Physio’s headache

Samuel sees a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist about once a month. Both have known Samuel since the beginning and the girls are always very good with Samuel and seem to have a real understanding of the little man.

In the past, some physio sessions haven’t been terribly successful. Not because of Samuel’s seizures, more that he goes to sleep and proves hard to wake up. I’m not sure whether this is some kind of subconscious tactic of his to avoid the session but it can be frustrating. I’ve had to ask the girls not to give him a cuddle at the start of the session now because I’m sure this makes him extra snoozy! We’ve found that the way to wake him and keep him awake is to do tummy time with him which he doesn’t like as it means he has to put effort in.

You see, when he first started having physio sessions regularly, the girls would do very gentle movements with him and he would mainly stay on his back on the mat. But then they progressed to making him do more work, including tummy time. He doesn’t like it. He just wants to lie on the mat and be stroked!

Samuel has quite bad positioning. Where the physios would like him to lie straight and keep his head, arms and legs central, Samuel has other ideas. His favourite position is to lie head over to the right side and his body to be at an angle in a kind of banana shape, with his ankles crossed and his arms stretched out like a scarecrow!

Samuel isn’t mobile at all and it is anticipated that he may never be. But for good general physical health, it’s good for him to have good positioning. Plus our aim is to strengthen his neck and encourage him to support his head with the hope he might be able to sit up sometime down the line (at the moment he has to have full support like a very young baby).

We do quite a bit of physio with him at home and sometimes combine physio with play. I’m always finding myself moving his arms down, turning his head gently to the middle and uncrossing his legs, but that boy may have special needs and disabilities, but he knows what position he likes to relax in and is very stubborn. So if I don’t use supports (like rolled up towels, soft toys etc – not very high-tech), before long he’ll return to that position! I’m not sure if we’ll ever win the battle of Samuel’s positioning, but we love him, even if he’s our scarecrow banana boy.