The Three Jonathans
I am currently working with three Jonathans, with each I work for different reasons, yet their stories of therapeutic success are inherently bound.
The first is Jonathan Bouskila, a young boy who was a patient of Anat Baniel at the Neurodevelopment Center for kids with special needs.
Jonathan is diagnosed for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and, for the past 2.5 years, he has been a patient of mine.
His improvement has been so striking that it is now hard to even notice his diagnosis.
The second Jonathan, of whom I have previously written, is a handsome 5.5 year old boy who is diagnosed with severe CP.
When I first saw him, Jonathan was moving uncontrollably not being able to utter a single comprehensible word, letter or even phoneme.
For the past 2 weeks, Jonathan and I delve in intensive treatments. Gradually, Jonathan is more able to sit quietly, his body seize from its violent fidgeting.
He gains better control of his hands, and he now jumps across the room in a frog-like manner.
My aim now is to assist him in using both his hands, so that both his upper and lower limbs are coordinated.
As his motor skills improve, his articulation ability slowly strengthens, becoming more controlled and clearer.
Today, on our last intense session, Jonathan’s father told me that just the other night, Jonathan had written on his letter board: Dad, wanna see a magic? Jonathan’s excited father continued by describing how his son twisted the palm of his hand, inwards and outwards, thrilled by the discovery of his new physical abilities.
Jonathan is undoubtedly a remarkable child, so bright and eager to learn.
He had expressed his desire to learn how to perform a forward roll from a seated position – believe it or not, we have already begun working on this exercise! After a week’s rest, we are preparing for yet another double intensive session throughout February.
The third Jonathan is a 3.5 year old boy with CP who, in my opinion, should be further diagnosed for either Autism Spectrum Disorder or intellectual disability.
At the beginning of our therapeutic sessions, three months ago, Jonathan would simply lay on either his back or belly, as just about any touch, movement or irritation would trigger spastic movements on his parts.
Not speaking a word, Jonathan would simply cry or moan; his eyes were unfocused and it seemed as though he was unable to concentrate his gaze at anything; furthermore, he was continuously moving his head from one side to the other.
As our therapy sessions have progressed, Jonathan began crawling until he was able to kneel, leaning either on myself or his father.
He no longer moves his head repetitively, and he is able to focus his gaze, looking directly at objects and the people around him; unlike his initial behavior, he now shows great interest in his sister’s toys and loves playing ball; and, most importantly, last week his overwhelmed mother came to see me, telling me how Jonathan is trying to utter words, making more pronounced sounds.
Three Jonathans, to each his own story, yet they are bound by the success that came to them with great efforts—theirs and those of the ones surrounding them. They are also bound by the meticulousness of the ABM method, which I have applied in order to facilitate their empowerment.
Their progress gives me great joy and professional, as well as personal, satisfaction.