We have been doing Cate’s new program for about 6 weeks and there is a big difference! Besides learning that Cate can speed read commercial books independently (about 35 new books/week) her body is changing. Cate’s muscles are very tight, especially in her upper body. Typically kids with cerebral palsy that have high tone get progressively worse with regards to tightness. Although Cate is very tight she has slowly loosened since we started the program with The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) about 2 years ago.
She can now open her hands and leave them open, she used to always have her hands closed with her thumbs under her fingers. She can sit in a high chair or carseat, she used to arch her back and scream in pain constantly. She can put her arms down by her sides, she used to have her hands up by her ears with her elbows out all the time. She can push herself up and crawl on her stomach, she used to hardly be able to pick up her head.
But we have never seen such a change as we have over the past 5 weeks. During our recent revisit to the IAHP in March she was programmed to start a new oxygen enrichment program that consists of her breathing oxygen and carbon dioxide at an 80% 20% ratio for a short time several times a day. She is so loose that she is having a hard time sitting up in her high chair and carseat. She fell asleep in her carseat for the first time since she was 6 months old! She is letting us do her physical patterns with ease and a smile. Cate is loose, loose, loose! This is amazing but also a little shocking because we have only known her very tight. As one of her doctors at the IAHP said she will have to get used to her new “body”. So now the work begins for her to build up her muscles properly. We are very hopeful that the “80/20 masks” will continue to reduce her tone along with all the other benefits of getting more oxygen to her brain including improvement in speech, manual ability, sensory issues, and her crawling!
She told me today, through facilitated communication, that she loves her new masks and how it makes her feel. I don’t think I have ever seen her this happy throughout the day. Praise God!
Thank you to the people at the IAHP, http://www.iahp.org.