Setting Goals for Intensive Therapy

img_0597We’re in the final week of our fourth three-week intensive at NAPA Center. Once we wrap up on Friday, we’ll have completed a total of six intensive therapies with NAPA and several at other clinics, and while I’m far from being an expert in navigating the world of intensive therapies, I now feel confident in what to expect when we walk through the doors on Day 1 of an intensive.

While there is a lot of planning and paperwork that goes into an intensive, without a doubt, one of the hardest parts of intensive therapy – aside from managing Solly’s fatigue and constant need for motivation – is setting goals at the onset of treatment. Goals are vital to the success of intensive therapy. They help the therapy team understand what I envision for Solly; they guide the therapy team in developing a plan for the duration of the intensive; and they can also dictate Solly’s confidence throughout the intensive therapy. Too easy and he quickly becomes board. Too hard and he doesn’t want to participate. For these reasons, there is quite a bit of pressure for me to fine tune our list of goals before starting an intensive.

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New Year, New City

I have struggled to write this post. I’m not sure why, but it’s been hard for me to put into words why we decided to pack up and move our family to Los Angeles at the end of 2019.

Maybe it’s because four years earlier, we’d moved to Nashville to be close to family. Maybe it’s because after three years there, we’d finally assembled the right therapy and medical teams for Solly. Maybe it’s because people usually move for work: it’s unusual for a family to move for the well-being of their child.

But that’s just it. We moved for Solly. We moved for Bea. We moved for our entire family. We began 2020 as residents of Los Angeles.

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The Last Six Weeks

I find it’s always hard to come back to the blog after taking a bit of a break: where do I pick up? Do I skip everything we’ve done since our last post or do I go back and cover every single little thing?

I’ve decided this time around to do a quick recap of the end of the year as we did some noteworthy things that I want to mention.

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Enjoying Nashville in the late Fall

In short, the last six weeks were a blur. Here’s what we did: Continue reading

Quick Update: The Hip Situation

A bit of good news for hump day

Hip health is a major concern for many people with cerebral palsy. The reason behind this is largely because spastic (tight) leg muscles can pull the hip out of the socket, causing hip dysplasia where the ball of the hip joint isn’t fully covered by the hip socket. The surgery to correct this is a major one with a long, painful recovery.

In other words: this is something you want to avoid if at all possible.

This is why, against our local doctors’ recommendations, we decided to have Solly undergo selective percutaneous myofascial lengthening (SPML) last year to give his tight muscles a release along with alcohol blocks to help loosen them up. If you’re new to our blog, I wrote a couple of updates on SPML at 2 months and at one year post-op, and also gave an update on Solly’s hip health at 6 months post-op. This surgery was a game changer for Solly’s gross motor development, giving him the opportunity to move his legs more freely so he can now walk in a gait trainer and independently propel his tricycle. Continue reading

NAPA is Magical

On Day 1 of our 3 week intensive at the NAPA Center, which stands for Neurological and Physical Abilitation and is located in Los Angeles (and Sydney and soon-to-be Boston) and NOT Napa Valley, I proudly posted a photo on Instagram of Solly kicking butt and standing (with assistance) during the first hour of his intensive therapy. A Mama of another CP kiddo quickly posted: “NAPA is magical! I hope you have a great experience.”

I smiled as I read her comment, thinking to myself – yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s great, but we’ve done intensive therapy before and I’m pretty sure I know how everything will go.

Nope. I was wrong. That Mama was right. NAPA is the most magical and amazing place on Earth. Solly made the most gains I’ve ever seen him make in a short time period.

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