Wednesday, 23 April 2008

23Apr08 - On the Right Side

Last week we had a visit from Rachel Lucy's Occupational Therapist. Rachel has just completed an eight week therapy course at The Bobath Centre ( in London and has returned with lots of fresh ideas. She was keen to review positioning with Lucy and in particular introduce side lying. Up until now Lucy has spent a lot of time simply lying on her back. When she goes to bed, because of the way her sleep system is, she can only lie on her back and it is not always the most comfortable or beneficial position. She struggles sometimes to clear her throat in this position especially when she has a cold and is producing a lot of mucus and saliva. I also think that lying on your back is not always the most comfortable way to sleep. We have known for a while that Lucy enjoys being on her side, it is just difficult to keep her in that position. Rachel brought with her another mat to use with the spare wedges from Lucy's sleep system so that we can introduce side lying on her wedge to get her used to it before we introduce it for sleeping.As far as I understand the Bobath therapy concentrates a lot on positioning and using different positions to stimulate movement and dexterity. Rachel explained to us that she thought Lucy was very clever and aware of her surroundings and that she wanted to build on that by challenging Lucy to use her body more. In the side lying position Lucy has much more freedom to use her arms because they are naturally brought forward to a position where we can easily stimulate her touch and feel.She is also free to use her legs in a different way and she showed us this immediately by kicking and moving them which she does not always do.It is also good for her head position. Lucy has always had a tendency to lean and push back which results in her head lolling backwards. On her side it is easier to position her with her head forward and we can give her things to look at which challenge her to look down as well as up.It is always nice to have such a positive visit but it was really important and moving to hear somebody describe Lucy as clever. We have always thought it of Lucy but there are not many people that can see past her disabilities. Probably without realising it Rachel gave both Dawn and myself a huge boost by what she said. It is just something we don't hear very often. Lucy has huge potential to progress and needs people like Rachel in her life to push her and challenge her, to see the bright little girl inside her disfunctional exterior and help her to express herself in new and different ways.Lucy has taken to side lying very well and has been happy to maintain the position for long periods of time. It is giving her a whole new perspective, allowing her to see things in a different way. As you can see from the photo above, I don't think she will have any problems sleeping in this position.

1 comment:

Margo said...

Lucy does look very settled on her side!! Perhaps I should work out a new way of positioning the cushions from our couch so that when our little louby visits she can watch 'peppa pig' from a different angle!! LOL
Loads of love