Tag Archives: therapy

Treading Water………..or are we?

This post began quite some time ago – just after the second aborted surgery attempt I think.  mikFeeling a bit exhausted after the two lead ups to the surgery and being thrust back into  “maintenance mode” for a second time, I took to writing about the frustrations of “Treading Water”.  You know……..trying to keep your head up above the surface – not going forwards – just trying not to sink!   That is how we were feeling about the battle to maintain the current state of affairs – trying not to go further backwards – trying to maintain muscle length and strength at its current compormised level as much as possible,  holding on until the surgery could happen.   Admittedly, at times, it felt more like swimming against a strong current than just treading water , but anyway,  around 6 months later I finally revisited this post, intending to finish the story of “Treading Water”  that I had started to tell, and I realised that I would now have to tweak that post title!  As you read on, you will see why.

That first attempt at this SMLS (Single Event Multilevel Surgery) was 11 months ago and it has now been more than 6 months since the second attempt. So  the treading water theme really emerged around 2 years ago when the need for surgery was established and we were suddenly shunted from the “moving ahead lane” across to the “slow lane” or “parking lane” so to speak.  Having formed contractures and needing bone corrections, we were now on a different path and rather than therapy regimes designed to make improvements, we were looking for options we hoped could keep things as good as they could be while we waited for the surgery to happen, and give her the best chance of moving forward through the rehabilitation therapy after it.

As it was to turn out, we would be treading water for what had extended into a much longer period of time than anticipated,,,,and at this point is actually close to 2 years!   That’s a long time.

It is especially long when you have CP and are still growing and your muscles are already not keeping up with your bone growth; when you are getting heavier by the day and your muscles are already struggling to hold you; when your body is already having to relearn and adjust to how to do simple things as it changes and grows.  It is a long time not to be using muscles you need to try and keep working to some degree,  and it certainly feels too long not to be moving in the direction you were hoping to go.

Over that time, land based options became increasingly difficult.  Access to helpful equipment was also difficult and facilities enabling water based therapy, few and far between.  While I longingly looked at  some of the wonderful therapy facilities available to kids with CP (and other disabilities) available in the US and Britain, wishing there was “something” like this here, we did our best to follow through with a plan of activities at home and in the water as best we could while we waited, and waited, ………………..and are keeping on waiting!

It is true that it has been hard to keep up a routine for this long, Lets face it, it is much harder keeping to a difficult regime in order to keep from going backwards or stay stationery than it is to do it when you see at least some forward momentum to help spur you on!   Of course plans did fall down from time to time, for one reason or another, and our routine had to change at times to maintain access.   That good old sense of guilt that you should be / could be doing more crept in more often that Id care to admit,   but we are all only human and doing more of one thing usually means something else has to suffer and then there would be guilt over that too.  In the end we were doing our best to find and keep a balance we could live with, within the options that were available, and hopefully, it would be enough in the end without stealing too much of her childhood,  while building on the level of independence and quality of life she has later on.

So as we went about this “maintenance” plan, something unexpected happened……. All the while that we thought we were treading water, desperately trying to hold our ground, it turned out that Mikayla was actually quietly gaining new skills!!

push up barsDuring this period of maintenance,  Mikayla has become really good at lifting her body with her arms using push up handles.  To start with it was difficult to  manage even the motion of “lifting” herself slightly, but with some assistance manoeuvring her legs, and lots of practise, she can not only lift herself, but also move  herself backwards onto her  bed! This has been a hugely helpful skill to build.  She uses it every day (multiple times) to assist with various ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), but if/when the surgery goes ahead it will also help a whole lot while she is unable to weight bare, as well as when she starts her rehab.

long sittingAlthough the contractures combined with her other difficulties make land based therapy quite difficult to do, Mikayla has persevered with trying to get in as much leg extension as possible through things like sitting with her legs stretched out in front, using a stander, assisting with transfers and lying with her legs outstretched.  exerciseShe has also tried to keep using her muscles by assisting in her transfers as much as possible, incorporating as many transfers and position changes as posslible into her days,  and keeping up some of the exercises that are usually incorporated into her everyday routine.

