Day 1 Breathing and Noise
Long before children utter their first words or even syllables, they have been experimenting with sounds and breathing. Sounds are not only heard but also felt, as vibrations. This sensation is not only located in the area around the mouth, but also around the ribcage.
It is impossible to show this with a doll, and it is a highly individual, interpersonal matter. I decided to give no specific instructions here, but show a video of my work with a special needs child. The explanations are for professionals and colleagues, please don`t feel confused or overwhelmed. Just be inspired! If in doubt, work more softly.
I originally gave this lesson in combination with the Rhythmic Breathing lesson from the second week. You might revisit that and start with some of the rhythmic breathing. Remember week 1 - feeling muscle and bone?
- Feel around the ribcage. Where is soft tissue, where is bone?
- Try to track one rib around the ribcage, they move in arcs and are not always easy to find.
- Put your mouth on the child`s ribcage and make long, low sounds there. The child will not only hear this but feel it as vibration.
- Feel with soft fingers around the lower end of the ribcage, that is where the diaphragm attaches. If your child is happy with it, ever so slightly pull the whole ribcage up towards the head.
- Gently help some small areas of the ribcage moving downwards. If possible, start in an exhalation.
- When working with the whole ribcage, make sure you don`t use the tip of your fingers, but a flat, soft hand.
- Move the child now and then - lifting the back, lifting the pelvis. Working with the ribcage will make the spine more agile.
- Make sounds, the longer the better while guiding the ribcage down.
- Listen for the kid`s sounds, and pick them up, use and repeat them - don`t ask for specific sounds, otherwise, the child will struggle and do its best to repeat them. This is about exploration, freedom, and fun.
- Sound and speech are about a close connection to a person, this is very intimate work. One of the best ways to get a diaphragm moving is laughter.