June Update on STAR’s Show Hope Outreach in China
The following blog update comes to us from physical therapist Jessica Minard at Maria’s Big House of Hope in China…
June PT Update and Overview
We have successfully completed our third and fourth “continuing education” training for the PT Ayis here at Maria’s. We covered how to use play for therapeutic benefits and stimulation of development and fundamental treatment techniques. They have been very interested and ask tons of questions when it comes to new techniques and handling!
We are consistently using the standing frames everyday here at Maria’s! The PT Ayis and myself take the frames from room to room and rotate children in/out while others are receiving hands on treatment. The children love being able to stand and look around the room while playing with toys on the tray! It is amazing to me at how well the majority of them have responded to this one piece of equipment. The PT Ayis are now independent with using the standing frames for all the appropriate children including donning of their orthotics. Last month I was able to fit nearly all of the children who need orthotics when standing with previously donated orthoses. It is our hope that for the remaining children who need orthotics the local CWI will be able to make braces for those children from Luoyang. Eventually it is still the goal that the caregiver Ayis would take on the use of the standing frames within the room. I am still in the process of making a detailed and pictured instruction sheet for the Ayis so that there can be more independence on their part to use these frames in the rooms. We recently gave a boy with Spina Bifida one of the new ZipZac chairs and are training him on how to use it independently J (see picture below)!
We are continuing to make PVC mobiles for each room that will provide more opportunities for play and sensory experiences for more of our involved children. They are designed to be placed over the child with toys hanging on both sides as well as above. It not only has allowed these children more opportunities for play but also increased socialization! Four of these mobiles have been built and we are planning on making 4 more mobiles and acquiring enough hanging toys so that each room can have their own mobile. Once each room has their own mobile, monthly we will rotate the mobiles from room to room for increased variety of play for the kiddos.
In terms of facilitating play within the children’s rooms, myself and the Renichs have established a system to provide age appropriate and developmentally stimulating toys in every room that will be enacted next week! We now have a fully stocked inventory of developmental appropriate and stimulating toys thanks to wonderful donations! Next week, with the help of the sponsor team, we will distribute a variety of toys to each room and begin the new system of bimonthly rotations of their toy bins from room to room.
The impacts of PT here are varying and huge! The same three boys I mentioned last month with varying diagnoses (arthrogryposis, cardiac condition, liver condition) who all present with developmental delay are all now walking more independently (2/3 are walking with just supervision and the other with SBA-HHA). A seven-year old with Down Syndrome who just started walking/standing with support in the last year is now walking with just supervision! A little boy with hydrocephalus is gaining head control and can now long sit/ring sit with just minimal assistance at his trunk and no assistance for head control anymore! We have a little boy with a metabolic disease with significant delays in development who is now stepping with support as well as really enjoying supported standing in the standing frame. Those are just a few examples of the children here who are now sitting, rolling, transitioning, and standing on their own and we are so very proud of them!
In this next month I plan to re-evaluate the children at our Zhengzhou unit as well as continuing care at Maria’s (my plan is to revisit our Nanyang and Jiaozuo care centers by the middle of August). Our next continuing education training at the beginning of July will continue to cover early infant stimulation treatment techniques and positioning as treatment. The goals for the next month, in addition to ongoing PT treatment of the children, will be continuing to use and train the Ayis with the standing frames, completing the PVC mobiles for each room, distributing new toys to every room, and go to the other care centers for re-evaluations.