Perhaps the best therapy she has had In the past 6 months though,  by virtue of land based therapy being quite difficult, has been time in the water (warm water around 33degrees)! Unfortunately suitable facilities are few and far between where we are, but the travelling has certainly been worth it as it has turned out.

water exercise aMikayla started off committing to 3 times a week in the water in a combination of hydrotherapy and specialized swimming activities to help keep her exercise in watermoving. That’s right, we just wanted to try and keep her muscles that were difficult to use on land, moving somehow. While the aim was “maintenance”, the results have been nothing short of amazing!.

Without going into all the specifics, her progress has been something like this over the past 6 months or so:

  • To start with she had a lot of difficulty with her standing balance in the water needing to be held or holding on to something to stay upright.
  • The work that she did saw her progress to taking a few steps in the water using a pool noodle for support (and some physical prompting from her therapist) before losing her balance and needing hands on assistance.
  • she then improved further, making it across the width of the pool stepping with her noodle in an ad-hoc kind of zig zaggy fashion.  I was feeling pretty excited for her at this point but then…..
  • she improved further, and took steps in the water without even using a noodle to assist – not just a few steps either like more than 10 steps at a time!
  • then, she went on to walk across the pool without using assistance.  Though it was  in a kind of  unintentional manner and in more of a diagonal direction, she was managing to  maintain her balance enough not to need hands on assistance (just close supervision) ……but wait folks there is more –
  • SHE THEN walked quite intentionally from one side to the other, right across the pool.  THIS WAS REALLY QUITE AMAZING!!

I guess I should clarify that she isnt walking round the pool like someone without the affects of her CP.  She still loses her balance, her direction, its not all automatic, and its not easy – BUT she HAS done it……..CAN do it – at least for now, when she is concentrating and before she is too fatigued – and ladies and gentlemen, that is a big deal! .  This really is quite significant accomplishment for her.

walking with a noodle

Learning to walk in water with a pool noodle

taking steps without a noodle

taking steps without assistance

catch and throw

playing catch and throw while STANDING in the water

 

 

 

 

Here is a child who cannot stand on land independently without support, and even then not for very long at the moment,   who couldn’t even stay upright in the water without holding onto something a matter of months ago and now here she is independently stepping  herself around in the pool, happily able to amuse herself, even chase and throw a ball, without hands on assistance from an adult, and without using any ‘device’ .  Seriously – I am still pinching myself!

Granted, Mikayla certainly still needs constant and close supervision in the water, and hands on assistance is still necessary at times BUT the IMPORTANT thing is that what she is now able to do in the water gives her a real sense of freedom within the pool…and a much greater level of independence, … and how great is that for her!

The other cool thing, is that there have been other flow on affects from this, such as an improvement in her endurance levels for physical activity, and some improvement in her upper body strength and co-ordination – just to add some icing to the cake,  And when in the water she is spending much more of her time in extended positions (muscles and limbs stretching out)rather than being flexed (muscles and limbs bent up).

Funnily enough “being more independent in the water” or “being able to get across the pool independently (even using a device) was never the original goal – sure we have always hoped to help Mikayla achieve as much independence in the water as possible.  She loves the water!!    But at this point, the main focus was just to keep her muscles moving and hopefully improve her fitness and stamina through some form of physical exercise – it was a way of treading water – while waited to find out if her surgery could be attempted again –  but hey,  you wont find ME or Mikayla complaining!

So as heartbreaking as her land based struggles can be sometimes, and as worrying as what the future holds for her mobility,  it has been a wonderful thing to see her water based independence increase!  Lets hope that can be maintained now also 🙂

So there you go.  Here we were thinking we were ‘just’ treading water all these months, when in fact Mikayla ended up gaining new skills and a new level of independence in the pool.

