Sitting perfectly…

Physio therapy session – controlling posture during seating exercises.

Look at this beautiful upright sitting position, using just a peanut ball and a step ladder seat.

23473133_518138695210734_7820573079751386949_n

People always show an interest in what we get up to at our private paediatric physical therapy sessions.

Well this is a good example of one of the floor work sessions.
What we learn and what we take away to learn and practice at home with #emersongrant2014

Whilst it is very important for the need to use specialist orthotics to put in place for early intervention on Emerson’s #kyphosis and #scoliosis, – it is also very important that his body learns to grow as naturally as possible.

Just like any other toddler who would learn to find a way to get to where he needs to be, to be able to support himself and to be independent in his everyday life skills.

His mind is telling him he wants to get that toy across the room and he will find away to get that toy.

Emerson has so much determination. He will commando crawl; climb over what ever obstructs his reach; whatever it takes he will succeed in getting that toy!

Specialist Physical therapy after a Spinal Cord Injury is a very important part of Emerson’s recovery, allowing Emerson to try and maintain any function that is not lost by his spinal cord damage, as well as trying to regain any lost function.

Through play, our 2+ year old toddler is being taught how to improve and practice his balance and function in his sitting in a supported and guided way by his professional #physiotherapists, controlling his own body weight in a safe environment.

For me his carer, his advocate, his mum my job is to support, to learn, to encourage and to incorporate his new way of learning this new life skills into our everyday activity in and around the home, so eventually Emerson can move around more independently.

Because Emerson has no feeling from the chest down we need to break down the movements and sensations into individual components to allow Emerson to understand and practice these tasks.

This position you see, is a big work out for Emerson, yet he doesn’t even realise that this is one of his daily much needed therapy tasks, because its so much fun and the activities engage him.

During this positioning, we will introduce different games, that will stimulate Emerson to stretch; reach up high with alternative or even both of his hands, to balance; play using his upper body to support his posture; use wrist extension, arm extensions; extend his shoulders, and use his fingers.
All of this helps to promote his neuromuscular recovery and achievement of developmentally appropriate motor skills.
We often use simple items like a soft, a spiky or a textured ball, with a choice of different colours and count the balls to improve Emerson’s cognitive, physical status, and social skills.

Emerson is able to practice his communication skills in being able to take instruction and give instruction, to ask for what he wants, describe what he wants and communicate giving eye contact.

Thus, of course allowing and positioning his legs and posture in a natural position is encouraging his core strength.
Who would of thought, from just a simple sitting position all of this could be achieved…

We know we are doing something right and by strengthening his core, we are also helping his vital organs.

We are allowing him to not put pressure on his kidneys, lungs, respiratory, whilst leaning forward with his worsening kyphosis.

We are strengthening his leg muscles to slow down the weak low bone density and osteopenia.

Just because Emerson at the moment shows good upper body strength in being able to move his arms and hands, sadly this doesn’t mean that he has full upper body feeling or sensation.

We need to maintain and preserve his sensation and keep this active as much as possible – all through play.

All this in one simple position, that is working so many parts of his body and brain – yet Emerson isn’t aware – all he knows is this is fun!

We know this is fun for him, because he has a big smile on his face and he asks for “more game playing” and “whats next?”
As a parent, we need to understand everything to do with a Spinal Cord Injury, how we can best keep our child healthy and fit, how we can avoid further health complications and how we can manage his everyday additional complications in a positive and fun way. #earlyintervention

All I can say is THANK YOU to all the people who have donated and have completed fundraising events for Emerson, to allow us to continue to research and fund the physical therapy rehabilitation options available for our son.

Thanks also to the World Wide Web, that has allowed us to connect with people world wide, who are in a similar situation themselves or with a family member. Thank you to all those people that have reached out to us and let us know we are not alone on this long journey.

Thank you Thank you Thank you, may we continue to be able to help and enable our son Emerson to be active, fit and independent and have a healthy future.

#feelingblessed #spinalcordinjury #findacure #arachnoidcyst #sci #cure#hope #physiotherapy #corestrength

www.gofundme.com/emersongrant2014

 

 

FES BIKE demonstration

Here is #emersongrant2014 enjoying a demonstration on the RT3000 #fesbike with Alex from #cyclonemobility

23380144_519221008435836_7333355268652421011_n23435201_519221005102503_4913905025543042790_n

Children with neurological impairments have much to gain from FES activity based therapy as they are still growing and have higher levels of neuroplasticity.

Children who experience spinal cord injuries (SCI) may develop many complications, including loss of bone mass, osteoporosis, and pathological fractures.

FES is a well-established rehabilitation technique that uses pulses of electrical current to stimulate peripheral nerves evoking muscle contractions and patterned muscle activity. With Restorative Therapies systems, FES creates patterned movement in the arms, legs and trunk. FES enables muscles to work and perform activities even though the muscles may be weak or paralyzed through neurological disease or injury.

Why is active therapy important?

During passive therapy, muscles don’t actually do any of the work. Arms and legs are moved mechanically, by a non-FES cycle for example. Active therapy, on the other hand, allows muscles to do the work they are meant to do. This is achieved either by an individual moving their muscles on their own or when muscles are activated by FES. Either way, active therapy means muscles are working and performing the activity. FES evoked activity allows individuals to regain function, maintain their health and combat the secondary health complications of immobility.

We are hoping that The 300 challenge will help us raise the much needed funds to purchase an FES bike for Emerson to use in the home approx. 4 – 5 times a week. We need to increase and improve his low bone density and stop his osteopenia getting worse.

The cost of this specialist equipment is £17,000

The cost to attend a specialist centre 4-5 times a week would be approx. £3375 per month that is a staggering £40,500 per a year, plus travel costs.

Therefore, it is more cost effective to purchase a FES Bike to use in the home.

https://www.justgiving.com/…/emersongrant2014-the300challen…

Join our 300 Challenge, We need 100 People, To raise £100 each In 100 days

https://www.facebook.com/events/1992997834280954/

#the300challenge #emersongrant2014 #arachnoidcyst #spinalcordinjury#FESbike #cystonthespine #physicaltherapy #physiotherapy#Activetherapy

Finding Hope in art and sports

16 months ago, our family life was turned upside down. We had spent over 3 months in a hospital and quickly had to adjust our direction in life. Whilst #EmersonGrant2014 was a patient at Stoke Mandaville spinal unit every day we walked the corridors to get Emerson used to his new life in a wheelchair.

14915530_10154369556464823_3584841576023888400_n

Emerson always went up this art work of @davidweir2012 and wanted to race, from that moment we realised our life was not over – we just had a new life to embrace.

This picture gave us hope and made us realise that we will not allow Emerson’s disability to define or restrict him.

He can still do all the things he desires, he just needs to find a new way …thank you #davidweir for providing us with hope and certainty in tragic circumstances 💪

#wheechairlife #anythingispossible #nevergiveup #believe #hope#spinalcordinjury #arachnoidcyst #cystonthespine #sci #findacure#weirarcher