The basic idea of it is that we as humans are all born with "primitive reflexes" but when children like Abram are born with traumatizing births and the medical gauntlet that follows, many of their body's reflexes are out-of-whack so their brain has a hard time telling their bodies what it should be doing in reaction to certain stimuli.
For Abram, he still struggles with things many people take for granted like being able to suck from a straw, blow bubbles, ride a trike, make sounds, move his tongue, step down from a mat to the floor, walk across different surfaces - you get the idea. The list could go on and on.
There is a parent manual that I have to read through to learn the different exercises which are in essence (at least to my untrained eye) a form of reflexology with pressure points, different stretches, etc on certain parts of the body. The first 12 weeks we concentrated on fine and gross motor and we just started another 12 week set concentrating more of speech and feeding.
Since we started this specific type of therapy, Abe has been able to drink from a straw, learned how to ride an adaptive trike (after months of trying a "normal" trike) and he can now ride so fast that I can barely keep up with him and he's beginning new sounds that are the essential sounds and building boards to speech itself. (He may still show everyone that UBE2A kiddos can TALK.)
Doing the MNRI focusing on feeding includes a lot of exercises on his neck, head and face - to which he protests and cries through most of. Yet again, he is a child who has constantly been poked and proded his entire life and with EEGs being a constant thing and having leads glued to his head multiple times a year since he was born - he's got quite a bit of PTSD of having anyone doing anything to his head. Which is precisely why he needs this therapy and exactly why he needs to be pushed to make it through a session. It's hard when he struggles but I know it's what is best for him and in the end he will be victorious.
He always gets to ride the elevator after his therapy sessions so it's always a good motivator to know that he gets to ride that thing before we leave and he knows that something cool is in his sights if he just pushes through. He's such a tough little dude.
The Musgatova Method is a pretty neat thing to watch and I have my "homework" to do at home practicing the exercises with him but it's incredible to try to read through the manual and understand how many reflexes our body is supposed to have an how many Abram has missing and/or aren't integrated properly. It's really quite fascinating! Abram didn't do a lot of things as a baby (like chewing/sucking) and he was missing his moro-reflex forever so when he fell his brain never told him "put your arms out to catch yourself". These are all things he needs to learn now and by him not chewing/sucking on things as an infant - it has majorly impacting his eating and feeding NOW.
I highly encourage anyone who has a little person in their life who needs help and has hit a plateau with therapy to try this. Here's some info taken from the MNRI website that might blow your mind.
A reflex, in its simplest definition, is a conscious or unconscious behavior (output) occurring in response to a change (input).Scientific investigation continues to reveal the subtle complexities of reflexes and how hugely important they are to our ability to exist. It is not surprising, therefore, to find references to reflex action as far back as the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Anaxagorus (500 B.C.) who spoke of a self-organizing nature of the mind’s activity and Plato (400 B.C.) who proposed that sense experiences act to guide assertions about the outside world. The Greek anatomist Herophilus (300 B.C.) not only recognized the brain as the center of the nervous system, designating it as the center of thought, but went on to make the first known contribution to neurophysiology by distinguishing between sensory and motor pathways (Thomas Knierim, Mind and Consciousness, thebigview.com). Centuries would pass and many more ideas would be postulated, explored, and debated until scientists of the “modern era,” armed with the scientific method, would reveal the actual dynamics of the reflex.