BodyTalk observation and evaluation

Apr 10, 2014

By Suryo Gardner

From May 7th to June 16th (6 weeks) the children (from 2 to 9 years) in Ak Lu'um International School were given the Access BodyTalk techniques with the exception of
Reciprocals, done only on Fridays. The short BodyTalk sessions were done at 12:00 after lunch and playtime, and coincided with rest time. What follows is a brief description of each child before BodyTalk and after 6 weeks.

Laura 24-06-03
She is a bright, happy, helpful child. Her social strategies are mature and she organises her games and playmates well. She is aware of rules and follows them almost always. She is sensitive to others and their needs, rarely rebellious and with a great sense of humour. She is the youngest of two. She was most co-operative and seemed to enjoy the sessions. Unless ill, she tends never to nap, she did, however, after 6 non-sequential sessions and woke up feeling refreshed. We noticed she seemed calmer and was beginning to reason her way out of confrontation and conflict.

Edu 04-04-04
Edu is a healthy, intelligent, strong boy who sometimes finds it difficult to express his feelings. In general he has a good relationship with his peers, though he can be a bit of a bully and has resorted to biting classmates in the past when he felt frustrated. He is very musical, with an excellent sense of rhythm and good body control. This year he had a baby brother and this has caused him grief and jealousy. Generally speaking he was willing to have Access done, although he is not a very tactile child. As in the case of Laura, he tended to fall asleep more often and for longer periods after the sessions. He recovered very quickly from a cold that his family had contracted.

Jorge 06-06-04
Jorge is finding it very difficult to cope with the fact his mother is also his teacher and is having a baby. She tends to be very clear and set sensible limits, whereas his father, grandmother, etc spoil him. He often chooses to not participate in games and can be quite contrary. There have been incidents of aggression, particularly to smaller, weaker children. He really enjoyed being tapped out and rested as well or better than usual. 4 weeks into the sessions he began to talk about his feelings. Up to then he only mentioned he was angry. This coincided with a family meeting where his relatives were urged to be loving but firm and go for positive reinforcement rather than nagging him. At the end of the Bodytalk period (6 weeks) he was calmer and more self-controlled in terms of tantrums and aggressive behaviour.

Brenda 19-10-01
Brenda has been diagnosed with partial brain paralysis. She manifests all the symptoms of Alcohol Foetal syndrome and her family dynamics could well coincide but this is not an official diagnosis. She is very friendly and loving and craves acceptance, often to the point of being aggressive towards peers in order to 'eliminate competition'. She has difficulties speaking clearly and her gross motor functions are underdeveloped and clumsy. She loved being tapped out and volunteered to help with the smaller children! She too, fell asleep twice which she had never done before and in general all staff noticed how she would take a deep breath and do her best to resolve conflicts by discussing rather than resort to tears. Reciprocals (I feel) in particular were very beneficial in that she was walking a little bit straighter and not knocking things over so much.

Toño 10-06-99
Toño was born with a cranial deformity that required neo natal surgery. As a result his development and rate of learning in general are significantly behind for his age. He is an extremely affectionate child and socially very successful. At this time he is struggling to communicate effectively and this causes him a lot of frustration, which can quickly turn to aggression and loud disruptive noises or gestures. At first he found it very difficult to keep still for long enough. Gradually he remained calmer for longer periods and finally he actively welcomed the tapping sessions. Reciprocals seemed to have an immediate effect and Toño would seem more coordinated for a while after the tap out. In general he behaved in a more calm way.

Jill 23-6-05
Adopted by birth by a single, older (50) mother, Jill is a sweet, independent, secure child. She is smaller than average but makes up for it by standing her ground firmly. She is beginning to sound out a few words and look for ways of interacting with her peers. She instantly becomes demanding and whiney in front of her mother. Jill took to the tapping like a duck to water. More often than not she would fall asleep during the sessions and nap peacefully for an hour or more, despite the fact her mum says she is a very light sleeper. We did not notice any other changes.

Ivan 10-3-04
Ivan has recently begun to talk. He is the youngest of three and quite spoilt at home. This year he has become significantly more autonomous in school, outgrown nappies and manifest is independence in many ways. He still has trouble with issues like sharing and listening to others but in general, has a good relationship with children and adults. Ivan accepted the tap out sessions very well and relaxed visibly while they were being carried out. He fell asleep more often than before and in general, seemed to resolve
conflict better and in a more calm way. His language developed quickly.

Armando 2-12-04
He has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (I am not convinced) and is on medication (Ritalin and anti convulsion drugs. This has a clear effect on his general state and he has become very passive. He tends to play in parallel and at times will throw things on the floor for no apparent reason. He displays repetitive, obsessive behaviour. His relationship with adults is warm and he looks at peers with curiosity and affection but is often aggressive towards them for no apparent reason. Armando was able to relax during the sessions for the first time in the day. His mother reported she had to physically restrain him in order for him to fall asleep. While being tapped out he often fell asleep spontaneously. His behaviour became less erratic and we were able to convince his family to try alternative medicine. He is gradually being weaned off the drugs and under homeopathic supervision.

Max 17-5-01
Max is the oldest boy in the kindergarten. When he joined the school he found the dynamic very boring and did not participate in free play with his peers. He demanded more 'intellectual' pursuits and was given challenging reading and writing tasks (although Waldorf Pedagogy clearly states children begin literacy in grade school). He is gradually discovering how to play imaginative games. He responded positively and liked the bodyTalk sessions and was eager to 'tap out' a classmate. At the time this trial was occurring Max seemed more calm and confident and his Spanish improved in leaps and bounds. He ended the school year playing very successfully and becoming the class game leader.

Kevin 18-11-99
Kevin is an inquisitive, active boy with good health and healthy eating habits, currently in Grade 1. He occasionally loses his temper and can bear grudges with talent. His intellectual and physical skills are good and he has many strategies for interacting successfully with children and adults. Kevin seemed unphased by the bodytalk sessions. He sat still but did not appear to be affected either in a positive or a negative way. He complained of a sore head, although the tapping was done in a very gentle way.

Marco 25-02-00
Marco is an only boy of a professional, career-minded single mother. He has frequent discipline issues both at home and at school. He can be challenging and very restless and has been described by his mother as 'ADHD' 'bonkers' and 'the sweetest boy' all at once. Marco has slight fine motor skill difficulties and his literacy process (he is in Grade 1) is slower than average. Marco seemed to respond to the sessions by being, immediately after, more calm at times and more active at others. His self-control improved during the year, particularly towards the end and his impulsive behaviour was slightly less notorious.

Suryo Linda Gardner 


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