Practice makes Progress with Bal-A-Vis-X
In 2006, parent Jane Schlapp from USA was introduced to the Bal-A-Vis-X programme. Jane describes the progress of her son John who is 20 years old and at the age of three he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder(PDD) and partial complex seizure disorder.A diagnosis of severe autism came at a later stage.John also has profound motor apraxia and aphasia. Jane is the former president and a current board member of the Autism Society,Kansas,USA.
With John’s growing frustration and complex needs,Jane was searching for something that would help him and that they could do at home involving all the family.
Here Jane describes John’s progress:
“John’s progress has always varied on a daily basis and at times he has regressed.Measuring progress was always in small stages, if at all. However,after the introduction of Bal-A-Vis-X into our family life eight years ago, the progression has grown.John is not ‘cured’ and he certainly continues to manifest the various symptoms of his disability but when the Bal-A-Vis-X exercises began to progress, so did Johns ability to meet goals at a faster pace.”
The progress that John made involved daily practice using the Bal-A-Vis-X programme and continues to be a useful method to calm and refocus his attention.
John’s therapists,teachers and family noticed many changes, here are some of the most notable:
- His speech improved more consistently instead of achieving 35/40 with speech drills one day and 17/40 the next he was getting 35-39/40 everyday.
- John was able to answer rote questions such as “How old are you” “What is your name” and repeat times-tables with greater ease and accuracy.
- He was able to kick a football and therefore integrate with other children in the playground and play with them.
- Motor planning improved.
- He was able to use the bathroom by himself.
- John can now tie his shoelaces.
- His behaviour settled and he was able to focus for longer periods of time.
- Therapy sessions became more productive as John stayed on task for longer and engaged in fewer stereotypical movements.
- John became more relaxed and happier within himself
- John improved with academics such as reading,handwriting and numerical work
Jane’s involvement with Bal-A-Vis-X did not stop with her son,John. As a true believer in its effectiveness,Jane trained with Bill Hubert,the programme developer, many times and is now a practitioner in the programme going into schools and other groups around the USA.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is an umbrella term for a group of conditions that refers to delays in the development of many basic skills. The conditions are more commonly know in the UK as Autism/Aperger’s Syndrome/Rett’s Syndrome/PDD-NOS and Childhood disintegrative disorder CDD.
Bal-A-Vis-X is a series of Balance/Auditory/Vision/eXercises of varied complexity, all of which are deeply rooted in rhythm. The exercises are done using sand-filled bags,racquetballs and sometimes balance boards. The 300 plus exercises require focused attention,demand cooperation,promote self-challenge and foster peer teaching in a group setting.
The rhythmic and auditory based exercises enables the entire mind-body system to experience the natural symmetrical flow of a pendulum, providing improvements with balance,hearing,vision, and brain/body integration.
The next UK training is in Melrose,Scotland on 20-22 June with Bill Hubert.
With Thanks to Jane Schlapp,Autism Eye and Bill Hubert for the content of this article.