What this means for her surgery we will still have to wait and see but regardless of that, it has been a very positive thing for Mikayla.

So what is the moral of this story?  Hmmm, well, I wasn’t really clever enough to have one in mind.  Perhaps I will leave it to the reader to decide (if any actually make it to the end of what has turned into a fairly long post!)

I guess one thing might be that had land based options been more feasible, we probably wouldn’t have gone the extra mile to make more water time happen right now because of the logistics involved due to a lack of suitable and available facilities.  So maybe it is the old “every cloud has a silver lining”?, or perhaps another angle could be that you may not end up where you think you are headed but it might be a nice place all the same?  OR perhaps just simply to sing the praises of water??  What do you think? 🙂

And readers, Im excited to say that Mikayla’s achievements in the pool don’t stop there – in the time it has taken to finish this post, there have been further developments……..stay tuned – hopefully I will get to posting about  that, one day soon!

A special achievement

Todays riding session was VERY exciting!  mounting There is no doubt that mounting the horse is very difficult at the moment and her legs are only just managing to stretch enough to sit in the saddle, even after a lot of warm up stretching beforehand.  Thankfully, once up, she did manage to settle into the saddle enough to ride.

warming up

I cannot express how much she loves this activity, and how great it is for her, both in terms of its physical benefit but also from a recreational perspective and on a social and emotional level as well!.
Around her birthday Mikayla achieved one of her personal goals – “to  canter”.  While doing a trot, they stepped it up into a canter with 3 of us supporting her – It was super exciting, and a moment I will never forget!!

cantering
Today her grandparents got to see her ride for the first time which was very special.
We are truly grateful to all those who have helped make Mikayla’s dream, a reality!! 🙂
Mikayla will have to have a break from riding shortly due to her surgery, and although we don’t know how long it will be before she can get back in the saddle, there is no doubt that she will be looking forward to the day that she can, and then will set her sights on her next challenge…….hmmmmmm I wonder what it will be?

Anyone wanting to donate to Mikayla’s therapy and equipment costs can do so online from anywhere in the world via her charity webpage http://www.developingfoundation.org.au/family/mikayla  where you can also read more about Mikayla’s story and the things that we are fundraising to be able to provide her.

Week 2 Round 2 NAPA

This week I really started to understand some more aspects of Mikayla’s physiology (I think that is the right term) better….I think…… That sounds silly in one way, but along the way and at different times, certain things just seem to click in practical terms. There is always a lot of information for me to watch and listen for during therapy sessions and I have learned a lot from various different professionals. It is important to take in what you can because therapy is as much about teaching me what I can do to help as it is to delivering hands on therapy to Mikayla. After all, when the therapist leaves, it is up to me to apply techniques and knowledge learned on a daily basis.

Here is some of what happened in Week 2 of the NAPA intensive therapy sessions

crawl

Have you ever noticed how much trunk rotation is required for crawling? Do you know how difficult it is to do with your elbows bent? You also need to be able to disasociate both your legs in a 1, 2, 1, 2 motion and coordinate your leg movements with your arm movements. Do you know how hard it is to balance when your arms and hands are actually back behind your shoulder position.Tight hip flexors do not allow you to extend your leg back either. You also have to shift your weight from side to side to lift your knees, and hold your head up!

arm exercises

Holding your arms out in front of you takes a lot more effort and coordination that one might think. You need to engage your core, your shoulder girdle, hold your head up, activate your bottom muscles and stabilise by pushing through your feet. Mikaylas body doesn’t automatically coordinate all those things to make what might seem like a relatively simple action, happen. You can see the effort and concentration on her face as she tries very hard.

knee walking

Last time Mikayla came a long way with knee walking. This time it is even harder because her tight hip flexor muscles and hamstrings meant that she cant get into a nice straight alignment and she is being pulled forward as you can see with her bottom sticking out and her trunk angled forwards. This is still a great exercise for Mikayla as it involves weight shifting, disassociation of her legs, and the use of many muscles required for standing, walking and crawling.

