Kelly B. Todd Center staff have many wonderful stories to share about the children that come to our specialized therapy services.
JL was born three months premature at 1 lb. 11 oz. by cesarean delivery. He was in the hospital for five months after his very early birth and he and the medical staff fought for his life. He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, spastic quadriparesis, and Scoliosis of the spine by doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. He was referred to KBT by his primary physician in June of 2018 when he was 10 years old with a history of convulsions, respiratory deficits, swallowing difficulties, vision limitations and frequent illness. He was only mobile when sitting with his legs crisscrossed in his wheelchair, but was able to use his hands and arms to move his wheelchair forward. JL and his family live in Muldrow, OK and drive every week to attend physical, occupational, and speech & swallowing therapy services with our wonderful clinicians. His progress in all areas has been exciting to behold!
During his initial physical therapy (PT) evaluation, JL was unable to stand with assistance, but could scoot on his bottom to move around the room. To date, he is able to walk with the aid of a gait trainer with some supervision (and bolt for the exit door in the blink of an eye), and has been given the opportunity to ride a three-wheeled bike and does so with some assistance from the PT. He and his mother have also received consultation with an orthotist and an assistive technology specialist to be refit for orthotic devices, wheelchair and gait trainers to fit new growth. JL’s mother has been thrilled to see his mobility progression during the past year and we all celebrate each success with happy tears.
JL is nonverbal in speech, but has progressed in language expression with his Speech Generating Devise (SGD). Although his mother said he has hearing loss in his right ear, he has adequate hearing acuity for understanding the spoken language in both English and Spanish, as his parents both emigrated from Mexico. With weekly therapy services at KBT, JL has learned to answer complex questions, express his physical needs, and tell anyone to “get lost” with his SGD equipment! Due to swallowing difficulties, JL still receives nutrition via mic-key/g-tube, however, the therapist continues to stimulate with pleasure feedings orally to strengthen low tone in swallowing. His therapist also continues to incorporate American Sign Language skills into his weekly therapy to help communicate more effectively in his daily life. Each week successes are celebrated no matter how small!
As with speech therapy, the occupational therapist began therapy at KBT working on communication skills with his SGD tablet to reinforce this important level of nonverbal communication. His OT and mother set goals to improve independence and improved performance in daily life skills such as grooming tasks, dressing and undressing, bathing and toileting tasks. JL has improved his grasp on writing utensils, use of a tooth brush with modified grasping. His visual motor skills have improved as he is able to imitate and trace various lines and shapes, and grasp and stack blocks by shape and size. He has improved his transfer skills from wheelchair to toilet and reverse, and transfer from the floor to the wheelchair and back to the floor. We strive to give each child the greatest amount of independence and hope for the future.