Friday, October 17, 2008

How Much Are You Getting From Physical Therapy?

Do You Provide Physical Therapy To Your Child In Between Sessions? I realize that most children with Down syndrome are receiving Physical Therapy 2 - 3 times per week but that is not enough. Working in phyiscal therapy for a number of years, I came to realize that while there are some people out there that take our advice on daily exercise to heart, many do not take it seriously and therefore expect the Physical Therapist to do their "magic" with the child while seeing them 2 - 3 times per week. Everyone wants good physical therapy outcomes for their child but it is difficult to achieve these good outcomes in a timely manner when physical therapy is limited to 2 to 3 days a week.

Let me challenge you to become a major part of your child's physical therapy. Physical therapy can do amazing things and makes a big difference in lives. Your Physical Therapist is only a coach with knowledge and experience of what works. He/she should have knowledge of motivating the individual to be the best the he/she can be.

I realize what the Internet and books tell me about children with Down syndrome and how they will be or to what level they can achieve. Honestly, I try not to involve myself in learning all of that much less paying much attention to it. I am here to help John to be the best that he can be - whatever that is. And to tell you the truth, he amazes me each day. He is the one that motivates me to keep going.

I love Physical Therapy and the way that it makes my heart feel when I am able to help a person walk or to move a part of their body that has been restricted for years. I also love my kids very much so now that I have been faced with the challenge of providing my own child with physical therapy, I really want to give John the best that I have to offer. Part of my desire for this blog is to encourage other parents of children with Down syndrome to do the same. We may not be able to reverse the syndrome our children have, but I think that we can sure lessen the effects.

Feel free to share some of the things that you are doing with your child. And if you are not, then I would encourage you to ask your Physical Therapist to show you some things that you can be doing in between visits or you may contact me. I am not able to tell you what to do for your child, but I will be happy to share with you some of the things that John and I are doing. Believe me, its not rocket science.

I would really like to know how many of you offer this to your child. Please refer to the poll in the left hand column. My goal with this is to raise awareness among parents that their daily involvement is crucial in meeting goals. Good luck with this and thanks for reading.


Becca said...

John is very lucky to have a PT for a dad!! I don't know who told you their kids with Down syndrome get PT 3 times a week (from a therapist), but until Samantha started school this past September, she had received PT once a week with a therapist. Of course, my husband, Steve, worked with her daily, pushing her to reach the goals set by her PT. Being a man, I think he was more tireless and pushed her harder than I would ever do (one whimper of complaint from her, and I'd cave in!), and I believe that's part of why she's done so well.

Now that Samantha's in school, her IEP states that she should receive PT, OT and ST once per week, but the therapists are there far more often than that, and we certainly aren't complaining! And we have her in private OT and ST every other week to supplement what she gets in school.

I feel that we should throw every opportunity for growth and development possible at our kids to help them reach their full potential. Not only is it our responsibility as parents, but it should come from the love we feel for our children.

Sorry for writing a book... :-)

JaybirdNWA said...

Thanks Becca and no need for apology for the length of your post. This is exactly why I wrote this entry - so we could all share with each other our experiences. Thanks for sharing and I am glad to hear that you and your husband have taken control of the daily physical therapy of Samantha - it will pay off.

Jeanette said...

My little girl doesn't have PT or OT, she does however have ECI who comes out every other week. So far she is doing well. I work with her on what ECI suggests. I must admit that I could be more dilligent in working with her, but we do find time everyday to work on something. John is lucky to have you for a dad. Talk about being prepared. My luck was knowing sign, so at least I have that one covered.

Momma M said...

We also aren't receiving PT or OT from the county - we currently have an ECI twice monthly. We are doing PT and OT each once a week privately. I agree about not paying attention to what others say your child can achieve. I'm here to do whatever it takes to have Stella achieve the most that she can - regardless of the "average" for those with Ds. Ds doesn't negate our genetic make up that's in there, and it doesn't negate the nurture of our household. Accepting limitations, in my experience, it what's limiting. Now, naturally, we shouldn't be disappointed if there is a limitation that appears, but why plan for that potential limitation ahead of time. Who does that with any kid?

kayla said...

I agree with everything you say for sure, i get so sick of hearing everyone tell me what our son will do or how he will be because they dont know.