Trial and Effort
Posted Aug 17, 2018 by Jacquie Robison
Since Sofia's diagnosis, there are times when I feel like I'm on a constant treadmill to learn about Cerebral Palsy. I want to educate myself about the myriad treatments and therapies that are out there to find what might work best for our girl. No matter how many sites I find and medical papers I read, there is always something new and something more. Frankly, it can be exhausting.
As a parent, you wonder whether your child will benefit from a particular modality and where it should fall in the priorities (there are so many competing priorities for any family!).
But, when I looked at this another way, I realized it's really no different than any other pursuit in life. Do you love running? Well, you'll try various shoes for comfort and stability...check out new training programs to improve speed, strength and stride...and test your endurance with a quest to post your PR. Some of those may work, and some will have you hitting the wall part way through your run.
Social Media has been an unexpected resource for me, as families share the journeys of their brave warriors and post photos and video of different activities that have been successful. In following many of these adventures, I was impressed with some of the results I'd seen from CME or Medek.
You can read about it here, but the basic philosophy is provocation rather than facilitation. The goal is to promote the child's understanding and feeling of their own balance...and to 'catch/correct' themselves if needed.
I was intrigued. Sofia and I traveled to Canada for a three-day minicamp with Linette, the founder of Calgary Youth Physiotherapy and a licensed CME therapist (bonus: I have family in Calgary, so this was a real treat for everyone).
Although Sofia is older than a typical candidate for this therapy, Linette agreed to explore whether these dynamically challenging exercises might be beneficial for our daughter. The series of activities and exercises pushed Sofia waaaaay outside her comfort zone.
Actual quote from Sofia on day 1: "What?! You don't catch me if I'm falling until the very last second?!" But, she persevered and at the end of day 2 she recognized that the things she found 'super hard' the first day, were a whole lot easier that next day.
I had breakthroughs, too. I realized that stepping in to help my girl when it looked like she would fall was a reflex I had to overcome. I could be there to coach, but not to be a crutch.
"What if I fall?" Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? -Erin Hanson