22 December 2010

Should your child be doing stretches?

For a child with cerebral palsy, physical therapy acts as one of the main components in improving his motor skills and developing his independent daily function.
During this process of learning and improvement, a child is educated about the use of his extremities and trunk in an appropriate / correct way. The normalization of motor function is followed by normalization of the muscle tone.

Each treatment and approach has long and short-term goals, which are based on the child’s condition, age and stage of development. One part of the process, which is widely accepted as a “one of the main treatment components,” is stretching. However, the way your child is stretched can affect his progress and what he will be able to achieve in the long term. There are two totally different types of stretching: active and passive, both of which we will cover in this article.

Explaining changes in tone.

As a neurological disorder, the effects of cerebral palsy originate from damage caused to certain parts of the brain. Depending on the area of the brain that is affected, a child’s muscles and tissues can become either hypertonic (high muscle tone) or hypotonic (low muscle tone). His ability to move properly will be affected as well. Once the child cannot move properly, he will develop compensatory movements, which in turn will lead to increased muscle tone.

There are two processes which are taking place in the brain. The first one is called irradiation, and the other one is called concentration. Irradiation is the process when all the cells are employed for one particular movement. This also includes cells which are not necessary for the function. The concentration process starts when we are becoming acquired with the necessary movement or function. This is when only the cells which are needed to work are working. If a child cannot move properly, he is struggling to perform functions anyway. Therefore, the process of irradiation is taking place. This is when a child will have increased muscle tone. During development, a child starts off by learning how to roll, then sit up, turn onto his knees, and then crawl. This process takes place in a certain order so that a child’s trunk and extremities will be adequately prepared for the different functions.

This process is important because the trunk (also known as the body’s core) acts as the “king” of the body. If a child does not have well-developed trunk control, his tone will increase because of the effort he has to put into keeping his balance, while performing certain tasks with his limbs.

Applying stretches in an active way.

Now, I know that my discussion is going to cause a lot of debate, but it is not my goal to start an argument on this issue. In fact, personally I am in favour of stretching. But, I think that stretching has to be done actively (i.e. with the child’s participation), and not in a passive way (i.e. when you stretch a child and he does nothing). During this “‘passive’ stretch” his brain does not learn movement or function, since he is not actively participating in the task at hand. Moreover, for the body this is an invasion and the brain and nervous system start to fight this invasion.

As a result, the muscle tone can increase more over a certain period of time. In other words, the results of the treatment will not be long-lasting.

So when stretching is being applied in practice, we need to remember that the child has to be an active participant. It means that he should not just work to grab his hand or leg to stretch, but that he needs to be educated in how to perform functions such as rolling, crawling, standing and walking--which are all, in fact, active stretches. During the stages of “normal development,” a child stretches his body as he works his way through each function. His brain learns new movements through his discovery of the world. This is how a child learns to move correctly using every part of his body, which will lead him to develop proper tone and function. A child with cerebral palsy is no different, which is why we need to consider these key components when guiding him through the development process.

Steps to take.

With these differences in mind, there are many tips that you may wish to consider in regards to your child’s treatment. One thing to consider is that your child’s stretches should always start with the trunk. Every limb works in conjunction with the rest of the body, so they cannot be exercised on their own. When the trunk has been introduced to fluid, rotational movements as a part of regular function, your child’s tone will follow and gradually improve. Then, once the tone has been released from his trunk, you will be able to teach your child how to roll properly. This will allow him to progress onto the next stages of regular development.

Like we’ve discussed before, it is important to avoid exercises that do not have a real purpose behind them. This is what differentiates an “exercise” from a “function.” In real life, we do not stand or roll without reason; we perform the actions with a certain intent in mind. So, when you work with your child, give him a functional goal, for example: we are going to crawl to the table to have lunch, etc.

In learning these steps alongside your child, you will lower his tone, improve his movement and help him realize just how much he can accomplish.

For more articles like this, visit http://www.enabledkids.ca/

11 December 2010

Fans of The Sky's the Limit

13 November 2010

As we’ve already discussed, cerebral palsy is a designation which covers many symptoms. In medical terms, it is not attributed as a disease or genetic disorder, but characterized as a condition with several possible causes. Whether congenital or acquired, cerebral palsy occurs when certain parts of a child’s brain has been damaged, affecting his ability to function, communicate and control his movements. Since the brain acts as the control centre for the nervous system, this will also lead to changes in his cognitive and sensory development. For a child, this many first become evident from his clenched fists and hypertonic muscles affecting either the limbs, trunk, or one side of the body. He will throw himself backwards when touched on his back, instead of putting his head forward when raised up from his hands. Also, the child may not trace objects, roll to both sides, or he might use one side more than the other. Parents are often the ones who watch their child the most, and notice when something is wrong.

As parents continue learning about their child’s condition there are several things that they need answers to, and the prospects for their child’s development is one of the main issues that may arise. Having worked in rehabilitation for over 20 years, I’ve had many parents asking us: Is cerebral palsy curable? My answer to that question is that it really depends on each child’s specific development, stage of condition.

Now, I know that I am going to cause a lot of debate here, but it is not my goal to argue about this issue. Instead, I would just like to show everyone my standpoint on this issue based on my years of experience and practice in the field. First, to tackle this issue we need to determine that every case of CP is different and can vary from being really mild to severe. When dealing with extremely severe cases, then I agree: there is no cure. Can we improve their ability to function, and bring them as close to independence as possible? Yes we can, when we give them the right approach and treatment. However when we’re dealing with certain mild cases, then there is the possibility for the condition to be cured—if caught on time and dealt with in the right circumstances.

How is this possible? Well, until a child turns one year old his development is still in its early stages. He starts to learn how to roll, crawl and stand, which are huge first milestones in his progress. By doing this, the child is starting to discover the world and open himself to new experiences. When a child is diagnosed with CP during this time period, he will not have had time to form improper functions (movements, communication) to compensate for his condition. Since he has not begun the subsequent cycle of disability and loss of independence which often occur in children with neurological disorders, you have the opportunity to take the child and guide his learning. When given the appropriate methods and appropriate stimulation, his brain will form new functional pathways. This is something called: brain neuroplasticity, and since the pathways are in their developmental stages, it is very possible to develop your child and help him accomplish independence.

So how can we do this? If we get into the specifics and talk about spastic cerebral palsy, we need to consider how hyper tone develops in a child’s body. When a child’s muscle tone is increasing, this does not allow proper function to take place. Consequently, this leads to compensation in his movements and begins a vicious circle affecting his mobility. Once a child learns to move in the appropriate way, he can then progress on to the normalization of function. In my opinion, if a child can move, then he can learn. As a physiotherapist, I have seen many cases progress to a point where a child doesn’t even appear to have a condition after treatment has finished (watch Sean or Katerina’s treatment). So, if a child has achieved normal tone and normal function, why should he be aware of a condition that is no longer affecting his life? Again, I am highlighting that each child has to be seen as an individual with his own condition, and that not everyone can work out of it to such a degree. But for years, we have seen children brought out of their disorders, and today these certain individuals can run, interact and play without any signs of cerebral palsy.

We need to remember that, first and foremost, therapy is something that happens all the time. A child’s learning doesn’t just occur in the treatment room; parents play a key role in their his improvement. If there is a possibility for your child to become independent, what he can achieve will depend greatly on how you guide his development. Keep this in mind, stay optimistic, and believe in what your child can accomplish.

For more articles, visit www.enabledkids.ca.

22 October 2010

Understanding hypertonic cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a catchall term used to describe a wide variety of symptoms originating in the brain. The brain is the information centre of the nervous system, which governs the entire body. Therefore, once it is affected it ultimately impacts a person’s daily life functions.

