Roanoke, Week 4: Peace Out, Cast!

img_2213

Snuggling on our last night in Roanoke

We packed up our little home in Roanoke late Friday evening, piled into the car on Saturday, and made the trek back to Nashville. We’re home. It’s taken me two full days to decompress from the last leg of our trip – the should-be 6 hour but really 8 hour drive – and get my bearings now that we’re back in Tennessee. If it ever looks or sounds like it’s easy for us to make these trips, then I do a good job of masking it. It’s not. We’re exhausted and insanely excited to be back home in our own space. It’s always hard to get out of our normal routine: setting up our lives in a temporary home is always a struggle, as is the long car drive (and in many cases, plane ride) to and from these locations.

But, fatigue aside, this 4 week intensive therapy was 100% worth it. And the last week was particularly eye-opening. Continue reading

Roanoke, Week 2: I Did It!

img_2162During one of Solly’s therapy sessions this week, his therapists got really excited when he used his right hand to move a bead across a track, so they cheered, “Solly, you did it!”

And Solly replied, “I did it!”

Now, I haven’t heard him say this exact phrase yet, but I completely believe that he said it. I’ve long thought that Solly understands everything we say to him and part of his sensory issues (i.e., excessive biting, throwing his head back, flailing his arms) is simply him expressing frustration that he can’t find the words to respond to us. It’s like the words are in his head, but he struggles with which word to choose and how to get it out. Continue reading

Roanoke: One Week In

Hello from Roanoke!

One week ago, we packed up a U-Haul and drove 6.5 hours (well, 8 hours, really, thanks to Bea’s insistence that we stop every hour to get out of the car and run around) to scenic Roanoke, Virginia. No, we didn’t move here – at least, not permanently. We’re continuing our nomad lifestyle and have uprooted our family – dogs included – for 4 weeks so Solly can participate in a constraint intensive therapy at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI).Β  Continue reading

Acceptance

This Fall, we’ll spend an extended period of time in Roanoke, Virginia for an intensive therapy at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. The intensive will be 4 weeks long and includes therapy for up to 6 hours per day. Talk about an intense intensive! A part of the intensive therapy program will include Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) where Solly’s stronger side (the left side) will be constrained to force the weaker side to take over.

img_1324

Solly during our first round of CIMT in Nashville

We previously had 4 weeks of CIMT in Nashville at Vanderbilt Pediatric Rehabilitation right after Solly turned two. While we saw some gains (i.e. more movement in the right shoulder), because Vanderbilt’s approach was to cast the child and send them home without intensive therapy, aside from an extra hour-long appointment or two during the week, we did not experience a ton of progress with our first round of CIMT. While this approach may work for children with mild cerebral palsy, we found that it isn’t as effective for moderate to severe cases, like Solly’s.

With CIMT, the more therapy you can do while the stronger side is casted, the more effective the therapy will be. Given the intensive model available at Virginia Tech, I am eager to see how much awareness Solly will gain of the weaker side. Continue reading