Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adnan Update July 5, 2014

Here is a further update on how Adnan is doing. We continued the Feldenkrais therapy with Kathy and of course Adnan’s physical agility kept improving. At his 2.5 years he was already able to independently climb the stairs up and down without any assistance! At the playground he is very independent and wants to do everything by himself! He is even able to climb up the stairs and slide down in one of those slides! Although most of the times I stand by him just to make sure that I am nearby, he increasingly rarely needs my assistance whilst climbing the stairs. This is a great achievement, which I almost had not hoped coming several months before. Unfortunately, very soon we have to head back to our country of origin Azerbaijan, and therefore, have to stop the Feldenkreis therapy with Kathy for Adnan. Although we feel sad about it, nevertheless as a family we believe that by now Adnan has received a lot of vital information through regular sessions with Kathy, and he therefore will keep on progressing and developing. We will surely keep you posted!  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Adnan, Two Year Old Dealing With Stroke at Birth

Adnan, is a very strong-willed and darling young boy. His mother was the inspiration for starting this blog so I am posting Adnan's history in her words:

A Little History

Adnan at 17 months
Adnan was born with birth complications as a result of which he has had a left-sided brain bleeding. We knew about it at birth, but were told that if symptoms do not prevail, we should not do anything about it. When Adnan was 6 month old, I started to notice that he is not using his right hand as often as the left hand. After my repeated pleas to his pediatrician, he was finally diagnosed at his 9 months well visit with right sided hemi paresis. He was not only restricted in the usage of his right hand, also his right hand and leg had high and sometimes unequally distributed tone compared to his left side. Both his feet were turned inward (right foot was more affected) and not fully grasping the floor. He presented delays in meeting up his milestones. After long enrollment procedure, we finally started physical, occupational and speech therapy services through the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program.  

ECI therapists kept coming during the following months, but, except for some improvements in his right hand, I was not noticing any improvements neither in positioning of his feet, nor in terms of him reaching his milestones. At about 15 month old, he was not crawling on all fours (only combat crawling), was not cruising or walking. He was able only to sit (which he learned around 12 months old) and was able to pull up to stand only if we helped him. He was wearing leg braces on both feet to correct his feet positioning.

I was worried to death for him. Seeing your child not being able to do things that his peers have been doing long ago was heartbreaking. I know they say “it is not a race”, and I do agree with that. But I believe there is a reasonable limit to a “child taking his time," and one should certainly distinguish between the “late blooming child” and the “delayed child with neurological issues”.

I started to look for alternative therapies. In the course of my research I came across a forum where parents were discussing the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method® for different sorts of issues their children had. I was ready to try anything that might work, so, decided to go for it. Through my searches I found Kathy, who was recommended by her colleagues during my telephone conversations with some of them as “being really great with the kids”. That was it, I called her and luckily for us, she agreed to see my son.

Meeting Kathy

When we met Kathy, Adnan was about 15 months old. She was indeed great with my son Adnan, just as described. Adnan enjoyed sessions greatly, as she is very soft, easygoing, engaging, flexible, non- intrusive, but at the same time very professional. Having listened carefully to what I had to say about him, she examined him from head to toe to set up a strategy on which areas he needs the most work to be done. You will not believe it, but after only two sessions with Kathy, Adnan started to pull up to stand independently and cruise, all at once!! I could not believe my eyes, as if he had been sleeping during all this time and had suddenly been awakened!!!  After two more sessions, he was finally able to crawl on all fours!!! So at exactly 15 months he was able to pull up to stand independently and cruise and at 15 1/2 he was crawling on all fours!!! I finally found some peace of mind…

But as I have described above there were other issues remaining: positioning of his feet, tone in his right leg and hand. After what I have seen, I was determined to continue with the Feldenkrais Method and of course, Kathy! I am so grateful that she also agreed to further work on my son’s issues. So, since January 2013 up to present, my son Adnan has been receiving regular weekly therapy from Kathy and here are our further accomplishments:

* At 18 months Adnan finally walked, yay!!
* He is no longer wearing braces on his feet as the positioning of both feet has significantly improved.
* His right leg has improved, and when he walks he does not limp (as opposed to the gloomy prognosis given by his pediatrician who has diagnosed him)!
* Use of his right hand has also improved; he is becoming increasingly aware of his right hand.

There is still slight tone in his right leg and right hand and he needs some help with balancing while walking, so we are working on those issues. But those are so small compared to where we were when we started. I believe that with Kathy’s help we will be able to also overcome those remaining issues. At his 21 months, Adnan is able to pretty much do everything that his peers are doing, and he keeps on improving and progressing.

We cannot thank Kathy enough. All I can say that she gave my son, myself and all my family a hope, and brought me back from falling into despair. She gave my son what he needs to have to be a normal boy. I would recommend working with her to anyone who wants the best for their kids. Thank you dear Kathy!!!!

Here is a clip of Adnan Walking at 21 months.

It is extremely gratifying to read Esmira's story here. And at 23 months, Adnan is falling much less and climbing up stairs almost independently.

Zoe, A Young Girl With Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

We each come into this world with potential. This is unique to each of us. Zoe is one of the more challenged children and so her learning is slower, but learn she does. I have been working with her for a few hears now. Zoe has a joy that is contagious. She has a smile for everyone and always ready to laugh. Following is an article that appeared in Ode Magazine, in August, 2012:

Feldenkrais may even be able to help those who have never experienced normal motor function at all. Kathy Yates, a certified FM practitioner from New York, helps youngsters suffering from neurological disorders like cerebral palsy discover parts of their bodies they have never actually felt, then to use them and, finally, to slowly gain more mobility and independence.
Before she started weekly sessions with Yates about two and a half years ago, Zoe Petrou, 9, from Nyack, New York, could “only scoot on the floor and barely sit up or walk in a walker a few steps,” says her mother, Karin, a 45-year-old restaurant worker. Zoe has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, a rare form of the disease with particularly disabling symptoms. Despite undergoing traditional physical therapy from the day she was born, Zoe’s condition did not improve.
Then Yates started working with her. Incrementally, she moved Zoe’s body in various directions and into various positions the girl couldn’t achieve on her own. In that fashion, she slowly managed to teach the child’s brain “to recognize, and then develop an image of, parts of her body that previously didn’t exist for it and therefore could not be used,” explains Yates.
Today, Zoe is able to roll over from her belly onto her back, something she had not been able to do before. When lying down, her mom reports, “She can pull herself up and then sit unaided.” And, to her family’s delight and her own, she can now also grasp things with her right hand.
- See more at:

September, 2013: Zoe continues to develop skills and organization. She is using her hands more, holding toys longer, and in gross motor activities like shifting in sitting on the floor. As she is going through puberty and growth spurts, there is confusion and insecurity as any young person would have, but it shows in different ways for Zoe who is very sensitive. So she folds over more when walking, though lately there are days when she is more upright than ever before. Though her speech is limited, we hear new vocabulary emerge.