Does your baby need motor physiotherapy? I would like to share with you my family’s experience with this therapy: our difficulties and how we tried to solve them. Following through with this therapy is hard — hard, and often painful, but worth it.
In part two of this post, I’ll tell you how this battle has helped me in other areas, such as in my profession, and I am sure it will help you too.
The big news: My son has been “officially” discharged from physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. He will still have periodic evaluations, but his motor development is now considered normal.
My reaction: I’m sorry, but…what? Even though I wrote the above paragraph, I need to read it again just to wrap my mind around it. A few months ago, I never would have imagined that this would happen!
THIS IS HOW THE STORY GOES…
My son has been attending physiotherapy sessions ever since he was born. Before I could even see his face for the first time, he was admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because he suffered serious anoxia at birth. He received several types of medical care while in the hospital, including physiotherapy. When they finally released him to go home, the staff told me that it was imperative that I provide him with motor physiotherapy on a regular basis.
**A first-time mom can feel really lost in this kind of situation. Looking for therapies, searching for treatments? Oh my goodness! If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, check out this post with a few tips on how to choose a therapist for your child.
I was totally determined to do my best in order to minimize or even reverse the delays and consequences from the anoxia he has suffered. (To be honest I still can’t use the word “sequela.”) Doctors and therapists suggested that I stimulate him intensely, since neuroplasticity could bring very positive results, especially in his first two years of life.
*Here’s my suggestion for you: if your child has some neurological impairment, make the most of his/her first years with stimulating activities and games.
My son’s physiotherapy was a very tough job both for him and for me. He was 9 months old when I met a Bobath-trained therapist whose treatment approach has played a pivotal role in his development. In our first session with her, she carefully assessed his condition and noticed a significant motor delay. Although this may sound silly, the truth is that hearing that news is just not easy for any mom.
WHAT HAVE I DONE, THEN?
I started to take him twice a week to the clinic I had found. I used to ask the therapist to let me see the sessions so that I could learn a few movements and repeat them at home with my son. I even recorded the sessions with my cellphone so that I could watch and study the videos later at home. Based on the videos, I made powerpoint slides for myself with the explanations the physiotherapist had given me. Strangely enough, this was the only possible way I found myself able to do those exercises at home. I’m serious! It was all Greek to me. I had to learn it, though. Much of my son’s future depended on my learning it.
It was a lot of work, for Paulo (who had an intense routine, considering that he was just a baby), for me (who needed discipline to balance all my activities with his schedule) and, of course, for the therapists assisting him.
FINALLY, THE RESULTS!
Such hard work reaped rewards. I will never forget the day he crawled for the first time! You cannot imagine how long it took us to make sure he could sustain his upper body in the so-called “puppy 2” position.
On the day he walked for the first time, our whole family celebrated it more intensely than anyone has celebrated the World Cup!
HOW THIS EXPERIENCE HAS HELPED ME AND CAN HELP YOU TOO
Click on the link below (soon available) to read the second part of this post. I will tell you more about how this experience has helped me in other areas of my life. I am sure it will help you as well.
Also, feel free to write me about your experience in the fight to provide your baby with infant stimulation therapies. I look forward to hearing from you!