Meet Joshua

This is Joshua (taken Summer 2012), he is a gorgeous 3 year old boy, who loves playing rough, swinging, swimming, singing, in fact anything musical and giggling.
Being born 6 weeks early, Josh suffered a loss of oxygen which resulted in extensive bilateral brain damage, bringing with it many medical issues, that being, we don't want anything to stand in his way of development acheiving his full potential.
Joshua attends Stephen Hawking Special School. The staff there are all wonderful, well trained and really get to know the kids as people, individiduals with their own personalities, likes and dislikes (just like anybody else). They help Josh take part in physical activity (swinging, rocking, bouncing on the ball and spinning board) and learning skills (working in dark room for vision development, using switches play, painting, eating) everyday.

Everybody has heard of the term 'Current Econmonic Climate' and knows that it affects us all. But did you realise that this is especially so for kids like Josh where essential services are being cut back further and further. He receives a 6 week block of Physiotherapy 3-4 times a year and the same for Hydrotherapy - both of which we are extremely greatful for, these therapists work closely with his class staff ensuring they know how to carry out his daily programme of stretches and activies.
But we don't think this is enough. That is why we started to look around, find out what other therapies, services and support was available. This was how we found the Bobath Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy. After an initial assessment at 10 months old, the experienced therapist was very keen to show us new tips for holding and soothing Josh, who up to then was quite a cross baby unless he was constantly held.

A few days after the initial assessment Josh was invited to attend a charity provided block of therapy. A 2 week block of physiotherapy everyday. He was 11 months old, we had to break several times during the sessions for Josh to have a cuddle and a bounce but we did see progress. We were given advice on feeding, holding, dressing and playing.  Result - a more content baby who is happy to be put down (occasionally!)
During his second block we worked on vocalising and expressing interest in games, activities and songs. Result - Josh can continue a game he is happy to play.
During his third block we introduced switches (press the button for the toy to play music - or press the button for daddy to tickle you). Result - Josh can instigate play and operate music by himself.
During the forth block Josh worked so hard on head control and arm movement, that the results were remarkable. Result - stronger neck muscles which will help improve his core stability.
At every block of therapy, Joshua has access to one of 2 Speech and Language Therapists (Lynzi and Yoli) who have Joshua's card marked. They know when he is pulling a fast one, and they always manage to bring a grumpy Josh around to being in a playful mood - where he is best placed to learn, learn, learn.
All the while, at each session, Josh has a Physiotherapist (his dear friend Marie) who plays with him, while teaching us the best positioning, posture and new skills to take home and continue working on. Marie has been with Josh since the first block, she knows him and us. She delights at his learning and is always motivated to push just a little further. This is how we know that their techniques work. We speak from experience, having seen our baby transform into a toddler, with a great sense of humour and fun.
So, lets try and get him back for another block of therapy as soon as we can! 

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