Recently Asher has started a new therapy called Feldenkrais. I have been hesitant to write about it because I don't have any idea how to explain it, but it's something we're going to pursue going forward so I figured I should give it a shot.
You can read some proper explanations here and here but I will give you the simple form of what I both see, and what I felt when I had a session myself (to better understand it).
The idea is "awareness through movement" - making you more aware of your body and helping you to find easier ways to move. Asher's practitioner stretches and supports and moves him in ways more conducive to helping the parts of him that don't work as well as he'd like. For instance, when she supports his shoulder and his rib cage, it is remarkable how well he is able to move his right arm; the more he is supported to use that arm in a way that feels more natural, the more he will learn to use it on his own. When I went for my session it was incredible to be made aware of all of the parts of your body you use for a simple movement that you take for granted (such as standing up).
My short explanation is not doing it justice, but all I can say is that we are seeing results. Not big ones, like suddenly he is sitting or crawling or walking, but little ones. For instance, he now regularly grabs his right hand with his left and clasps them (he NEVER did that before), he reaches out to use his right arm more often (crudely, but he is making the attempt) and he has more purposeful movements with his left hand (pressing buttons with just his pointer finger with a remarkable degree of control). I mentioned to her that the other when I brought his knees to his chest (something I do regularly when playing on the floor to encourage flexion) he grabbed at his pants and held on to them next to the knee. She was absolutely thrilled to hear that, as in the session prior she and Asher worked on putting his hands on his knees and he had obviously remembered (Jordan took him that day so I didn't see what they had done).
Seeing the results in such a short period of time make me feel such promise and believe that his brain really IS going to rewire itself in a lot of ways. Do I believe this is going to "fix" him? Absolutely not. Do I believe it is going to benefit him greatly? YES YES YES! Asher is soooo determined, and for every physical part of him that is weak, there are numerous other parts that are so strong and just waiting to be utilized. So when I think that maybe he can use all of his physical strength and most importantly his DETERMINATION to help him master some of the other parts of his body, it excites me to no end.
You should see him at therapy - our practitioner loves Asher, and he loves her. He is literally smiling the entire time we are with her, so that also reaffirms what a positive thing this is. Yes, he is a happy boy who loves to flirt and smile at the ladies, but as much as he loves his physio/occupational/speech therapists, they don't get the love she does. She has mentioned many times that he "knows he's something special" and he's "figured out he's a prince". Yes he has, and he's not afraid to let you know!
So it all sounds pretty positive right?! Well it is - almost. But the almost is a big one. It's expensive. It's not covered by our provincial medical, by Jordan's extended benefits, or by any funding that we have come across* . That leaves it completely on us. It is considered alternative therapy, which is ridiculous. We are not burning herbs and chanting and "willing" Asher to be healed - this is legitimate. But the government of Canada doesn't think so, so for now we pay. A lot.
So we compromise. We'll bring him far less often than we'd like to, but far more often than we can afford. Somehow we'll make it work. When we see results, even the teeniest tiniest ones, it gives us hope. And no price can be put on that.
*Anyone in BC who knows of something you think I may be unaware of, please let us know!