AW - Mother to 4.5 year old boy with spastic quadriplegia
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.
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
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
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.
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!