T is for Therapy

Sam Bowen by Sam Bowen Additional Needs

Sam Bowen

Sam Bowen

Hi I’m Sam, Mum to Lucy who is has complex special needs but is the happiest person I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting! I own Hip-Pose Ltd, a br...

For the past two days I’ve driven my 6 year old daughter to London two hours each way on a journey that should take half that time.

London traffic it would seem is a law unto itself and time takes twice as long.

They really should have invented road lanes just for transit vans – not that they’d stay in them as they seem to enjoy cutting up the rest of the traffic and find indicators optional.

To say I arrive at our destination stressed is an understatement.

The calmest voice in the car is that of the Satnav and even she sounds pretty bored by now.

Lucy is a good traveller but two hours strapped into a car seat is no entertainment and not great for her posture either.

Despite this, I tell myself that it’s worth the effort. We are about to try a new therapy, a very exclusive one only available in California, London and wait for it ... Scarborough!

Now you don’t hear those three locations in the same sentence often do you?!

The therapy is called the Anat Baniel Method, a movement system that evolved from Fieldenkrais therapy and is different to anything else we have tried.

And boy have we tried a lot of different things!

In addition to the standard NHS approved physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, we have tried in no particular order: Cranio Sacral therapy, Osteopathy, Fieldenkrais, Brushing, Hydrotherapy and Conductive Education.

We have also been going to Brainwave in Essex for the past three and a half years and take Lucy horse riding regularly.

Our house is fit to burst with equipment, from bouncing gym balls of all sizes, scooter/ crawler aids and walkers, benches, conductive education chairs... you name it we probably have it.

No one could say we haven’t tried, but then who am I kidding no one is going to stand there and say that, just as no one is likely to give us a medal for trying either.

That’s because she’s our child, our responsibility and we can stop when we or she wants to, only it’s never that simple is it?

Whilst there is just one more therapy out there suggesting it might work, it’s too tempting to go that extra mile to try it.

And then there’s the cost. These ‘alternative’ therapies don’t come cheap and very few are funded on the NHS.

It’s easy to get sucked into a form of self blackmail, if I just pay for X amount of sessions Lucy might do A, B or C as a consequence.

Our main concern is walking – but I know plenty of other families for whom talking, sitting or eating is their goal or tackling specific behavioural issues.

I know I should be grateful that I have therapy options available to us, the time to be able to take Lucy to them and to some extent the income to make them possible.

For now our two days with the new therapy have worked well, we are still in that early flush of hope stage like in a new romance.

Here’s hoping our dates continue.


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