May 15, 2023

You gotta fall before you walk! with Sylvia Shordike

You gotta fall before you walk! with Sylvia Shordike

Sylvia Shordike joins us to talk about walking. Her interactions with Teal have been profoundly beneficial for helping Teal get upright and move! This episode covers why it is important to know how to fall before you learn to walk and all of the lovely neurological steps it takes a brain to get there.

This week's episode is with Sylvia Shordike, founder of NeuroHorizons, and mentor to Jen and teacher to Teal. 

Sylvia dives into why having the ability to fall down is just as important as knowing how to stand and walk.  Jen and Sylvia discuss the evolution of the brain and why children need time on their backs to map their bone structure in the brain. Sylvia gives us lots of examples as to why "tummy time" isn't necessarily a good decision for infants and so much more!

We hope you enjoy and let us know what you think.


To learn more about NeuroHorizons, visit: or if you’re in Europe go to  Her Fundamentals of Experiential Movement courses will profoundly change your relationship with your child.  I highly recommend them.  Information can be accessed on her website.

If you’d like to buy the The NeuroHorizons Primer: Empower Yourself to Empower the Child With Special Needs, go to her website or Amazon.

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Jen Lansink: Okay, I think this episode is a really fun to chat with Sylvia Shordike. She is a mentor of mine and Teal’s primary teacher for movement and neuroplasticity work. Sylvia was my second guest. So episode number two. To learn more about what she's referencing and Neuro Horizons and what neuroplasticity is and what the lesson is, definitely suggest checking that episode. out as well. So in this conversation, we get into why it's so important for a child to know how to fall before they know how to walk. Why horses can walk within an hour or so of birth. Why differentiation is so important and why it is also so important that we continue to refine ourselves throughout our lives. We decided to record this episode because Teal is walking now, like a champ, but it didn't just happen. You know it wasn't an overnight miracle. She has been seeing Sylvia for lessons since she was three years old. And she also had SPML surgery which is selective percutaneous myofascial lengthening surgery this summer that allowed some of those puzzle pieces that had been laid down with the work of Sylvia to come together into a more full picture for her brain. So Sylvia and I have a lot of fun during this episode. And I hope you have some fun with it too. I do hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. Sylvia Shordike was a trainer for the not Banyule method and is now the founder of Neuro Horizons. She is the originator of the personalized Neuro Horizons experiential learning programs for parents and professionals. She is a guild certified Feldenkrais practitioner and has been in private practice since 1994. In addition, she is an author of The New Horizons primer. 

JL: I am so excited to have you here, Sylvia, thank you for joining me again.

Sylvia Shordike: Thank you for having me. 

JL: There's been huge growth in Teal and I think that's what prompted me to reach back out to you to say okay, let's talk about this development. And really, it began when Teal was three years old. We came to you for an intensive and we can get into details on that later. But we came to you and everyone was focusing on her walking, you know, we've got to have her walking. We've got to have her up on her feet. We've got to have her moving and stepping. And I will never forget. You looked at Alex and me and you said before we teach her how to walk. We have to teach her how to fall. Tell me what that means.

SS: Well to just answer the question quickly, and then go back to what you mentioned about me seeing Teal for the first time and that's what I had my first impression of Teal right so that because my first impression and my first observation of the child that comes to me for the first time, I observe and I see and scan what is happening at the current time, but first to answer the question quickly. When we go into the uprightness as a human being what it means that the head is now further apart from, of course, from the floor, so to speak. That's why a child develops you know, bit by bit over many, many months. More over a year with some some roughly here but some take longer time to actually come to the uprightness and start to walk. And before first we roll on the floor. If everything works out and we have a neurotypical child, we start rolling, it's very very comfortable, very safe, you know, our head is close to the floor we run around, then we come a little higher to so on and soforth. So now we have four places that we can lean in to gravity. We have the two hands, we have the two knees, we have the feet that just drag along in the crawling and then heads in the uprightness but a little higher of course, and then for them to come to the squatting and and then from there we come into standing. So the moment a child stands for the first time the head is on its highest point that has ever has been. That also means I need to know how to go back to the floor because if I don't the danger is much higher because I can injur my skull, my head, as simple as that everybody I think can understand that. Right? So that's why in the process in the neurotypical process of development as the child learns to come from the ground, from all fours into the uprightness, they have learned to also reverse the movement. And because they have learned to reverse the movement when they suddenly fall. They know what to do they know how to catch themselves with the hand they know how to bend the legs quickly. The brain does that automatically, that they roll over or they catch themselves with a hand and the head is not in danger. And I think if everybody takes a minute and thinks about that common sense.