When a child is diagnosed, please keep in mind that it does not set anything for your child’s future. The diagnosis involves just a general idea of what symptoms may arise. However, there are many factors which have to be taken into account for each individual. For example, even the most minor cerebral palsy can become severe if treated improperly or not at all. As well, a child’s personality has a great impact on his condition. Therefore, one child’s cerebral palsy will differ from another. The prognosis for a child with cerebral palsy will also depend on how early the disorder is detected. The younger the child is, the more likely he will be able to create alternative pathways in his brain. In some cases, with appropriate treatment, the child will be able to walk away from his cerebral palsy completely.

Hypertonic Cerebral Palsy is a condition where all the muscles in the body become tense. A child with this condition will appear “stiff.” Muscle tone is something that is present in every person. However, when a child’s nervous system is affected, it sends abnormal impulses to his muscles. As a result, the muscles contract / become spastic. The condition of a child’s hands and legs (extremities) usually follow the trunk. The trunk is king—or in other words, the center of the body. Once affected, it starts a snowballing effect on the rest of a child’s physique: if a child cannot roll from side to side, the tone in the trunk will increase (i.e. become hyper tone). This leads to increased tone in the hands and legs, which ultimately hinders a child’s daily function.

To reduce or normalize tone, a child has to be taught how to move and function in a proper way. This is learning and not rehabilitating. Rehabilitation involves regaining skills. The child never had these functions in first place—therefore, he is learning. You can compare this with learning how to drive a car. Do you remember the first time you drove? How tense you were, and how much you sweated? A child with cerebral palsy is not excluded from these feelings. The skills which he is learning are acquired skills. They were not given to him during the stages of his development. When a function becomes part of his daily interaction, he will begin to use his body and extremities in the appropriate manner. When learning to crawl for example, a child will start to put weight on his legs and hands. If he is taught to roll, he will begin to develop normal tone in his trunk. As he repeats these actions more and more, this normal, functional weight bearing will allow the tone to normalize. This will enable him to learn and perform a greater range of daily functions and movements.

Whether a child is learning to eat, use the washroom, or dress himself, these functions are necessities for daily living. They are not exercises, but practice for real-life activities. He needs to know how to do these tasks, and that is what we, as therapists, aim to achieve.

By understanding your child’s condition, his learning process and the chain reactions which occur, we will enable him to learn, grow and develop independence in his everyday life.

For more articles, visit www.enabledkids.ca.

15 October 2010

Don't wait to treat your child

Elaine, the grandmother of 3-month-old Debbie, called me regarding her granddaughter’s condition. Concerned, she described to me that Debbie was not turning her head to the right side. She did not grab things with her right hand, and did not move her right leg. In addition, when picked up by her hands, she was pulling herself back, and did not try to hold her head in an upright position.
Her daughter-in-law consulted a paediatrician, and was promptly told, “There is nothing to worry about.” But Elaine, who grew up raising four children, knew that there was something wrong.
When the child was brought to me, I saw what Elaine had been talking about: Debbie had a “clenched fist” on her right side. She disregarded her right side as a whole: she did not want to turn her head, or move her right leg or arm. When she was pulled upwards from a lying down position, she did not tip her head forward.
All these are the first signs of cerebral palsy. Unfortunately not every paediatrician or physician is able to recognize them in their early stages. Thankfully for Elaine, she discovered it in time and we were able to reverse the effects of her granddaughter’s condition.
Development isn’t something that starts after a certain age. A child develops physically and mentally starting from pregnancy. This is why it is really important to talk to your child, and make him feel that he is a part of your life even before birth. Fresh foods (preferable organic fruits and vegetables) and fresh air are the best friends of your child. Remember that he deserves the best of what you can give him.
Once the child is born he begins to discover the world. His mental development is inseparable from his physical exploration. If a child moves—he learns. His discovery comes through touch (sensory development), speech and communication, and his daily function.
But if a child does not move, or is having difficulty reaching for an object, usually his parents are the first ones to do it for him. As a result of our “help,” he does not learn to do new things. In a way, we are discovering the world in his place, when it has to be opposite: he has to discover the world for himself, and by himself. We are here just to guide and assist his learning. This way we can teach a child to make his own decisions, and to discover the world on his own.
Life takes your child through the stages of development in a certain order with one goal in mind: to prepare him for the steps ahead. If you can see that your child is having difficulties achieving these milestones, this should ring an alarm for you.
Do not rely on the opinion of others. You are the ONLY person who really knows your child. Consult multiple child experts, and conduct as much research as possible. Look for a second or even third opinion. In some cases, look into therapies and additional services that may help your child.
The earlier you start up treatment, the easier it is to deal with the difficulties your child is facing. Stay positive. As a parent, you make all the difference in his development.

For more articles like this, visit www.enabledkids.ca.

09 October 2010

Quadriplegic engineer develops program that helps disabled kids

Staff Reporter

Sometimes the littlest thing can bring the most joy.

When 32-year-old Eric Wan gently nudges his head to direct movement on a computer screen, the sound of a single note rings out. His beaming smile seems even broader.

While it may not seem like a huge achievement, it is — bringing together technology and the love of music.

The feat is all the more powerful, given the long, tough road Wan has faced since he was 18 and suffered a serious reaction to a routine measles vaccination that left him paralyzed below the shoulders and unable to breathe.

After four months in the intensive care unit, he eventually spent two years in West Park, a long-term rehabilitation hospital, learning how to live with his disability, which requires him to breathe consciously during the day and use a ventilator at night.

In June, he graduated from the University of Toronto with an engineering degree that took him 10 years to complete on a part-time basis. In September, he started a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, with a focus on how to use technology to make life better for children with disabilities.

“I was depressed for some time, but school really helped. It kept me busy,” said Wan, who is amazingly positive despite the daily challenges he faces.

He finds both solace and purpose in his work at the Pediatric Rehabilitation Intelligent Systems Multidisciplinary (PRISM) lab at Holland Bloorview hospital.

The self-described computer geek, who started computer programming at 8, has found a way to meld his fascination with computers to help children with disabilities.

One project he is especially proud of is the virtual musical instrument, which has been commercialized and the software sold in Australia and New Zealand.

“In a way, it’s a first step for me to play a musical instrument again,” said Wan, who played the violin before his paralysis.

“Many children are not able to grow up, physically able to hold a musical instrument,” he said. “We have designed a system that translates movement into music.”

The system, which operates like a Wii console but without the wand, plays a different note with the touch of every object. As he moves his head, that movement triggers an object on the screen, leading to a note.

Users can set the program to play various notes and chords. The sounds range from piano to tuba and even a church bell and a helicopter.

For Wan, his love of technology has turned out to be a natural fit because he knows first-hand how advances can make his own life easier.

When he started his undergraduate degree a decade ago, scanners were not widely available, making it difficult to read textbooks.

“I had a bookstand and a mouth stick,” he said, describing the painfully slow way he would study.

Improvements in software especially have made it easier for him to learn and communicate. He has a sticker attached to the centre of his glasses that can control the mouse and cursor on his computer. And with a textbook scanned in, he can jump from page to page.

Tom Chau, Canada Research chair in pediatric rehabilitiaton engineering, said Wan quickly impressed everyone in his lab when he arrived in 2006, especially with his amazing memory, given that he cannot take notes during a meeting.

“We were blown away,” Chau said. “He’s always been a bright light. And he’s also been very positive. He’s not one who pities himself.”

But Chau added that until Wan joined his team, they didn’t fully understand the daily challenges he faces as a quadriplegic, from housing to transportation to overall health. Or even the fact that he can’t push the button for the elevator.

On one occasion, the air conditioning was on the fritz in the lab, and the warm air was causing Wan to doze off — which is extremely dangerous because if Wan falls asleep without his respirator, he stops breathing.

“There are all these little things that you or I wouldn’t have to think twice about. The system is not set up for people like Eric to succeed,” said Chau. “It’s phenomenal what he’s gone through and to be so positive.”

08 October 2010

Stem cell therapy holds key for battling bub

BABY Emma was just hours into her life when she started suffering seizures.

Eight months later and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and stalled mental development, her hope for a better quality of life is in the hands of European scientists.

