Our clinicians are all passionate about improving your child’s functional ability. We want them to sit, to move, and walk, to talk. We can see what they are capable or and where they are failing. It is easy to focus directly on what’s needed, but sometimes going after the easy improvements, the functional ability, will help in the short term but could hold them back in the long term.
As part of my training, I spent a year volunteering with an institute in England called the British Institute for Brain Injured Children. The first thing I learnt, the very first principle, was not to change after functional improvements straight away. We would work on them, but first we would investigate why the child was not progressing. We would search for what was missing, and if we worked on that, the child would naturally improve their function.
These improvements in function come about by looking at the supportive neurological building blocks. We determine if the child has any deficits in their vision function and visual motor function. We look at the sensory function to check whether the child has good awareness of their body, can feel soft, rough, hot, cold, pressure etc, whether they can process vestibular information and whether they are aware of where they are in space. Finally, we check how their co-ordination is. – can they roll, can they crawl on their stomach, can they crawl on their hands and knees, do they skip any stage and do we have to go back and help them learn.
Going back and working on these elements, the foundations that make up perception of one’s self and perception of the world around them, will enable a child to improve their function, no matter what level they are at. By doing this, we are literally making the foundations stronger, so when we move forward and start working on the new functions the child will achieve them more easily and with a better level of function.
With some children, the foundations are the missing part of their therapy journey.