observe and know about their child and take it into account in my work, and I encourage and teach them to do some of what I do at home.

My interest in this application of the Feldenkrais Method started very early in my Feldenkrais training – in 1984.  My first Trainer was Anat Baniel, who later founded the Anat Baniel Method for children and who worked very closely with Dr. Feldenkrais and accompanied him in his travels. Anat’s special talent for working with children was and is internationally well known. I watched her give lessons to many children, transforming them into vital and curious learners, achieving great progress in their development. Over a period of 16 years, I attended seminars she taught and eventually worked as her assistant in the last Feldenkrais Professional Training she directed before launching the Anat Baniel Method for children.

Aliza has worked with Jeremy Krauss, who has developed the Jeremy Krauss Approach To Working With Special Needs Children. His excellent work is described here.

Please, visit the Contact page to arrange private sessions.