Drawing from the techniques of Brain Gym, neohumanist stories, yoga and a host of other innovative techniques based on the power of movement, this center called ‘abcd’ (Achievers Brain Cognitive Development), is an oasis in the world, responding to the needs of those with learning challenges offering programs from preschool up to primary level. Daphnie Divya Wong is the principal of the abcd center for children who learn differently. She has developed the Kitz Movement Program, that is offered at abcd, after more than 30 years in the education industry. She is the mother of 4 children, one of whom is a slow learner. Her daughter has provided her motivation to embark on this field of special education. She is also well versed in diet and nutrition, yoga, music and movement, psychology and human behavior.
The main key of the Kitz Movement Program is movement, with loads of music, yoga, and gross & fine motor exercises thrown in, and a twist of storytelling. The program is easy to do, practical and delightfully simple to follow. It is a playful program for releasing mental, physical and emotional blocks to achieve optimal performance.
In recent times, many children have been diagnosed with learning challenges, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder and many other communication difficulties, especially with verbal communication. When the mind-body system is overly taxed, unprocessed sensory input keeps it from flowing freely. This will affect breathing, blood flow, immunity, digestion and elimination. The Kitz Movement Program aims to bring balance to the left and right brain, integrating body and emotions and returning them to healthful balance so that each of us can achieve equilibrium, balance and focus in the things we do, in our interactions and integration with people and in our lives in general. It helps to manage emotion, interaction, participation, listening, speaking, reading and writing. In short, it helps participants to focus and participate in their work and to have the necessary energy to do it. Not surprisingly, all of this helps with academic work.
The Kitz Movement program is for anyone of any age who is exploring the power of movement to enhance learning and is suitable for anyone from babies to adults. It is used with people who suffer from stroke, dementia, or brain damage and with Alzheimer’s patients. Ms Wong volunteers her time at the ADFM (Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia), the old folks’ home and also the orphanage. She trains the staff of ADFM and caregivers so that they understand the benefits of movement to patients and themselves.
When Kitz Gym Training is used with children and adults with less severe challenges, it can improve motor abilities and motor control such as coordination, muscle tone and integration of primitive reflexes. Additionally, many people have noticed improvement in seemingly unrelated areas such as speech, vision, difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, reading and writing. According to the hypothesis of Ms Wong, this improvement can be explained by the stimulation and linking up of different parts of the brain caused by movement exercises.
The abcd center offers other programs besides The Kitz Movement, such as abacus training. Ms Wong is the consultant for SIP Academy Malaysia and she clarifies that SIP Abacus trains the child to focus and visualize, while heightening imagination.The children use the abacus in their early stage of training and when their fingertips touch the abacus, stimulation is created in the brain. Furthermore, SIP Abacus uses both hands at the abacus calculation. Then in the intermediate level the children will do away with the physical abacus. As a result, their ability to visualize is enhanced.
Abcd also has developed a unique program called ‘2 Hands Drawing’. This art class is special as it utilizes two hands simultaneously in drawing and touching. The basic understanding is that using both hands will stimulate both hemispheres of the brain at the same time. There is also the Super Achievers Program (SAP) which is short-term and intensive training for children age 7 – 12 to sharpen their senses and prepare them for optimal learning and functioning. Junior Achievers Program (JAP) is for children age 5 – 6 with the same objectives as SAP. For more information: