Starting therapy when young can have an enormous impact on a child’s potential to develop new skills and abilities. Ibrahim, or Isa as his parents call him, started Bobath therapy in January 2013 at just a year old, and has made huge progress in the following six months.
Isa was born at 31 weeks and diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy just before his first birthday. His condition means that the muscles throughout his body are stiff, with his right side and arms most affected. He also has difficulty controlling his core muscles that help with balance and support.
Isa and his parents Asma and Asad first visited the Bobath Centre in February 2013 to meet with consultant Bobath therapist Virginia.
“We thought straight away: ‘She really knows what she’s doing!’” says Asma. “After that session we knew we had to continue with Bobath therapy.”
They began regular treatment sessions through the Helping Hand scheme with Bobath physiotherapist Xanthe. “We worked on improving Isa’s core muscle strength to stop him pushing backwards so much, and on reducing the stiffness in his limbs so he’s more stable and can control his movements” explains Xanthe.
“I also showed Asma and Asad how to position him so that he develops better patterns of movement. The family has continued these activities at home, which has helped him to progress even further.”
Isa is growing into a bright young boy, eager to explore the world, and Asma says he has already far surpassed the goals set for him by his local NHS therapist, who he sees less often.
Asma can already see the benefits of starting therapy as early as possible. “We know that the first two or three years are crucial in maximising his potential. Isa is so curious and open to trying new things and we really want to take advantage of that."
"After his first treatment block with Xanthe, he could already sit up better, reach out away from his body and turn his hand over. It’s the little things like that which we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves which will help him to do more things for himself.
His consultant has been really impressed with his progress. There is the chance Isa will walk one day using walking aids, which we didn’t think was even a possibility before. And we hope that he will be able to go to a mainstream school."