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ABR’s moto goes as follows

Every loving family deserves a happy and rewarding relationship with their child, even if he/she is affected with cerebral palsy. 
And every child deserves a Thriving and Flourishing development,
even if he/she is brain-injured.
There’s no instruction book on how to be a parent (and ESPECIALLY not one for being a parent of a child with special needs).
Not only is there is no instruction guide, but there is not reference whatsoever, no model to follow.  People around you cannot help.
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You can’t share your challenges and fears with your sister, your cousin or even your best friend, no matter how close they are to you.  Trying to explain them what you are going through is a challenge in itself
My special child is 21 years old.  He is a young man VERY severely affected with Cerebral Palsy and our daily lives have been  quite ‘rock’roll’  over all those years.
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Is it possible to find harmony in spite of all the turmoils that living with a disabled child entails?
ABSOLUTELY.
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But it doesn’t come naturally.  You have to work at it.  You must step back and reconsider what you thought your parenting experience would be and adapt it to your ‘special life’.  Here are a few hints that I developed throughout the years….
Create a mission statement for your special child
This is the first and most important thing to do.
Otherwise, you will be wandering aimlessly, tossed like a piece of wood floating on a raging sea, constantly torn between contradictory opinions, opposing rehabilitation approaches, ambiguous priorities…
Our mission statement for my son is to prioritize a pain-free life, surround him with unconditional love, regardless of what he can or cannot do.  Our vision for him is actually what we envision for ourselves as a family and HAPPINESS is the key word.
If any of us falls into the trap of victimization, all the other members would suffer… and mostly our special son Nicolas.
Before we elaborated our mission statement, we were frantically going from one approach to the other,
exhausting ourselves and wearing out our son.  Happiness depended on his next milestones… and we were reaping more often disappointment than bliss.
From the moment we elaborated a mission statement for Nicolas, our decisions became clear:  no surgeries, no invasive treatment, no grueling efforts constantly leaving him and us defeated.  We decided to go with peacenik techniques likely to make him flourish as a human being… gently improving his musculo-skeletal structure so that functional improvements would be spontaneous rather than forced on him.
From that moment on, Nicolas’ health flourished, he was more comfortable in his body and he started smiling as he never did before.
 Be flexible with strategy to reach your goals
Setting expectations are important but being flexible with the means is just as important.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if your expectations change, it is often inevitable.
You don’t learn to walk by following rules.  You learn by doing and falling over. (Richard Branson)
Very often you will think you’re making the right decision, but you have no way of knowing.
So, “regardless of whether this is the right decision or not, this is the best decision you could ever make with the information you had at that moment and if tomorrow you happen to have different information, you will change your decision accordingly.”
In retrospect, there will be making a lot of great decisions and a lot of decisions that you would not never make again but that’s okay… that’s experience.
 Celebrate small victories…but losses as well!
Celebrating small victories are just as important as celebrating big victories. Rewarding regularly your child builds strength and reinforces self-esteem.
It’s also important to celebrate losses, too, because when you recognize a loss or a failure you have the opportunity to learn from it and keep it as a reminder of what not to do.
Persevere
Hold on!  Getting through the hard times and having the perseverance to do so  is how you get to the good times. 
But find way to help you get through the tough times: surround yourself with a great network of people.
Facebook groups are ideal for this!  They live the same things as you.  You can rely on them to remind you that the bad times are not permanent.
One of my favorite posts I saw on Facebook was:  ​​​​​​​Relax…whether things go right or wrong…they won’t not last!’ 
Dealing with disappointment
Dealing with bad news or disappointment is part of the game. It’s how we react to it that makes the difference. If you throw your hands up and just quit, you will have learned nothing, but if you map out a plan to work around the problem, and mold that plan to fit the end goal, you’ll walk away knowing that you came out ahead.
Have a mentor or coach
In raising a child with special needs, it’s helpful to have someone or something to guide you.
This could be conferences for special needs, parental groups, etc – it’s always comforting to have the guidance of an experienced individual.
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Do not isolate yourself…ask for help, but ask the right people… the ones who can walk in your shoes.
Nothing replaces experience.
Can you think of any other advice that could be applied to parenting a special needs child? Let’s open the discussion and share our experiences. Send me your comments and I will share them next time!
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ARE WE HUMAN ‘BEINGS’ OR ‘DOINGS’?

