Physio

Time to share some sunshine…

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 | 6 comments

Time to share some sunshine…

Four months ago, I could barely walk across my kitchen. One month ago, I marched, along with thousands of others, from the Bank of England to Parliament Square. A march of protest against austerity, but for me another protest too: against ill health with the physical proof that I could walk the length of the march. So, did I make it?

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How to get your special needs kiddie to LOVE therapy

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 | 3 comments

How to get your special needs kiddie to LOVE therapy

Tummy time? Hates it. Stretches? Not fun. May is severely disabled but she is not lacking in opinions. So how do we get our kiddies who need therapy to do it, when they hate it? It takes a complete re-think of what therapy is. First, what therapy is not: It is not crammed into every free moment of the day. Children need down time too. They need time to just play (you do too!) and to let all the benefits of therapy sink in. It is not everything and anything because, hey, it can’t hurt. Yes, it can hurt if you are wasting your time and money doing something that has no proven benefit. It is not hard work. Good therapy builds on a child’s strengths, it doesn’t force them to do things that are impossible for them. So, what can therapy be? It is inserted throughout the day, in the midst of everyday activities. Therapy should blend into normal life so your child can see first hand its benefits. Try stretches in the bath with lovely bubbles as stimulation. Use snack time to encourage them to bring their hands to their mouths. Make it fun. It should be as fun and as interesting as possible. Do you like doing reps with weights at the gym? It is about the dullest thing in the world. Use things they already love to engage them. May loves music so she hears a lot of it when we want her to do something therapeutic. What does your child love?   Finally, here is a simple example of May “doing therapy” and loving it. It looks like she is playing with her monkey toy. What is she really doing? Lifting her head and holding it midline. Stretching out her arms. Pressing buttons to learn cause and effect. Listening for cues. What tricks do you use to get your kiddie to LOVE...

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Doctors said her son wouldn’t walk, and then this happened… (VIDEO)

Posted on Mar 30, 2014 | 2 comments

Doctors said her son wouldn’t walk, and then this happened… (VIDEO)

Debby Elnatan was told her son, Rotem, would never walk. Rotem has cerebral palsy and, like any mother, she was devastated – but she wasn’t broken. Elnatan invented a harness that would enable him to walk attached to her. Instead of the path he was meant to travel, one of severe physical impairments and eventual surgery, he grew stronger and – together – their walks increased from steps to miles, minutes to hours. This week, her invention, the Upsee was launched globally by Leckey, a company that produces equipment for disabled children. Three families strapped their children in and, to the astonishment of everyone watching, the children began to walk. It was as simple as that. One boy, Daniel, who has global developmental delay, walked towards a delighted crowd: The story doesn’t stop with these first steps. Firefly’s Clinical Research Manager and occupational therapist, Clare Canale, said: “Short-term, the Upsee improves special needs family participation and quality of life, while research suggests it has the potential to help the with physical and emotional development in the longer term.” The Upsee is also about having fun – children being allowed to enjoy what the rest of us take for granted: My daughter May is disabled and we were told she’d never walk. This story isn’t just inspirational to us. May’s disabilities are so severe she will need reconstructive surgeries on her hips for much of her childhood. If the Upsee works, it may be the difference between a lifetime of therapy and pain, and walking. The doctors told us our daughter would never walk, and now what does the future hold for her? We are very excited that May will be trailing the Upsee soon. Stay tuned to see what happens. This article was originally published on the BabyCentre Blog. You can also follow Stacie on Twitter @MamaLewisBlog or on the Mama Lewis Facebook page. More information about the Upsee can be found on www.fireflyfriends.com. Photos and video courtesy of...

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Tomorrow is the day I’ve been dreading

Posted on Jun 2, 2013 | 12 comments

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been dreading

Strange isn’t it – how some moments are so significant that even the most unassuming of locations – a street corner, pushing Ieuan in a stroller – sear in brilliant detail on your memory. It was at a street crossing that I received the test results, six months late, about May’s hip displacement. The crosswalk light blinked. The sharp alert to cross. The phone pressed awkwardly between my shoulder and ear. I shouted because I couldn’t hear what she was saying. I can remember all that. But, ask me where my car keys are located right now. Ask me. I dare you. That was the first moment I thought that May’s hips were so far gone there was probably no hope for them. Take a look at theses shoes, I said here on this blog, because you may never see them again. It was one of those moments when I realized that May’s NHS physiotherapy up until that point had been worse than I had thought, leaning towards negligence. It was also one of those moments when I wondered, and still do, about the point of physiotherapy? Even if her physiotherapist had done stretches with her (which she didn’t – I had to beg her to touch May just to test her flexibility) could we have stopped her hip displacement? How can I not wonder, when the end result is May on an operating table tomorrow for six hours. There is a cruel inevitability about the whole thing. Maybe, just maybe – this hip problem is the reason May has been in so much discomfort recently. And – after the surgery, when she is recovered – maybe, just maybe it will be a bouncebouncebounce marathon. _____________________ Today we took May to the park. Thankfully, given London weather, it was clear skies and warm breezes all day. Click on the photos to see in full. See you post-op and thank you for all the good wishes! May and I at the park May relaxes in the grass May with flowers in Dulwich...

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So, did May ever walk again?

Posted on Mar 24, 2013 | 13 comments

So, did May ever walk again?

Since May took her first steps, she has continued to enjoy walking. And, okay, so she mainly goes backwards – everyone has to start somewhere. Let me set the scene. It’s World Book Day in the UK. (Is it celebrated worldwide? Who knows. Maybe it’s as global as the World Series.) May is dressed as Pippi Longstalking for her school’s celebration of everything books – my favorite kind of celebration. May is being guided across her school assembly hall by one of her teaching assistants. (SIDE NOTE: The teaching assistant is awesome. In fact, this post has highlighted for me how little I write of May’s school, probably because it is so amazing that I forget to write about.) Incidentally, Pippi is described on Wikipedia as “unconventional, assertive, and has superhuman strength, being able to lift her horse one-handed without difficulty.” As a symbol for May’s life so far, I think that pretty much sums her up. These mismatched tights were made for walking. Go Pippi! Click on the photos to expand! Like what you see here? Nominate my original post (including video of May’s first time in a walking frame) for the BritMums keynote address. If I’m shortlisted, I would have the opportunity to share May’s inspirational first steps with a wider audience. No registration required and it only will take 30 seconds. Here is the web address of the post to nominate: http://www.mamalewis.com/2013/02/28/02282013-by-popular-request-mays-first-steps-again/ And, here’s where you do the nominating: NOMINATION FORM Thanks from Pippi and...

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