trunk rotation

Practising the movement pattern required to go from lying down to sitting up. Again many muscles, lots of strength, motor planning and coordination are required. This is a good one for working her obliques and trunk rotation which is something that doesn’t come naturally or easily to her.

kidwalk

Weight baring is a really important thing for Mikayla to continue to do (and to continue to be able to do). The kidwalk assists Mikayla to stand with her hands free. She is still learning to propel it and to steer it. It is a useful tool to help her continue weight bare and to give her opportunities to stretch out her muscles and not be in a sitting position where muscles contract.

these are hard

Those cobra poses are really difficult for Mikayla – especially not being able to lock her elbows into a “relax position” and so she is doing them with her elbows always bent. These are helping to strengthen her shoulder girdle and are also good for stretching the hips.

You are a “therapy all star”, as your shirt says Miss Mikayla!  You are doing a great job and we are so proud of the effort you are putting in!

Access to ongoing therapy and Intensive therapy is very important for Mikayla to continue to develop and to maintain abilities that she has worked hard to achieve.  The annual costs are significant with a single paediatric physio session costing between $150-$200 per hour and intensive therapy courses such as this costing upwards of $8000.  As well as her regular therapies, Mikayla would benefit greatly from doing 2 intensive therapy courses per year.  Anyone wanting to help towards the costs of therapy that can make a difference to Mikayla’s life now and to her future can do so by donating via her charity webpage at http://www.developingfoundation.org.au/family/mikayla by clicking on the blue “Donate Now” button that appears under her photo

2 months post intensive

Really great…….that’s all I can say at the moment about how Mikayla is going.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that we were able to take the opportunity to do the NAPA Intensive Therapy Course (www.napacenter.org) back in May!

It has been hard work trying to keep up the home program, and we haven’t succeeded in keeping up with the full daily program that I had originally hoped might have been realistic.  The hard truth is,  that there are a lot of things in life that are equally important to Mikayla at her age, and in trying to achieve the best balance for her childhood, it simply wasn’t practical or realistic to keep up long term.  We did as much as we could do as long as we could and ALL was not lost as we HAVE managed to keep up a daily warm up routine, and continue to incorporate a range of exercises into everyday activities that Mikayla does.

This is really just a normal part of everyday life for us though, and home programs have been part of everyday life since Mikayla was first diagnosed at 18months old.  They vary a bit over time, depending on what is going on for Mikayla and what our goals are at that point.  They are ever-evolving with Mikayla’s development – both on a physical and intellectual level, and are a result of using current and new information on what is happening with her muscles, bones, and joints and consulting with her team of therapists about a range of activities, positions and exercises that can have a positive impact on her achieving goals at that given point of time as well as have a positive impact on her with regards to future growth and development.

So, as we do at every opportunity, we watch, listen, try our best to understand, and then apply what we know to a range of situations in daily life from doing work on the computer, to watching TV, to dressing and shower time, to doing homework,  getting in and out of the car or house, to play time and the like.  And we have certainly taken exercises and tips that we learned through the intensive therapy course and applied them, incorporating them where possible and practical into everyday activities since doing the course.

So what has changed?  What are we noticing now 2 months after completing the course?  Is it STILL making a difference???

