Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Am I where I am supposed to be?

During our revisit to FHC this past April, Matthew asked if I could come back, by myself, to learn Myofascial Release Therapy, this would help release strain in Kevin’s body.  Of course, I agreed to learn something new that would further help Kevin’s healing journey.  We all felt like this would benefit Kevin greatly, especially in regards to his current left foot problems.  But Matthew was very clear that I was to come alone and he also told me not to do any research on this therapy before coming.  But I did cheat a little because I wanted to at least have a better idea of what is fascia.  Dr. Barry (the doctor that does craniosacral sessions with myofascial release during our visits at FHC) describes it as…“The fascia (not facial or of the face) is a thick layer of tissue somewhat like plastic wrap that fuses with the muscle tissue. Fascia forms a web that attaches to every structure in the body. It can become distorted and rigid from trauma and inflammation, causing tension and pain.”
Do you ever have the feeling like I’m not sure if this is where I am supposed to be?  This is how I felt.  I wanted to learn this new therapy, but Dr. Barry actually teaches a 3 day seminar on it, and I was going to observe and learn in 2 days by hanging around FHC.  I didn’t have total confidence in myself that I could do this without “formal” instruction. Besides the fact that, some of the families at FHC had taken Dr. Barry’s seminar and I was there observing and learning on my own terms, on their kids.  It just made me feel a little unsure.  But I tried to keep my mind off that part of it while I was there learning and observing.   
I arrived at FHC by late afternoon, to observe Dr. Barry giving treatments to the kids.  It was a little difficult coming up with questions when I wasn’t exactly sure what I was observing, because the thing I kept hearing over and over again was that you had to clear your mind and let the body (that you are treating) talk to you.  Oh boy!  Well I have to say that if I had not been practicing yoga and meditation for the last year I would have been like, you want me to do what!? 
Some of the staff at FHC have also learned this therapy.  I spent a little time with Greg that first day and he did a little therapy on me and he also talked me through doing some on him.  On day two (my final day) I observed Greg and Maria giving treatments to the various kids being seen that day.  They would put my hands under their hands or sometimes let me try it on one part of the body.  By the end of the day, I began to feel like I had just an inkling of what I was supposed to be doing.  But everyone kept saying that I would just need experience doing it and the more people I practice on the better I will get. 
Okay, so back to this feeling of “am I where I am supposed to be, because I’m not sure if I am getting this new therapy!?”  But what I did get out of my visit was that I met several new families.  One family from Ohio with an enchanting son who is about a year younger than Kevin!  And the Dad has taken Dr. Barry’s seminar.  So I felt much more at ease knowing that there would be someone (within an hour’s drive) that could give me support when I need it.  It is also comforting to know fellow families that are doing the program to give each other support and motivation along our journey. 
Another plus to being at FHC a month after our revisit was that I was able to touch base with all the team members and give updates on what was working and not working in regards to the new program...which has proven to be very beneficial.

Another thing that made me feel like I was where I was supposed (and this may seem trivial to some) but the hotel that I stayed in was connected to a Bally’s Gym and as a hotel guest I was able to use free of charge.  So the first night I went over to check it out.  I asked if they had any yoga classes and they just happened to have a yoga class both nights that I was there!  This was especially nice to have something to do in the evening.  The yoga class was an experience I will never forget as I was surrounded by sweaty smells, and the pounding of feet, and clanking of weights, nothing like my familiar yoga class in a charming atmosphere.  But I got what I came for in regards to stretching my body out after a long drive and sitting around most of the day and quieting my mind.  In addition, it was a treat to spend the night in a hotel all by myself (a first for me!) and I really enjoyed my drive to Philly on my own (I got to listen to whatever I wanted to in the car!).
So now I am home and practicing my new therapy.  Jon and Kevin have been my main victims.  But I hope to branch out more as I gain more confidence.  The first time I practiced on Jon, I was able to listen to his body tell me where his old injuries were in his shoulder and knee.  And one day last week I felt a “release” in Kevin’s left shoulder!
So in answer to the question...Am I where I am supposed to be?...ABSOLUTELY!

Shoe News

During our revisit with FHC last month, it was suggested to try adding an "in-rigger" to Kevin's left shoe (top photo) to try to help correct his left foot turning inward when he walks.  I will spare you all the drama I had to endure to accomplish this but the fact was as soon as Kevin began walking with the in-rigger he turned his left foot in even more to avoid tripping on it...this of course was not the goal. They have used the in-rigger to help correct kids that toe-walk, but Kevin decided once this shoe was on to not be a toe-walker.  Luckily, I was making a trip back to FHC a few days later and I took the shoe with me and video of Kevin walking in it.  Dr. Joe (the foot doctor) immediately said to take that thing off of there (it wasn't his idea).  And we came up with a new plan.  He said to add a 1/2 inch wedge to his left shoe (bottom photo).  This seems to be working!  Kevin will also be receiving new orthotics to add to this new plan.  Dr. Joe also viewed the hip x-rays that we had done since our last visit.  He said that his left hip is displaced or cock-eyed but no need for alarm or surgery because when his legs are put in "frog-legs" the hip bone is put back into position.  So based on this information I have ordered a hip abduction pillow for Kevin to use when he sleeps.  This will ensure that he does not sleep with his feet turned inward.  And when he is sitting during the day we are to be sure that he does so with cross-legs or frog-legs.  I feel pretty good with the changes we have already made and feel hopeful once again as we continue on "the journey".

