Brandon just finished up a 2 week session of intensive therapy at Now I Can. Since he is no longer in early intervention through Kids on the Move, so it is up to us to get him the physical therapy he will need. He qualified for many services through the school district, but because he is able to walk he will not receive physical therapy services.
In order for Brandon to continue to do well using the left side of his boy he will need ongoing therapy especially through his growing years. As he continues to grow, his muscles will be become tighter so we will all have to work hard to maintain his progress and yet progress when they are young is the key to success for children with his type of brain injury.
Initially, we weren't sure about moving forward with therapy at Now I Can not only because of the costs, but also because we weren't sure about the concept of intensive physical therapy. We initially understood that what makes it "intensive" is that the therapy sessions are typically 4 hours (Brandon's were only 2) every weekday for 3 weeks (we only did 2). But there is more than the intense time frame to the concept, they work with the children non-stop during their session and they work hard. They use many traditional techniques and they have some really unique ones as well. They have a "spider cage" and a "monkey cage" that they use. As hard as it was Brandon always wanted to go back and seemed genuinely proud of being able to do hard things.
The difference that this therapy made for Brandon was so significant! I can't believe how much it improved his gait as well as the use of his left hand. He has been having a lot of sensory issues lately and those have decreased dramatically. I won't bore you with the rest of the list, but it has been very exciting to watch him be able to do new things there each day and for things that were very difficult at the beginning of the first week become much easier as the days passed.
It has truly been an amazing experience for our whole family. Blake and Derek successfully raised our share of the cost for the therapy (after we used our entire insurance benefit and some financial assistance) and they were excited to watch him the days that they had to tag along to therapy.
We quickly realized that Brandon, like most kids, did not enjoy the stretching and other therapy exercises so they asked me to not be in the room while they were doing that part as it was just making it harder for Brandon and for me. They have observation rooms equipped with entertainment for siblings as well. So the first day that Derek and Blake came with me after this change we sneaked into the observation room where we could see Brandon crying as he was stretching. Derek immediately turned to me, very concerned and said "mom, you need to go help him!" When I explained that I couldn't and why he turned back to watching him, looking very sad he then said "as contagious as his laugh is, his cry is that sad." Such a sweet boy and such an astute observation!
We could go watch him in the spider cage and in the monkey cage. This was almost like his reward for the hard stuff. He was able to jump in the spider cage and fly in the monkey cage. He loved it!
More stretching in the spider cage.
Flying in the monkey cage - he'd pull on this bungee cord to go back and forth.
Whenever anyone would ask him if he was flying like Superman,
he'd say "no uperman, I Batman."
So now that we are done with our session, we art trying to figure out how to be able to afford more therapy there!! Not that there is a big hurry but it was just such an amazing and truly life-changing experience. So I have become a concert ticket vendor. Now I Can has 2 annual fundraisers and one is a benefit concert that happens to be September 11 at the Scera Shell with Jarrett Burns. We can earn therapy for Brandon by selling tickets to the event and it is going to be a great event! So if you are reading this and I haven't hit you up to buy tickets for this (which I highly doubt!) you can leave a comment and I will get you more information. You can go to : http://www.reverbnation.com/jarrettburns to listen to this amazing music!!! I wish I could figure out putting some of it on a playlist on our blog but I can't :(