Below are some of the differences that the therapy has helped make to Mikayla:

  • she is raising her hand high above her head in class!
  • she is more stable in her transfers
  • the neatness and size of her handwriting has improved
  • when using a walking frame she is straighter, and more stable on her feet
  • she is able to remain more aligned when sitting for longer
  • she has more endurance for physical tasks and doesn’t seem to be physically tiring as easily or as much
  • she has a straighter posture and is more balanced on a horse and has been able to hold the reins without losing her balance.  She is now starting to steer herself for longer and has been able to maintain body position in a trot for longer before losing her balance
  • As she has better endurance and trunk stability, she is able to steer her manual wheelchair better and propel herself further on flat terrain.  With supervision she has been keen to start experimenting with taking herself down gentle ramp slopes!
  • She is able to speak a bit louder, and say more words per breath partly due to better body alignment and abdominal activation.
  • Increased abdominal strength and activation have also enabled her to do more things like talk or propel her wheelchairs without her legs stiffening out in front of her as much
  • she can catch and throw a beach ball with 2 hands, without losing her balance as often
  • She has progressed to being able to do some of the disassociation exercises without physical assistance, showing improvement in her coordination.

Of course this list is not exhaustive, BUT each one is an example of a practical application of the outcome of the therapy.   Each of these things makes a difference to Mikayla, in what she can do, how long she can do it for and how independently she might be able to do a certain task!

The thing is, that while the therapy course HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE, Mikayla’s need for therapy at this stage is ongoing and a single course of therapy won’t make an ongoing difference indefinitely.  We know that if we do not continue to stretch Mikayla’s muscles regularly, they WILL continue to shorten and this will negatively affect her abilities.  We noticed that when we didn’t do the disassociation exercises for a few days when she was sick, she wasn’t able to pick up where we left off and we needed to give her some physical assistance to get back into the swing of them again, so we can see the need for repetition. We know, that every time Mikayla grows, her muscles do not keep up, and her body does not automatically adjust itself to physical changes or changes in gravity due to getting taller, and that ongoing therapeutic input and other interventions are important in helping her make these adjustments and in maintaining and hopefully continuing to improve her muscle lengths and strength.

We dont know how long it will last, BUT we DO KNOW that intensive therapy HAS made a difference.  It has made a difference for the past few months, and hopefully will continue to make a difference for months to come. The outcomes for Mikayla to date have been so positive, that we would like to give Mikayla the opportunity to do another course of Intensive Therapy in February to continue to build on the gains she has made.  A three week course costs nearly AU$8000 so we are currently fundraising towards this, as well as other therapy and equipment that can help make a difference to Mikayla now and into her future.  To read more about our fundraising efforts or to make a donation go to her webpage at www.developingfoundation.org.au/family/mikayla . The Developing Foundation is a registered charity which guarantees that 90% of funds donated to her via her webpage will go to her particular needs.  To find out more you can contact us at teammikayla@hotmail.com

horse riding / therapy

IMG_5001Mikayla has now been doing horseriding for 12 months and what a fantastic activity this has proven to be for her!

Not only is it fun, but it naturally provides the kind of work out Mikayla’s body needs.  Core strength, alignment correction to maintain an upright middle posture, balance, coordination, control, disassociation (working arms independently to legs and one side of the body separately from the other), multitasking (staying on the horse, perhaps steering and maybe even talking all at the same time!) right through to a nice big voice for commands such as “walk on”, “trot” and “woo”!

Mikayla has great instructor who balances well her physical workout  and horsemanship needs and lines it with just enough fun and laughter.  These days as a bonus, I get a free work out too – running along beside her as a spotter!

Mikayla has progressed in few key areas over the past 12 months.  Her endurance has definitely improved with an increased ability to maintain her alignment on the horse in a nice upright posture.  She has been able to do a trot, has improved in her ability to maintain herself while trotting and has even begun trying to do a rising trot !  Although her ability and stability does still fluctuate, there is no doubt that it is doing her good on a number of levels, and it is great to see her making improvements and setting herself (and her instructor) some goals for the future!

Mikaylas own personal goal is to achieve greater independence on the horse, to be able to take control of the reins and steer independently,  and one day she even wants to be able to canter!

Physical benefits and the workout each session is for her aside, horse riding is a fantastic experience for her and I’m sure will be among her fondest childhood memories……..

We are thankful of the kind donations we have received towards helping with the cost of this therapeutic activity for Mikayla.  It is a valuable part of both her therapeutic routine and an activity that she loves and looks forward to!

