Welcome to ABR Americas

Blog

ABR ‘beats’ the GMFCS curve!

Have you ever heard of the GMFCS (Gross Motor Classification System)? Most parents have not…although it is THE international standard tool used in both North America and Western Europe to assess clinical intervention in Cerebral Palsy.

The GMFCS is a 5-level classification system. Level 1 corresponding to mildly affected children, generally walking without restrictions, but tending to be limited in some of the more advanced motor skills. Level 5 corresponding to the most severely affected children that are very limited in their ability to move themselves around, even with the use of assistive technology.

dsfdsf

GMFCS clearly demonstrates the limitations of functional training with brain injured individuals.

According to these curves, all levels of severity demonstrate the same phenomenon that is characterized by a discontinuance of functional improvement by the age of 9, with the most severely affected individuals (level 3, 4, 5) showing diminishing curve benefits and progress as early as age 4 or 5.

All levels of severity taken together show the same phenomenon after the age of 9 and some demonstrate this occurrence even earlier. In the most severe cases, levels 3-4 and 5, there are diminishing curve benefits and progress after the age of 4-5 years old.

The GMFCS study speaks for itself. Professionals, in spite of all their efforts to improve the fate of children with Cerebral Palsy, often refer to this phenomenon as a curse: ‘We can’t beat the curve!’ It’s an expression frequently used in conferences by healthcare professionals.

In other words, poor structural qualities lead nowhere in terms of function, regardless of the intervention used to target their maximization.

But, here is the good news!

ABR completed a 3-year prospective cohort study developed to assess the influence of ABR therapy on the quality of life, wellbeing, and function of a child with cerebral palsy.  This study included over 100 participants, mostly GMFCS types 4 and 5 (most severe cases), from both the US and South America and demonstrates, with statistical significance, the beneficial results provided by the therapy.

Read More

‘Doing’… at all cost?

As soon as parents learn about the diagnosis of their child, they start worrying about their future. Questions like “Will my child ever walk?” or “Will my child ever talk?” are naturally the first ones to come to mind. However, once they realize the severity of their child, hopes become more modest: “Will my child ever be able to feed himself?” “Hold his head up?” “Sit… communicate?“ Even though expectations diminish, the questions are still functionally oriented… and this is normal. From day one, all scales used to assess the development of the child are related to functional abilities: gross motor scales, intellectual, speech, etc.

However legitimate those concerns are, they should never deter us from even more important questions as “WILL MY CHILD EVER BE HAPPY IN LIFE?” “Will we, as a family, be able to have a flourishing relationship with him/her?” “What does it take to reach that point?” “What are the priorities? Walk… or overcome respiratory problems, regular colds and pneumonias? Talk… or get rid of painful reflux? Crawl… or digest properly and have regular bowel movements? Roll… or benefit from restorative sleep during the night and be full of energy during the day?

You start seeing what I’m getting to? Doesn’t asking the question provide the answer at the same time? To begin with, vital functions in children with cerebral palsy are frequently compromised: they have to cope with poor breathing and digesting mechanisms: simple colds become severe respiratory episodes; oftentimes they have trouble while being fed and afterwards with irregular bowel movements; sleep cycles are interrupted as these children are too tactile sensitive. The list is long… As the sensory input is usually very confusing, learning from experience like their healthy peers becomes a real challenge. In other words, their very FABRIC OF BEING is severely compromised.

Do a simple test: visualize yourself in your child’s shoes. Each day of your life, your lungs are constantly congested with mucus; you suffer from severe reflux and haven’t been to the bathroom for the last 3 days; you can’t remember when you had a good, full night of sleep, and you feel miserable…still, your parents have been told that regular training and stimulation is the secret of your success in ‘doing’ more things and you are constantly encouraged to give 100% of yourself: “Hold the head!” “Sit straight!” “Put your leg in front of the other!” “Hold on to the walker!” “Listen to the music!” “Smile!” “Watch the video!” “Crawl!” “Lift, lift, lift!” “Com’ on, you can do it!!!”

Read More

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

One of the most important problems your child with cerebral palsy (CP) is challenged with is ‘respiratory difficulties’.  Poor respiration has serious consequences on your child’s overall health and well-being.

The cleaner your home is, the more respiration problems you may trigger in your child with CP, because of toxic cleaning products made from petroleum-based chemicals.

The Dr. Mercola site, which is the second most visited Natural Medecine site in the world, proposes these easy suggestions to use safe household cleaning products:

‘You can reduce your chemical exposure by eliminating chemicals in your home, and using only natural cleaning products that are plant based. They are more expensive, but usually more concentrated, and worth it because they are safe.

Another alternative is to make your own natural cleaning products. Using homemade natural cleaning products maks “cents,” because it is cheaper, healthier and non-toxic, and it is fun.

All you need is: 

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Organic essential oils (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spray bottles
  • Micro fiber cloths

Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen. 

  • Put it in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial qualities.
  •  Can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry.

Baking soda and apple cider 

  • Clean the tub and the drain 

Vinegar can clean almost anything in your house

  • You can add liquid castile soap, essential oil (optional), and filtered water, then clean floors, windows, bath, kitchen, etc.
  • In the laundry, use vinegar in the wash cycle to prevent fabrics from fading.
  • Vinegar can also be used as a fabric softener.

Never use dryer sheets — they are toxic too.

  •  Use vinager to clean windows.

Commercial window cleaners contain butyl cellosolve — a toxic ingredient that is not listed on the labels, so vinegar and water is much safer. Use a micro fabric cloth, not newspaper, which contains toxic dyes.

Borax

  • is a good laundry booster and cleaner (it can even remove mold) — and is safe and non-toxic. You may make your own cloth detergent by mixing 1 cup of natural soap flakes, ½ cup of borax and ½ cup of pure washing soda.

Hydrogen peroxide

  • is a disinfectant, and is safer to use than chlorine bleach for disinfecting and whitening. Lemon juice is also a natural whitener.

Liquid Castile Soaps

  • can be found in health food stores and are safer than commercial liquid cleaning products.

Organic essential oils may be used in homemade cleaning products depending on your personal preference and tolerance to these scents. Never use synthetic fragrances or air cleaners.

Making your own natural cleaning products is rewarding and fun, and you can use the natural scents that you prefer while ensuring that your home is safe from dangerous chemicals that are harmful to your CP child, and your entire family’s, health.’

Do not overlook the importance of keeping your house free of chemicals as much as possible.  Just switching to these simple safe cleaning tips may bring significant improvement to your CP child’s health and happiness, in only a few short days.

Source: http://www.mercola.com/

Read More