The Boy Who Didn’t Crawl

T’ came to me with his parents when he was one year old and unable to crawl. He suffered from fetal distress and, after birth, spent time in an incubator. Apparently, a Nasogastric tube insertion caused an oral-sensory problem that was expressed in the child’s recurrent refusal to touch different textures and consume solids.

As was previously mentioned, the child was brought to me because he was unable to crawl. Indeed, from our very first session, I noticed that he is not capable of organizing his body in an optimal way to allow crawling. He would stay in crawling position for a brief moment and immediately sit.

In working with T’, it was necessary to incorporate gentle touch, slowly moving his body, using games that triggered movement and his attention. My work with him focused on carrying his body weight and organizing the pelvic movement while supporting his shoulder belt.

As in many other cases, change was soon visible, leading to prominent changes in the child’s daily functioning. After the first three sessions, the child began crawling forward, yet he still preferred a seated position and engaged only with object in his close surroundings. During the following sessions, I was able to substantiate his crawling and, after a month, T’ was able to crawl for longer periods of time and distances. This is when I realized he was crawling asymmetrically, dragging one leg behind in a manner that could have influenced his future walk. Additionally, he did not lift his knees while crawling even as he faced different obstacles.

After three months of work, T’ has been crawling around the house very quickly; he is now able to stand, and have recently begun walking. No signs of his previous problem are traceable.

My work with children with developmental delay is based on the Anat Baniel method which follows our natural developmental process. The human ability to learn and change, nearly at any age or under any circumstance, is expressed in such a lively manner in children since their brain is still characterized by plasticity and the lion’s share of their learning process is ahead of them. After so many years working with “little humans,” I still find myself overwhelmed and amazed by the rapidness and depth of their ability to change and learn, even in the most severe situations of Hypotonic or Dystonia, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADHD or any other developmental delay problem.      

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