Therapist – Katherine Rudolph
Child receiving therapy – Ana, 8 years old
A, Impulse for Recreation Therapy
Having known and worked with Ana approximately one time per week for the last six months, I am pleased with her aptitude for speech and movement, singing, as well as her painting and pastel work.
She has just completed Class Two in school; her progress and transformation during the therapy have been evident. She has a sense of self, which has made her seem more mature than most Class Two students that I have worked with.
Ana has been able to adjust to the rhythms and movement, and learn the songs and exercises easily. Her parents have been supportive and cooperative, helping her to learn and practice at home.
Ana’s disposition is becoming more choleric as the therapy goes on. She has qualities of leadership, but is nevertheless very sensitive to what people think. I think she intuitively understands much more deeply than she can express at this time. She has developed courage, which helps to overcome the asthmatic condition..
She appreciates the Story-in Motion in its imaginative character and can live into the imagination originally. Ana knows what she wants to do, and is well behaved. She has given the children in the story their names, Luna and Max.
Her special interests in music and colour help her to warm and express her feelings. When the heart forces are warm and active, and the incarnation process centred and healthy, the asthmatic condition cannot prevail.
B. Flow of Breath in Speech, Singing and Colour
Flowing colour and sound help Ana to experience merging and contrasting elements in art. This has a relationship to the breathing. It is similar to the well-being and balance experienced when looking at a rainbow. Water colour flows quite naturally, and the pastel work can be blended and merged together in a self-assertive manner.
The in-breath is constitutionally too strong in the asthmatic condition. Ana has been able to find her diaphragm and breathe deeply through the process of speech and singing. Throwing exercises with the ball help to benefit the out-breath, which provides the proper stimulus for a healthy in-breath. The breath is released in words and sound at the moment when the ball leaves the hand in a free overhand throwing motion. A breath of fresh air early in the morning can help carry the whole day. It also releases stress and pent-up energy.
Certain sequences of consonants such as KLSFM direct the speech outwards from the hard palate to the teeth and lips. Word games with association and as little forethought as possible, bring the whole breathing into balance. The give and take element in the throwing develops teamwork and communicative skills.
Singing is one of the best remedies for asthma. Declamatory speech, songs and hymns centre the breath-feeling and help the incarnation process.
A German verse from Rudolf Steiner against too much in-breath can be brought when Ana is a bit older.
C. Balance of Vowels
Ana has more connection to the nerve-sense system than to the blood circulation and metabolic pole. Her soul is however positive, warm and strong; and she can prevail over her fears and sensitivity. Her observation of the world of the senses ( the consonantal world) comes out in her storytelling. One can see her pictures of the world she is describing and this is a talent for recitation.
Her disposition tends to direct her more into the head. Too much intellectuality should be avoided. The vowels E and A are especially contracted and nerve sense oriented; whereas Ah, I, O can lead generally into an expansion and are thus curative for Ana. They are like the out-breath. All together, vowels help to bring more feeling into Ana’s speech and bring more life forces into her body.
D. Balance of Consonants
Lips : M B P F V W – Ana sometimes uses the F instead of the TH ,although this habit is disappearing quickly. She just needs to remember.
Teeth : TH S Z R SH CH – Ana sometimes has a weak R, which she is able to correct and differentiate from the W. The S sound also needs strengthening from time to time.
Palate : Y G K H – are easily distinguished in Ana’s articulation.
Her growing mental alertness due to the centring forces will help her to overcome these weaknesses.
E. Course of Therapy
The therapy is designed to benefit Ana’s well-being. The poetry of Brave Seed True in a movement involving the right/left crossing experience has shown immediate results in articulation and centring. The singing, speaking and poetic feeling also served to correct any slight tendency for wheeziness at the beginning of sessions. Verses and hymns tend to keep the symptoms of asthma away. The therapy has been successful.
It was reported that Ana carried a leading role in the school play of The King of Ireland’s Son . Her improvement was noted by the Class teacher. Self confidence, and emerging talent has continued to develop.
A long and eventful Story-in Motion has been made over the past six months. Ana will be able to continue enjoying episodes of Twelve Days in Rainbowland Herpainting and colour work will continue to benefit the therapy.
I believe that this therapy should be continued after a pause. During the vacation the exercises, colour work etc. may be used if Ana needs and wants them. Otherwise, I recommend rest and more therapy in the coming year.