In April 2021, Siyakwazi hosted its first therapy block week at the Resource Centre. The week followed an intense 5 day training session with 5 parents and their children. The focus of the training was to showcase to parents how to understand and support their child’s individual needs. Because the nature of the therapy week was so intense, it was centred around children with Cerebral Palsy.
Each day took parents through a different combination of resource sharing from learning more about Cerebral Palsy and how it can affect children differently, to practical learnings such as correct feeding and positioning as well as how to support stimulation.
Parents were given the opportunity to share their story, through our Sinezwi sessions, which supports processing and coming to terms with their child’s disability and their own role; for many of these parents there are complex socio-economic circumstances which can often leave them feeling over-burdened and helpless.
The daily therapy interventions over the course of the week meant that there was a noticeable improvement amongst all the children by the end of the week.
Feedback from the Occupational Therapist
“By the end of the week the child was enjoying being stimulated and would tolerate previously protested positions if play was being used (such as story books). He started to engage in reciprocal play and demonstrated using his right hand spontaneously. His mother had improved upon her understanding of how to facilitate play in different positions, as well as form a more effective communication system of the child’s wants and needs.”
“By the end of the week, the child’s mother had improved understanding of how to build expectation and to build a more effective communication system with her daughter (basic tactile/vision communication board provided). Due to daily stretches and massage, the child’s legs were not as tight, as observed by her standing upright with her feet more flat.”
A few months later we have been in touch with some of the parents to find out how they are using the tools which they learnt at the Therapy Block week.
Feedback from parents in July
“I see my child developing very well in activities and exploration of real object and toys but before didn’t know anything about positions; feely things that are suitable for her. I believe my child can do more with my support. My child now is responding when I’m talking and now can lift her hand and grab toys and she can lift her head left and right and lift legs when playing.”
He is now getting better in some things like sitting and listening to noise and also moving and baby playing. I have done more for him because it encourages me to do therapy program (stretching, using brush) and to take care of him.