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Mind/Body Connection Helps Improve Ryan’s Reading

[image url=”” alignment=”left” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”10″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”10″ width=”200″ height=”250″]In this issue, we meet 8-year-old Ryan and his mother, Sarah, a reading specialist, who heard about Kinetic Konnections through another parent at the school where she teaches. Ryan, who has visual tracking and sensory integration issues, has been working with a pediatric optometrist, Dr. Ireland in Oak Park.

“I was curious if the Kinetic Konnections program could facilitate Ryan’s progress with his visual issues. I also knew how Cara worked with the child’s entire body and thought this could help Ryan overall, not just with his visual issues,” Sarah explained. So, during the summer, Ryan had three sessions during a one-month period.
“I wanted to explore the possibility that working with Cara and some of the techniques she utilizes could accelerate the improvement with Ryan’s eyes,” she says. As a reading specialist, Sarah decided to test Ryan’s reading skills for signs of improvement after the three sessions. She had him perform a fluency test (she timed Ryan on how long it takes him to read a short passage) “We hadn’t done a lot of focused reading practice during our weeks working with Cara since reading is something Ryan tends to avoid and I needed to choose either exercises or reading for that time period. Primarily, Ryan worked on the exercises given him by Cara and his reading rate jumped approximately 20 words per minute (in just a few weeks) which is almost a ¾-year improvement in speed,” Sarah says. “I do attribute quite a bit of Ryan’s progress to his work with Cara; I think there was some sort of connection that happened as a result of these exercises,” Sarah adds proudly.

The reading changes Ryan experienced were primarily related to improving the stabilizing ability and function of his shoulders. Also, his hips and legs benefited because his shoulders were helping to compensate for missing skills in his lower body. Once his shoulders were able to function independently, his head could rotate smoothly and eye tracking became easier, which led to improved reading.

The majority of Ryan’s reading improvement occurred after two Kinetic Konnections sessions spaced a week apart. The third session was spaced 1 ½ weeks later to fine tune his coordination.

Sarah states that Kinetic Konnections is a great intervention and Cara’s work with the children is very kid friendly and physically engaging. As a result, the children enjoy what they are doing and, in turn, they are helping themselves. Sarah is thrilled with how much Ryan has improved and how he has been helped with his various issues. “Ryan has made great improvements overall and his whole body awareness is stronger. Cara did a great job of working with him. Plus, the exercises she sends home are great and the kids like them,” she concludes.