Great New Products Get Kids Moving to Learn

by Patricia Lemer, MEd, NCC

"Life is movement…each time we move, billions of neurons begin to dance," says Eve Kodiak, musician, licensed Brain Gym® consultant, and the creator of Rappin’ on the Reflexes, CD, Songbook and Guide.

Kodiak, special educator Debra Em Wilson and optometrist Sam Berne would agree. All have developed products that combine Brain Gym®, sensory integration theory, developmental optometry, CranioSacral therapy and more. Readers interested in learning about these areas should consult New Developments Volume 5:3, Volume 6:3 and Volume 8:4 and go to and

Infant reflexes are a universal human language. (See "New Developments" 6:4) These instinctive movement patterns are a baby’s survival tools, helping with feeding, bonding, coordination and cognition. Infant reflexes trigger neurological development. As we develop, reflexes integrate into the realm of conscious choice. Under stress, reflexive movements reappear. In many children with developmental delays, including autism, infant reflexes still remain, creating blocks to learning and development.

Rappin‘ on the Reflexes

Rappin’ on the Reflexes works on sensory integration in songs, reflex integration with raps and fine motor coordination with finger games. While kids move and sing along, they ease developmental issues and enhance social- emotional interaction, while increasing physical and academic performance.

Teachers, parents, practitioners, and anyone else who wants to have fun, can use this program at home, in a clinic or at school. Rappin‘ on the Reflexes is for all ages. Some songs appeal to young children. Others, especially the raps, can move right on into high school and beyond.

ADD to Autism: Reaching Your Child‘s Potential Naturally

In his new DVD, A.D.D. to Autism: Reaching Your Child‘s Potential NaturallyADD to Autism: Reaching Your Child‘s Potential Naturally, behavioral optometrist Sam Berne explores the unique relationship between vision problems and reflex development. A sequel to his book, Without Ritalin : A Natural Approach to ADDWithout Ritalin, Berne demonstrates in this clear and concise DVD how to evaluate the Moro, Asymmetric Tonic Reflex (ATNR), Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR), the Spinal Gallant, and Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR). He then leads us through a 5-step reflex integration program. Topics include:

A discussion of vision as a learned skill that begins developing during the prenatal period;

An explanation of five primitive reflexes that affect vision, learning, behavior, tone, and arousal;

How to add reflex integration activities into a therapeutic intervention program;

The use of light therapy to improve peripheral vision and balance the autonomic nervous system;

A discussion of proper nutrition to balance a child‘s biochemistry; and

The use of CranioSacral Therapy to resolve developmental issues.

S’cool Moves

Are you a classroom or special education teacher looking for simple, effective methods to instantly calm children, improve reading fluency, and writing legibility? Are you a physical education (PE) or adaptive PE teacher in search of an awesome unit that builds solid foundations for learning?

Are you a parent wishing for home activities to help your child be more successful in school? Are you a therapist looking for ways to gain support from classroom teachers?

Are you an administrator wanting a research-based program that will improve students‘ abilities to focus? Is there no time for PE in the school day?

Try S‘cool Moves! Developed by reading specialist, Debra Em Wilson and occupational therapist, Margot Heiniger-White, this innovative program supports children with special needs with engaging activities that typically developing children also enjoy. Their Poster PE activities bridge occupational therapy techniques with the classroom to improve motor planning, rhythm, timing, core posture, vestibular activation, brain integration, and sensory-motor systems to build a solid foundation for learning. The end result is improvements in reading, writing, and focus.

The classroom version of Poster PE includes ten 18" x 20" posters, an engaging DVD, and quick-reference instruction booklet. Select either Level 1 (preschool- second grade) or Level 2 (third grade and up). The therapy and home version includes Levels 1 and 2 on legal size cardstock with DVD, booklet, and a set of colorful ribbon wands.

Also available from S’cool Moves is Minute Moves for the Classroom. These easy-to-follow, meaningful movement routines set to music are warm-ups for vision, writing, reading fluency, and attention to:

Improve focus with deep pressure and heavy work techniques;

Strengthen core postural muscles for upright, focused sitting;

Integrate body, mind and heart. Eve Kodiak knows her stuff.

To learn more go to Visit for information on Deb Wilson’s workshops. Join Mary Rentschler for one of her workshops on reflexes in Washington, DC, New York City or Long Island this fall. (See Upcoming Events.)

"Change movements…change a life."

[Initially published in New Developments: Volume 10, Number 4 - Summer, 2005]

All material in this web site is given for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for advice from your health care provider.

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Page last modified: February 23, 2009
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