RBLM provides children with experiences and exercises that are easy-to-implement in a motor lab environment to increase the likelihood of their success by developing their sensory and motor systems to their fullest.
The Ready Bodies, Learning Minds Approach
Movement, Performance, and Cognition
“Movement cannot be separated from perception and cognition; these processes are continually and dynamically interacting. The acts of perceiving and planning are always in reference to eventual movement, and the movement is part of what is being remembered. Over a lifetime, I believe, these interactions with the world construct our cognition and maintain it.” [emphasis mine] (Thelen, 2004). The energy spent constructing a world of objects, sights, sounds, colors, shapes, dimensions, and directions is enormous. Without the incredible and finely tuned machine called our body, our brain would be at a loss to describe the world. Our ability to see, touch, feel, hear, move, and control ourselves in relationship to the environment is the slate that academic learning is etched on (Oden, 2006). For a child to communicate his desires, his thoughts, or his knowledge, motor skills are necessary, for example, in the form of writing, speaking, or keyboarding. These motor skills which accomplish a task are born of multiple system interactions, according to the Dynamic Systems Theory. This theory, which is the current guide for our understanding of development and movement, states that movement emerges not through a single cause and effect of sensory stimulus-motor response, but through the interaction of various systems: brain, spinal, and peripheral structures along with biomechanical, environmental and social structures available at the moment, including the particular task at hand (Bundy & Murray, 2002; VanSant, 2003). Movement is the end result of all the possibilities and constraints(limitations or restrictions) offered by all the contributing systems. Possibilities and constraints can even include growth issues such as the arm length of a six year old. The Dynamic Systems Theory views the brain’s function in the movement as a whole; the actual output of the brain to the external world is manifested as movement (Bertoti, 2004). The development and organization of postural control is built on prior experiences, as is the ability to plan any successful action (VanSant, 2005). Because the many systems self-organize with experience, preferred patterns of motor behavior will emerge. They will reflect the most efficient pattern available to the child at a certain time, in a defined environment, dealing with a particular task. Whether that task is jumping, writing, or remaining still in a classroom chair, all sensory and motor system abilities form the foundation for the performance of that task. Therefore, the Ready Bodies Motor Lab addresses the needs of all students in task-oriented circuit training, supported by consistent, foundational exercises, offering developmental support for each system.
RBLM Motor Lab
The RBLM motor lab addresses the needs of all students in task-oriented circuit training, supported by consistent, foundational exercises, offering developmental support for the sensory and motor systems.
Athena Oden, P.T. and author of the Ready Bodies Learning Minds workshop and curriculum, is widely known across the US for her down to earth approach to teaching and the practical and powerful nature of the Ready Bodies, Learning Minds program. Whether it is a presentation to hundreds of therapists or on the floor with children in a Ready Bodies Motor Lab, Athena is driven by the sincere desire to apply her knowledge to help those that choose to work with her.
- Bertoti, DB. Functional Neurorehabilitation Through the Life Span. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. 2004. ISBN: 0-8036-1107-2
- Bundy, A; Lane, S; Murray, E. Sensory Integration: Theory and Practice. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. 2002. ISBN: 0-8036-0545-5
- Oden, A. Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: A Key to Academic Success. 2nd ed. Spring Branch, TX: RBLM. 2006. ISBN: 0-9747827-3-4
- Thelen, E. The Central Role of Action in Typical and Atypical Development: A Dynamic Systems Perspective. In: Stockman, IJ (Ed). Movement and Action in Learning and Development: Clinical Implications for Pervasive Developmental Disorders. San Diego, CA. Elsivier Academic Press. 2004
- VanSant, AF. Motor Control, Motor Learning, and Motor Development. In: Montgomery, PC; Connolly, B (Eds). Clinical Application for Motor Control. Thorofare, NJ. SLACK Inc. 2003