Preemies and Infants with Cerebral Palsy
Mom and Tots Programs
We hav added a new Mom and Tots session July 1st to August 2nd
We live in a time of medical wonders. Doctors now have the equipment and technical expertise to save many preemies that previously would not have survived. Unfortunately, very fragile babies are at high risk of complications. Even with the best medical care, some preemies may suffer an injury to their brain which will lead to the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy can affect any child (not just Preemies) either before, during, or after birth and results in delays in normal development. Cerebral Palsy can also be the result of a brain injury. Symptoms and complications can range from mild to severe and can affect many different areas such as; vision, hearing, eating, swallowing, sitting, standing, walking, communication, cognitive abilities and seizure disorders.
In the hospital babies and even preemies are supported by a small army of professionals fighting for their survival however once they are strong enough to be sent home many parents are left wondering, "What do I do now?"
Except in severe cases, many doctors adopt a "wait and see approach" and are reluctant to place a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy until up to two years after a child is born. Much of the child's physical, psychological and emotional development occurs during the first three years and with this delay, precious time is being wasted. Even after a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy or a complication like brain injury, parents are not being given adequate guidance and training to help their children through this crucial phase. We have noticed a very disturbing trend over the past years where premature children with Cerebral Palsy are becoming more passive and dependent on their parents.
In the "Mom and Tots" program at Ability Camp parents work in small groups with the direction and guidance of our Conductors (therapists). Parents are taught the importance of their attitudes, expectations, and how daily activities can help children learn age appropriate skills which serve as a foundation for growth both now and in the future.
During this five week session parents spend five hours each day actively working and interacting with their child (structured exercises). These routines are carefully designed to mimic the basic skills required for daily life activities such as rolling, sitting, standing, feeding, potty training, washing etc.
Premature children who have suffered a complication such as a brain injury or Cerebral Palsy can make significant improvements, generally far above what you would see in a traditional setting. Even more importantly, parents will come away feeling empowered with a plan for their daily activities at home and having a firm knowledge of things they can do to help their child improve each and every day.