Her family is hoping to raise $35,000 to take Emma to Germany to receive the latest stem cell treatment.

Her mother Doreen Deede told The Cairns Post her daughter struggled to swallow food, play with other children and even reach for toys.

"But there's hope with the stem cell treatment - it's not a miracle cure but it will just improve things for her," she said.

"Maybe she will even be able to speak or walk."

After complications during labour, Ms Deede barely had time to hold her newborn baby before doctors rushed her away for treatment.

"She was born all floppy and was a greyish-blue colour," Ms Deede said.

"She was not able to breathe and the doctors had to resuscitate her and so, she suffered some brain damage."

Just hours after the arrival of her first child, the Cairns single mother's life was thrown into turmoil, with Emma suffering seizures throughout her first night.

"Then when she was three or four months old she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and her development is mentally delayed," Ms Deede said.

Having survived her tumultuous start, Emma now faces a new challenge to improve her future, with Ms Deede hoping to travel with her daughter to Germany next month to receive some of the latest stem cell therapy treatment.

The community has already banded behind mum and daughter to help raise the funds.

On Sunday, yoga-goers will stretch out their spines and open their wallets, performing 108 Sun Salutations at Knoff Yoga School from 7am.

In a final fundraiser, families will comb through clothes stalls, face painting and a petting zoo at a pre-loved toy sale at the Brothers Hockey Club in Calanna Park from 8am to 2pm on October 16.

While Emma's condition sees her struggle at meal times to swallow her food, play with other children or even reach for her toys, Ms Deede hopes the therapy will help her daughter gain some kind of independence as she grows older.

"I often think what kind of quality of life she will have in a wheelchair the rest of her life," she said.

"There are a lot of question marks."

At a cost of $10 those interested in participating in the 108 Sun Salutation event on Sunday can contact Joyce on 0429 322 896.

Further donations can be made by contacting The Cairns Post. Pledges will be passed on to Ms Deede.

24 September 2010

The Sky's the Limit

About 4 years ago I decided to write my experiences of Living with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities little did I realised that 4 years down the line I would see my own life in print for the world to read.

If you would like to find out more about my life so far, the highs and lows, then look no further you can purchase your own signed copy by clicking on the link below:

The Sky's the limit

For children with CP, communication is the key to unlocking their potential

Every adult and child has his or her own personality, beliefs, experiences and opinions that make him or her an individual. Every person has a unique way of communicating with others and method of making choices. A child with cerebral palsy is no exception.

Daniel, a ten year old child with CP, had difficulty speaking, and had not brought an assisting device to help him communicate with us. He walked into the treatment room, and kept pointing to his eyes. I tried to figure out what he was saying, but Daniel became frustrated when I couldn’t understand him. I apologized, and told him that I would have to call his mom into the room to translate. The minute she saw him, she told me that Daniel was saying the lights were too bright. When I reduced the brightness of the lights, Daniel became completely satisfied. As a result, I knew what that gesture meant, and we were able to continue his session. From then on he was able to learn from me, and I continued to learn from him.

With my experience, I know that we need to really listen and develop our own communication skills to be able to understand and respond to a child.
Often, a child’s body language may show insight into what he or she is feeling or wants to say. If a child does not respond when you interact with him or her, usually it is because he or she requires further explanation in order to understand. In this case, be patient; take the time to explain it thoroughly, look for the proper wording, and repeat what you say until you have been understood.

Similarly, a child needs to be taught what an object is and the meaning behind it before he or she can learn how to use it. He or she has to be told what, where, when and how to use certain objects before understanding its purpose and incorporating it into daily life. By taking the time to notice and address these areas of learning, we are able to fill in any gaps in his or her knowledge and establish communication between the child and us.

In Daniel’s case, we were halfway there when we tried to learn the meaning behind his gestures. However, when Daniel’s mom tried to teach him how to walk, she didn’t notice that he wanted to crawl instead. From our (adult’s or therapist’s) perspective, it is easy to overlook what the child wants in favour of doing what we think is best for them. That is another important component that we should address in communication.

We are there to guide your child into learning how to function independently, not to dictate every moment of his or her life. When it comes to decisions concerning him or her, ask what he or she wants to do. If it is wrong, correct it. When we speak with others, we give them choices about where to go, what to buy, and what to do. We take the time to listen and truly consider their suggestions. The same principle should apply to every child. Guide him or her through what is right or wrong, but let your child make decisions independently. In doing so, we are showing the child that we value his or her decisions, while stimulating his or her cognitive development in the process. That is an important step in establishing understanding between you and your child.

If you make an effort to reach out, you will be surprised at what your child can achieve. Don’t assume anything based on what he or she can do; communication is a two-way street that is filled with surprises. Every child deserves respect, so you should offer choices and give your child explanations whenever he or she doesn’t understand something. Elaborate and repeat yourself—don’t stop trying, and never give up listening to your child. Always observe, respond and remember: communication is the key to unlocking your child’s potential.

For more articles, visit http://www.enabledkids.ca.

02 September 2010

Having the first signs of cerebral palsy doesn’t set your child’s future in stone

One morning, I received a call from a woman named Elena who wanted to ask us some questions regarding her two month old granddaughter, Debbie. Elena had noticed that when Debbie’s back was touched, she would arch her back and throw her head backwards as well. Her right arm was always clenched in a fist, and she did not move very much. Elena told us that she had already gone to a pediatrician, but had been told that these were not signs of anything serious. As a mother with three kids herself however, she knew that there was something wrong. Considering the signs she had described, I knew that we had to bring Debbie in for some treatment. Once the girl was brought in, I could see why Elena was concerned. Debbie’s right leg did not move as much as her left, and her right hand was always clenched. Her body was stiff and tense, and when we tried lifting her off the ground, she would not tilt her head forward like a child would usually do.

These may be the first signs of cerebral palsy. If a child does not follow an object with his or her eyes, or does not want to turn his or her head to one side or the other, this may also indicate that something is wrong. The same can be said if a child does not grab for things with his or her hands, or if he or she is delayed in rolling, crawling and sitting. Should this be the case, it is best to start your child’s treatment as early as possible.

In the first few months of life, a child starts going through the normal stages of development. He or she learns how to roll, sit up, crawl, and move his or her arms and legs. If a child misses one of these milestones however, it will have a snowballing effect on the rest of his or her progress. For example, if he or she is not learning to get up and sit, it will impair his or her trunk mobility. As a result, the head or legs will not be used as much and the child will be unable to crawl properly. If we address these issues before they hinder a child’s growth and progress, we can minimize the effect of the condition in his or her daily life to a point where it is undetectable. That is why today, Debbie is completely cured, running and playing just like any child.

In many situations, both the medical and therapy community use a child’s diagnosis as a label accompanied by the claim of “permanent disability.” Yet, I have seen individuals with cerebral palsy who are able to lead independent, fulfilling lives. As a parent, it is up to you to teach your child about the world and to guide him or her through any difficulties he or she may come across.

So, if you see any behavior that seems atypical for your child, take initiative. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and gather as much information as possible. Go to more than one physician, and make sure to consult experts who deal with neurological disorders more often than your general pediatrician. Also, even if your child does get diagnosed, don’t let yourself doubt his ability to develop and become the best he can be. You must believe in your child’s abilities, and focus on making realistic goals and teaching him or her how to achieve them.

My philosophy is that there is no treatment, only life. That is why as a therapist, I believe that there are no exercises to learn, only function. When I have a patient, I only guide him or her during the function so that he or she will learn to do it independently. I also request parents to continue working with their child at home so that there is no disruption in the teaching and learning process. As a parent, don’t let anyone set your child’s future in stone, and remember: your child is capable of things no one can predict.