JL: Yes, common sense, but Teal missed all those things.

SS: But you know, it's that elusive, obvious piece. It should be clear to everybody. But then interestingly it's not when we have a child with special needs, who has not was not able to go these developmental typical steps, has not learned to roll, has not learned to crawl and all of a sudden, it's time to stand they reached an age which now the milestone where they're supposed to be standing, they're supposed to be walking out of a sudden all this amazing development that happened or you should happen over months is out the door. So now on the feet on the legs and so on. Having said that, and you can stop me anytime, Jen, if I talk too much. 

JL: No I love it. 

SS: So having said that now when I saw Teal come in with you guys for the first time, and I remember you were showing me how she was practicing holding onto the stick and I could see how she was kind of not just holding I mean she was hanging on that sticks for dear life. And she was trying to do steps and actually she was to simply describe it put one foot in front of the other. However, it was not walking and it wasn't standing either. So I see that and then I know oh wow. Let's bet way off. We have to start at a very different place here.

JL: It was hugely crucial. I mean, I just immediately my brain started realizing exactly like that process. Like I could just see it in my own self like whoa, hold on, just because it says it being milestones and it being the books and it being the doctors and the therapists. It wasn't right for Teal and I think that's what's really cool about what you're doing is you like you said you scan the child. You say hold on, where are we now? And then you try to pretty much like decipher what's missing. Right? Like what is missing up to this point now and that is a really cool place to start. And it helped us realize when I had to start educating everyone that interacted with her No don't put on her feet. No not yet. Not yet. And I sometimes we forget that this process started at three years old, right? And she's just walking out six and a half. Right? Hello. That's huge celebration. Go Teal! But we don't just go from Oh, boom, we had a few lessons and then we're walking. I mean, this has been a huge long process. And so we've talked a little bit about sometimes we present it like oh it's a miracle like no, it took a lot of your work. It took a lot of our work and it took a lot of lessons it took a lot of thinking about it and stepping away from to and watching her and not pushing her and letting her be, letting her be. So I think that's just a huge, huge thing and and I just so appreciate that. So I wanted to go through that. And then let's step back then we talked about this at Teal’s last lessons which were just a week ago about the difference between how like a horse walks and like why a horse can within two minutes of being born, stand up and walk and how children take 12 months, you know, 9 to 18 months, a neurotypical child. Will you just talk us through that from the mammals anatomy perspective and why that matters.

SS: Absolutely. I just want to back off very quickly before I forget I took a note. You said for Teal it wasnt right, practicing at the given time to walk and stand and all that stuff. It wasn't right for her. I see when a child has so many links missing that will bring them to walking then it's not right for anybody. There is no child in the world that can learn when there's too much information for the nervous system missing. Yeah, I call it the links. In order to learn something new. The new learning has to be close enough to your existing being at the time. There's still some stress and struggle in order to find something new. That's normal. That's called learning. It's called maturing, it's called differentiation. But if it's too far away, it's impossible for the brain to figure out and it creates on top of that enormous amount of stress for the brain. The brain goes into fight or flight motion and it creates more specificity and zero learning. It's just repetition but there's no learning happening for the child.

JL: The example like I think about like just putting a toy too far out of reach for a child like you don't ever do that for like a three month old. You're not like okay, I'm gonna put it six feet away from you good luck, you know, we never do that. 

