Anna* is four years old. When she was one month old she had brain surgery. Now she has a smaller than usual head and all the muscles in her body are tight - especially on her right side.
We enjoy working with this little girl! Even though she can’t speak she communicates her delight at the toys we use to motivate (or distract) her with by smiling and laughing.
The most important part of our work is showing the caregivers how they can stimulate their child’s development every day at home. Anna can’t move very easily by herself. We showed her mom how to move Anna into different positions so that different muscles are working to prevent Anna’s muscles from tightening when she’s in the same position for too long. We showed her especially how to move Anna into a good position on her tummy so that she is taking weight through her shoulders and her hips are stretched out. We also showed her mom how to encourage Anna to help as much as she can with simple tasks like bending and stretching her arm to put her jacket on.
Anna is always going to need a lot of help, but if we can make small changes like how she is positioned at home, it’s going to have big long term effects on how tight her muscles become and how much movement and quality of life she has in the future.
* name changed