“I can’t believe he likes that!”
This was what the mom of a new client said to me.
The eight-year-old boy and I were playing with the fabric tunnel that I have. He was crawling through it and challenging himself by choosing different objects to push through it. It’s an activity that I do often with kids and I didn’t think twice about it.
However, for this mom, it was an interesting observation. She didn’t ever picture her son (who struggles with anxiety) choosing an activity like that. A dark tunnel, fabric that drapes closely around you as you go through, and the unknown of what it feels like as you crawl through.
I commented to her something to the effect of: “Yeah, kids will do activities here that they might not be willing to do at other times!”
What I meant by that goes back to what I say all the time.
Kids know what they need. The body knows what it needs.
When we are working on the Primitive Reflexes, we “open up” the blueprint again to those reflexes. It’s like the movement blueprint was sitting in a drawer, lying dormant, just waiting to be looked at. When we go into the drawer, pull out the blueprint and restart the movement project (so to speak) we also remind the body what it needs.
At that moment, this child needed to go through that tunnel. He needed to go through it multiple times and he found a way that he enjoyed doing it. To him, it probably felt like a safe place!
Now, it’s not as if he consciously thought “We’re working on the MORO reflex, I need to be in a dark place to challenge the reflex so I can work through it.” Or “Gee, that tunnel looks like a safe place to be right now.” No, of course not! It all happened on a subconscious level.
That’s the cool thing, you see?
I, along with the child, open up the drawer where the blueprint lay waiting. We restart the movements and the brain/body of the child starts adding the details to the blueprint. Adding all the little lines and offshoots that get that movement “project” to a further place.
In this case, and on that day, it was going through the tunnel.
I presented the tunnel to him as an option during “play” and he knew just what to do with it.
As for his mom, well she is still learning how it all works. She is still learning the ins and outs of Brain FUNdamentals and how kids do this type of stuff all the time.
For me, I knew exactly what was happening and it was a clue that told me we were on the right track.
After all, that kiddo knew what he needed and was willing to take the first steps. The sky’s the limit now!