For more articles, visit http://www.enabledkids.ca

21 August 2010

Spastic Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy

I have a condition called (SHCP).
I got SHCP when I was 10 days old (27.12.10) when I had a bleeding to the right side of my brain so my CP affects the left side of my body.
My CP isn’t that bad as most cases where the person can’t walk, talk etc. So I am quite lucky, but it still affects me.
Sadly there is no cure for CP but it can be made stronger. The treatments I use every day and every night are my AFO’s (or splints). I wear them every day at school for 6 hours to get a good stretch and I also wear them at night to still get that good stretch but when I’m fast asleep. I don’t like wearing my splints at school because people always ask: ‘Why do you get to wear trainers?’ or ‘What is that thing on your leg?’
I also have to have cereal castings 3 times a year for 3 weeks which helps to get a good stretch and to help get my foot into a 90 degree angle.
Then, there are the Botox injections; they help relax the muscles in my leg. They hurt but I don’t mind going through pain if it is going to help me.
Then there are the moments of my life I have been dreading- the operations. I have been told many times by my friends and family that if I do have the operations that I be fine and safe and that the doctors know what they’re doing, but I’m scared of having operations because: I have a BIG fear of hospitals- I hate them! If the operation that I’ll need in the next year or so doesn’t work, it will have to be done again which I’m not going trough twice- no way. I would be in a cast for 6 weeks and using crutches (most people would think that is a good thing but I can’t use crutches and my leg would feel weird).There are so many other reasons but if I wrote them all down I would be here forever.
At my high school I am the only person with CP- scary? Yes! At school, I would have to say P.E. is my hardest subject because my CP lets me down, I’m slow at running, last in every race etc. In races when I hear times being called out before mine, they are usually very fast. When I ask my friends what they got it will be something along the lines of 15/16 seconds for the 100 meters and I got 26 seconds. It makes me feel angry and I feel like I want to just give up.

11 August 2010

Neurological physiotherapy Using neurological physiotherapy to address deeper issues

Neurological damage, while often debilitating, does not necessarily mean the end of a person's independence. And as the population ages the number of people living with these conditions is on the rise. However, treatments for the likes of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are getting more research funding thrown at them, which is why treatments, such as neurological physiotherapy are also on the increase.

Neurological damage does not have to be a progressive problem that results in a steady deterioration of mobility and motor function over time. It can come about as the result of a one-off event - such as a stroke or severe head trauma. So treating the resultant symptoms with neurological physiotherapy can be a hugely varied process. Reduced mobility or chronic pain can often be ongoing problems - particularly if the neurological damage was sudden, as is the case in stroke patients.

Fortunately, neurological physiotherapy is a versatile treatment and can be tailored to benefit patients with any number of neurological disorders, including both young and old sufferers. So, while nerve damage can often set people back physically, neurological physiotherapy can help maintain patients' levels of physical activity and quality of life.

What can neurological physiotherapy specialists offer?

There are a huge variety of neurological conditions that can impact on people during their lifetimes - such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Cerebral Palsy and muscular dystrophy. And the way these conditions manifest themselves can be different from patient to patient. As a result, neurological physiotherapy programmes are equally varied.

Ongoing neurological rehabilitation programmes generally start with a thorough assessment of a person's neurological health. Trained neurological physiotherapists will be able to assess a condition on a symptomatic basis - taking account of which aspects of mobility are affected. Muscle strength and general physical fitness will also be monitored.

After all underlying problems and symptoms have been identified, a tailored neurological physiotherapy programme can be created. This will revolve around muscle strengthening, stretching, balance activities and postural awareness. Depending on the problems being remedied, walking exercises and respiratory techniques may also be incorporated in the neurological physiotherapy programme.

What does a neurological physiotherapy programme involve?

As mentioned above, neurological physiotherapy programmes are tailored to each individual and are generally used to address specific mobility or muscle problems. This means a neurological therapy programme can incorporate any number of individual exercises.

In terms of boosting muscle strength and physical endurance, simple stretching exercises, weight bearing training and a steady, graded exercise routine can help boost fitness over time. The key to muscle strengthening - particularly among people who have reduced muscle control - is a simple, consistent and long-standing exercise programme.

Depending on the severity of an individual's problems, the neurological physiotherapy programme may be hugely simplified and involve simple standing and sitting exercises. Some patients receive gait re-education, allowing them to regain their mobility and independence.

With other neurological conditions, muscle strength is not necessarily impacted upon, but range of movement and stability is. Often, treatments dealing with these issues revolve around balance and coordination exercises.

There is also an emphasis on sensory treatments in some neurological physiotherapy programmes, which can include hot and cold treatments and surroundings awareness programmes.

The key to successful neurological physiotherapy

The secret to successful neurological physiotherapy programmes is an accurate and thorough initial assessment. Identifying problem areas that can be effectively targeted with tailored treatment is a must. Once a clear evaluation has been conducted then a unique exercise regime can be created.

One of the other key aspects of neurological physiotherapy is ensuring their regularity. Regaining motor control and boosting muscle strength is a timely process that requires a lot of commitment - from both patients and their physiotherapists. But the outward benefits of neurological physiotherapy make this commitment much easier to maintain.

10 August 2010

Hard to swallow


Monday August 09 2010

IN THE second week of addressing nutrition in children with special needs, we look at the dietary challenges faced by parents of children with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy describes a group of disorders of the development of movement and posture, which limits activity.

Children can have varying symptoms including loose muscle tone, jerky movements of limbs, unsteadiness/shakiness, poor balance and an inability to hold objects steady which can make feeding difficult.

One of the main challenges facing children with cerebral palsy is malnutrition caused by either under-nourishment or over-nourishment. Poor nutrition can lead to stunted growth, delays in brain development, and low energy levels. It is advised that children with cerebral palsy are monitored by a dietitian.

Many children with cerebral palsy have eating, drinking and swallowing (EDS) difficulties, which can cause eating to be slow — some children with cerebral palsy can take 15 times longer to eat than children without the disorder. In severe cases, being unable to swallow can cause food to enter the lungs which can lead to frequent chest infections and pneumonia.


Children with cerebral palsy can have problems moving their mouth muscles; having poor tongue thrust, control and lip closure affects feeding. It can also results in loss of calories as a result of food and drink being spilled. Another feeding difficulty is the result of sensitivity to touch around the mouth and face. Some children with cerebral palsy may not like the touch of food or even a teat, a spoon or a hand.

Children with cerebral palsy often experience severe heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux). Self-feeding can be difficult, too, because they may be unable to use feeding utensils such as forks, spoons and cups.

Dietitians advice offering smaller meals throughout the day. This ensures your child gets more nutrition and reduces the stress for your child and yourself.


Fibre can play an important role in the diet of cerebral palsy sufferers as it helps alleviate constipation, to which children with cerebral palsy are susceptible.

This is caused by a lack of fluid and/or fibre, poor muscle tone and insufficient activity. Try to include a variety of high-fibre foods in your child’s diet (such as wholegrain cereals and breads, fruit and vegetables) and increase their fluid intake.

To prevent the risk of osteoporosis include foods high in vitamin D and calcium, such as milk, cheese, yoghurts and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.

Avoiding foods that are high in fat and sugar (especially fried foods, crisps, chocolate, ice-cream, biscuits, cakes and sugary drinks) is very important for children with cerebral palsy for two reasons.

Firstly, limited physical activity is an issue faced by many cerebral palsy sufferers, which means they are more likely to become overweight and excessive weight can hinder children learning to walk. It can affect wheelchair-bound children’s mobility, making it more difficult for them to move from their wheelchair to bed, the toilet or the car.

Secondly, tooth decay is often a problem for children with cerebral palsy because of their diet, medication or gastroesophageal reflux. This can lead to greater difficulty with feeding as a result of pain and discomfort caused by tooth cavities, so foods high in sugar should also be avoided.

Children with severe feeding difficulties are an exception. In this case a dietitian may recommend foods that are high in protein and calories and, perhaps, the use of nutrition supplements to help prevent malnutrition. (See box below for ways to increase your child’s calorie intake.)

