One of the most difficult parts of doing therapy in a community setting is quickly finding the one or two things that you can teach the caregiver or finding one adjustment you can make to improve the child with a disability’s quality of life.
Each of our rehabilitation team has been trained and has experience in their home country in clinical settings where the first encounter with a new patient is assessment (usually with a standardized scale or measure to work from) then a report would be written with assessment findings and follow up visits and treatment plan designed. The person needing treatment then continues to come at appointed times each week until goals and objectives are met. What a stark contrast this is compared to 15 minutes total assessment treatment and follow up time rolled into one!
Often the family has travelled a long distance to see us and we only have 15 minutes before the next family arrives. We also don’t know if we’re going to see the family ever again. Although we really hope to be able to follow up a couple of times at least, sometimes one shot is all we get. So, what is the most important thing to relate to the family in this short time?
Kairat was an eager little boy whose main need was balance and stability as this would enable him to walk without assistance as well as accomplish his activities of daily living with minimal assistance. The big exercise ball really appealed to this little guy, so we quickly showed the mom a home programme using the ball in a variety of ways - accompanied by much laughter and smiles from Kairat. We sent them home with a ball of their own. We are confident that the ball is being used at home because if Mom forgets she will have an eager little boy asking her to play with him and his ball!