SS: Exactly, that it's true, right? And then we'll give up going there. You know, so I tell parents often look what's been trying to be done right now to your child is like somebody's asking you to jump to the moon you know or to jump up the tree you know, do full flip up in the air, if youre not a gymnast you know like I mean like that is how far they are right now away from it. And so it creates huge amount of stress. So now, back to your question about the horse and the human being. When the herd animal gets born. Then it's a herd animal meaning like it's part of the herd. And so the genetic of the herd animals brain has wired already in utero, everything was wired for it to be born and taking a few minutes or whatever it's on. It's kind of woody kind of shaky legs through and then they have to walk with the herd. And it's wired and wired like that in the genes. You know, in the whole nervous system brain is already pre wired for that because that animal needs it for survival are always about survival. For human being the baby gets born and it has to learn to do everything. It's so the brain is not tabula rasa completely because they have made experience in the womb they've heard the mother they they saw light the field was the mother is stressed or not stressed or the the baby feels movement. I mean, so there's already information however, when they come out infant can basically hopefully when everything goes fine, second reflex kicks in right away kicks in, they breathe, they digest and they start to see but they still have to learn to really see we all know that too. So then they start to wiggle without any intention. But that's all they supposed to do. And then very quickly after that, after they're born, they actually start to have random movement and that means they actually move they twitch which without having any intention yet, they don't have any intention of putting stepping on the foot or grabbing a toy yet or grabbing anything. They know that that's how it starts but there's already movement. So that means they're already relating to the parent in movement, but also if you put the baby on the floor, or in crib and they start sleeping on the side on the back then they relate to gravity. And it starts right away.

JL: Yeah, and that's all learning. That's all the jigsaw puzzle. I mean, it's like a billion keys jigsaw puzzle, right? Where all of these little pieces make up the whole and if you miss certain little pieces, like rolling around or I mean all of it really does have a huge impact.

SS: Absolutely. And if you if you look at the child was plasticity with a brain injury. So it's funny because I just did this one day workshop in Truckee and we I had people on the floor. And that's the thing if you were to really experience it in your own body, and you get the kinesthetic experience, then you start to understand better because it's not just words. It's actually your own embodied experience. That's how we learn anyhow, we only learn by feeling and not by being told something. iThat's how the child learns from the beginning by feeling itself and how it relates to the environment. The environment includes the floor, the gravity, the parent, body, everything or caregiver, whoever's there, and that's how they learn. And in my program, we start with the first segment and that is all about the first four months of life. Where you actually start to get a glimpse and learn that when the child is on the back, before they even can roll onto the belly and actually, in fact, before or force and start crawling, and you have them on the back and give them the freedom to have the random movement that already connecting with the movement of the pelvis through the spine to the head, the rolling of the head, the rolling of the pelvis, and then having those little limbs those little legs fold up and occasionally by accident falling onto the floor, like a little bit the heel a little bit too tall, which creates a little bit of a gentle force into that little pelvis which makes the pelvis roll a touch or lift a touch. That moving goes into the spine. That movement goes into the head. And so in other words what I'm saying here by describing this, the baby starts to already map their little foot and leg into their pelvis, into their spine for way later, you know, 14 months down the the road before they stand up. And if you take that away from them, or if they could never do it, then and I’m saying we should we should take it away from them if we put the kid into too much devises, you dont let them explore enough on the floor, because it's constantly in some kind of a swing or god knows what it all is nowadays. You take that away from a typical child which creates problems. And when we have a child who just can't do it because the hijacked by the specificity and they just can't figure it out how to roll. Then we step in is an authorized practitioner mentors like you or yourself or whatever. But it's like people who know want to understand how brain plasticity works and that learning is happening only by feeling and sensing. So we have to help to help the child to feel a sense of they can make internally their own connection kinesthetic connection, and only their brain and their nervous system can change and you have to be patient because sometimes the brain injury is such that it takes time but as I told my students in the workshop on Saturday, if you have a child that cannot feel the connection between the head and the pelvis through the spine, they will never learn to walk. Because the leg has nothing to attach to for the brain for the nervous system makes no sense. You can strap them into machines and make machine make them walk Sure, but for them to be able to shift weight from one foot onto the other that Teal now is doing it and she doesn't have her own little Teal away and we still have to of course we're gonna refine it and all that stuff. But for her to step in at the same time, be able to reach with the hand and point out and look and listen to a helicopter go by and turn your head and see something that's multitasking as you are managing your weight shifting. That very complex, very, very complex, and only her brain and her nervous system could have figured that out.

