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!!!”
Does that sound familiar? Does that sound RIGHT to you? Your search for “paradise” often turns into hell for your child. Let’s just have a second look at it… What are the priorities?
ABR has a much more peacenik approach to rehabilitation. The emphasis is not placed on training, but on the improvement of the musculoskeletal structure that is indispensable for any motor enhancement. The extraordinary advantage of working at the level of fascia is that while you are setting the foundation for a stronger structure, you are simultaneously strengthening the fabric surrounding and interwoven in your child’s lungs, esophagus, stomach, intestines, nerves, etc. Your child starts breathing, digesting and sleeping better. He can now face daily activities with more energy. His life becomes more enjoyable and he opens up to his environment … he opens up to you…! He starts flourishing right in front of your eyes.
ABR is not ONLY about “DOING”, ABR is also about “BEING.” Too many approaches focus on bringing your child at all cost to YOUR reality, simply forgetting about HIS/HERS.
Don’t be fooled! Happiness is NOT directly proportional to your child’s “DOING.” It is directly proportional to the fact of, first and foremost, being recognized and treated like a human BEING. Strengthening fascia will inevitably improve your child’s “DOING,” but you will have simultaneously built a strong , healthy, energetic, happy individual that will have developed a thriving and flourishing relationship with you, his parents, his siblings and the surrounding world.
ABR lets your child be a child… a HAPPY child!