If you have any concerns about your child’s diet and nutrition it is important to speak to your GP or dietitian who can advise you on the best way to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients and calories they need. A dietitian’s recommendations may include changing the normal texture of food by chopping, grinding or pureeing and it may be necessary to thicken your child’s drinks.

For further information or to find a dietician in your area visit www.indi.ie

ZACH ANNER, 26, generated a buzz in the States earlier this year in his audition for Your Own Show, a reality series produced by Oprah Winfrey. Anner, who has used a wheelchair since the age of five, explained he had cerebral palsy, “the sexiest of the palsies”. He didn't win a place on the show but millions of viewers gave his zany humour the thumbs up by voting for him.

MICHAEL KUTCHER, Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher’s twin brother, was born with cerebral palsy. The twins grew up in the cornfields of Iowa and Ashton was Michael’s self-appointed protector. “That was a big part of my life,” Ashton recalls, “kind of looking out for my twin.”

07 August 2010

The Effect of Oxygen on the Brain.

On the back of the previous post concerning Hyperbaric Oxygen administration, perhaps we should take a look at the effect of oxygen on the brain and ask whether research should not focus upon how the oxygen is delivered.  How many of our children have suffered further brain injury through the direct administration of enriched oxygen? There is a good preventative lesson in this report.
The current practice of administering 100 percent oxygen to children, to prevent brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, may actually inflict additional harm, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.
Brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, known as hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, is one of the most common causes of death and long-term neurological damage among infants and children. This can happen during birth trauma, near drowning and other crises.

The UT Southwestern researchers found that mice treated with less than a minute of 100 percent oxygen after a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury suffered far greater rates of brain-cell death and coordination problems similar to cerebral palsy than those allowed to recover with room air.

"This study suggests 100 percent oxygen resuscitation may further damage an already compromised brain,"  said Dr. Steven Kernie, associate professor of pediatrics and developmental biology and senior author of the study, which appears in the July issue of the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.

Most of the damage involved cells that create myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve cells and allows them to transmit electrical signals quickly and efficiently. Infants have much less myelin than adults; as myelin develops in children they become more coordinated. Areas of the brain with dense areas of myelin appear white, hence the term "white matter."
"Patients with white-matter injuries develop defects that often result in cerebral palsy and motor deficits,"  Dr. Kernie said.

Myelin comes from cells called glial cells, or glia, which reach out and wrap part of their fatty membranes around the extensions of nerve cells that pass electrical signals. The brain creates and renews its population of glial cells from a pool of immature cells that can develop into mature glia.

In their study, the researchers briefly deprived mice of oxygen, then gave them either 100 percent oxygen or room air, which contains about 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent other gases.

After 72 hours, mice given 100 percent oxygen fared worse than those given room air. For example, they experienced a more disrupted pattern of myelination and developed a motor deficit that mimicked cerebral palsy. The population of immature glial cells also diminished, suggesting that the animals would have trouble replacing the myelin in the long term.

"We wanted to determine whether recovery in 100 percent oxygen after this sort of brain injury would exacerbate neuronal injury and impair functional recovery, and in these animals, it did impair recovery," Dr. Kernie said. "Our research shows even brief exposure to 100 percent oxygen during resuscitation actually worsens white-matter injuries."

Dr. Kernie said adding pure oxygen to the damaged brain increases a process called oxidative stress, caused by the formation of highly reactive molecules. The researchers found, however, that administering an antioxidant, which halts the harmful oxidation process, reversed the damage in the mice given 100 percent oxygen.

"Further research is needed to determine the best possible concentration of oxygen to use for optimal recovery and to limit secondary brain injury," Dr. Kernie said. "Research is now being done to determine the best way to monitor this sort of brain damage in humans so we can understand how it correlates to the mouse models. There are many emerging noninvasive technologies that can monitor the brain."

Interesting isn't it? I wonder if they want to know why this happens?

When we try to administer high concentrations of oxygen to the brain, we actually cut the supply of oxygen the brain actually recieves. This is because high concentrations of oxygen act to constrict the cerebral arteries and veins. Constricted veins carry less blood and as blood carries oxygen, the individual concerned, who might already be in oxygen debt, has his oxygen supply further compromised.

Exactly the same problem is seen in epilepsy, which whether caused by pathology or physiology is a reflexive response to a compromised oxygen supply. The first thing a doctor will do is to supply the individual with oxygen, which very often just produces a bigger, better and more prolonged seizure! They then have to administer massive doses of anti – epileptic medication to undo the damage they have done through administering oxygen and to bring the seizure under control.

So what should be done instead of administering oxygen?

There is a great deal of research, which suggests that carbon dioxide is a good solution to this problem. The brain reacts to higher than normal levels of CO2 by dilating the cerebral arteries and veins. Dilated arteries carry more blood and as I previously pointed out, more blood = more oxygen. Obviously the timing, level and concentration of CO2 administration would need to be carefully controlled, but there is research, particularly with regard to epilepsy that CO2 could provide answers to some serious problems. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/73558.php is a good source just for starters!

So, in summary, the evidence suggests that we should completely review our methods for delivering oxygen to the brain. The direct route of direct administration of oxygen, actually produces the opposite effect to that which is desired and can actually make oxygen deprivation worse, thereby exacerbating the potential for brain injury and worsening neurological symptoms like epilepsy. We need to devise a treatment whereby CO2 enriched air can be administered thereby helping to turn on the brain's own natural anticonvulsant systems and in turn affecting the cerebral vascular system so that it is able to deliver oxygen as necessary. In this way we could not only prevent the occurrence of some types of brain injuries, but we could help to ameliorate the symptoms of those already suffering the consequences of neurological damage.

One thing is certain though, no one should take it upon themselves to administer CO2 enriched air to their child or to anyone else. This should only be done under the guidance of someone who is suitably qualified.


My soul in a body that will not walk,

My min in a face that will not talk.

No mateer how hard I try, you do not hear,

An I need you so much to calm my fear.

I have so much to offer, so much to say,

But I cannot communicate in the usual way.

Look into my eyes and watch my hands,

Only then will you begin to unerstand.

My wheelchair is the barrier you see,

You towering over me is the barrier to me.

We can be friends, we can speak freely,

As soon as you change the way you percieve me!

by ambryan

30 July 2010

What is physio-yoga therapy?

Published: July 27, 2010 7:00 PM

Physio-Yoga Therapy is a type of rehabilitative or preventative therapy that combines both evidence-based physiotherapy and yoga therapy resulting in a more holistic approach to your treatment experience. To understand what this therapy is and if it is right for you, you first need to understand each discipline.

Physiotherapy is a well respected health care profession that uses evidence-based treatment methods to help clients restore and maintain optimal movement and function as well as provide education on health maintenance and injury prevention. As licensed health care professionals, physiotherapists have extensive training and knowledge about how the body functions, and use specialized manual skills to assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of injuries, disease symptoms, and disabilities.

Yoga therapy applies yoga principles and techniques to specific acute or chronic illnesses or states of disease or imbalance. Yoga is an ancient system of health that enables you to use your body, mind, and breath as one unit and, therefore, enhances and promotes an overall balanced lifestyle of health and well-being.

Yoga therapy is an emerging profession that has resulted from the popularity of yoga in the western world; primarily because of its effectiveness in delivering a holistic approach to healing. Medical research shows that it is among the most effective complementary therapies in treating health problems. It enhances health and promotes an optimal state of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health through the integration of traditional yoga methods and Western medicine. Some people are opposed to trying yoga because they believe it is a religion or that it will interfere with their own faith. Yoga is not a religion. There is no deity to worship, no worship services to attend, no rituals, no formal statement of religious belief and no institutional structure of overseers or leaders, nor any system of temples or churches. Yoga can be incorporated into your own belief system; and can actually deepen your own personal faith if you do have one.

Is physio-yoga therapy safe for everyone? Yes, as long as the therapist is properly trained. Not all poses are safe or appropriate for everyone. Yoga poses are modified to adapt to each individual’s need. A physio-yoga therapist will always individually assess and develop a specialized treatment plan to address your specific needs. A physiotherapist is trained to assess and treat a variety of conditions safely and, more importantly, is trained to know how to differential diagnose and knows when to refer to a medical doctor or another health care specialist.