JL: Yeah, and I'm so proud of her when you describe it that way I think we all just need to be more gentle with our neuro atypical children. I mean, truthfully, like when you really break it down into all of these steps. It's gargantuan and quite miraculous that this child who did miss all of the planting the foot and feeling the pelvis and feeling the spine and feeling the head. She missed all of that. To now six years later, or five and a half years later be walking and looking and listening and all that and not just falling over. I mean it's amazing. One thing that I wanted to talk about, and you mentioned it as the refinement so our brain doesn't stop growing. Our brain doesn't stop making neural connections. And so now we look at Teal and we don't just say, Okay, we're all good. We're done. Good job you're walking. It's like no, now we continue to feed the brain through refinement. So what does refinement mean from your perspective?

SS: Well, it means the path on more differentiation. And that is actually true for anybody.

JL: So let's talk about first of all, what is differentiation?

SS: Okay, so, let's say I want to go back to a baby. Let's say we look at a neuro typical child because if you don't understand understand what's happening in a neurotypical child, then you don't know how to help a child with special needs. So there's this that's what always drives me crazy when there's certain people told this and that to your child, when they will be really observing a neurotypical baby on the floor, they wouldn't be saying that, you know, because it's all about how do you observe in the world, right? So let's say everybody maybe knows but maybe have not had a neuro typical child and you don't know, but also the typical children at the beginning, they move both of their arms at the same time. Often, not always, but often. 

JL: Nobody can see you but you're flapping your arms together.

SS: So the baby has really differentiated the two arms. And it doesn't even know at the very beginning that it even has two arms, because it's not connected to an intentional movement. So by the time they learn to do an intentional movement with their hand, bringing the hand to the mouth sucking on it or grabbing a toy rattling and doing it only with one hand, there is a differentiation in the nervous system in the brain that the brain recognizes, oh, you have the right hand, can rattle and you have a left hand. So that is an example for differentiation.

JL: Well, and for example, so Teal was six right now and we asked her how old she is. Both hands show five, and then we'll hand show one, and so I know that her brain has not mapped out that oh my gosh, hold on. These fingers are different. She knows that she has two different hands. But now I think it's moving there to refinement of Okay, now we we refine into fingers.

SS: Yes. And that's a very good example actually. Because in the hands and in the wrist, you often see the level of differentiation that the child has, because it's very complex when it comes to differentiation of the fingers. And even with adults, you know, you have them go on the floor and tell them do certain things with the ankles that they have done for a while, and all of a sudden their hands get all crampy and spastic and they don't even know. Even the normal neuro typical adult has a lack of differentiation and can figure it out if they pay attention and slow down and if I as a teacher, feed them with different variations, so that they can broaden their awareness around it, and then they can change it. That's the learning process. But if you're not aware of it, you can’t change it. And so, that is an example of differentiation. So we as neurotypical people, let's say we also have to keep differentiating, I mean, it said if you become 20 years old, and then you stop differentiating because we want to learn your skills, you know, then you learn to, I don't know, drive the car, then you learn to play maybe an instrument. If you play an instrument, the differentiation between the fingers, your eyes, your arms, your elbows, and your spine is very different than for somebody who doesn't play an instrument, you know? So depends on how you live your life. What you do with yourself, you keep differentiating, and you keep refining your skills, which also gives you the chance to refine, mature and differentiate also in your emotional body, which is very, very important. Maybe we can do another podcast about that somewhat. But that's very interesting because it's not separated.

JL: We've watched to differentiate her emotions a little bit more now because now we can have a conversation and you can be doing lesson with her and she doesn't complain anymore before she used to show emotion of distress when you weren't paying all the attention to her. So fascinating. She is bit by bit learning that as well.

SS: Exactly. Even though I was paying attention to her, like with the kids in mind, they have a fear because they don't feel themselves yet not enough fully grounded, that they're depending on the constant attention that they think they get in a certain way. And if they don't get it, then they have a hard time emotionally. But the more they find themselves they feel themselves how they are, you know connected to the environment. They don't need it so much anymore. They’re fine they’re fine with themselves more. 

JL: That's why this I think people really do separate Oh, well. It's just movement. It's like well, no, it's really all brain and you're just using the bones and the awareness to create neuro connections and that has profound shift in everything. It doesn't just help Teal to walk. It helps her be a more whole human being within her environment.

