Infants and Children
SomaticWell has a special focus on supporting infants and children with neurodevelopmental conditions – such as autism, attention deficit disorders, and cerebral palsy.
Our therapeutic programs foster a child’s inherent spontaneity and self-possibility – “I Can!”
The SomaticWell therapeutic approach emphasizes sensitivity to motivating intentionality underlying a child's particular motor activity.
We play close attention to a child’s non-verbal communication, subtle gestures, and even repetitive behaviors.
Each personalized SomaticWell therapeutic program is developed following a Neuro-Somatic Assessment.
Our personalized therapeutic programs are developed in close consultation with each child's parents.
Children with autism have complicated processes of self-regulation and self-perception influencing their relationship with others and the external environment.
In its early development, autism is nearly always associated with impaired sensori-motor developmental factors that regulate moving-with-awareness of the integrated self.
The brain’s capacity for neuroplasticity has its greatest potential during the first two years of life. Nonetheless, the possibility of positive transformation may occur at any age.
Focusing on sensori-motor development is a key component of the SomaticWell therapeutic approach for autism.
The SomaticWell approach to intervention for autism integrates play with somatic practices, (including the Feldenkrais Method, Dynamic Embodiment incorporating Laban Movement Analysis, and Developmental Fundamentals), as well as Integrative Neurobiology - including autonomic nervous system balancing, and specialized nutrition.
Somatic movement therapy provides a powerful therapeutic modality for reducing symptoms associated with autism and developing social interaction.
The Feldenkrais Method in particular helps children with autism develop their capacity to perceive and differentiate neural stimuli, helping them to develop their unique sense of self.
The SomaticWell play space is constantly changed according to the needs of the individual child. Our play environment is set up to foster a developing child’s self-awareness. Play equipment used to stimulate different kinesthetic and sensory perceptions includes, non-structured toys, jamboree equipment, balls, cloths and fabric, and a hammock for vestibular stimulation.
Following an expert SomaticWell neuro-developmental assessment, parents may elect either a somatic or integrative neurobiological therapeutic program, or optimally an integrated program personalized around the needs of their specific child.
A Typical Therapeutic Program may include:
Initial Consultation and completion of SomaticWell Questionnaire
SomaticWell Neuro-Developmental Assessment
Somatic Therapy Sessions
Integrative Neurobiological Counseling – including nutrition and vitamin supplements
Somatic Wellness Support for Parents
The Prodrome of Autism
The prodrome of autism is characterized by impairments in the emergence of behavioral precursors associated with the later onset of autism. Assessment of the prodrome of autism is based on a constellation of signs and symptoms, including lack of eye contact and delayed sensory-motor development. The prodrome of autism may be assessed from 12 months of age, and even sooner in severe instances.
9 RED FLAGS:
Lack of Appropriate Gaze
Lack of Warm, Joyful Expression with Gaze
Lack of Sharing Enjoyment or Interest
Lack of Response to Name
Lack of Coordination of Gaze, Facial Expression, Gesture, and Sound
Lack of Showing Toys or Objects
Repetitive Body Movement
Repetitive Movement with Objects
(Wetherby AM, Woods J, Allen L, et al. Early indicators of autism spectrum disorders in the second year of life. J Autism Dev Disord. 2004; 34:47)
While not every child with developmental delay will be diagnosed at a later point with autism; all infants and children with autism have complications in their sensory-motor development. Remedial therapies emphasizing sensory-motor development, such as the Feldenkrais Method and Play, provide important therapeutic strategies in helping infants and young children improve behaviors associated with autism and help stimulate their self-development.
The first two years of life provide an important window of opportunity in providing therapeutic intervention for infants with the prodrome of autism.
If your infant or toddler is showing behavioral signs and symptoms associated with the later diagnosis of autism, it is advisable not to wait till the age of 18 months or later when the diagnosis of ASD may be confirmed by a child developmental specialist. Rather, it is advisable to seek immediate neuro-developmental assessment and therapeutic intervention.
SomaticWell provides a neuro-developmental somatic assessment of infants and young children, as well as therapeutic services for infants at risk of developing autism.
Elements of the SomaticWell assessment and therapy may be conducted online as well as home-coaching in the therapeutic elements of the Feldenkrais Method and Play.