Friday, August 29, 2008

Alternative Therapies

The past month as been filled with a ton of research, emails to yahoo support groups, doctors, traditional therapists, family and anyone else you can think of. When Daniel hit his 3 year birthday, this horrific panic set in. Oh sh*t, we've hit the 3 year mark. People tell you all the time, between birth and 3 yrs are the most critical time to create new brain growth, new pathways. SH*T! I've heard, if he can't sit up unassisted by himself by 3, he won't be able to walk. If he isn't crawling by now, he never will.....PANIC.

The thoughts that go through my mind....I have failed Daniel. I didn't pull my weight. I let him down, I let everyone down. I am the one staying at home to be able to take Daniel to his therapies, to work with him at home, and he is now three, and I failed him. I didn't try enough types of therapies, I didn't ask enough questions......every possible thing wasn't researched. So began the search...I have looked into many other therapies before, but I always felt that the traditional therapy was the safest way to go. And so far he has done fairly well with it. BUT again, is it enough? Should I have taken him more? Should we have tried alternative therapies....and let me tell you there are numerous ones out there. Botox, ABR, Hippotherapy, Electrical Nerve Stimulation, Vital Stim, Hyperbaric Oxygen, Stem Cell, Anat Baniel Method, Feldenkrais, Cranial Therapy, these ones address the issues with the body. Then we can get into the Institute of Achievement for Human Potential, the National Association of Child Development, and The Family Hope Center. These ones give you more ways to help your brain injured child learn. They say, just because your child is handicapped does not mean you don't give them the same expectations you would any other child. For the past 3 years I have always said...Daniel is in there, I can see it in his eyes. He's smart, his body just isn't working, and that is what I concentrated on. His Body. But what about his mind? I was so worried about his body and getting that stronger that I didn't think to worry about teaching him things. The things that Daniel knows....he has just picked up on his own, by just observing his surroundings. Daniel is stuck in there, without a body that will listen to his desires, without a voice to express his wants, his needs, his happiness or his sorrows. But his eyes, just if you ever meet him, watch his eyes, his will tell you everything you need to know. I've had people ask me before, "how does he communicate with you?" a simple answer...."his eyes". So Daniel took care of himself where I failed. I wasn't teaching him his colors, or what a circle is, or his left from his right, or his numbers...but he knows them. He can't verbally tell me, but he can show me with his eyes. I wanted to take the training at the IAHP in Pennsylvania this September, we were all set to get the money together. This is a method I will eventually try with Daniel. We have already incorporated some of the things I have learned from the Glen Doman books, "What to do about your brain-injured child" and "Teaching your child to read". Daniel is in the process of learning to read, and is doing really well. Of course he is, he is one smart cookie!
After much research, this is one of the things I wanted to do. The other one is called ABR.
I don't know why, but when I was watching and reading and listening to others talk about ABR, I knew in my mind that this should have been done with Daniel a long time ago. This is what is going to make Daniel stronger. It is not going to cure Daniel, it is not going to make his cerebral palsy go away, but it is going to help his, I can't tell you why I think it, or feel that it is the right thing to do, but it just is. So, because we don't have the funds to try all these different therapies I have listed, we have to pick what we think is going to work best for Daniel, and pray to God that we made the right decision, and that we aren't' wasting any time or money.

Watch this video. This is of a little boy who went through ABR. Watch his movements, the way he holds his body. This is Daniel, exactly. I saw this video and I saw what it did for this child, and I think it will do wonders for Daniel.

So after watching that Lonnie and I both said, "what ever it takes, we are going".

It is a must. We can't not go. The hard thing is the man you saw in the video is the only person who can evaluate Daniel for this treatment. The closest place to go is Canada, and he only comes to Canada twice a year. October and April. We have to go in October. Why you say? because imagine someone telling you that you can't walk, move, or be independent for months. That would be like someone saying you need this done NOW, but we're going to make you wait another 6 months of your life to do it. Six more months of Daniel falling behind.

October it is. We sent in the paperwork, and are putting the deposit down. Now we hope for a miracle. I am filling out paperwork for grants, I am calling organizations and pleading for something to happen. Daniel needs this therapy, we don't have time for planning a big fundraiser, we have less than two months. Unfortunately, we are a family living on one income. As most people in average America know, it is hard to survive let alone thrive on one income. So we are selling larger items we have, material things we don't really need. Lonnie has sold almost all of his guitars and equipment (thank you Lonnie) to get money together. On one hand I am so thankful to him for giving up things that he loves, and on the other hand I feel sorry that he has to give these things up. Bittersweet. We are coming to the part where we have to beg and swallow our pride and ask for help....

but come hell or high waters, in October we will be in Canada. Even if it means coming home to live in a giant refrigerator box with windows cut out! Heck if we're really creative maybe we can build a two story cardboard box to live in! I say this jokingly, and hope that it doesn't come down to it, but if it has to, then so be it.


Grammacello said...

Hi Guys
I am a reader but do not think I have commented before.
Where in Canada does the evaluation take place?
I wonder whether we can find you a place to stay.......
Grammacello in Canada

Melanie said...

Hi Grammacello! Thanks for reading, even if you've been silent! :)

ABR is done in Montreal, Quebec -Canada.

It is always neverwrecking to try to book a hotel and not know what the place is like. clean, dirty, extra fees for parking I hear are a big one in Montreal.

Melissa said...

I am happy for you guys! This will be so great for you to try with Daniel. I know the feeling of knowing this is something we have to try but not knowing if the funds are there to support it. I have a hard time swallowing my pride and asking for help. Maybe its time I do that. I am looking at the MEDEK clinic in Montreal, which is also in October. What dates will you be there?

Lydia Conrad said...

Can you email me more info about this ABR Treatment. (lydia at conradzone dot com) Thanks (Lydia from CP Board.

Justinich Family said...

I want to do this with Evan now that I have seen what it did for the little boy in the video. I am so excited that you guys are able to do this for Daniel, I can totally understand your feeling of we are going to do it no matter what. Good Luck

EMBelieve said...

Hello Melanie,
I have been reading your blog for a while. I also believe ABR can help my son with Quad CP. He will be 4 yrs old in November. My husband is a little skeptic but agreed to go and I am so happy Yay!!!. I now you will find a way!! We signed up for the morning training.
The ABR Center is located in East end of Montreal, Riviere-des-Prairies.
Last time I was in Montreal was about 15 years ago. I bought a map last week and I am going online doing research and planning the stay.
Eugenia, mom of Matthew