Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Sam's Therapy Plan
A lot of people have been asking me what we do with Sam and why. Some people even have said that all that we are doing with Sam may be "too much." Kind of like we are groping at straws. Well maybe at the beginning we were. We actually had a healer come and work on Sam. Don't ask, it was what we thought was appropriate at the time. You can't really blame a parent for putting faith into something that they think would help there child. Wouldn't you do anything you could to help your child no matter what the issues are? But now after months of collaboration with doctors, therapists, other families, my former professors, etc... I am pretty sure we have a great therapy plan with good rationales to back up what we are doing. Based on recent studies it was found that with an enormous amount of therapy/ intervention a person's brain (child and adult) can rewire itself to compensate for certain deficits caused by brain damage. Some of the studies even specified that 70-100 hours of intervention to the specific area affected can rehabilitate the issue at hand to almost 100% functionality. Of course there are certain variables to this but never the less the point is that intervention is key. The earlier one receives intervention the greater the chance of recovery. So what do we do with Sam? Sam receives, through early intervention, 4 times a week each of feeding/ swallow therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and special instruction for 30 minutes a session. That is a total of 16 sessions a week. In addition, we privately pay a cranio-saccral therapists for a session with Sam once a week. We also take Sam to the osteopathic movement treatment center at St. Barnabas Children's Hospital once a week all the way up in the Bronx which is covered by medicaid. Furthermore, we take Sam to St. Joseph's feeding and swallowing clinic up in Patterson NJ where he is seen by a group of professionals that work with only feeding and swallow disorders. I know it seems like a lot and it is but its what has to be done. I look at it like a full time job. But the rewards are much bigger then any pay check I have ever received. I still have time to play with Sam and engage with him. But at the same time I try and carry over a lot of the activities that need to be done with him while we have mommy baby time. I remember when I was working as a therapist I would expect a lot out of the parents I worked with. Now I know how daunting it is to try and be your child's parent and a therapist on so many different levels. But you have to do what you can when you can. You can't just drop your child off with the therapist and say OK fix my child I'll be back in an hour. It doesn't work like that. Rehabilitation of any kind is a 24/7 job that everyone needs to participate in.