Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oatie's first experience of ABR - Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation...

Well, here's a story about Oatie's first day at ABR..... well the tylenol sales went up forsure... for all the headaches he caused by SCREAMING, and I'm not joking.  The ABR Trainer we had, was just magic, so patient, so kind and so nice.  He didn't want to go on the bench partly as he was so skeletally unstable, and in the group setting he got easily distracted, like you can see the pictures of his stance last March.  He didn't want to be there and he just had tantrum after tantrum.  In the end I found a "naughty spot" that he hated.  And by the end of the week he was doing ok at co-operating but was rather fragile, so the slightest thing would get his back up.  He was so bad that the lovely people at ABR were willing to refund me as it looked like at the time that he would NEVER co-operate.  I remember when I said, that "this is the only logical therapy I've seen for Cerebral Palsy, and quite possibly the only thing that will at least not let his body become contorted and twisted and therefore in constant pain, and to me the only thing that looked like it would actually help him.  I know him, he'll co-operate).".

When we got home my husband built his bench, and painted it Lightning McQueen Red and my other kids put "cars" skickarounds on it, so it looked nice.  We went over to the bench, and Oatie has been crying because he rolled backwards from sitting on the carpet (he lost his balance) he was like a sack of potatoes.  I said to him, do you like falling backwards? he was sobbing still...  he shook his head no.  I said if you want any chance of, not falling backwards from just sitting, this bench is the thing to help you.  He saw our digital frame and a photo of my eldest doing a sprial (arabesque) with his Class teddy bear came up and he said, "I Skate?"  I said I don't know honey, I can't promise that you can like your brother or sister can, but if you want to, then this bench will be your best bet at helping the Cerebral Palsy.  So he then said "Ok Mama, Bench Yes" and that was pretty much it.  He from that moment decided that if bench could help him... he'd do bench.  Then he started to feel the benefit of ABR and now he's the otherway round, he'll demand his ABR.

He was the same for the machine, the first time we went to put the machine on him, (we'd prepared him by talking to him about it the day before) but when the time came, he threw a huge tantrum.  He went back out to his original "Naughty spot" from 7 months ago, and we re-explained that this is like "Super Mama" so you can have bench in bed... so I asked him if he'd like to put the machine on "Wow" so he came back into the training room and asked if his daddy would have the machine on, and me, so I said, how about turns, WOW, Daddy, Oatie and then mummy.  When he realised that the machine would help, he was really sweet and co-operated.  It was quite funny as he had the machine on for an hour while we were being trained on it.. and when we "unwrapped him", this was an hour later at least, he said "mama's turn" so I had to get wrapped up.  He now loves his "Buzz Bench" and cries if for some reason he doesn't get it.

So I don't know if you've noticed but when I saw today's photo to the earlier photos on the slideshow, you can really see the difference in his posture, and the meatiness of his chest, like he's filled out...

Here are some snippets from our last ABR session in October 2010


  1. This post surprised me! After meeting you and reading your blog there was never a hint that Oatie could be uncooperative - the smiling, excited, joyful little boy?? I am sincerely impressed with how you and your husband knew all of the right things to say and do to smooth the path for ABR. This story should be read by all ABR newcomers - you are pros!!!
    Fondly, Sharon

  2. Dear Sharon, I know, Oatie has been very "knowing" since he was 1, like a very strong sense of self with pure stubborness... like when he was 2 years old shouting "I Ice-skate" and that is what's driving him and why he's so co-operative on the bench.

    Or the time when he hates being physically impaired and shouted "I HATE HANDICAP, I HATE THIS(pointing to his legs)" I think that was last Summer.

    As soon as I convinced him that the bench would help him and help the handicap, he immediately like a switch, went "OK".

    Thank you for your lovely words, you always say the nicest things.

    I will post a photo of him which I spontaneously took of him this morning, that I adore, I might even frame it later.




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