Anat Baniel “We Learn to Stand Up Not Standing Up”

By March 1, 2016April 20th, 2021Blog, Videos

A newborn baby has a relatively long apprenticeship in movement before developmental milestones are reached.  It takes approximately 10 months to 1 year for a newborn to learn to stand up.  In that time, the infant is exploring myriad variations; including random movements and intentional action.  After thousands of hours of explorations,  a clear developmental progression occurs from less complexity to more complexity. Standing is the end result of a very long apprenticeship in movement exploration.  And in our method, we use this knowledge of neuro-motor development to help a child map their brain for the progressive complexity required to stand.  Placing a child in standing without any somatic mapping to how one got there is a recipe for frustration, failure and alienation from self.

A child that can’t stand up because of brain injury or other special need, has never experienced these progressive levels of complexity or variation, nor experienced the infinite variations that lead to greater complexity.  Thus, when a parent or therapist requires a child to stand up by putting them in standing, it’s as if we placed the child who lives at sea level on top of mount Everest without any prior exposure.  Imagine the degree of fear and failure that a child experiences from this kind of situation!

Some theories about mapping the brain have to do with placing a child in the position to which they themselves have not initiated.  As if somehow, miraculously, the position itself will map the brain for that function.  This is very harmful and cruel, and is not the way the brain works for learning new skills.  It’s mimicry and imitation type of learning and will produce more failure than success.

I start where your child’s abilities are, and grow the ability from there; rather than have the goal  in mind and forcing the child into a position in which they are unprepared.  Anat says it beautifully in this short video.

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