Every Baby entitled to the Best Start in Life
Research tells us that the nervous system is able to change and adapt. This is how we all learn and is known as plasticity. As more and more is discovered about plasticity of the nervous system, we know that in the first two and a half years of a baby’s life, the brain is the most plastic and adaptable. This is particularly important in the context of children who have cerebral palsy. We know from research and our own experience that in the first two and a half years of the life of a child who has cerebral palsy, it is crucial that they receive the correct therapy and that their parents and family know how to move, carry and handle them to help them develop and achieve their full potential.
If missed, this opportunity can never be regained and although the nervous system continues to be adaptable and therapy continues, the possibilities for change are reduced and often unhelpful patterns and habits have already started to form.
Often, children in Wales are not referred to Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales for specialist therapy until they are 2 years or older. When parents come to us they often state they wish they had found out about us earlier so that their child had the best start in life.
In order to maximise the benefit of specialist therapy and ensure children in Wales who have cerebral palsy get a better start in life, we want to establish a service that treats babies perhaps even before they have an official diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Each year, approximately 70 children will be born in Wales with cerebral palsy.
With this in mind, Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales are launching the ‘Better Start’ appeal to raise awareness of the benefits of early intervention and to fundraise to make such a service possible.
Below is Jackson’s story.
‘When he was 3 days old Jackson became ill and was rushed to hospital. We were told that our son had brain damage due to a stroke on the left side of his brain and that he may never walk or talk and that he would probably have to be tube fed. We never imagined this would happen to us, to our son. Being referred to Bobath has in my opinion changed Jackson’s life. When we first went to Bobath, he couldn’t walk and struggled with his posture. Jackson is now 2 and he can walk around the living room without support. He can feed himself with his hands. Bobath has opened so many new doors to Jackson that we never thought possible.’