Today, I would like to present you a totally new perspective on Cerebral Palsy, where you will take a completely different look at your special one!
In a world strongly focused on performance, from which your child unfortunately does not escape, I rather propose you to primarily and genuinely focus on the ‘HUMAN BEING’, your child.
Step back for a moment and ask yourself:
What is the essence of what I have been tackling thus far?
‘How many more meters, how many more seconds is my child managing?  Which therapy could help him/her expand these painstaking efforts and modest achievement to even longer periods of time, or longer distances…’  This is what the majority of us does, isn’t it?
But have you considered the following? ‘What is my child’s ability to express his/her own personality?; what is his/her perception of the world? Is he/she in a condition to even be able to aspire to enjoy life like any other child?’
In other words, what is more important? focusing on the ‘machine’, measuring his mileage or bringing rehabilitation more closely to the human perspective?
When I ask parents:  what are your expectations? Walking and talking are the most frequent answers I get. ‘If he could only walk…or talk.’   But, think about it for a second: this is NOT your primay desire!!! 
Your primary desire is the basic desire to enjoy your child and  make this relationship a flourishing one, isn’t it?
Walking, talking  is all about DOING!  The largest and most fundamental question we have to ask ourselves: are we human BEINGS or human DOINGS?
JUST ‘BEING’ IS SO DIFFICULT FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE CHILDREN I ASSESS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!!! 
And this is reflected through the struggles they are experiencing  on a daily basis.  I see children who do not breathe efficiently and fight with mucus accumulating his their lungs on a daily basis, children who are constipated day in day out, children who never sleep through the night, and have never experienced a good, restorative rest,children who already lack energy and vigor and are still being pushed to the maximum to perform better… in other words , children who are just not in a condition  to smile, laugh and interact with you, their parents and siblings, in a happy and rewarding way!
ABR has the best results ever registered in developing motor performance. 
And surprisingly enough, our focus is not PERFORMANCE, not on DOING, but…on BEING!
Our goals are…
  • Build in your child the essential fabric of health and well-BEING​​​​​​​
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Expand your child’s physiological and metabolic conditions to give him/her a chance to ‘enjoy’ the surrounding world and his/her relationship with you
  • Intelligently ‘build the blocks’ of developmental milestones instead of  forcing  performance that is not within their reach with their actual structure, anyway
ABR is about improving your child’s structure and metabolism because, WE  believe that first and foremost, we are ‘humans’ and ‘BEING’ is just as important as ‘DOING’.
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 ABR HEPFUL TIPS AND ADVICE FOR YOUR CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY

Hi folks!
Thanks a million for  your invaluable feedback on my blogs!  
I am delighted to see that in general you do like them, they serve their purpose by helping you in your daily life with your special one and the majority of you even share them with your friends!
I am so appreciative!!!!
Among your suggestions, many of you asked me to better explain what fascia is and it can improve  your child’s metabolism and motor functions.
Here is a super short video (less than 2 minutes) explaining what fascia is and how it relates to Cerebral Palsy.
Enjoy!
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ABR Americas Readers Survey

Dear parents of a special needs child,
Do I answer your needs?
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On my blog, I strive to create content that answers your questions, serves your needs, and helps you accomplish more of what matters most.
To do that well, I need to know more about you!
That’s why I’m inviting you to take my Reader Survey
You should be done in about five minutes.
When you do, you’re ultimately helping yourself. Why? Because you will be guiding me to create content that’s even more interesting and relevant to you!
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Tackle the cold season with Essential Oils!

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The Fall and flu season are already upon us, and there is nothing worse for our beloved special needs children than trying to go through the day with a congested head!

ABR has very effective techniques to clear sinuses and reinforce respiration. 

However, if you haven’t yet learned our trans-fascial visco-elastic stimulation techniques  ​​​​​​​(which would put an end to these recurrent problems) you can fall back on essential oils to bring rapid relief to their discomfort.
Steam Inhalations

You may be using a Vicks Inhaler:
To the water, add:
1 drop of Eucalyptus Globulous essential oil
1 drop of Myrrh essential oil
1 drop of Peppermint essential oil
1 drop of Ravensara essential oil
Even if you are missing one of the ingredients (ravensara may be more difficult to find), just use the remaining ones. Steam for 15 minutes.
Lavender Oil Baths

If your child has a cold and feels miserable, a warm bath soaking in these relaxing, antibacterial essential oils will do him/her a world of good!!!

Ingredients

·         1 cup Epsom salt

·         1 cup quick oats

·         1/2 cup baking soda

·         5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil

·         10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

·         15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Instructions

1.    Grind oats in a food processor, or coffee grinder, into a fine flour-like texture.

2.    Mix all ingredients in a bowl until oils are evenly distributed.

3.    Store in a glass jar and use about 1 cup of mixture per bath.

Tip: Create a pouch for your mixture using a sock or pantyhose to reduce floating oatmeal flakes in your bath.

 

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 Clean your house naturally… an ABSOLUTE MUST when you have a child with CP!​​​​​​​

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When a child has Cerebral Palsy, there are numerous areas of his/her overall health that need to be monitored.  One of the most important is their respiratory health, as poor respiration has serious consequences not only on their health but also on their development.
Did you know that the cleaner your home is, the more respiration problems you may trigger in your child with CP, because of toxic cleaning products (soaps, polishes, grooming supplies, etc).
Even products advertised as “green” or “natural” may contain ingredients that can cause health problems.
Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach  VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies can irritate the eyes and throat and contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, headaches and other health problems.
Products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include:
  • Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty and cleaning products;
  • Air fresheners;
  • Chlorine bleach;
  • Detergent and dish-washing liquid;
  • Dry cleaning chemicals;
  • Rug and upholstery cleaners;
  • Furniture and floor polish; and
  • Oven cleaners.
Even natural fragrances such as citrus can react to produce dangerous pollutants indoors.
So, it is of primary importance to limit your child’s exposure to those risks… and you can do it in a very easy, inexpensive and even fun way…
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Boosting Breakfast!

