A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


We are back at physiotherapy now for a couple of weeks and going strong (for another couple of weeks). Soooo not impressed with these 4-6 week sessions! But I do understand the need as there are so many kids on the waiting list. But I'm still not happy, and I'm not taking it. I'm always open and looking for new therapies and what other kids are doing and what we could be doing!

I've learned some things from our long, and upsetting break from physiotherapy. And now I know some things that I want now that we are back.

Special thanks to Katheryn for taking this cutie-pie picture!
1. Get things in writing - yes I will think that I'll remember what to do and when and how and for how long when we are in sessions. But when I'm actually at home, trying to show Kyle it just kinda slips away.
And when you are going months between sessions, it is just harder and leads to feelings that you have NO IDEA what you are doing!

2. Goals, goals, goals. Measurable, attainable with a timeline.
This seems very simple, something that I learned in school. Do you think I could ask to apply this to physiotherapy?!
Something that I learned is that you have to ask. Ask, ask and then ask again. Don't assume that therapists will do something because it is what was learned in school (for example by setting goals). Ask, demand and ask again for things in writing.

3. Think ahead. Nick is not ready for a walker yet, but hopefully he will be in a couple of months (or sooner). And even if he's not ready to take some steps, he will be. So we are thinking ahead and getting set for a walker now. Instead of waiting.

4. Be persistent. And then persistent again.
We had our physiotherapy reassessment a couple of weeks ago. I had my own goals, including wanting to get a walker, or try one out NOW. And I expressed those beliefs.
We got about 5 minutes into the assessment when I said I wanted to get him up on a walker. And then kept bringing it up. When? can we do it now? So next session right?

What did I end up with?
Written goals, measurable and with a timeline. Written things to work on. And we've tried out our first walker/gait trainer. I was pretty happy, Nick - not so much. And we have different therapists with different focuses who can work with us on different goals.

We have 2 physiotherapists.
We have Megan, through Grandview, OHIP provided. We just started using her.
She also works with Sheka who is a OT.
We also have a speech therapist (but are waiting for our reassessment in the fall).

Then we have Colleen, through Inter-Action Rehab, she is a private physio.
She works Nick hard. Very hard.
He screams through the entire session. Until he reaches mommy and then gets a minute of cuddles and back to work. But he works.
Since we started the physio the May I have seen Nick make great strides.
He is stronger, can stand longer. Has started to stand and hold with just one hand! He can weight shift. He can kneel and high-kneel, he can (finally) transition from lying to sitting! We are setting up the preparation for that walker I want to get so fast!
He is sooooo close to lifting that knee and getting over a stair/step. He actually can do it if you lift the first knee over. He gets onto his hands and knees, and will sometimes move backwards. And this  picture is on our hammock! At the beginning of the summer there was no way he would sit and be so unstable!

And even though he hates physio, I have seen him take steps. Move those feet and shift weight. And when he's really mad! He'll stamp!
Ha! Got you working!

I have a bunch of other things up my sleeve.
We have a consultation with conductive education at March of Dimes. This is a program that has worked primarily with kids (and adults) with cerebral palsy. But they have started to open up to kids with spina bifida, and attended a workshop in Michigan. I'm excited to see what it is they can do.

I'm also trying to find some info on aqua therapy. Or something to do in pools, something that will help. Nick loves the water, so he can love it and work at the same time! But I want some guidance, some goals, some exercises and something to work on!

I also found a new therapy clinic. Footprints Therapy. It has a multi-disciplinary, holistic (whole body) focus that sounds fantastic! I read about this clinic recently in another SB mommy's book, and immediately contacted them for a consultation! They have a whole bunch of different alternative therapies (and traditional) and a naturopath all at the clinic. (we already see a naturopath and that is where we get most of our natural products for various bladder and bowel issues, but this would all be together - I think).

So I have a plan, a couple of different plans, and while I don't want to overwhelm Nick with different therapies, I don't want to underwhelm him either!


  1. Excellent post--packed with info. Had to read it more than once!! Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice.

  2. Looks like you've got some pretty cool options! We've been doing Conductive Ed with Lewis since he was about 3 months old and have been very happy with it (we're probably that place in Michigan that they visited:) ). If you're looking for other alternative therapies we've been THRILLED with the Anat Baniel Method recently which I'm sure by now you've heard me go on and on about. I just feel like I should shout it from the rooftops!