THE EXTRA LESSON, DEVELOPMENTAL MOVEMENT PROGRAMME
The Extra Lesson® Programme:
The Extra Lesson® Programme is an individualised developmental assessment and intervention programme to help children, teenagers and adults, with learning, emotional and social challenges.
Working with Movement:
Extra lesson works on the understanding that the child’s developmental process of the first 7 years, through movement and play, is how the brain and nervous system develops and this development forms the foundation for academic and social skills.
When this development can follow the normal pattern: achieving all the milestones, integrating of primitive reflexes and midlines, etc., then learning becomes a natural faculty. When the child relates well to the three dimensional world, the world of spatial awareness and body geography, he is able to translate these orientations into the two dimensional world with the forms and directions of letters and numbers on the paper. With a good sense of balance, we have a stable reference point from which to stand in the world and start to explore it and meet the other.
If this development didn’t fully or freely happen, we may see difficulties with balance, orientation in space, sensory integration, gross and fine motor skills etc… which may result in learning and/or behavioural problems.
The Extra Lesson® programme enables the child to have a second chance at going through that development, and so catch up where it missed out on something or didn’t quite complete a certain part of the development.
It can help with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Anxiety, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays.
What is involved:
After an initial 2 to 3 hour assessment to see where each child’s strengths and struggles are, we:
1) Have a weekly session for an hour, to go through exercises with play, movement, speech and art.
In this safe environment of a personal relationship with a qualified Extra lesson provider, development is stimulated and at the right time, new, achievable challenges are given. In this way self-confidence can grow and learning can happen. This weekly meeting with the child also gives the practitioner the opportunity to constantly reassess and adjust the programme according to the need at the time. It gives opportunity to build a relationship of trust, both with the child and the parents, in which the steps for growth and change can be made safely.
2) Another very important part of the program is the daily exercises done at home.
These take on average about 10 to 15 minutes, and need to be done daily to get the best outcome. With each repetition the brain gets triggered until the movement becomes automatic and fluid, so we can perform it with the least effort and forms the base on which to build the next level of skills.
The duration of the program varies a lot from child to child. The two main factors that influence the result of the program are any neurological limits a child may have, and the degree of support the child receives from the parents/caregivers in the daily doing of the homework exercises. Usually we are looking at a minimum of one to one and a half year. This is the time required to recapitulate that early development and make the neurological changes on a physical level and for these changes to become part of the fabric of the body and life, and therefore lasting.
If homework exercises are done daily, progress should start to become clear after six to eight weeks.
If it is clear that other interventions or assessments might be needed, referrals will be made, for example for digestive difficulties or suspected allergies, visual assessment by a developmental/behavioural optometrist, auditory processing assessment, medical support, cranio-sacral osteopathy etc.
To read an interview of 3 Extra Lesson practitioners, please click here.
See also: www.extralesson.com.auLut Hermans
027 748 1093
(currently working at Raphael House
Rudolf Steiner School)
Laura Hurtado-Roberts, PhD
027 273 8257