Breakfast is – yes we mothers are right – the most important meal of the day!
It is estimated that people with mobility impairments must exert 3x’s the energy to accomplish the same physical tasks as an able-bodied person.
So it is vital to properly fuel your child’s body every morning.
Now before pouring out a big bowl of processed cereal for breakfast to help give them their morning boost of energy – wait!!
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This type of morning meal is loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates that can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and low immunity.

While this breakfast option may provide a quick boost of energy, it will just as quickly lead to an energy crash and leave your child feeling tired and sluggish.

What is more beneficial is a quick & easy food source that also sustains energy…​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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ABR’s Nutritional Guide

In the  previous articles, we talked about what a nutritious meal should consist of, food that are beneficial to you CP child and food that should be avoided altogether, good food combinations, beneficial fats, and finally herbs that fight against inflammation of their tissues.
Today, we will concentrate on tips  to keep your child well hydrated.  
To thrive and flourish, it is essential for child to drink enough water.  
We are often witnesses of significant dehydration in children that are severely affected.
Parents tell us ‘they just do not want to drink!’
But can we really expect rain in the desert?
If one does not drink, the tissues no longer hydrate.
And when the tissues no longer hydrate, they contract and stick to each other.
Thus begins a vicious circle. The child is not thirsty and does not demand water because his/her body has become accustomed to survive with very little water.
You need to understand the seriousness and importance of this situation and seek to increase your child’s water consumption at all cost.
  • If necessary, use a syringe to give your child water.
  • Consider giving a flavor to the water: ​​​​​​​Some apple juice or coconut water. Your child will be more receptive if the water tastes good.  Furthermore, the stomach reacts with flavors and creates a movement downwards, which facilitates swallowing.
  • You can also add a natural thickener to water – But avoid thickeners that are corn based, which have a strong probability of being a GMO product (genetically modified organisms).
However, we recommend not to give a lot of water during meals, unless they are consuming a soup.
It is particularly important to know that when a child consumes carbohydrates (ex. cereals), liquid dilutes the enzymes necessary for digestion.
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USEFUL TIPS AND ADVICE FROM ABR FOR YOUR CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY part 4

 

Herbs that help fighting tissue inflammation!

 

All children with special needs suffer from significant tissue inflammation.
This could help to understand tissue degeneration.
Some herbs are highly anti-inflammatory and should be added to their daily food. 
Herbs and cooking spices contain a wide variety of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, and help maximize the nutrient density of his/her meals. Every time you flavor his/her meals with herbs or spices you are literally “upgrading” their food.
In fact, on a per gram fresh weight basis, herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables,  which are known to be high in antioxidants. Many studies have also shown that most spices tend to have unique medicinal qualities.
Beneficial results are noted when cells in the body are exposed to the levels of spices that circulate in the bloodstream after normal daily consumption. Just the amount that makes your spaghetti sauce, pumpkin pie, or curry sauce taste good.” (Dr. Mercola)
We recommend
  • ​​​​​​​Turmeric – cooked with grains or vegetables
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
You can also use:
  • Cinnamon
  • Jamaican pepper
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Thyme
The key to reducing chronic inflammation in your child’s body starts with their diet, and being liberal in your use of high-quality herbs and spices is one simple way to boost the quality of their food. They’re an inexpensive “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of.
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USEFUL TIPS AND ADVICE FROM ABR FOR YOUR CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY – part 3

Coconut oil
is a very nutritious oil that possesses as many beneficial nutritional qualities.
All children should consume it. 
It helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome.
The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion.
It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are turned into ketones, which readily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide instant energy to the brain.
Ketones are also known to reduce seizures
Make sure that all oils are non- hydrogenated and of good quality.
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Delicious way to turn coconut oil into a candy!
Being attentive to your child’s diet doesn’t mean depriving your child of the small pleasures in life.
Here is a candy recipe with high nutritional value … your child will love it!
Raw candy
  • 250 grams of nuts
  • 250 grams of dates
  • 250 grams of coconut flakes
Grind to a fine powder and add:
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut cream
  • 2 Tablespoons raw cream / cocoa butter
Mix. If your child eats mashed food, give it in small amounts using a spoon. If he/she can ingest solid foods, shape the candy into balls and refrigerate for several hours.
You should also give your child flaxseed oil every day, as fresh as possible.
Purchase it in small bottles and keep it in the refrigerator.  Also use it raw on food.
​​​​​​​As they are high in dietary fibre, ground flaxseeds can help ease the passage of stools and thus relieve constipation, a common problem in children with Cerebral Palsy.
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