Memorial Day Parade

The next day (after the Thomas the Train auditory mishap) we went to the Memorial Day Parade.  But this time we came prepared with Kevin's noise cancelling headphones.  And he was MUCH happier as you can tell.  His favorites were the Marching Bands in the parade...which makes his mama very happy!

A Day Out With Thomas the Train

The last time Kevin rode Thomas the Train he went with his cousins when he was very small. And now that Kevin likes Thomas so much we were hoping that we could successfully take him on the train ride this year. Last year, we had gone over for the Thomas festivities but did not ride the train because I was not sure if he would be able to handle the noise auditorily. Kevin has still not yet achieved total integration in the hearing category of his Integrative and Developmental Progression Chart.  This means that loud and sudden noises still cause an overstimulation in him that can be difficult to calm.  Despite not riding the train last year he really enjoyed watching the model trains, especially the Thomas one! He did not seem bothered by the real Thomas the Train's friendly whistle so this year we thought we would try the train ride. We got there an hour early to do the festivities once again before our scheduled ride, but they moved the model train tent to the side near the train tracks. This caused some overstimulation because another train went by and when the train blew the whistle it was very loud and to add to that there was a bell outside the model train tent that anybody and everybody could RING, this too added to the overstimulation. There were tears, and I was breathing through mine because I was worried that Kevin had reached his threshold and would not be able to settle down, knowing that it would not be quiet on a train car full of kids, so I wasn't sure what he would be able to handle after reaching his threshold. But the ending of the story is a happy one because once we boarded the train car, we were able to cool down and get a little more comfortable. And as soon as the train began moving we had our happy boy back as you can see from the pictures.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Family Hope Center helps ALL children learn & develop

If you are a Homeschooler or a Prospective Homeschooler, please consider learning more about The Family Hope Center (FHC).  The FHC understand how children learn and develop and have developed a brilliant chart that will take you step by step with your child’s development.  This chart is for normal developing kids and this chart is essential for kids who have slowed or stopped developing in some areas.  It will show you how to positively affect your child’s development with an individualized, fully integrated program that puts you in charge to help your child develop and reach their fullest potential.

 Does your child…
·         Have difficulty speaking, formulating ideas or expressing them clearly?
·         Work hard in school, but never quite seem able to keep up?
·         Have trouble socially or academically, or have an IEP or special program?
·         Have difficulty making eye contact, sensitive to touch, sounds or tastes?
·         Take multiple medications to “control” their behavior or symptoms?

If you are not satisfied with the progress your child is making and don’t know what to do or where to turn, FHC can give you the answers you are looking for.  Your child CAN be helped.  FHC believes in all children and gives hope to parents.  I love that the FHC understand that parents are the best teachers for our children and they give us the information we need to help each individual child. 

The Integrative and Developmental Progression Chart is, quite simply, a map of how a young child’s brain grows and develops. It charts the pathways of the most vital neurological functions, taking you step by step through the development and integration of these functions.

Every child is an individual, and proceeds through development at a different rate.  Your Thriving Child” Seminar, teaches parents about this process and, in addition, present simple programs and activities you can do to support and speed your child’s progression up the ladder of neurological development.

“How to Help the Child With Special Needs” interactive Training Conference and “Your Thriving Child” Seminar, teaches parents how to understand and use this chart effectively. With this information parents can identify where their child’s developmental issues are, and are prepared to learn the next step: how to get their children successfully and permanently back on track in their developmental journey.

We have had much success with this program and would highly recommend it to any parent with a normally developing child and especially for children who are struggling in any area of development.  We would be happy to give you more information and answer questions you may have.   

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Happy Mother's Day at the Zoo

Rolling in the Deep

On our way home from FHC.
Kevin excited while listening to our new favorite song, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"
And this is how I get him to start program every morning, by playing this song.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"You're gonna need a timer"

So, how cool is this! We have been receiving services from a medical supply company for Kevin's O2/CO2 tank for about five years. This guy, Bruce normally delivers the refills on our tank. He has always shown a genuine interest in what we are doing and always comments on Kevin's progress. He was here today for a delivery and told me that a buddy of his has a granddaughter with seizures and developmental delays and he (Bruce) told his friend to be sure to check out these people in Philadelphia because he has seen the miracles. The family researched and found FHC and now they too need a O2/CO2 tank. It sounds like Bruce is going to deliver their tank too and they live in North Carolina! I find it amusing that this guy that delivers medical supplies knows our program kids so well and can tell his buddy..."you're gonna need a timer!" I just love the connectedness of it all...from the family that gave us the medical supply company name, to us, to Bruce, to helping another special child.  It truly feels like a blessing!