Cerebral Palsy, Equipment, Michigan, Our Son, Sebastian's Achievements, Therapy

Euro-Peds Intensive Therapy

Sebastian was able to get a place at Euro-Peds for two weeks of intensive physical therapy from July 26-August 6, 8.30-10.30 am, five days a week. It’s about a 45 min drive from my mom’s, a very easy drive. He’s exhausted by the end and usually falls asleep in the car, even when I am singing with the radio to help him stay awake. When he sleeps in the car it’s less likely he will get a good nap at home. But we do what we can.

Euro-Peds is traditional physical therapy and I was a little nervous after doing two weeks of ABM, because Sebastian responds really well to ABM and hasn’t always enjoyed regular PT in Egypt. There are some differences at Euro-Peds, they do a warm up/cool down massage and stretches. They also use something called a cage that looks awesome, providing upper body support with bungee chords and a harness so there is an independence in standing and moving. Sebastian isn’t likely to try this out this round, but I am hopeful for the future. They also have the therasuit available for use at Euro-Peds. Unfortunately, Sebastian isn’t ready for that yet either, he needs to gain about 15 more pounds. Maybe next year!

There are aides, helpers that play with Sebastian and keep him entertained during therapy. One boy we met while waiting has been going to Euro-Peds for 7 years and he loves it. He says it’s hard work, but a lot of fun. His mom said he took his first steps at Euro-Peds. He uses two crutches to walk now and I have seen him in the hall practicing with one. The staff are very friendly and seem very knowledgeable.

Rolling
Sebastian is good at rolling from back to front, although it does take him some time to get his arm unstuck he does it and smiles afterwards. We are now working on rolling from tummy to back.

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Sitting
Sebastian is working on sitting on his own. He can currently sit with support and is putting weight on his arms to help hold himself up. He is also doing some reaching in sitting position and learning to put his arms out to keep himself from falling. Something new for him is working on side sitting and reaching while side sitting.

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Tummy Time and Four Point
Tummy time is always good for improving head control. Sebastian is doing much better on his tummy. He is tolerating it, even enjoying it sometimes, and lifting his head while leaning on his elbows. He is also pushing up from laying down so that he is on his hands and knees with his head up. Which is AWESOME!

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Standing and Gait Trainers
Sebastian loves standing and walking. He is standing and learning to lean to stand. He is also trying out different gait trainers as we are on the quest to find something that works best for him. At the end of the two hour session, Sebastian has a half hour of massage and stretch.

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Another bonus about Euro-Peds is that it is covered by insurance (except for the suit therapy), and while we have international insurance it is the best time to try it out. There are elements about traditional PT that I am not a fan of, such at putting him into four point position rather than encouraging his body to get there one step at a time (which is what is done in ABM) and some things that I think are helpful, such as the rolling, sitting and walking stuff. I think the best combination is having a PT that is aware of the Feldenkrais/ABM methods and interested in incorporating them into their therapy. I think a lot of the exercises in traditional PT build up strength, but I think that ABM encourages Sebastian to do things on his own, with motivation to get through each step. I don’t think being placed in a position is going to help him learn how to get there. I prefer ABM, because it makes Sebastian happy and also because I see him do such wonderful things. But once you see the slide shows, you will see him doing some pretty awesome things in Euro-Peds too.

Since we have arrived in MI in May, Sebastian has improved in so many areas. Sitting, head control, tummy time, pushing up from belly and bearing weight on his arms. I think that all the therapies have helped with this, especially hippotherapy and ABM. They really laid the foundations for what he is doing in Euro-Peds. And HBOT will hopefully bring them all together too.

Rock on Sebastian.

Slide shows created from Euro-Peds photo set. Cross posted at Seb Can Do.

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2 thoughts on “Euro-Peds Intensive Therapy”

  1. and Rock on Mama Kara for “doing” all the therapies, too! and Rock on Papa Daddy for bringing home the bacon a.k.a. insurance and cheering on from afar! You all rock. 🙂

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