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AW - Mother to 4.5 year old boy with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy

We’ve been on a therapy roller coaster ever since my son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (spastic quad with athetosis) after his premature birth.  I found Louise through good fortune after searching for a local Feldenkrais practitioner to continue the therapy we started during an intensive visit with Anat Baniel in California.  My son and I quickly developed a warm rapport with her and both very much enjoy our weekly visits with her.

Feldenkrais is a very gentle therapy that can follow the child’s mood and initiative on any given day.  It complements the other movement based therapies we undertake, such as conductive education.  It allows my son the opportunity to experience movement patterns that have not emerged naturally due to his injury and expand his range of movement options.

Louise has a very curious, learning mind and is always open to understanding more about any therapies that might help injured children.  She took the initiative to learn more about the Anat Baniel work and soon after commenced ABM training.  She is an invaluable sounding board for me as I explore new therapies and treatments – never judging, not threatened, always offering constructive ideas for me to consider in my decision making.  She’s introduced us to listening and vision therapies that complement her movement work.

The progress my son makes is best measured in inches rather than miles but he does continue to improve.  During our time working with Louise, a year and a half at this point, his vocalisation has expanded dramatically to a point where we’re certain he’s using expressive language, although it still sounds like early babble.  He’s gained more control over his gross motor movements, particularly through his trunk and neck.  His eating has improved dramatically to where we’re no longer feeling pressure for a gastrostomy.  He has not required any surgeries and his hips remain in good condition.

We will absolutely continue our work with Louise – for both the gains we make and the perils we avoid.

2010

CS - Mother to 5 year old boy with spastic/dystonic quadriplegia cerebral palsy

We’ve recently returned to Feldenkrais after a 2 ½ year hiatus with our son (now 5 years spastic/dystonic quadriplegic CP and complex communication issues).
 
We first started seeing Louise before L turned 1 and worked with her for over a year. We would have continued but started with a new early intervention program that required a significant time commitment.
 
While L always enjoyed his sessions with Louise, this time around he is using his communication book to say ‘Thank You” and “When can I come again?” which for him is an amazing testament to how much he enjoys the sessions.
 
Kids who are as physically impacted as L don’t often get the same opportunities as their able bodied friends to experience movement, particularly their own. Feldenkrais/ABM is a perfect therapy for this. Louise works with L’s existing patterns of movement and supports him to move through those patterns that aren’t useful to more functional ones. She helps him experience his own body moving in ways it isn’t usually able to.
 
Sometimes it feels like L is fighting his body all the time and that’s something he can put down when he starts a session with Louise. It’s lovely to see him let go his tension and enjoy the experience.
 
L’s body is always more relaxed and softer after a session, the tendons in his arms and legs often feel like steel cables at other times, he also moves more freely and is more verbal.
 
Louise’s skill and dedication to working with children with special needs has only increased with time and we can’t wait to see what other changes she can help L achieve.
 
We will definitely be continuing to work with Louise.

August 2012

VF – Mother of 5 yr old with developmental delay

We thought we would contact you and tell you how E has been since returning from Melbourne.  We got back last weekend and originally E seemed to have changed but there was nothing we could put our finger on. 

So we took him to the local play park on the Sunday and tried him in a baby swing and he actually swung himself so we put him in what we would call a 'normal' kid swing (the plain belt swing) and he held on and sat beautifully and swung himself! We were SO surprised! Thank you SO much for helping him achieve this skill, he wouldn't have been able to do that without your work.

He is also talking much better and saying close to actual words. This morning he did accidentally blow his trumpet toy and was most surprised. He did it again a few minutes later so hopefully he will continue with that!

E hasn't used his AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) since returning home. E is now more often standing on his left foot and being much stronger in his standing/walking.  We are very impressed with his progress and are hoping it continues.

Thanks again for all your help and we will no doubt be in contact in the future!

November 2012

                                               



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