James - severe cerebral palsy
Following oxygen deprivation at birth, James was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. The prognosis was bleak. He would never walk, talk or feed himself, his visual systems had been damaged to the extent that he would have no useful sight.
After months of conventional physiotherapy James' high tone had all but disappeared, but it had yielded few other results. It was at this point I heard about the Bowen clinic, another couple whose son also had cerebral palsy were delighted by their son's progress and passed on the details with glowing recommendations.
Initially I dared not hope for any improvement on James' abilities but I leapt at the chance of attending one clinic.
After 2 sessions the changes to James were obvious. His digestion had improved and he had started drinking cow's milk for the first time. He gained weight at a faster pace and he ate a wider variety of food. After 3 sessions his speech therapist commented on the rapid development of his chewing action and increased maturity in his tongue action.
Previously James would sometimes grip an object if placed in his hand. After 2 sessions he was holding a spoon for the duration of a meal, bringing his hand to mouth to feed himself if was given a biscuit or a crisp. After three sessions he actively seeks objects with his hands.
James' physiotherapist who has been involved almost since birth noted a dramatic change in his sitting posture, increased weight bearing on his feet and attempts at stepping. Both the physiotherapist and a home advisory worker commented on the increased activity in James' arms and hands and improvement in bringing his hand to midline and to his mouth.
Previously James would not tolerate his pushchair or car seat for a period of 30 minutes and would not go to sleep without being cuddled until he was asleep. He slept fitfully and needed to be repositioned through the night.
After 2 sessions James will tolerate his car seat and pushchair for a few hours or simply fall asleep whilst in them. James can now be placed in his cot and left to fall asleep by himself. He sleeps soundly and following the third session I've yet to be woken one night to reposition James as he is now able to do it for himself.
James has been making clumsy efforts to crawl but his technique is noticeably improved since his sessions at the Bowen clinic and is propelling himself short distances. While James has always been quite active and a happy child his activity levels have soared and he is always on the verge of laughter. His enjoyment of life is only too obvious. He is more responsive to people, his toys and environment and has developed a greater ability to vocalize and communicate his pleasure, displeasure and a wide range of emotions.
The biggest improvement however has, undoubtedly, been to his eyesight. Despite one prediction that James would never have any useful vision, James' visual impairment worker has been able to use baby eye tests to demonstrate that James already has useful sight which although is immature to his age has been [able] to develop further.
Family life with James is so much easier and enjoyable, not only for him, but also for us as parents. Howard Plummer and his assistants have helped James so much in just three sessions, we have seen results not expected in James lifetime. My only regret is that I was not aware of the Bowen technique and clinic earlier. The technique may not bring such rapid, obvious results for every child but every child should have the opportunity of attending such a clinic. I cannot articulate enough superlatives to describe the difference made to James and his family.
In accordance with the BTPA Codes of Practice, therapists treating children under 16 years of age are required to have the child's parent or guardian present at all times.