A typical physio-yoga therapy session includes hands on, physiotherapy manual therapy techniques combined with individualized exercise prescription with a focus on yoga postures, breathing practices, meditations and lifestyle modifications. A thorough assessment is completed so that an individualized treatment plan can be developed to accurately address your specific needs.

The knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and the extensive training of a licensed health care professional ensures the assessments and treatments are safe and effective.

So what are the benefits of this type of treatment approach? They are numerous. Physically, yoga postures and breathing techniques can optimize the function of all systems of the body by improving muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, postural alignment, body awareness, vascular and lymph circulation, digestion, hormonal balance, respiration, and by lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones, improving immune function and reducing weight. Mentally, it can improve your alertness, concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, improve your ability to relax, and sleep patterns. Some common conditions that can be addressed are back and neck pain, chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries (shoulders, hips, knees, etc), osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, Irritable Bowel Disease, migraines/headaches, generally deconditioned, pregnancy, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, urinary stress or urge incontinence.

It is worthy to note the role it plays in disease and injury prevention as well.

The key benefit is an overall state of health and well-being!

For more information on yoga therapy, please visit www.iayt.org or www.professionalyogatherapy.org

Shelly Prosko is a Registered Physiotherapist and Yoga Therapist at Sun City Physiotherapy Winfield. She can be contacted at the Winfield clinic (250.766.2544) or by email at winfield@suncityphysiotherapy.com.

29 July 2010

Cerebral Palsy Study Dispels Inflated Costs And Biases

A new study on treating Cerebral Palsy with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is making waves in India and the U.S. The largest sample of children studied to assess neuro-developmental improvements focuses on a combination of standard rehabilitation therapies, such as Occupational, Physical, Speech Therapies and HBOT. HBOT raises the oxygen molecule content in the body through oxygen-carrying blood cells and all body fluids. A person enters a treatment chamber, and the air pressure is compressed with more molecules of air and oxygen. Lately, HBOT has garnered much attention in the media, with athletes using it to train and recover from injuries, diabetics literally saving limbs, patients able to kill resistant bacteria, and most recently, new applications in neurology brain injuries, traumas and disorders.

In fact, this new study out of India compares the use of various hyperbaric pressures with the use of (ambient) air alone or oxygen enrichment in the treatment of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The study shows that low pressure ambient air hyperbaric therapy (1.3 atmospheres-ATA) is as or more effective than high pressure 100% oxygen (1.5 or 1.75 ATA) in the treatment of CP. The children were studied by Dr. Arun Mukherjee, director of the UDAAN Disabled Children's Center, a non-profit organization, recognized and aided by the Indian Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

This landmark study, co-authored with Dr. Pierre Marois (McGill University in Montreal, Canada), further develops the 1999 ground-breaking McGill study (Lancet, February 2001) by expanding the number of subjects and by implementing an accurate placebo-control testing method. Subjects with a functional diagnosis of spastic diplegia cerebral palsy received one of four hyperbaric options, in addition to standard therapies: 1) the placebo therapy (20 subjects); 2) hyperbaric therapy at 1.3 ATA breathing ambient air under pressure (36 subjects); 3) hyperbaric therapy breathing 100% oxygen at 1.5 ATA (32 subjects); and 4 ) 1.75 ATA with 100% oxygen (58). All subjects were reevaluated at six months after conclusion of therapy to negate any traces of the placebo effect. The study showed significant improvements for all three groups receiving therapy (the placebo group showed little or no improvement). There were no significant improvement differences between the therapies, with a slight preference (cognitive improvement) shown towards 1.3 ATA with air only.

These results, combined with the McGill study, refute previous assumptions in the hyperbaric industry that 100% oxygen under higher pressure is a superior treatment, a false "more is better" treatment bias. In the areas of cognitive development, the milder therapy does not trigger the narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction) in the brain in the way that the other therapies do, thus allowing additional oxygen to pass through tissue unrestricted.

"It brings into focus that the much more affordable mild hyperbaric therapy is an accessible alternative to expensive high-pressure hyperbaric therapy and does not compromise a patient's standard of care," Dr. Mukherjee admits.

This study has far-reaching implications for other neurological conditions as well. Facing the sky-rocketing costs of treating traumatic brain injury for recovering veterans, stroke, and autism, this study brings hope to those families struggling to afford this greatly desired therapy.

Dr. Arun Mukherjee is Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine, Majeedia Hospital, and Hamdard University, New Delhi, India, and a member of the International Hyperbarics Association.

Source: International Hyperbarics Association

24 July 2010

On Inner Belief and Persistence.

I just want to say that this is going to be my very first blog that will be written in my underwear. It’s fun an relaxing, and I like it!
A thought came to mind a few moments ago, and it had to do with my self confidence. I can remember growing up being somewhat confident in anything I was going up against in life. It didn’t matter what it was, because there was a determination to get the victory over the challenge in front of me.
When I first started Judo, as a kid I probably only weighed about 90 some pounds all together, the first kid I ever took on in Rondori (sparring) out weighed me by a hundred pounds I bet. My buddy Rich was a brown belt at the time. He watched from the sidelines as me and the bigger kid squared off. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to move the kid a whole lot, so I attacked his legs and caused him to loose balance several times.
After that I felt like I could take on anyone, no matter the height or weight. My buddy Rich afterwards patted me on the back and said: “man, you kicked his ass!” A grin went from ear to ear. Looking back on it, I’m not sure what happened to it. I used to have a confidence when talking to girls, but now oh days I refrain, for the fact that I might sound really stupid.
The other day I was sitting in the lobby before seeing my counselor, and this girl walked in an smiled at me. And I returned one back, but then she just went back to texting her life away on her phone. I made compliments on her tattoos, and she would look up an smile. A few moments later I asked how she was, but she just kinda shrugged her shoulders and kept texting.
I haven’t always been like this, afraid of failure. But I am. I’ve found that my inner belief is linked to the beliefs of others around me. I have big goals in my sites, but it seems like people are waiting for me to fall on my ass, so that I know just how hard some things are in life.
I swear to you, I’m not clueless. I know that the world we live in is very cruel, twisted and unfair. It’s like walking/running on a treadmill. If your legs and feet are not moving fast enough, you can fall down flat on your face. You can try to go as fast as you can to keep up, but no matter how hard you try, sometimes you need someone to come saving you from becoming a cartoon charecter.
There is a segment in the Matrix that goes like this:
Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or
purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself. Although, only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson, Why? Why do you persist?
That is exactly what repeats in my ear. Why do we choose to keep running up stream? It’s because we long for rest, a drink of refreshing water, knowing we fought our hearts out. That’s why I persist. Inner confidence can sometimes be hidden in our eyes, but there’s a fire in the belly that compells to keep us moving forward.
I have hope in the pit of my stomach. Do you have hope?

Concering Scripture and Skin Hunger.

