Therapies and Children.
It seems to be that now a days there are more and more diagnosis of children with several learning disabilities. Being a mother of a child with "Problems" so they tell me I have come to realize that it may not be all that easy to get some kind of help with your situation. I however push the issue whenever I get the chance to have something done and have it done ASAP. I am raising a 2 1/2 year old little boy who I gave birth to at 3 months early, Who suffered a brain bleed at a Grade 3 and Grade 4 on both sides of his brain, then suffered at lack of oxygen when he developed MRSA Staph Infection In his lungs while in the NICU at only 18 Days old. This caused severe damage to be done to his lungs and required high doses of steroids and high levels of oxygen before being able to come home on oxygen where he received it in the home for about 9 months before being able to be let off from the oxygen.
Noticing the small things.
After being sent home from the NICU it was nice to be able to get up and sleep at night and not have to worry about when and what time I was going to have to be to the hospital to make sure I spent every waking moment with my child, Making sure that he knew I was there and that I was the one who was doing the caring for him. When at all possiable I would be the one caring for my child, handing out the medicine and giving him the breathing treatments when they were called for, giving him the baths during my time there everyday, Making sure he got his bottles when he was hungry and so forth. When he came home from the hospital we didnt know what to expect. We started to notice the small things that you dont think anything of at first. We had someone coming in the home from the Early Intervention Program here and she would come and do some activities with us, At the smallest things he would get hysterical and become over stimulated and we would have to lay him down and let him just lay there for a few moments before going on with whatever it was that we were doing. Then when we got him the swing he seemed like he wanted to sit in it day in and day out. He loved to be swung all day long. He would sleep in it if we allowed him to and became very attached to the music that we would listen to daily. He to this day loves country music. At about 10 months old we noticed that he had a group of balls that went in his playskool toy that he would play with and he would seperate them into color groups and would get mad if the toy got them mixed up, He would throw tantrums until he got them back in the right order. These are just some of the small things that we noticed with him in just his short year of birth.
The Therapy Begins...
At about 13 months old we started to receive in Home Health Services for Physical therapy and Occupational therapy, We would push the issue about what we thought of his diagnosis, We were aware of his cerebal palsy because of the brain bleeds but we hadnt thought to much of anything else until we started noticing more and more the things that he would do. At 12 months old he was speaking in 3 word sentances.Like he would say, "I need that" "I did that" "I did it" "I want it" and so forth. So he was speaking at a very early age. I believe I first heard him say momma at around 4 months. Not to long after we got home from the NICU. Then he started picking things up more and more after that. At some point we ask everyone what they think about maybe him being autistic. They all tell us he cant be autistic because he talks. Well autistic children do Talk I would tell them. High functioning autistic children talk. they act like typical children most of the time. With more and more improvements to therapies more and more children are able to do more and more things as they learn a little more about each and every aspect of the diagnosis these days. A long time ago when someone would be diagnosed as being slow "retarded" back then they would say most parents would put them in instatutions to be raised. I am a firm believer that the children did not ask for anything to be wrong with them and as parents we didnt ask for it either and so together anything can happen. I have found out that children when given the opportunity can rise to do just about anything. When we first seen a nuerologist they first said to not to expect to much out of our little guy becuase of the brain bleeds and he would be severally behind. To this day they dont understand how he can do what he does. All this because we started working early and continued to work with him but didnt make him do it all all the time. I still think that someone was watching over him and helped us out with him.
Keep In Mind:
Keep in mind that not all children will respond with all the therapys and sometimes it is just best to allow them to mature at their own pace. I found this to be effective with our son until the age of 12 months. At this point I knew we needed to do something and procedded to look at our options. I am a firm believer that children do not need to be in front of the television all hours of the day while they are awake just to keep them busy and occupied and out of your hair. I didnt allow our son to watch any tv until well over the age of 12 months. The tv would be on like what we adults would want to watch and would be on the country music stations but that was it. It wouldnt be on cartoons and such and friends who would come over would say why dont we put something on the tv for the kids to watch. My son played with toys and ran around and acted like a typical kid who didnt have the tv. Now a days he is still the same way. He would rather be playing with puzzles and toys then to have the tv on. Most of the time it is on in the background and no one is even watching it. I watch soap operas but that is about all. the rest of the time the tv might be on the country music and for about 2 hours a day I allow him to watch nick jr. I dont think he will learn much more from the cartoons then he would from us sitting and reading or playing a game. At age 2 he was already picking up his own toys and putting them away and would be complimented about how well behaved he is. When he is out in public everyone says how cute he is and how well behaved he is. I dont spank him and treat him badly but he just receives discipline and is praised when well behaved. In therapy one thing they always do is praise the child when he/she does something well and it teaches them to do something over and over and over again. This will allow them to know that every time they do something right they will recieve a praise much like a dog when they do something correct. I love what therapy has taught me and how it has taught my child to behave and manage how to cope with things and how to act. I think this is something that every child should learn. While most children will enjoy the benefits of therapy some will not. Some will view it as punishment because of the work that they have to do and will view it as just another chore. Try to implement more and more activities while at home that they use in the therapy sessions and try to make it as fun as possiable. The more enjoyment they recieve from it the more likly they are to enjoy it while at therapy. This is the only suggestion that I have.
There are many different ways to impliment therapy into your daily routine but there are just small things that you can do to make therapy into your routine that you might not even notice. You can take the smallest toy and give it to your child and will turn into something that you can use as a therapy tool. It could help them to establish strength in their arms if it requires them to pull down and teach them cause and effect at the same time. If you have a toy that makes them bounce up and down then you are helping to strengthen their leg muscles and teach them balance and cordination but will make them enjoy the time that you are helping them. As you can see you will need to think about each and every toy that you purchase to think of new ways that you can use this certain toy as a kind of therapy also. These are just some suggestions for you to think about.
Another source of therapy that I have found them to use is to use different types of sensory items. Things that you might have already in the house. Give them a bowl of beans (Dry beans such as navy or pinto beans) in a bowl with some dry uncooked rice and allow them to just play in it. It is a great sensory tool that is used even in the therapy sessions at hospitals that is implimented to help them want to play in different types of feelings for their hands. I found that my little guy loves to play in beans and rice. He loves to scoop them and dump them and no matter what it is easy to clean up. And it is cheap enough to buy also. They use playdoh and silly putty and will use this to help them to use their hands in different ways.
Another way to use therapy and use play time is to use a pool. They use this therapy to help them to strengthen leg muscles and arm muscles while making time fun. You can give them weights to use in the pool and many different toys as well.