SS: Absolutely. Absolutely. If it were just about movement, then maybe all the drilling would work.

JL: Right. Right. And you're referring to some other therapies that kind of have repetitions or drilling or things like that.

SS: Well especially I refer to it when it's really not. I don't want to talk anybody down but if it's really inappropriate, for example, if I have a child that really has absolutely not figured out. I want to make it simpler because otherwise I talk too complicated. A chil that has not figured out how to sit, okay, I'll just sit so it's one milestone that everybody knows. So You can't sit by himself or herself. Okay. Unless it's propped up with pillows or sitting in one of these chairs, you know, where they don't have to hold themselves up themselves. If a child can't do that. That means certain mechanisms to deal with gravity are not working yet. They haven't figured out how to carry the head over the spine or the spine under the head. They don't know how to be upright in the sitting position to practice and to do exercises with those children and have them on a balanced team out on a board or hold two feet and spin them around in the air. So hopefully they will fill out balance and gravity that is inappropriate in my world completely. Because there's no going back to the links. The next link is just that it's just too far away from where they are at this current time. And the thing is, you can't make it you can't make it up. If it's not there. It's not there. And you can do these things forever sometimes for years and they will not bring you or the child anywhere unless somebody steps in and gives the brain and nervous system more information that they can start building on it. 

JL: You really are very clear and  we talked about this like you kind of motivate me to have another kid okay, it's not happening. However, it would be really interesting to approach an infant with these concepts of let them roll on the floor. Let you know if you need to put them in extra clothes because your floor is cold fine. Let them roll on the floor. Don't prop them up. And you're very open about that all of the tools that assist us to get a child upright they're not appropriate for the neuro development of the child or neural development. One thing that you are also very clear about which I know is extremely controversial is tummy time now we're not gonna say doctors are wrong eccentric cetera but from a neurologically developed concept. It's not the right word, but you don't I mean, why is tummy time not something that you encourage?

SS: First of all, we're talking about neuro typical children right now for a moment, right? 

JL: Well, I mean, tummy time for anybody's bad but yeah, let's go with that.

SS: Yes, because I'm saying this because when I work with children with special needs, and they cannot roll on to the belly yet by themselves, I do work with them in belly positions, but that's different because I also feed their brain with infortmation and I make it so that they're really comfortable. That's very important piece, so they don't get agitated, you know.

JL: Well because agitation does not allow for learning.

SS: Exactly, it does not allow for learning and if they're spastic they will get more spastic double bottom line, so a child that hasn't figured out how to rolle from side to side and then because now they tell them to do right away after birth. So that means the child hasnt even figured out yet to roll on the side. We're not even talking about rolling onto the belly.

JL: They don't even know they have a belly. They don't even know they have a back at this point when they're born. Yeah,

SS: Yeah. So they don't know what their sides are. And then they are put on the belly. So I come back to the random movements, and this is the key. And this is why I'm saying if the professionals would observe the baby one way or the other, then you see what you say is obvious. Because then you have an infant, you put them on the back and you will see this wiggle around. That's what that's the random movement. They're not really intentional yet, but there is movement and with every little move, there's a slight weight shift through the body, and that informs the brain. And that's by the way, also true when they get carried around by the parent, you know, so that's what I was saying the best place for your child is on floor, comfortable with a nice cozy floor or you carry them around. You know and if you can't carry them, put them on the floor. Don't put them in crazy devices. Yeah. So that's that and then because on the back that thing random, so that means the brain is busy gathering information in relation to the environment and to gravity. When a child is put on the belly before they can roll their by themself. They have almost zero movement because they cannot yet use the extensor muscles to lift up their head because they haven't developed the back yet. 

JL: So the extensor muscles are in the back that support this. 

