Parents with special needs children all have the same obsession: stimulation!
It is commonly believed that the more you stimulate your child physically and mentally, the better your chances are to see him/her improve both functionally and cognitively. However, have you thought about how much energy this constant stimulation (and often over-stimulation) requires from your child? There are 5 sources we all draw our energy from: food, good metabolic functions, hydration, proper respiration and sleep. If we look at it more closely, one will quickly realize that CP children do not eat as much as their healthy peers, don’t digest as easily, drink less (usually a lot less!), often have respiratory problems and suffer from poor sleep. For all these reasons, it has been proven that a CP child spends 3 times more much energy than their peers to perform ANY activity, be it intellectual, motor or merely vital! In other words, a one hour drive in the adapted transportation to go to school (half an hour back and forth), represents the same fatigue as a 3 hour drive for him/her!!! And stimulation is not even counted yet… watching a video during half an hour represents the same fatigue as one and a half hours; being in a noisy environment stresses him/her out 3 times as much as any other child. Result: there is no remaining surplus (always available in healthy children) to grow, thrive and flourish as a human being.
Keep this in mind throughout the next school year. Techniques do exist to improve respiration, digestion and sleep by strengthening their weakened connective tissues (all children with CP have weak connective tissues responsible for poor metabolism). These are the ‘trans-fascial visco-elastic techniques’ taught to the parents at ABR. However if you have not yet started working with these specially designed techniques, you can still work on limiting their stimulation and encouraging as much relaxation as possible when they get home from school. Turn your house into a relaxing environment. Put down the TV volume or replace TV by soft music; give a relaxing bath; most importantly… stop feeling obliged to entertain your child at all costs!!! Give him/her some ‘down’ time (yes…leave them alone for a few minutes), give him/her a chance to reconnect with himself/herself), and just RELAX…and enjoy being together! You will notice a tremendous difference in his/her performance throughout the school year!