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Monday, 01 March 2021
Review: MeMoves Print
Like many of the items reviewed here, I first learned of MeMoves through a forum that focuses on parenting children who experienced early stress prior to adoption. Many of these children show signs of anxiety or hypervigilence and have difficulty with self-regulation. Since MeMoves is said to be a "fast and effective way to calm the nervous system and increase focus and attention" (from manufacturer), it sounded like a match for children wired for stress.

With MeMoves, participants watch a DVD and imitate a person on screen as they move their bodies in various patterns. The patterns, with rhythm and background music, are first shown in an on-screen drawing, and then replicated by a person doing the same movements. (Sample portions of the video are available to watch on the MeMoves website.) Persons of many different ages and races are shown. The literature included in the package notes that "Research presented in May 2010 at the International Meeting for Autism Research demonstrated that doing MeMoves for only a few minutes a day altered brain waves and activated 'mirror neurons,' resulting in positive behavioral changes."

Since it's late November and holidays tend to "prime the anxiety pump" I thought it would be a good time to put this program to the test. To make the challenge more difficult, I picked an "Eeyore" day. Ever have those at your house? At my house, an Eeyore day begins with a child who wakes up grumpy, complains about breakfast, picks on a sibling through playtime, struggles with homework, and "accidentally" forgets to do what she was told. (I'm sure that never happens to any of you!)

I called the child (who shall remain nameless in case she ever wishes to run for major office) and another child over to the computer. On the DVD, participants can choose from three categories: joy, focus, and calm. Hard to guess what I chose, isn't it? :) In the first couple minutes, I was doubtful that even "Joy" could pull the child out of her funk. But all three of us continued, imitating the movements, one child and I smiling back at the smiling people on screen while the first child continued to frown. (I had to work to see her reflection in my computer screen!)

After a few minutes she complained that this sequence of moves wasn't hard enough. (She'd briefly used the program alone a couple other times and knew that there were more complex moves yet to be had.) So I let her pick the pattern. She started smiling, and busted out laughing when in one pattern a child moves his hands and seems to fly off the screen; she hit the repeat button so she could laugh some more.

Both children (ages 6 and 10) could do all the moves and proclaimed that the program was fun. Best of all? Several hours later, the child's joy-filled mood continues. As I write, she is whistling, playing a game with the rest of the family.

So far, we have only used the DVD portion of the program. MeMoves also comes with "Puzzle Cards" showing drawings that depict each movement. The cards can be used with an accompanying CD or music of the participant's choice. I'll slip this in the car the next time we plan a road trip. From what I've seen so far, the program is definitely something worth considering for children that struggle with stress and issues of self-regulation.

Disclaimer: I received MeMoves for review purposes without any other compensation. I did not promise a positive review. This review is my opinion.
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