” Temple Fay had long used the term <cross patterning> in his studies on the movement of the lizard and the crocodile, both midbrain creatures. He had also studied different ways to perform the same movements in brain-injured children, a process that he called patterning. He thought it would help, but, when applied, he was not able to make a paralyzed child walk. We decided to try again. We changed the movements a little, in order to mimic those of a healthy child, instead of those of a reptile, though between the two there were many points of resemblance.
We increased the frequency of the patterning remembering how long a healthy baby dedicates to these movements. Then we began to impart them… In a healthy child, the reflexes produce a movement that he can feel. What he feels develops his ability to feel and develops the sensory part of his brain. As the brain matures, he begins to realize the correlation between motor output and sensory response. It succeeds in starting voluntarily an action that was initially a reflex. Any supplementary cycle develops both the incoming and outgoing parts of the brain. In the case of a child who, for whatever reason, had not been able to complete the cycle by himself, would it perhaps be possible for us to provide outside help? We decided… to try. In the case of a child with a lesion in the midbrain unable to move his arms and legs intentionally when placed on his abdomen, we decided to move his arms and legs for him, in the exact movement for which the midbrain was built. We decided to give him the patterning. This was done by three adults and had to be done harmonically and rhythmically… Through the years, the basic framework has remained the same with some slight modification… In this way we reached an answer to a very important question, at least for the midbrain injured.
Were we able to treat them? The answer was yes. ”