Solutions For Parents

Let Me Introduce Myself

Let Me Introduce Myself Ilina

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Ilina and mother, Adea - October 7, 2007

Observation: Ilina comes to Hesed for therapy and services with her mother who worries about her progress; the observer is happy to see them again and to see Ilina’s improvement in her ability to attend to people, to show curiosity and interest in the other children. The observer notes that Ilina is making progress in her speech; she smiles easily and often, reaching for toys on strings, and her body weight pushes her sitting balance forward, making this sitting position difficult. Ilina’s trunk control and legs are stiff, but upper arms, forearms, hand and fingers are less rigid and more supple.

Spacticity of her lower extremities, indicated by stiff movements and rigid limbs, limits developmental activities and dysplasia is noted to be present at the same level as noted in April, 07. The observer notes that Ilina moves more rapidly and efficiently lying on her back or rolling, while holding onto mother’s hands. The observer urges Ilina’s mother not to lift her from one position to another; but instead, talk to her, telling her to “show me what you want” or telling Ilina “you can do it.”

She must use her own body weight to help her move on her own and under her own power. Use a belly board or a curtain spread out on the floor to assist her in moving along the floor on her abdomen by herself. Mother must avoid doing things for Ilina that she can do for herself.

Give Ilina clear directions, saying,” shift your body over here; good for you; push your leg against the wall- this is good!” Give her time to figure out the movements she needs, to get where she wants to go. She can do it! It is a fact that Ilina will not progress as rapidly with too much assistance.

Ilina is a pretty girl who eagerly gets involved with her classmates and makes the effort to join in. Teachers and parent need to make this possible by positioning her on a play mat and starting a game only on the mat, so other children will join her.

Ilina needs more strenuous activity in the classroom; she needs to be on a belly board, crawling through a tunnel, standing at a standing table, and experiencing up and down activities in the vertical plane. Balance is the key to her improvement and balance is where she will work the hardest on her own.

She needs hand springs, a free weight swing, and overhead bars to hang from. Balance is the name of the game at home as well as in the classroom. The observer notes that Ilina needs body massage and simple yoga breathing for strengthening abdominal muscles and lumbar and sacrum areas of the spine. Let’s get her moving! The abdominals are also essential for bladder and bowel control and toilet training.

After exercise, Ilina is in better condition to play and play is vital, so her exercises and therapy need to be done in the classroom with the other children there to see. Ilina resists flexion and extension at the hips, ankles, thighs and low back. Her wrists and shoulders have more flexion than her ankles and feet. Ilina’s fingers have thick pads and low tone. But, after exercising her legs in supine and massaging thighs and ankles, the observer notes Ilina is able to spend several minutes bending and releasing her knees in a series of leg bends.

Her mother needs to spend time every day placing Ilina on a flat surface on her back and gently folding Ilina’s arms over her chest as if hugging herself. This position does amazing things for children with spasticity and dysplasia, the ocular nerves balance and the eyes scan around in all directions; the folding of the arms feels warm and comforting. Visual stimulation is a priority for Ilina. As the visual sensory system develops, so does the motivation to move consonantly in order to see her surroundings- the perfect way to get Ilina moving! Take her for walks and talk about what she sees, then let her search for objects and track them with her eyes-that is all there is to it!

Daily visual motor activities must be done to improve Ilina’s use of her mouth, tongue, lips, and throat muscles; she increases her visual motor coordination by exercising and strengthening muscles of the face and neck. At school and at home, Ilina will improve, as she experiences different textures of foods and tastes sweet and sour and milky substances that coat the tongue.

Ilina needs to be placed on her stomach to reach for and look at toys at close range so she elevates her chest for better breathing and increased lung capacity. If mother places her on her stomach and lets her become accustomed to looking at her environment from a flat belly crawl position, she will enjoy her home and school experience as much as sitting between her mother’s legs and looking at the world that way, as well.

Teachers and family members want Ilina to develop healthy habits for play and exercise, so it is necessary to encourage her by offering her two of every toy from which to choose, as this game stimulates both sides of the body as well as the brain. Teachers and mother, try to remember not to pick Ilina up or stop her from trying to move on her own! Celebrate her attempts and encourage any type of toys or equipment that will get her moving - no matter how she does it.

As she improves her visual-motor skills, she becomes social and happy. Ilina has the potential to share her pleasant personality with everyone. Her mother does not need to be nervous or protective; Ilina will do well with the support of Yesod Hesed and the teachers and staff. The observer looks forward to working with Ilina and her mother in October.

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