About a year ago I started looking for new ways to help and encourage Ethan's development. As a mum I want the best for my son and want to help him develop in every way I can. Since a young age Ethan has been seeing an NHS physiotherapist and occupational therapist. Ethan absolutely adores them and has been amazingly accepting of the exercises they gave him. As time went on I started to wonder if there was more I could be doing for my baby boy.
Watching other people's children learn to sit, then crawl and then walk has not been easy. For a while I didn't notice it, but then I started to notice it more especially when children much younger than Ethan started doing things he couldn't. There is nothing I want more than for my baby boy to be able to be running around causing havoc! I started to look for more that I could do for Ethan and that's when a friend suggested BIBIC.
I decided to look into it and started by finding their website. On there were testimonials from parents who were told their child would never walk and yet with the help of a BIBIC program their child had learnt the skills they needed and had started walking! I wanted this for Ethan so I started the process! Ethan has an initial assessment which was over the phone. We discussed Ethan and his strengths and what we wanted help with. My main concerns at the time was Ethan's head control and the fact that he didn't open his hands. We booked the first two day assessment for July last year.
We went to the clinic in Bridgwater for the first of our two days their. On the first day the therapists got to know Ethan. They watched him and assessed what skills he had and what skills he lacked. Ethan worked extremely hard that day and was rewarded with a dip in the sensory pool there. Ethan's development was plotted onto a developmental book which we would get to keep. Ethan didn't tick many boxes on this first assessment but he did tick more than I thought he would. On the second day we went back for them to show us Ethan's program.
The program was to be put into place everyday with Ethan at home. The exercises would take half an hour each session and would work alongside the physio he already had in place. We set targets to Improve Ethan's head control, open his hands and to help encourage leg control. I will always remember what the therapist said to me that day.... "We will get his hands open". This filled me with such hope. We went home and put the program into place which included; full body massage with vibrating body massager, head control exercises, massage to the hand, exercises to encourage the hands to be used, activities to encourage eye control, creeping along a mat and exercises to encourage leg control amongst other things.
After four months we returned to BIBIC. I was so excited to show them all little am had learnt. In just four months Ethan's head control had hugely improved and was holding his head up for more than 50% of the time, his eye control had improved slightly, general strength was better, but above all Ethan's hands were opening! Yes he still has them closed a lot but he was opening and closing them all by himself! I was over the moon! With all this improvement Ethan had ticked more boxes and had moved up a bit in his development chart. Ethan's program was tweaked and a coup,e of new exercises were added and another appointment booked for 5 months time.
We returned for the next assessment last week. This was by far a very exciting visit! Ethan's head control had increased again and is now holding his head up for 90% of the time, hands open for around 80% of the time, vision and communication improved and major improvements in arm control and bringing them into the midline (something Ethan wasn't doing at all). They were so impressed as were we. Ethan moved up 20 points on his development chart and moved into another development area.
Ethan has worked incredibly hard. He never complains and always willingly does his exercises. He laughs uncontrollably at the massage and loves the singing in the program. I am so overwhelmed by the progress Ethan is making, I never thought my little man would be able to do all he is doing and every little milestone is massive to us. Without the help of this program and Ethan's hard work he would not be doing as we'll as he is now. He's made such progress in less than a year and I cannot wait to see what he does next!
BIBIC is a charity and so all their money is fundraised or donated. We pay for the treatment Ethan receives. We however only pay a small percentage of what the treatment actually costs. Without the support of generous people the clinic would not be able to run and help support children just like Ethan. What they do changes lives and so they need your support, please visit their website to learn how you could help them to continue their fantastic work. www.bibic.org.uk