Hello all my friends in Blog world. I hope you all are well and drinking lots of water. Wow that was a great opening line huh? The folks at Gatorade would be highly, highly impressed. I really have no idea why I just wrote that, but hey, it sounded funny in my head.
Life has been pretty well, still cooking and learned how to do laundry as well. Next on the list is to tackle driving, and handle some more stuff concerning going back to College. So yeah, things are movin and grooven.
Patients though, well that’s another thing all in it’s self. Humans want things right now, and not any other time. Myself included. Anyway in terms of my writing I’m making a good amount of progress, the pages are adding up and things seem to be taking shape. However slow, however nerve wracking.
Even though the topic of touch and skin hunger are spilling over in my life, a certain timid-ness makes it’s self known in my heart and guts. To me these are important issues, yet I’m so sure (in numbers) how important it is to other people.
Currently I’m sharing about a girl who is Autistic, was abandoned by her parents and left to be raised by dogs for six years, that’s not the whole story there’re so very powerful redeeming qualities to it. Developmentally this young lady is only six years old, in a twenty-three year olds body. Her story captures me, and I see and sence God’s love for her. And that he has given her nothing but love, grace and compassion.
These are my convictions, the other day I was praying for certain scriptures that I could use in these writings. The first one that came to mind was Luke 18:15-17; which reads like this:
“Some people were even bringing infants to him so he might touch them, (key word-touch) but when the disciples saw it they rebuked them. (The babies and children’s parents Jesus, however, invited them: Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Perhaps I’m in danger of taking this out of it’s proper context, but this young lady, developmentally is still a child. A beautiful one at that, and I believe that this verse calls out to people such as her. I simply do not see why God would extend his hand to her.
What do you think? Am I in danger of taking the verse out of it’s context?
Can you help me think of other passages in scripture that deal with touch or skin hunger?
Thoughts and comments are welcome.

On Perfection and Truth -Rant-

I wish someone could turn off my brain for awhile, but yet my body still function. Like I could still live my normal days, just not feel so hard pressed. For example I’m seven pages into the new writing, which equals out to one chapter. And I’m looking at it, and I’m noticing how layered my life is. Or that I jump around from thought to thought. Everything is still very much word vomit and I suppose it’s drivng me mad. And I’m MR. critical, so that doesn’t help in the matter.
A friend told me recently in a email that ironicly a lot of the good writers think that their not good writers at all. And the one’s that think their just are amazing, really are not that good at all. I mean were told in the scriptures not to think to high of ourselves, or to low of ourselves. Yet there seems to be this on going process to finding the balance on how we rank ourselves based on our talents. A lot of people love my words, but because an agent has yet to endorse me, and handed me a nice advance that keeps me from seeing worthwhile.
It kills to crave perfection, someone could rank me a perfect ten as a writer, and I’d give myself a two or a four. It’s the same way with life. Some say that we’ve lived a great live, but really feel like we haven’t lived a great life. I don’t think I’m very good at living life at all, especially when it comes to living the life of a Christian.
All I really want to do is just is open up this heart of mine, and share with the world what’s being going on in my life. But I hold myself back because I’m afraid of the possible reprocussians that might come my way. I was reading MSN news the other day, and this famous female Country singer came out as a homosexual. She was saying how she was on her knees praying, and as she was she felt God whisper to her: All I want for you to do is just tell the truth.” The truth about her life… Man is that powerful, and I’m not even saying that agree or disagree with what she’s chosen to do in her life.
But as a writer, I have some what of a moral responsability to tell the truth. Right? I was sitting in my room yesterday, everything was quiet. And I just starting praying that I wanted to make God happy with the talents he’s given me. Again, this is where perfection kills me, I want to give him something perfect. The truth is I can’t, but I can give him my utter most best.
Yes, I’m a people pleaser, I want people to like me and love. But even when you give everything you got, someones not going to like it. So I think a lot of people have to find what is worth more to them..

my life has just begun... :)

Okay, so this is my first blog ever, so it might not be the best you've read but hey!
So, I'll start with my details :)

Name Ella Joy Shipley
Birthday: 17 December 1996 (born 3 months early)

Now I am 13 and getting on with life no matter what gets in my way :)
I fell this song kind of sums up my whole life really

When i get older i Will be stronger they`ll call me fredom just like a wavin` flag♫

09 July 2010

Gameworld: Motion games broaden uses beyond exercise

By John Gaudiosi
Thursday, July 8, 2010; 6:30 PM

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - Ever since Nintendo launched the Wii, gamers have been interacting with characters and working out with virtual trainers in titles like Electronic Arts' "EA Sports Active" or Ubisoft's "Your Shape."

Nintendo is even encouraging families to exercise together with "Wii Games: Summer 2010," a national tour that kicks off in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 16 with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson serving as an ambassador for the competition.

Now researchers, scientists and game developers are using Nintendo's console for many other health-oriented applications, and in some cases are getting millions of dollars in grants to dream up new technologies.

A recent gathering of over 400 top minds at the sixth annual Games for Health Conference in Boston found innovative new ways that video games with motion-sensor controllers are being used to help doctors and patients.

Through a grant from the National Institute of Health, Red Hill Games and the School of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco are using Wii technology to create games that help people with Parkinson's disease improve their balance. One called "Rail Runner" requires patients to stand up and sit down to operate an old-fashioned railroad hand cart.

"Most of these patients are in their 70s and 80s, and they really love these games," said Bob Hone, creative director at Red Hill Studios. "They really want something that's going to address their disease, and what's different is these games are designed specifically for them."

Red Hill is incorporating similar Wii technology into games to help improve gait and balance in kids with Cerebral Palsy.

"These kids sometimes have physical challenges, so we've taken that into account to make games where they feel like they're walking and they get to the finish line successfully," said Hone.

07 July 2010

16 June 2010

Death Valley Jack runs for Cerebral Palsy Care

The marathon runs have helped Jack to support local charities and he has raised over £100,000 since his running career began. In 2010 he will be supporting Kent organisation Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods.

“The work Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods do is amazing in enriching the lives of children affected by Cerebral Palsy. The staff are so dedicated to the kids and it’s an honour to do what I can to help them in their work. Seeing how the money raised benefits the children is motivation enough for me when I’m running.”

Jack will be supported in Death Valley by a crew of six including his loyal wife Megs. The crew van will travel alongside Jack to keep him motivated and hydrated.

Supporters can follow Jack’s progress through video and photo updates on facebook by becoming a fan of his official page ‘Death Valley Jack’ and helping Jack get more fans than Usain Bolt. Seven Seas will be incentivising supporters to encourage their friends to join by donating money each week to Cerebal Palsy of Cliffe Woods if the Facebook group reaches set fan number targets.

Jack and his support crew will also tweet on his race progress via @deathvalleyjack from July 11th.

For more information on Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods visit www.cpckent.org. To make a donation visit Jack’s Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/jack4cerebralpalsycare.

13 June 2010

Area man trying to raise funds for surgery to restore ability to walk

By JILL WHALEN (Staff Writer)

Published: June 12, 2010

Brian Lang wants to walk again.

Lang lost the use of his legs to multiple sclerosis a few years ago, and is hoping stem cell treatment will help him to his feet again.

The Hazle Township man has been researching the procedure and said it has shown "fantastic success" for others with multiple sclerosis. The treatment uses stem cells to replace or repair a patient's damaged cells or tissues.

"It basically turns back the body to what it was like when you were born," he said. The problem is the procedure is not offered in the United States, and it's not covered by insurance, putting it out of reach for Lang. He wants to somehow raise money for the operation - and is hoping some will hear his story and want to help.

Lang has been in a wheelchair since 2005, a few years after his multiple sclerosis was diagnosed. He also tested positive for Lyme disease, which is spread through deer tick bites.

Until that time, he was active. Growing up on a farm outside Shickshinny, he has always loved the outdoors and the activities it has to offer. When he wasn't working, he hunted, went snow-tubing and hiked.

He now relies on health aids to help him with everyday tasks like getting out of bed. And while his motorized wheelchair gets him around, it doesn't compare to the freedom of being able to walk unassisted.

"It was tough," he said of losing his independence and mobility.

Lang goes to physical therapy several times each week, and is able to stand with some assistance.

"My doctor told me, 'With your determination, you probably will walk again,'" Lang said.

Lang knows he will, too.

"I know it's possible," he said. "I won't stop trying until I walk again. When there's a will, there's a way."

Lang said he's willing to travel to Europe or China for the procedure, because it could be years until stem cell treatment is approved in the United States.

According to Dr. David Owens and Dr. Naomi Kleitman, program directors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, research on stem cell therapy is ongoing.

"In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration requires evidence that a medical approach is both safe and effective before it approves its use," Owens said. "Safety and efficacy are demonstrated by data acquired through clinical trials. Recently in the United States, a clinical trial has been proceeding that is evaluating the safety of transplanted neural stem cells in patients with a type of motor neuron disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."