SS: Yeah, exactly. So those are the right now that you're sitting here anybody who's sitting watching us what keeps you up in the sitting position, are mainly your extensor muscles that are built to work basically all day long until you go to bed and hopefully then you let go so you can regenerate and then you use them the next day when you get up. So but the baby hasnt learned that so then they are on the belly and they can't really hold the head so that means the breathing is very poor, that the face is pushed into the floor they can only rub maybe they can lift it a little bit and then see what the face or the nose from side to side. And often they scream because they hate it because they are uncomfortable and they can't use their arms legs and they don't they don't know what to do. Often they scream until they fall asleep or because they give up or they do the mother or the father or somebody has mercy in picks them up and cant stand it anymore

JL: Well and then you think about how that relates to their safety, like their feeling of I am in a safe environment. I'm in a safe space. I mean that has to have some effect 

SS: There emotional piece that is also very important, you know, but the other thing is, if we look again a little bit to the mechanics what happens in the body. So a child on the back can move more. A child on the belly moves less. And that is not what we want and the idea of why people say that often, the ideas behind the baby can learn to strengthen the back muscle. So the hope is there that they are going to figure it out and they do after a while. You know, they reflexively try to kind of flip around like a fish out of water. But if you again observe a child on the back when they move and then watch what they do. The pelvis was one way the head was the other way, then this side bend a little bit then they flex you know and then they flex again and then they side been a little bit and then the head rolls to the left pelvis rolls to the left to and then all the sudden the pelvis rolls to the right that head to the left. So there's so many beautiful movements that go through the core and I'm coming to that core idea that we need to have a strong core you don't need a strong core, we need a dynamic core, a dynamic core that is connected in the nervous system and the brain that knows how to move in any given direction.

JL: It's just a profoundly different way of looking at things. Who wrote the book that basically took pictures of the children in the orphanage?

SS: Oh yes. That's a beautiful pictures I showed you. That is there was mmi Pikler and she was running this way back and Hungaria the orphanage and she had this amazing eye for what is important for the for the child and the developmental. That is why the pictures are so brilliant because otherwise she would have taken those pictures.

JL: So she basically if I understand it correctly, she lets children develop and move the way they naturally should. So she just allowed them it wasn't like she left them to flounder that's not editge but she let them move on their own. I mean these pictures, I highly encourage everyone to just always Google it and look at some of the photos because, the way the child bends naturally and it makes us realize as adults hope how little we actually move and bend. But it's fascinating.

SS: Yes and by the way, when you talk about adults, that is exactly it's so true. When we lose as neurotypical adults, that same quality between the movement between the pelvis and the head that we have the awareness that we have a spine that can articulate that we have a chest we call it ribcage which I don't like because cage we have an idea like it's a cage, it doesn't move. It moves it has to and when we stop having that awareness when we don't move anymore, that's when we create the neck problem. The shoulder problem the knee problem, the ankle problem the hip problem. You name it. anything in the extremity or in the neck starts to hurt because that dynamic core that we learned hopefully to use as a baby we have to bring it back into the picture to heal the painful extremities what do we do instead? Instead we often oh now we have to stretch there we have to do range of motion to the shoulder we have to no no okay didn't work, okay, then you do operate it, okay, then you operate it, fix it. But then if you still don't teach that person to move the ribs underneath the shoulder, they will hurt to shoulder again. So in that actually the same principles for injured people or people who are in chronic pain, then what to do with each case for special needs.

JL: Yeah, so I've taken your 10 segments and it's phenomenal and it's completely changed how I interact with Teal and it has and still does influence how I move. Like when I'm driving in the car, which I do a lot with Teal and a lot of these moms and dads are in the car with their children getting them from this therapy to that therapy and this lesson to that lesson, even just actively moving my pelvis when I drive like you taught me like okay, hold on I can I can move my pelvis and, look, my neck pain just went away. You taught us that that was correct movement. Your brain like absorbs the pain. It's very fascinating when it actually happens. Yeah, so I encourage people you call this like the four corners of the clock or the four movements. What is that called im so sorry? But like I was sitting here, people could see us we're both like moving our pelvis back and we're like, oh, yeah, okay, so I'm gonna tip it up and i’m gunna tip it back. I encourage people as they're listening, especially if they're in their car right now. Just feel your pelvis. Feel your sits bones like on the seat and pushing in and shift your weight and move your knee forward and move your other knee forward.

SS: And please also pay attention to the traffic.