Those who would like to find out more about the things we are currently fundraising for to help make a difference for Mikayla OR to make a donation can go to http://www.developingfoundation.org.au/family/mikayla

 

Post Intensive Post 2

Just to keep it balanced, I thought I would share todays events:

Mikayla was very tired today and didn’t wake up until late this morning (when she doesn’t wake on her own I know she needs the rest, so where possible I let her sleep as long as she needs.  These days I find this happens less than it used to!).

Despite the fact that I was organised and ready, this meant there wasn’t time to do the warm up routine of stretching and dissociation exercises, however, because I am trying to work out a new routine, I decided that school would have to wait this morning so that we could do at least some of them.

There was no walking to class today, and this afternoon, although Mikayla was keen to get into her KidWalk for a little bit, taking steps didn’t come together as well as yesterday.  Now, this could have been for any number of reasons: possibly because she was tired; it was a wet/cold day; the coordination of movements just didn’t kick in today;  she mightn’t have moved round as much during the day at school because it was wet; she may have moved around more or differently (eg crawling in the classroom), she mightn’t be 100%,  there could be so many factors but that is just a few examples. So instead of walking,  she did do some “static standing” at the computer (we have made a height adjustable computer desk with a cut out for her to use) to do part of her homework, then she transferred into her supportive seating to finish the rest.

So every day is different.  Some days you just cant fit stuff in despite your best intentions.  Sometimes despite your best plans or efforts, things just don’t come together for one reason or another even if you can “fit it in”.  And in Mikayla’s case at least, her level of ability can be quite variable, and can easily be affected by a variety of factors that probably wouldn’t impact on others much at all.    For Mikayla, with her CP, the affects of fatigue, tiredness, illness, are far more pronounced and can significantly impact on how well she can do what we might think of as even the most simple of daily living tasks (remembering quite often these tasks are in fact NOT “simple” to her anyway!).

So the important message here is to do what you can when you can and not to be too discouraged on days when it doesn’t work out, because there is bound to be plenty of those 🙂

Day 15 Final Day Intensive Therapy

Today is Day 15, the final day of intensive therapy for Mikayla.
This whole 3 weeks has certainly been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and today is no exception –  I am happy to be seeing some fruits from the labour, sad that we are approaching the end of the therapy, worried about how, when and where we will be able to access more in the future,  glad to be able to spend more time at home again soon,  overwhelmed by the catching up there is to do in other aspects of life now, and thoughtful about how to incorporate new helpful exercises into our daily routine.

Intensive Therapy group photoDuring the course, as at other times throughout our journey,  relationships have been forged and then parted ways, and today was quite sad to say good-bye to everyone.  We will miss the rapport that has built amongst the group – kids, parents, therpists.   However, with social media contacts now exchanged, there have been some new connections made which is nice.  And we can at least continue to share information, stories, journeys.

IMG_4313

Today, I can not help but feel a little disappointed that there isn’t just one more week to go, to allow that extra bit of time for Mikayla practise and further consolidate all the good things that we are seeing.  At the same time however, I can see that Mikayla is physically tired and will be pleased to have a rest from the physical demands on her and also the concentration and focus that is required.

Mikayla’s response to the end of therapy was that there  should definitely be a party for our last day, and helping her organise that has been a welcome distraction in a way!  She has been busy organising what we should wear, who should bring and do what, and subsequently we all donned our PJs or onesies (as this is the current craze apparently), and brought some party food to celebrate the efforts of the past 3 weeks!

IMG_4333

As it turns out, it is possible to wear a suit over your onesie (or your PJs), and indeed to deliver therapy whilst wearing your onesie ….(just in case anyone might be wondering)!   So at the same time as taking down our home programs, taking note of the great work the kids were doing, having a last chat with new friends, asking any last minute questions/advice etc, it was lovely to have that added bit of light hearted fun!