"The promise of both embryonic and adult stem cells for use in future therapies is exciting, but significant technical hurdles remain that will only be overcome through years of intensive research," Kleitman added, noting the national institute supports a diverse array of stem cell research.

Although it's not yet approved in the United States, Lang said it has been done successfully overseas. He said the procedure, like every medical procedure, carries some risk.

Anyone wishing to help Lang can contact him at artic11@verizon.net or Brian Lang, 1000 W. 28th St., Hazlewood Apartments, Apt. 103, Hazle Township, PA 18202.


12 June 2010

Equipment helps children walk independently

New equipment donated to Adventist Paulson Pediatric Rehabilitation Center is helping children with physical limitations improve their quality of life. The universal exercise unit, a device used to help children learn to walk independently, is expected to benefit countless children with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders.

Four-year-old Owen Chaidez, the first patient to use the technology, already has made remarkable progress improving his limited range of motion; the Downers Grove boy cannot walk due to arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a disorder characterized by reduced mobility of multiple joints. Owen's arms and legs have limited range of motion and he has undergone therapy at Adventist Paulson Pediatric Rehab since he was two weeks old.

"Physically, he's gained so much range of motion in just a few weeks," said Maggie Chaidez, Owen's mom. "But the emotional gains have been just as incredible. Instead of rolling on the floor to get where he needs, now he wants to walk all the time. He's becoming more independent. Between visits to Paulson, he constantly asks when we're going back there."

By increasing strength and range of motion, isolating the weakened muscle groups, and eliminating gravitational forces on the weak muscles, the exercise unit improves balance and coordination, promotes motor skills and enhances a child's self-confidence. The design concept is based on technology originally invented to counteract the negative effects, such as muscle atrophy and osteoporosis, experienced by astronauts due to lack of gravity. The unit counteracts the force of gravity that prevents weakened muscles from performing.

The unit is used in two different ways. First, a treatment bed or chair is used with a system of pulleys and suspensions with the primary goal of improving strength, active range of motion, and muscle flexibility. Alternatively, a suspension system used with a belt and elastic cords (dubbed the "spider cage" by the pediatric patients who use it) helps children achieve gains in balance, coordination and function. The child wears a belt hooked into bungee cords that suspend and support the child in the middle of the cage. This provides just the right amount of support needed to allow the patient to perform exercises virtually independently, which aids sitting, crawling, standing, walking, climbing and jumping.

Because children with neurological disorders often lack muscle tone, coordination, strength and balance, they often try to perform a specific movement using their upper and lower extremities simultaneously. The UEU, along with specific exercises performed in it, allows the therapist to re-train the child to isolate one extremity from the other and move it independently, helping develop a normal gait and, eventually, learn to walk on their own.

"This equipment has allowed us to do intensive therapy with Owen," said his physical therapist, Carrie Crozier-Arena. "It's a huge help to me because it supports him, freeing me to concentrate on his individual muscle movements instead of having to hold him in place and work his muscles at the same time."

The equipment was donated to the rehab center by the Burr Ridge-based The Lazzara Family Foundation, founded by Philip and Antoinette Lazzara in 1984 to support nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, health care, and human services. The foundation donated $6,150 for the equipment, accessories and employee training.

"We are pleased to support the amazing children who rely on Adventist Paulson Pediatric Rehabilitation Center and its dedicated team of therapists through our grant program," said Jack Lazzara, on behalf of The Lazzara Family Foundation. "We believe it's important to invest in our local communities to provide opportunities for improving the lives of others and we're delighted that Owen and his friends are benefiting so greatly from this new equipment."

Hinsdale Hospital Foundation is seeking another $10,000 for additional training and specialized full-body suits used in conjunction with the unit in order to expand its use to bigger children who need to wear larger size suspension suits.

"We're extremely grateful to The Lazzara Family Foundation for their generosity," said Susan King, executive director of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation. "Our hope is that their seed grant will inspire additional donations allowing us to serve even more children in our community."

06 June 2010

Mayo Clinic Releases First Children's Book Based On Therapy Dog

Mayo Clinic released its first children's book featuring "Dr. Jack," a 9-year-old miniature pinscher who is Mayo's first facility-based service dog. Escorted by his owner, Mayo employee Marcia Fritzmeier, Jack is part of the health care team that helps patients with physical activity, rehabilitation, and speech therapy. Mayo physicians place an order in a patient's medical record when requesting a visit by Dr. Jack, who sees approximately eight to 10 patients per day.

"In looking for ways to convey the Mayo Clinic model of care, we found a truly remarkable ambassador for Mayo: a little dog named Jack, who actually is a member of the Mayo team," says the book's author Matt Dacy, of Mayo's Department of Development. "This book is the story of Mayo as told through the experience of Jack in a way that children can understand and adults and readers of all ages can appreciate."

"Why do we offer animal-assisted therapy to Mayo Clinic patients? Because it works!" says Brent Bauer, M.D., Mayo Clinic Department of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. "Of course, almost every patient 'feels' better after a visit by a dog like Jack. But scientific studies have shown this type of therapy can reduce pain in children, improve outcomes in adults hospitalized with heart failure, and reduce medication use in elderly patients."

In the book, Dr. Jack wears an identification tag with the Mayo Clinic three shields -- which stand for clinical practice, education and research. When a young boy at Mayo Clinic meets Dr. Jack, he rubs his tag and the two go on an amazing tour of Mayo Clinic, including a helicopter ride on Mayo One. The book includes a biography of Jack by Jenee Marchant and a medical essay on the "Healing Dimension of Pets" by Edward Creagan, M.D., of Mayo's Department of Oncology. Mayo Trustee and former first lady Barbara Bush wrote the book's foreword and John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO, provided the welcome. The book is illustrated by Robert Morreale, unit head of Mayo's Section of Medical Illustration and Animation.

Mayo Clinic

Golfer with cerebral palsy proves to be inspirational

31 May 2010

Teens turn Wii remote into physical therapy tool

BY LESLIE BIXLER • Staff writer • May 13, 2010

Andrew Nichelson, a student at Ross High School, and Tiffin Columbian students Seth Sholl and Cody Semer came up with the idea as a senior project for the Tech Center's Computer Communications Network Technician program.

"We modified a Wii mote and turned it into a mouse," Sholl said, adding that they added Velcro straps to secure it to a person's wrist.

Originally, the teens thought to create a variant of a data glove used for gaming. But they turned it into a medical device after talking to Sholl's father, a physical therapist. Sholl said it ended up being more convenient and less expensive to go that route.

Semer said they connect the Wii remote to a computer through Bluetooth signals. The signals are emulated as mouse movements on the screen. He said the program is almost like a game, but tests a person's movement capabilities.

"We're hoping people can use this at home, and the program could send information to an occupational therapist," Semer said.

This would help people with cerebral palsy and people who have had a stroke, the students said. It could also help slow down muscular sclerosis.

"We incorporated three dimensions with the project to test depth perception and ataxic cerebral palsy," Sholl said.

Semer said the project is still not complete.

"We had the project done for state (competition), but we're thinking about taking it further," he said.

They worked with Floyd Collins, their instructor; Terry Ritchie, another instructor; an instructor at Terra Community College; and an occupational therapist at Bellevue Hospital.

They also credit fellow students for help.

"They worked very hard on this project, and we came into the school on weekends while other students where home relaxing and enjoying the weekend," Collins said. "The biggest hurdle for the team was overcoming their fears of presenting the project to the judges.

"They learned more from this project than can be taught from books or the classroom. They learned what it is to be a team and working for a common goal, relying on each other's strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. I am very proud of each of them, and I hope they take what they learned from this and keep going."

Last month, the teens went to Columbus for a business and technology competition and took third place for their project.

They were the first team from the Tech Center in the Tech Prep Showcase in March at Terra Community College.