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Improving various skills in kids

Business focuses on specialized tutoring
By Ann Ruppenstein

March 14, 2012

Neighbourhoods: Playter Estates

Originally published in our Riverdale-East York print edition(s).

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Tanya Mouland was coaching a baton twirler on the cusp of the national level when she noticed something holding her back.

“She hit a wall and I thought, ‘Well how come?’ ” says Mouland. “So we did some eye exercises and I found out that as soon as something got too close she actually lost sight of it.”

After showing her some movements to get her eye muscles to converge, Mouland says there was a quick transformation.

“All of a sudden this athlete was doing something we had spent months on and in five minutes she made the leap,” she says. “She won three gold medals at the national championships last year in baton twirling.”

In addition to athletes, through Mouland Coaching on the Danforth near Chester Avenue, she works with kids of all ages to improve their grades, academic skills, speech or confidence.

“Primarily what I do is a specialized tutoring for academics, athletics, (and) for behaviour,” she says. “I look at change through movement so instead of actually sitting down and doing math exercises or a specific sporting activity, I look at the neurology and the physiology connection in order to change what the challenge is.”

She focuses on developing neurological pathways her clients need to overcome challenges like a lack of hand-eye coordination, which she says are often derived from missing developmental steps early in life like never crawling as a baby.

Mouland initially started her own business with a focus on English as a second language and pronunciation before branching out and working with kids around a year ago after training in neuro-linguistic programming and Brain Gym.

As well as focusing on reflex integration and language re-patterning, she has also started offering group movement classes where parents also take part so they can continue the teaching process at home, and continues to offer ESL sessions.

“I specialize in pronunciation and accent modification so again I’m looking at facial reflexes, breathing patterns, belief systems,” she says. “A lot of people have been brought through the ESL curriculum believing they cannot develop a native-like pronunciation and I totally disagree with that because speaking just requires muscle movement. And if we can eliminate the belief systems and the negatives and make them realize it’s practice, it does take time, but it can be done.”

Although her goal is to help her clients feel grounded and connected, she says she had to apply some of the techniques on herself before opening her own business.

“I had to play with these movements just to keep myself grounded,” she says. “It was a big step.”

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