I remember Zachariah’s first ever meeting with his Physiotherapist when he was only five months old.
I remember feeling so guilty and so out of control as I watched my son be moved in ways he found distressing.
I trusted her when she told me he wasn’t in any pain but that he was just not wanting to do it.
She gave us exercises to do at home and decided to see him once a month to keep a check on his progress. She equipped me and gave me the confidence to go away and do the exercises without her there.
Each month we went and each month he was given more challenging tasks, but soon I started to see the benefits - he was progressing so much, the hour every day we did at home was worth it!
I've recently learnt an important lesson; Timothy Keller, a well-respected American Pastor and Theologian says that we can’t see someone growing but we can measure that they have grown.
This lesson has been a huge one for me as not that long ago I was getting frustrated that Zachariah wasn't showing much progression with his therapy.
He was losing interest and struggling with the exercises, more so with his standing frame.
It frustrated me because I blamed myself, if Zachariah couldn't do something surely it's because I'm not teaching him properly or pushing him enough?
This is where I was wrong and this is where I needed to change my negative attitude into positive energy.
This is where it was my perspective that was hindering Zachariah's chances of development.
As parents, grandparents, guardians etc. we need to live this motto for our children, if we believe they can walk, talk, sit then we will put everything into making it happen.
My biggest flaw when it comes to doing therapy with Zachariah is making excuses for him, he's tired, he's hungry, he's just eaten he's had a busy day, he might have a seizure...
The list goes on.
I believe you can all relate to this. However if we continue to make these excuses our children will start to lose their chances in reaching those goals we all have made for them.
Now don't get me wrong, these excuses are real life barriers that we face daily, but let's be mindful that we can still find opportunities in the daily to fit in a ten minute exercise, or a five minute unaided sitting session.
I've always tried to integrate therapy into play or changing of clothes or nappy in the morning and evening.
Play their favourite music, sing along, and massage their bodies to get them relaxed.
We like the CBeebies album and nursery rhymes, songs with actions are great as it’s an opportunity to get their bodies moving.
Set the mood.
For us this means going into Zachariah's sensory room, we make it red and place him near his bubble tube. I understand we don't all have sensory rooms but make a corner, be creative and have some fun .
Stimulate them with their favourite toys.
Because Zachariah is visually impaired we need to work extra hard on this one, and this is where his sensory room really comes into play as we distract him with lights and flashing toys. Therapy through play is the best kind as they don't realise they're doing it.
Most importantly have fun and believe in yourself and your child!
Now although this is working for my family I understand that all our children are different and face different challenges daily in their lives.
That said, I really feel that this can help if you apply it to your own personal journey. You're all doing great!
I love Zachariah's Physiotherapist and everything she teaches me xxx
The portable activity kit. Fun therapy at home or on the moveFind out more