I have always been convinced that music and sports are great activities to spur the development of children with special needs.
As such, I introduced my son, KZ, to the world of music since he was a child. I remember happily tagging along with him to the music play group when he was 4 years old. I hoped that through music, he could enjoy and explore more instead of just indulging in certain sounds “within his world”.
My son was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome when he was 13 years old. In the early years, he was diagnosed only with Global Developmental Delay and mild hyperactivity. Since he had severe sensory integration disorder, when he was 6 years old, we started him on a contact sensory integration programme to help him enhance his functional abilities. These exercises were not easy for him. Even then, I persisted that he continues it for two years.
Knowing that sports is beneficial to him, through friends’ recommendations, I encouraged him to participate in gym exercises for children with special needs and to take up swimming. All these, however, discontinued during the MCO and my son had to stop all the activities. I am very grateful, though, for all the tutors’ coaching and great care throughout the programmes.
Looking back, if it hadn’t been for my son’s determination, there would not have been any progress in him.
This year, I am deeply grateful to our Living Water Ministry for selecting me to attend the BRAIN GYM and Movement Based Learning course so that I could learn and help children with special needs. This course has benefited me tremendously. I saw how the movements and steps positively impacted and enhanced the children’s progress. Through the guidance of the instructors, I observed and understood why children have certain reactions. I learned how to respond to these reactions by using techniques (red, blue and yellow zones) to address the children’s challenges and select the appropriate Brain Gym (R) with MBL Movements to help them.
It is indeed a great honour that instructor Phoebe chose my son to be a demonstration case study. My husband and I saw significant improvements in him after his Brain Gym with MBL exercises. Prior to performing the Brain Gym Movements, my son would shake his feet and grasp his fingers to balance himself in response to external information. After doing the Brain Gym Movements, his body has become flexible and he, too, shows more confidence. He no longer shakes his feet or grasps his fingers often. He could perform the tasks given by the teachers smoothly.
What makes me trust and have full confidence in Brain Gym with MBL is that the programme has no age limit for participants. Thus, it gives much hope to all children with special needs. My son is a perfect testimony to that. He attended the Brain Gym for Children with Special Needs’ live demonstration on March 28 this year at the age of 23. My husband and I were elated to see positive changes in him just within an hour into the programme.
As a special needs centre principal, I truly understand the importance of introducing quality, effective and inclusive intervention programmes for children. I intend to include Brain Gym with MBL in our programme curriculum as I believe it will help to not only better address the children’s needs but also give hope to parents and caregivers that there it is never too late to get help for their loved ones.