JL: Thank you. Thank you Sylvia for not getting me sued. Thank you. But it's so valuable. And you know, you said this quote, and we're gonna have to stop this interview because I do know that you could talk about this for the next five hours and I would keep asking questions. So you said this at your last interview with me. You said and so appropriate, I haven't written down and it's on my bulletin board. You said if you learn again, to move like a child, you will grow older very differently. Absolutely. And I think what you just talked about is the epitome of that this statement here is what we all want and whether or not you are neurotypical or not neurotypical or you have a child that isn't or is, it's so valuable for us to move with intention and to feel the bones underneath the muscles and how it's all connected and how it all continually feeds our brain. 

SS: Absolutely. And wanan say just say one little thing before we close, because you're really on it, you mentioned awareness and sensation and feeling and that is the key thing for being in touch with ourselves. So I don't like to use the word correct movements because people go right away into Oh, somebody told me to do it this way that way, which can be absolutely for that particular person in that situation incorrect because it's a concept again, that somewhere out there in the world, we need to go internal more. That's what we do with a movement to embody to feel instance and grow that way Exactly. How a typical child does that when you leave them alone. And when I say leave them alone, I don't abandon them. Never hold your child.

JL: Oh, you tough German Sylvia. I saw you said ignore you child. 

SS: Just don't put them strap them into things they don't need that. They don't they don't miss it. It's like, you know, this is what I say in my videos when it is on my website, once you have the child you train the child being in this funny thing being up right even though they're not upright yet and they can look around that way all of a sudden, they don't want to go to the floor anymore. You don't want that. And if you don't do that with your child, they aren't just enjoying themselves. Exactly. They are on the floor, as much as they'd like to be a pet being with you on the floor with some toy around and you know, looking around in the light coming in hearing you walk by whatever is going on.

JL: I encourage everyone to lay down on the floor with their child as well. Like it's amazing when I lay down on the floor with Teal and like up at the sky or up at the ceiling or all the sudden I’m like oh my gosh, there's spider webs here. You notice so many more things. 

SS: Because you also slow down which is such an amazing important piece especially for the kids with special needs slow down so that they can follow it they can feel.

JL: I love it. There's one closing question and that is this may be really challenging for you. Tell me one moment that you remember with a child with special needs. That was magical. 

SS: One moment? 

JL: I know I know.

SS: You know this is really interesting because I really every child that comes to me once I connect with them. For me every moment is magical. And that is not that it's because we're doing some kind of strange woowoo thing. It's real because it is a brain is the nervous system that responds to touch. It's a response to connecting a response to movement and this is all real, but still, it's magical when you see that connection between the two nervous systems are more nervous systems because mothers in  the room too, start to come together dance together onto new neural paths.

JL: Perfect. I wouldn't expect anything less from you in that question and answer like Jen everything. I love it. I love it. Fantastic. Thank you so very much. I did want to do a quick shout out that Teal did also have SPML surgery and we are going to be interviewing Dr. nguzo. About that. And so that was a huge piece and also how her brain started making new connections. But the lessons that she had with you prior and the lessons after were hugely important in that development. So yeah, so we'll be talking about that in the future as well. Sylvia as always, it's a hugely entertaining for me because I love you. And I go ‘oh there she goes again, she's gonna get back to my question, but she's gonna answer another one first. ‘I love it. Thank you so very much for your time and if people do want to reach out to you, how can they find you? I'll put it on the show notes. It's also nice to hear you talk about it.

SS: Please visit my website, .word also works for people in the US and I have for europe. You can find me there and reach me throught there. There are very informative videos on my home page there as well. I do start a new program in August on Agusut 26th with a new 10 segment program and they are fantastic. Please be in touch if youre interested. 

JL: I highley recommend. Even if your child is 6, your child doesnt have to be 0 your child can be 10, 15. Thank you for thaat I highly encourage everyone to check that out and Sylvia thank you again for your time we’ll bring you back at some point. 

SS: It was fun thank you. 

JL: Thank you

Sylvia ShordikeProfile Photo

Sylvia Shordike

Over her nearly 30 years as a movement practitioner, teacher, and trainer she has observed the attitudes and approaches that consistently lead to optimal outcomes for these children. She has assembled, synthesized, and distilled key concepts and practical applications that will get you there, and sooner than you might imagine.

Sylvia brings all these elements to life in my personalized, experiential, and empowering learning programs that help you deepen your grounding, embodiment, perception, and confidence. You learn to empower yourself to empower the child.