Interview with Joye Newman Expert on Childhood Motor Development, In-Sync Child, Activity Cards

Interview with Joye Newman Expert on Childhood Motor Development, In-Sync Child, Activity Cards

Today’s guest for our Author Interview Series is Joye Newman, an expert in early childhood motor development.  Parents, teachers and other caregivers working with young children will benefit from her parenting  books and activity cards she co-authored with Carol Kranowitz . Joye Newman is a perceptual motor therapist. Perceptual Motor Therapy (PMT) helps children, and also adults, to develop and enhance basic movement and learning abilities. Early childhood motor development is the foundation for a child’s physical, emotional, and academic success.  Early childhood motor development refers to a child’s ability to move and control his body and Joye Newman is the resource person who can tell us all about this.

Special Needs Book Review has reviewed two products Joye Newman has co-authored with Carol Kranowitz:

Lorna: Welcome to our interview series!  Congratulations on all you have accomplished in your career. It is a pleasure to be able to introduce you and your resources for parents to our readers. First please tell us what work you do now.

<<  Joye Newman  >> Hello, Lorna, and thank you so much for having me and for supporting our work in helping to grow in-sync children..  I continue as director of my organization, Kids Moving Company, based in Bethesda, Maryland.  We provide developmentally based movement programs to area preschools and elementary schools, as we’ve been doing so successfully for the past 25 years.  I also offer training for staffs of our partner schools.  I lecture around the country to small and large groups and organizations about the importance of movement for the whole child.  And I continue with my clinical practice, working with parents of children who need help getting their children “in-sync.”  This is especially gratifying for me, as I get to teach the parents, and frequently, the child’s teachers about the negative effects of sedentary technologic activities on the developing child.  I also work with the parents to provide a program of activities and exercises especially designed for each individual child’s needs. And in my spare time, I’m with working a friend of mine who has a PhD in early childhood education on a preschool movement based curriculum.  The book’s working title is Your Moving Classroom.

f Growing an In-Sync Child: Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn, and Grow.Lorna: On the back cover of your book, Growing an In-Sync Child, it says, “Based on the authors’ more than 70 combined years of professional success working with children of all abilities, “Growing an In-Sync Child” provides parents, teachers and other professionals with the tools to give every child a head start and a leg up.” When someone asks you what this book is about, how do you summarize what readers will find?

<<  Joye Newman  >>  Carol and I wrote this book because we were alarmed at the way technology seems to be making life more sedentary for everyone.  We want parents and teachers to understand that movement in early childhood is not just important, but CRUCIAL to a child’s overall healthy development.  We wanted to explain how and why movement is important, and then give concrete suggestions of  how to integrate movement into everyday life.  Our hope is that once adults fully understand how important it is for their children to move, perhaps they will add more movement to their lives as well.

Lorna: I read in your bio, “Integrating studies in behavioral optometry, occupational therapy, and psychology into her graduate work, she developed her unique method of Perceptual Motor Therapy (PMT).” Please tell us about PMT and how is perceptual motor therapy applied?

<<   Joye Newman   >>  Current educational and psychological research point to a close relationship between a child’s perception (ability to process what he takes in through his senses) and his motor (movement) skills. Every-day activities and training may not be sufficient to help the child develop “normal” skills and goals expected in “normal” child development. As a Perceptual Motor Therapist, I am trained to observe and analyze developmental problems and to provide suitable therapy in cooperation with parents, teachers and pediatricians. Using the child’s strengths, I develop an active and challenging program in order to address the child’s weaknesses while giving him a feeling of success. Often, this feeling of “I can do it” is the key to perceptual motor growth and development.  I am blessed to have opportunities to explore new research in primitive reflexes, sensory integration, and other related fields.  I am always learning from the children I work with, as well as from my colleagues in allied professions.

When I closed the Kids Moving Company studio in 2008, I made the decision to work directly with parents, and to make them an integral part of their children’s therapy. I did this for several reasons.  The first is that I think it is imperative for a parent to understand why his child is developing the way he is so that the parent can become an active participant in the child’s program.  Secondly, no matter how well a child performs one-on-one on my office, he will not be successful unless he can integrate that behaviour into his everyday life, with peers, family, and friends.

Lorna: Now to your latest product that came out in May 2012, In-Sync Activity Cards: 50 Simple, New Activities to Help Children Develop, Learn, and Grow!  In my review I wrote, “Parents, teachers, Early Intervention programs, and all who work with young children will surely be eager to get this easy-to-use resource. Each card is a complete lesson plan and tells you why and how the activity works, what you need for it, ways to make it more challenging, and what to look for.” Why did you and your co-author, Carol Kranowitz, think this product was needed? What is the feedback you are getting on your “Activity Cards”?

<<  Joye Newman  >>  Carol and I had such a wonderful time working on our book, and we received such incredible feedback from parents, educators, and therapists, that we decided to put together another set of activities based on Growing an In-Sync Child.  Reviews on the internet, as well as on suggest that people love the card format, and welcome the additional 50 activities.

Lorna: I agree completely with you and Ms. Kranowitz on your ideas on the value of “PLAY”.  Please tell our readers, many are parents of young children and tweens, why you think children should have time each day to simply play.

<<   Joye Newman  >> “Play” can be defined in a variety of ways.  I am assuming that you are referring to active or gross motor play.  The time from birth through about age 6 is when children are developing the skills they will need to succeed in school,  on the playground, at home, and in life.  The sensory, perceptual, and visual skills that we are concerned with cannot be taught.  Children can acquire these skills only by moving.  A child needs to move through space in order to fully understand three dimensional space.  She needs to walk across carpet, grass, tile, wood in order to understand tactile differences of those surfaces.  He needs to pull, push, lift, and carry weighted objects in order to develop the skills he will need to hold a pencil or tie his shoes.  Besides, I think we can all agree that it feels good to move!!

Lorna:  I read that at the center you founded, Kids Moving Company, you did not teach children how to do something, but rather provided an environment where children could explore and discover just what their bodies could do. Please elaborate.

<<  Joye Newman  >> Birth through age 6 is a time for exploration and learning.  Children should not be taught specific skills, as their systems are still building the FOUNDATION upon which all subsequent skills will rest.  In our Kids Moving Company classes, we provide environments that encourage children to explore and develop at their own rate and time.  Children need to feel successful so that they want to “keep trying.”

photo of authors Special Needs Book Review has reviewed two products Joye Newman has co-authored with Carol Kranowitz:Lorna: Thank you so much for making time for this interview. Please give us your links so we can follow you and tell us where we can buy your resources for child development.

<<  Joye Newman  >> Please feel free to visit my websites, and  You can access Carol’s work by visiting her website,  Both our book, Growing an In-Sync Child:  Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn and Grow, and our cards, In-Sync Activity Cards:  50 Simple, New Activities to Help Children Develop, Learn and Grow! are available on  Thank you so much for helping us spread the word about the importance of movement in children’s lives.

See Also Our Reviews:

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.