So what were the end results for Mikayla?  Well, for us, it will be a continuing journey of discovery as to how it all comes together, how long it lasts and all the flow on affects.  So stay tuned for that I say!!   From my observations and those of her therapists during the course, Mikayla has made some really good progress in the following areas and has finished the program with :
* improved body awareness, including increased awareness of her centre and self correcting   her body alignment more often
* greater pelvic stability
* greater trunk contol
* looser, lengthened and strengthened muscles in various areas      *better flexibility    *less tone  and *improved trunk rotation during exercises

Some pretty cool things we saw during the therapy included:
* the spontaneous knee walk steps she did, which was pretty awesome!
* putting a hand out to stabilize to the side when she lost balance one time      * pushing up on her arms better in transitions      * more use of a 4 point crawling pattern rather than “bunny hopping”      * visible improvement in her alignment    *longer, freer steps in her walker with less “kneeing in” and less “foot tripping”  * better weight-shifting from side to side  * vastly improved ball handling skills including throwing and catching using 2 hands (which she cant wait to show off at home over the weekend!)

I think that is a pretty impressive list!   (and I might even think of more as I go back through the photos and videos taken to help us at home.)  We have also been told that there could even be further improvement over the coming weeks as she recovers from the physical intensity of the course.

I think it is important to note here, that we weren’t expecting miracles in doing this, nor were we promised any!  We are simply always looking for options that have positive outcomes for Mikayla with the aim of helping her to reach her fullest potential,  be as independent as she can be, and need to rely on as little equipment and modification of her environment as possible into the future.

We went into this therapy program hoping that it would deliver “….strengthening and conditioning, decreasing unwanted reflexes and teaching new improved motor patterns through repetition and correct alignment.” (NAPA Center Website)  We saw the potential benefit in “having the time to thoroughly prepare the patient to exercise”(NAPA Center Website) and wanted to try out the “suit”  and see whether it was a useful tool for Mikayla.  We hoped that participating in this program would help Mikayla gain greater control over her body making some of her daily movement and tasks improved and hopefully easier.  We did not expect that after a single 3 week course, Mikayla would simply get up and walk out of the hall independently!  That is not the nature of Cerebral Palsy nor what we were doing here.  HOWEVER, this intensive therapy course (which was delivered by the NAPA Center by the way)  was a great opportunity for Mikayla, it has given her a real boost, and it has given us another foundation to build on, another string to our bow.

So although we are at the end of this 3 week intensive therapy program, this isn’t the end of the road. The hard work continues from here, in order to maintain her progress, and ideally to further build on it through our home program and incorporating new activities, as well as with the ongoing therapy and interventions she already does.

It is important to understand, that therapy (in one form or another) is an ongoing part of life for Mikayla!  For now at least, there simply isn’t one single answer or one single path to get wherever you are aiming.  There have been a number of therapies, therapy methods, interventions and treatments over the years that have had positive results and contributed to getting Mikayla to where she is today.  Now, we can also add Intensive Therapy and use of “the suit” to the list!….

After a little rest, we will start the challenging task of fundraising once again, so that we will be able to give Mikayla another opportunity to benefit from Intensive Therapy and Suit Therapy in the future (perhaps about 6 months time), to further build on what has been achieved, and to “Make a difference to Mikayla’s life”…..because that is ultimately what it is all about!!

Mikayla's therapists for intensive

Mikayla with her therapists

What were some of the end talleys:
* 48 hrs of therapy
* approx. 28 hrs of travel time (thanks in part to detours and delays caused by some poorly planned and timed roadworks on the only access way to the freeway from our area!!)
* 2777.9 kms of travel to therapy (thanks in part to some very long detours due to roadworks mentioned above!!!)
* approx AU$370 in petrol costs

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the costs of this specialized therapy for Mikayla can do so online via the blue donate now button under her photo at http://www.developingfoundation.org.au/family/mikayla